Situated approximately 5 miles south of St. Austell (one of Cornwall’s largest towns) lies Mevagissey, an old fishing village, which has a long history of Pilchard fishing.
Nestled around the attractive harbour, are some interesting narrow streets to explore. Grey and white cottages line the steep hills which rise out of the harbour and Seagulls screech above colourful fishing boats.
If you’re a shopper, or fancy a bite to eat in an interesting setting, then you won’t be disappointed – there are plenty of shops, including several boutiques, an art gallery, as well as fish and chip stalls and tea rooms. There are also gift shops and lots of places to buy souvenirs or gifts, such as clotted cream fudge, or that stick of rock! My favourite find, tucked away down ‘Jetty Street’ was ‘Hurley Book Shop,’ where I was lucky enough to come across a copy of ‘School House In The Wind‘, the memoirs of Anne Treneer, author and teacher, who writes vividly about her experiences growing up in the rural Cornish village of Gorran Haven. Here’s a little snippet for you, which I think, captures some of the glorious wildness of Cornwall:
The wind streamed round us straight from everywhere. From whatever direction it blew it met our house and swept on and round it like a sea-swirl over and around rocks. Winter gales were glorious. When the winds were really high, entering our house from the lanes was almost like getting into a beleaguered fortress. In the lanes we were protected by hedges. Then, tugging open our gate, we would advance a few yards in the shelter of the wall, before running the gauntlet of the wind in the open garden. Sometimes we could only just manage to round the projecting corner of the house against which the wind would try to hurl us. It was called ’rounding the Cape of Good Hope.’
If you meander along the harbour side, you will come across a very interesting little Aquarium, situated in the old R.N.L.I Lifeboat House, which up until the 1930’s housed 3 different Lifeboats. The aquarium is well worth a look, especially if you have children. There is also a museum in Mevagissey.
It’s not a huge place, and so perhaps would work well as a twin visit with the nearby Caerhays Castle & Gardens. But if you’re looking for the quintessential Cornish Fishing village, then Mevagissey is not to be missed!