Image by Olaf Tausch

In Brief

Classification: Fishing village
Twinned with: No-one (although ‘heaven’ has been suggested?!)
Population: 697 in 2011
Notable former residents: Dolly Pentreath, on record right back in 1768 as the last person to speak solely Cornish, was born in Mousehole and lived in the area up until her death in 1777. Respected Cornish language scholar John Keigwin was also born in the village in 1641
Films shot in town: Scenes from huge hit TV series ‘The Onedin Line’ (1971-80) were filmed in Mousehole. Sequences from TV drama ‘Poldark’ were also, of course, filmed in the village, as were scenes from surfy 1995 film ‘Blue Juice’, starring Sean Pertwee, Catherine Zeta-Jones and a fresh-faced Ewan McGregor
Interesting factoid: In March 2022, the only house in Mousehole to survive a bombardment from the Spanish in 1595, was listed for sale. Thought to be in retaliation for the famous sinking of the Armada, the village, along with neighbouring Paul and Newlyn, was torched but the building, back then a pub called The Keigwin Arms, remained standing. Its owner, Jenkyn Keigwin, sadly died protecting it, though


First things first, it’s not ‘Mouse-hole’. It’s pronounced ‘Mowzel’ or ‘Muzzle’. Second things second, this picture-postcard Cornish fishing village on the far side of Mount’s Bay, just a couple of miles down the coast from Penzance out on the wild west reaches of Cornwall, is a timeless gem of a place. Mousehole is full of old world charm, from its gorgeous little harbour (the main venue for the annual Sea Salts and Sail festival) with its steady stream of fishing boats bringing in crab and catches of day to its quaint streets, Lamorna granite cottages, cute ice cream shops, photogenic gift stores and quaint eateries. The village, which is rich with fishing heritage and was actually the main port in Mount’s Bay from the 13th century until Penzance and Newlyn stole that honour in the 1700s, is awash with history, be it devastating shipwrecks (like the Penlee lifeboat disaster in 1981, which is still very much remembered by the community), attacks from the Spanish (like the reprisal for the sinking of the Armada in 1595) or, of course, smuggling in the 18th century (at least one of the local cottages still has a smuggler’s tunnel running out to, well, who knows where from behind a false wall…). Protip: parking in the village, which either got its name from the Cornish for ‘young woman’s brook’ (‘Moeshayle’) or from a sea cave nearby which literally resembles a mouse’s hole, is an utter nightmare in those narrow, twisty, turny, steep roads down to the harbourside so make sure you park at the top of the hill and walk down if you arrive by automobile. It’s well worth it, though, for a day of tradition, history and photogenic charm, Mowzel-style.