The Ship Inn: A Special Place
This pub is special to me, always has been, and always will be.
This is one of those tips that could go under the heading of Accommodation, Restaurant or Nightlife - and I’ve had all three experiences in The Ship - but for me it’s a pub, always has been and always should be.
The first time I set foot in here was not long after the Penlee Lifeboat Disaster (see separate tip) and it’s an experience that will always stay with me.
This pub oozed character in a way that only a real Cornish fishing village pub can. Thick set granite stone walls that could probably tell as many tales as the fishermen that came in here could. The local characters were friendly and for many years I kept in touch with some of them, but sadly I’ve lost touch with them now.
That first night I was here there was somebody standing in for the Landlord because he was one of the crew members of the Solomon Browne that came to grief on that fateful night in December 1981. It was a cold dark night that evening I was here but the open fire was as welcoming as the locals.
Back then the pub had several separate intimate drinking areas, which it still has, but it’s been opened up at the back now which loses its intimate atmosphere somewhat - but that’s only to be expected I suppose in this day and age.
The Penlee Lifeboat Disaster isn’t the only thing to be remembered at The Ship at Christmastime. Tom Bawcock’s Eve is celebrated on the 23rd Dec when Stargazey Pie is dished up. I won’t go into too much detail here because I intend to write up a separate tip about it.
These days the Inn is owned and run by the St. Austell Brewery and includes 8 bedrooms which appear to have been brought up to scratch since I stayed here quite a few years ago. As far as food goes it’s decent stuff but I just prefer a pasty when I’m here.
I always say it’s about timing. Come here in the height of summer when people are enjoying their summer holidays and you’ll wonder why I love Mousehole - and The Ship - but come here on a stormy winter’s night, meet the locals in front of the open fire and enjoy a pint of local Cornish Real Ale and a pasty and you may begin to realise why I think it’s so special.
Dress Code: A 'Sou Wester' if you still own one
The Infamous Mousehole Lights
An annual project by the residents of Mousehole Village. Simple and unassuming, the light up in the bay brings out the Christmas spirit in this small town. Walk around the place in the evening and peer into the christmas decorations in the windows of the various shops and houses. Almost each of these decorations is 'mouse'-themed. Drop by the small shop (do not quite remember its name though) that sells 'handmade mice in dresses' for 7 GBP.
Mousehole: World-Famous Christmas Lights
I haven't actually been to this event, as I was not there at the right time of year, but I've heard of it and wish I could see it myself. The photo is by Charles Winpenny and is here by permission from Cornwall Cam .
You see, the Christmas lights in Mousehole don't just decorate houses - they go on the boats, too. Everything is decorated in a blazing array of colors and local themes. The preparation for this event starts in September and includes a brief shut-off in memorial of those lost in the Penlee Lifeboat in 1981. This interlude of respect lasts from 8 until 9pm on December 19th. Typically the lights come on at 5pm and go off at 11pm.
Dress Code: Probably something warm to fight off the winter chill.
- Family Travel