Mousehole, Cornwall

8th December 2006 at 00:00
Caroline Newborn teaches Year 3 and 4 at Mousehole County Primary in West Cornwall and lives in Penzance

Favourite place when you have a day off?

I love Sennen Cove. It's a golden stretch of sand about a mile from Land's End, good for surfing and a family beach. Porthcurno has stunning views from the Minack Theatre on the cliffs above.

When's a good time to come?

December 23 is very special to me. It's Tom Bowcock's Eve in Mousehole, when everyone remembers the brave boatman's bumper fish haul and the children walk through the village with candle lanterns, handing out fish-shaped biscuits to the elderly, and sing A merry place you may believe, is Mousehole on Tom Bowcock's Eve. The ceremony commemorates the Mousehole fisherman who, one winter when the village was starving because it was cut off by storms, set out to sea in the gale and came back with enough fish to feed everyone.

The Mousehole Lights illuminate the village from December 16 to January 6.

It's really beautiful. On May 1, we always go to see the Padstow 'Obby 'Oss.

For a quieter holiday come at October half-term, when it's still mild in the West Country.

Lunchtime treats?

Old Coastguard Hotel (01736 731222, www.oldcoastguardhotel.co.uk, lunch between pound;7 and pound;14) has top views and staff. You can sit on a terrace for coffee overlooking the sea. It's a bit more pricey at night.

Evening delights?

For a special occasion I recommend The Summerhouse off the Promenade in Penzance (01736 363744, www.summerhouse-cornwall.com, closed for the winter, open in March 2007). You have to book because they only seat about 20 people. You can stay overnight too. It's the home of Ciro, the owner, so you feel like his guest. All the food is locally sourced.

Visitors beware

Use the car less and walk, or use local buses, you'll save a fortune. In summer, people find that each place they visit charges up to pound;2.50 to park so this can be expensive.

Remember to buy

Obviously clotted cream. All the bakeries sell saffron cake. Eat in one of our good fish restaurants. In Newlyn, try Jelbert's homemade ice-cream Renata Rubnikowicz

FIND OUT MORE

Visit www.visit-westcornwall.com or ring 01736 362207 for information and to order the public transport leaflet, Bus, Boot and Branchline

How to get there

Both First Great Western (0845 7484950, www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk) and Virgin (08457 222333, www.virgin.comtrains) run trains to Penzance

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