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Mevagissey is a busy fishing harbour best in the heart of Cornwall. The harbour sees constant boats in and out and is also a popular site for divers who you will often see jumping in or heading off in the ribs.
The town is built around the harbour, it is much quieter than city life but is pretty, quant and a nice place to visit.
Available are loads of gift shops ranging from the usual seashell and buckets and spades to home made jewelery and trinkets. The food is great, whether you want fish and chips sat on the harbour wall or a rich indulgent chocolate cake you can have it all.
Also look out for the fudge shop! so many choices and all too good.
So whether your looking for a potter around or to sit with an icecream and watch the boats its a lovely place.
Parking is available in the town itself, this is cheaper but means walking to the water, this isnt far and the fewer cars around the harbour the better, however you can park on the harbour wall if you wish to be closer, on the right though as the left is permit only for residents.
This parking isnt cheap at around £5 for a whole day and you will find its mostly the divers who use it to save carrying gear around.
Please though when visiting remember the harbour wall is a road and a very narrow one if a car comes along please move to the side. And if driving the village have small roads please remember its not like driving around a city take it steady.
Overall the time is lovely, food, drink and shops available.
You can if you wish jump on a boat to go fishing for the day for a small charge and the old lifeboat house contains a small aquarium of locally caught creatures.
I holidayed in Mevagessy April 2011, I didn't really know what to expect and was neither disappointed or felt I had struck gold.
We do like body boarding which we couldn't do on this coast as the sea is a lot calmer. So we spent 3 days on the beach sea kayaking instead which was great.
The whole atmosphere of this holiday was a slower pace to what we are normally used to. There wasn't much to do in the area other than tea shops, gift shops & generally potter around. If you didn't mind a 30 - 60 min car journey there was plenty to occupy families.
Mevagessy has a small working fishing harbour . So we felt it a must to have a look there. We went one evening to sit by the habour with a cone of chips and watch the boats coming in, unloading and weighing there catch which was a relaxing couple of hours.
Do mind out for the seagulls though they were circling waiting for there chance to nick a chip and we had be warned they are very cheeky!!
The next day we decided to return to the harbour and do some crabbing which was very successful and enjoyable (crabbing nets can be brought from the gift shops for only £2.00).
Would I return to Mevagessy? Although I enjoyed the experience of the quieter holiday for me I dont think I would return for a good 20 years. But I would reccomend people form there own opinion of this one and give it a try.
Mevagissey is a medium sized working fishing village on the southern coast of Cornwall, around five miles south of St Austell. During the summer months it is very much a tourist centre popular with both those staying in the town and day-trippers from further afield. The streets are narrow and crowded with many accessible only on foot. Even the main road through the village is best avoided where possible since there is inadequate clearance for cars to pass each other - necessitating much frustrating reversing for caught-out tourists and much amusement for weary locals.
The advantages and disadvantages of a stay in Mevagissey are really two sides of the same coin. The village is undeniably pretty although given its relative size it perhaps lacks some of the charm of smaller villages to be found a few minutes drive away. In its favour though there are amenities on hand that its prettier rivals struggle to provide. There is a wide choice of restaurants and pubs ranging from the cheap and cheerful to more 'gastro' options. Even out of peak season some of these will require booking so plan ahead. While lacking anything as grand as a supermarket (which would hardly be welcome in any event) there are a number of smaller convenience stores where most basics can be obtained. If your tastes border on the specialist though a trip further afield to St Austell is likely to be required.
In terms of local attractions the town is really better suited as a base than a destination. If eating, drinking and soaking up the ambience is your ideal holiday then you may not feel the need to leave. Otherwise trips further afield may be required. Not to be missed are the local walks along the coastal footpath although be aware that these can be extremely steep and are only suited to those with a reasonable level of fitness. That said, the views only minutes walk away are truly spectacular and fully worth the effort. The path cuts straight through the village giving options to head both North and South. Another local attraction just 2-3 miles away, The Lost Gardens of Heligan - a restored planned garden in a country estate is well worth the visit even if gardening is not your thing.
In summary then Mevagissey is a decent choice for those looking for a South Cornwall coastal base with some of the conveniences and choice missing in the smaller villages nearby. My tips - avoid peak season and visit before July or after mid-September, and stay on the outskirts of the town - the centre can get noisy as the pubs kick-out...
