A walk to Mousehole and back: no cycling - Southwest England in April - CycleBlaze

April 13, 2014

A walk to Mousehole and back: no cycling


Today we had planned to ride our unloaded bikes to Land's End and back, about 40 kilometres, but we realized we'd be cycling up and down again over similar terrain to yesterday, so instead we decided to walk to Mousehole, a tiny historic village about 5 km south along the coast. First we enjoyed our full English breakfast downstairs in the dining room, while chatting with Stewart.

We set off along the seafront promenade, which was blocked off in places where it had been badly damaged by the February storms. After the promenade we walked along the road closest to the water, through Newlyn and past the Penlee Point lifeboat station to the picturesque stone village of Mousehole (pronounced Mowzl). On the way we watched about 20 dolphins frolicking through the waves fairly close to shore. Mousehole dates from the 1200s, although most of the original buildings were destroyed by the Spaniards in 1595. At that time it was one of the principal ports on Mount's Bay and a major commercial centre.

Now we knew we were on the right route :)
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We passed some small gardens perched between the road to Mousehole and the cliff above the sea
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After a look at the harbour with its variety of boats, we explored the narrow lanes of the village, more suited to wheelbarrows and push carts than automobiles. The lanes were lined with atmospheric old stone houses which must be a challenge to heat in the winter. On this holiday weekend, there were quite a few tourists considering the size of the place. We ate lunch at the local deli, Hole Foods—grilled vegetable sandwiches with goat cheese--and then headed back towards Penzance. At first we walked close to the water on a concrete path leading out of Mousehole, thinking that it would meet the road a ways ahead, but after about a kilometre the path ended suddenly at a rocky cliff, and we had to retrace our steps to Mousehole and then take the regular road.

The harbour in Mousehole at low tide
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The centre of the small town lines the harbourside
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A lunch stop with a sense of humour
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This was perhaps the smallest Hole Foods wherein we've ever had lunch
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Back in Penzance we found a much-needed launderette and sat in the sunshine at a nearby park while our clothes whirled. For dinner we tried another pub recommended by our hosts, the Navy Inn, where the meal was truly exceptional. We have found the food to be surprisingly good in Cornwall. Apparently a host of young chefs have moved to the area to take advantage of the local produce and meat and the seafood from the unpolluted waters. We were told that here at the Navy Inn the chef was also the owner of the establishment. Our dinner started with a delicious crab bisque, followed by hake with exquisite crab gnocchi. We weren't planning to have dessert, but couldn't resist sharing an apple and blackberry parfait with a cinnamon brioche. The words can't convey how good it was! We walked back to the Ashton House through the mellow evening sunshine feeling very content.

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