Unfortunately, on our second day in Cornwall, my father came down with some kind of bug that kept him at home resting. My mother kept him company and the rest of us ventured out to see the little fishing village of Mousehole (pronounced “Mowzel“) and the dramatic coastline of Lands End.
Mousehole is an extremely charming fishing village just down the coast a little way from Penzance. We got up and got ourselves to the bus station and caught our bus bright and early.
When we arrived in Mousehole (on a drippy, grey morning), we saw most of the (locally famous) holiday lights display still in the harbour area. Apparently, it takes about 3 months on either side of Christmas to get this display installed and taken down. Our favorite by far was the floating sea monster right in the middle of the harbour. Too bad the tide was out — it would have been fun to see that floating in the water when we arrived!
The streets are very narrow, and the houses are just literally right on top of one another. It was tight quarters, but luckily, not much traffic.
Definitely a highlight of our visit to Mousehole was the rubbish collection truck. They slowly made their way up the steep street, collecting rubbish as they came, and then the guys all smiled and waved at Charlie and Flora. SO exciting!
Unforunately, nothing was open in Moushole but the newsagent, as it was very definitely NOT high tourist season. So we couldn’t find any place to sit and have a cup of coffee. After walking around the village for about 45 minutes, we decided we had better catch a bus and head back. When we returned to Penzance (only about a 20 minute ride), we caught a different bus, this time a double-decker, to Lands End. This bus ride was about an hour, and traveled through some really stunning areas of moorland and forest. We saw some standing stones along the way, and even a stone circle. We caught glimpses of Porthcurnow, with its telegraph museum, and of several other very small, very cute villages and hamlets. The bus ride in and of itself was worth the time and money.
In the middle of the route, we came face-to-face with another double decker and there was quite a bit of dancing around before the drivers could find a spot along the road that was wide enough for both to pass each other. There was a lot of backing up and fancy maneuvering.
When we arrived at the Lands End bus stop, the “amusement park” we had been warned about was just ahead of us. What an awful “visitor center”. There are several attractions to take your money and they are all so cheesy! There’s a pirate-related ride, a “deep sea experience” (movie theater?), several gift shops, a couple of restaurants, and (thankfully) a decent playground for the kids.
Once you get beyond all the crappy “visitor attraction” buildings, the view out and down is truly worth the visit. This place is fabulously beautiful, and so dramatic.
We hiked along the cliffs for about an hour and a half. We were limited with our time as the buses don’t come very often, and well, it’s not a great place to be stranded with two small children! We were lucky in that the wind wasn’t bad, it wasn’t raining, and it really wasn’t terribly cold. BUT, we could well imagine how brutal that coast can be in January, when there is a brisk breeze blowing in off the Atlantic! Oh, and there are some:
Back to the bus before it got dark!
And back to Sea View Cottage