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A Real Life Working Fishing Village, not just a Tourist Attraction!
Member Name: wulise
Date: 17/08/01, updated on 14/11/01 (526 review reads)
Advantages: Quiet and Fiendly out of Season!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Telephone 01726 842266