Travel & Life Digest

Mousehole, Cornwall

Hunting for romantic Arthurian legends in Tintagel and being mesmerised by Padstow's evening aura by the river Camel, have both been a great start to our Cornish road trip. 
But, time has come to explore the southern part of the Cornish coast.

Mousehole port at low tide.

Moving around  the Cornish countryside is not as quick, as you’d think.
Tiny country lanes connect all villages; don’t be surprised if your navigation takes you through a lane just wide enough to fit one car; green wild vegetation walls constantly closing in towards you, driving the parking sensors mad.  I'm actually describing our drive to Mousehole from Penzance, via Paul village. Such a seemingly short drive: 3.5 miles, took us 20 minutes!

Mousehole is a real life, doll-house village, pronounced "Mowzell".
The Cornish dialect is a branch of the ancient Celtic group of languages, which still survives down here, but just about; there are only 600 fluent speakers left, in and around Truro.
I  think it was my favourite spot in the whole trip; it is the kind of place I would retreat to, to finish off my paper, spend time staring at the tides come in and out and eat fresh fish every day!
The tiny, round port is crammed with fishing boats waiting patiently for the tide, day by day. That’s the other thing with Cornwall, you can watch the tide clearly moving in and out of the coastal hamlets, while realising the superior forces of nature.  

At the seaside garden of the Old Coastguard Hotel
St Michael's Mount seen in the distance, from a highpoint in Mousehole.

We stayed at the Old Coastguard hotel, which offers the bay best views in the village and has a splendid seaside garden to watch the moon from. If you are only staying for a night or two, it's just the place to be.
But if you plan staying longer, I would probably opt for renting a little cottage like the Boat Watch, it's much cosier. (check availability)
Just a couple hundred yards from Mousehole coast, there is this tiny rock, which keeps changing shape and appearance depending of the height of the tide. We had a clear view of it from our room and all through the night we kept getting up to take pictures and watch the changing tide. What a change from waking up to look at Pinterest and check emails.

During the day make sure to walk around the village. There are so many little shops, full of interior decorating props and lovely reminders of this sun-drenched part of England.
I bought a wooden sign for the garden that reads "life is better on the beach", tell me something I didn't know, right? Well, surely enough it does remind me of this happy place, every single time I look at it. 

Arriving at St Michael's Mount by boat.
Spot the causeway for when the tide goes out? You can actually walk to the Mount!

A short (remember, this is a relative term around here) drive away from Mousehole is St Michael's Mount: an island when the tide comes in, but just a short walk away when the waters subtract! The ancient causeway has been there for centuries, for pilgrims, soldiers and modern tourists. It's one of those things that makes you stop and think!

Right across, on the French coast of Normandy, you'll find the exact same island, Mont St Michel!
It has a special significance for us, as this is where my husband proposed, under the stars and the evening hymns at St Michel's monastery. So, we were beyond excited to walk around its' English counterpart!

Looking at Marazion from the Mount

St Michael's Mount is home to 39 islanders who live and work there, but also to the St Aubyn family, who still reside in the castle.
It is a wonderful microcosm of  gardens, grand interiors, an Abbey and a castle, all with amazing 360 degree views around. What a place!
Back in Mousehole, evenings are such a pleasure; there is nothing like walking around the village having everybody nodding a quick “hello” to you. If that doesn’t make you feel part of this place, nothing does.
If you find yourself in Mousehole promise that you'll go and have dinner at 2 Fore street. It's this unpretentious, corner restaurant, just off the port. They make the lightest, tastiest fish dishes. My lemon sole was filleted and stuffed with herbie butter, olives and all kinds of yummy, yummy stuff!

Speaking of flavours, one must try a proper Cornish pasty.
Just don’t ask for anything other than the good old traditional; the locals will look at you out of the corner of their eye and mumble...and rightly so, the traditional filling is just right.
You simply don’t get that buttery and velvety texture anywhere else.

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