If you've never been to Cornwall and can only imagine a quaint little fishing village beside an ancient harbour then Mevagissy comes close to what you might visualise. In the centre are a tangle of tiny streets leading from the single road through the village. Be warned this single road is narrow, very narrow, only wide enough for one car to pass between the jutting walls of cottages at a time. Don't try to drive through the village unless you have to, there is a large car park a few hundred yards from the harbourside on the main road in.
Once in the village there are the usual mix of touristy shops selling gifts, ice creams, and local art work. Interesting enough for an afternoon's browse but better still to go through to the harbour if you like all things watery. There's the harbour wall to wander along whilst watching the boats potter in and out anda few waterside bars and restaurants to get comfy in.
The views are wonderful from the gardens situated on the road out of the village. These can easily be accessed from the harbourside via steps. Sunset is a particularly good time to visit for those keen on photography as the views across the harbour towards the open sea change so quickly once the sun begins to go down.
I'd recommend visiting Mevagissy out of the peak season as it gets very busy but if you don't do any other Cornish fishing village then at least you'll have seen one of the best.
I recent went to stay with family in Cornwall. Whilst there Shane and I took time out to visit Mevagissey. It is a unique, yet picturesque fishing village first recorded in the 14th Century. This is a working village, but has many tourists visit in the summer months. It is situated on the southern side of Cornwall, about five miles from St. Austell. Fishing continues to be one of the major occupations for the local people. Tourism is second! Mevagissy has a variety of coloured and white washed dwellings, some seemingly suspended from the cliff tops. Much of the coastline surrounding Mevagissey is entrusted to the care of the National Trust and is freely accessible. A visit to the ruins of Portgiskey, from the late nineteenth century, is enlightening. There are remains of abandoned boatyards, cellars, cottages, and gardens can be clearly viewed. A settlement has been on the site at Mevagissey since the Bronze Age. Burial Urns have been unearthed in the area. Mevagissey one of the first settlements to have electric street lighting. The oil produced from the pilchard industry powered this. Mevagissey is also the birthplace for Pears Soap as well. **Accommodation** There are a wide variety of accommodations available at Mevagissey, one that can meet all pockets! I would advise checking with the tourist office about availability of accommodation and caravan sites, as this is a popular village to visit. **Banks** Mevagissey is limited to one bank, which is only open on three mornings per week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, from 9.30am to 12.30pm. It is a Lloyds TSB branch. There is however a cash machine that can be found in the village?s Mini Market! **Car Parking** Parking in the village itself is limited and tends to be crowded during the summer months. Mevagissey has five car parks, which take a few minutes walk to the harbour. The first car park is the Willows
, which is on left when driving into the village. This car park holds 300 cars and also caters for coaches. (This is probably the best to use during the summer months). Next, Sunny Corner holds 50 cars. Then there are two smaller, pay and display car parks in the village. These are often full! The final car parking area is on the harbour. **Eating Out** There are a wide variety of cafes, public houses, restaurants and take-aways, at Mevagissey. One can eat Cord en Bleu, vegetarian, or the British traditional, fish and chips; all tastes seem to be catered for. I personally like to eat a freshly cooked pastie, straight from the oven, whilst sitting at the quayside, watching the hustle and bustle of harbour life. I get caught up in a fantasy world of Cornish smugglers and pirates. **Fishing** Angling is free from the harbour wall. In the winter months, the fishing boats from Mevagissey, fish for mackerel, using hand lines. The fish are often seen, landed at the quayside. Mevagissey Shark Angling Centre can arrange wreck and shark fishing trips. They are open all year round. **Mevagissey Harbour Marine Aquarium** This is a small aquarium, situated near the harbour, in the old lighthouse. It exhibition of many species of fish, caught locally in the local Cornish waters. Again, it is a small yet interesting place to visit. All proceeds raised from the aquarium go towards Mevagissey harbour maintenance and improvement. The Mevagissey Harbour Marine Aquarium is a registered charity. Opening hours: 10am - 5pm, April to September, every day. Cost: 60p per adult, 30p per child. **Mevagissey Folk Museum** This museum came into being in the late 1960?s. It is a local history museum displaying a selection of local articles, boat models and photographs of Mevagissey over the last 100 years. Life is shown when the
Pilchard Industry was booming. It is small and compact, yet extremely informative. There is no access to the upper levels for wheel-chair users. Opening hours: 11am - 6pm, Easter until end September, every day. Cost: £1.00 per adult, 50p per child. **The Eden Project** This environmental project is only eight miles from Mevagissey. It consists of two biospheres, built in a disuse quarry. (I have written about this project in a previous opinion, so will not go into any further details). **The Lost Gardens of Heligan** This is a large garden of fifty-seven acres. It was lost around seventy years ago and is now currently being restored to its former glory. It is probably one of the largest projects of its type in Europe today. Opening hours: 10am - 6pm. Open daily all year round. **The World of Model Railways** The Model railway museum holds an impressive collection of model railway exhibits, with over 2,000 models. There is a live model railway layout of over fifty working trains plus a shop. A new feature for the year 2001 is children?s layout with all the ?favourite? trains. Opening hours: Daily from 10am, Easter to 31st October. In winter months: weekends only. **Visiting Boats There are roughly available ten visitor berths, at Mevagissey. The harbour can offer diesel fuel, fresh water and moorings at the following rates: Overnight boat charges up to: 20 feet - £3.50 21' to 30' - £5.50 31' to 40' - £6.50 over 40' - £8.50 For a casual stop, charges are around, £1.00 for a two hours lunch break. In 1906, whilst staying in Mevagissey, George Bernard Shaw wrote his play, 'The Doctor's Dilemma?. Also a wide variety of film and adverts have been made in Mevagissey, including Frenchman?s Creek and Dracula. I love Mevagissey. It is no
t everyone?s ?cup of tea?. There are no night-clubs and very little in the way of amusement arcades. The shops are small and the natives friendly. It is worth paying this fishing village a visit, when on holiday in Cornwall, even if it is only for the day. **Further Information** Telephone 01726 842266 or Website www.mevagissey.net
Visiting Mevagissey is like stepping back through a time warp. Well almost as unfortunately the tat of so called modern commercialism has got a foothold. So there are the souvenir shops selling things that I suppose some people must buy, the inevitable chips with everything and other such delights. However to enjoy Mevagissey you must ignore the 'modern' trappings and try to imagine how things must have been. For this was a small port which was a hive for shipbuilding with many schooners being built. There was also (and still is to some extent) the fishing industry with the colourful boats in the harbour. Envisage this with the cottages and narrow streets that wind up the hills surrounding the village and you have something very picturesque and full of interest. It's a lovely view if you walk up the hill (towards Goran),that leads out of the village, and stop at the Harbour Heights hotel. From here you can look down on Mevagissey and take in the whole scene. Very atmospheric on a foggy or misty day. Nice in the sunshine as well of course. The harbour looks at its best when the tide is in so that all of the fishing and other boats are bobbing on the water. It's a nice place to sit and let your imagination flow to how things must have been. Problem is the village gets very busy in the summer high season so your quiet thinking will most likely be interrupted by all of the noise and bustle. You will be invaded by the very big seagulls if you start to eat a sandwich or whatever. They are spoilt by the visitors feeding them chips and the like. The gulls are a nuisance to the locals who have to put up with the mess. But there again would it be Mevagissey without hearing the cry of the seagulls? The streets surrounding the harbour are very narrow and can become congested. The main street, where most of the shops are positioned, is open to traffic. Mevagissey was never designed for cars and it gets clogged when vehi
cles approach from different directions. There is a main car park as you approach the village and this is really the only option if you want to pay a visit. I hope I'm not sounding too negative because I love the village, the harbour, the narrow streets, the cottages. It's really what Cornwall is all about. Things have to change I suppose and the once fisherman's cottages have shot up in value so forcing out the younger locals. Holiday homes and lets are now commonplace. There is a museum in one of the old boat building workshops that dates back to 1745. Then there is the famed Mevagissey Model Railway in Meadow Street which is one of the most comprehensive in the south west (http://www.modelrailway.freeserve.co.uk). The celebrated Lost Gardens of Heligan are also nearby. (http://www.heligan.com) well worth a visit. Mevagissey is definitely one of the most celebrated resorts in Cornwall and it is easy to see why it attracts writers and artists as well as holiday makers. Call in to Mevagissey if you are visiting anywhere nearby. You won't be disappinted. You can have your chips if you want but you wil find a great fish restaurant on by the harbour. Just visit and imagine it's glorious past.