Mousehole: the idyllic Cornish village par excellence.

Mousehole, on the south west coast of Cornwall, must be one of the most picturesque fishing villages in the country. It’s a popular holiday destination, with tourists drawn here by its clean sheltered beach, seafront cottages of character and cobbled narrow streets, but the village manages to retain its laid back atmosphere. And of course Cornwall enjoys some of the best weather anywhere in the UK. A bus from Mousehole will take you to Penzance, just 4 miles down the coast, if things get too quiet!

Once one of the county’s most important fishing harbours, a crash in pilchard stocks during the early 20th century moved most of the fishermen to Newlyn, reports BBC Travel, but the visiting yachts are still joined by working boats, serving the village’s sea restaurants. Padstow’s Rick Stein fish restaurants may be famous, but delicious fresh fish is to be had in most of the coastal towns and villages. Try the 2 Fore Street bistro for local produce, and an excellent chef. Mains start from £11. A must-stop is a pint at the village pub, The Ship Inn, main haunt of the locals, which is beamed, decorated with nautical memorabilia and has a great atmosphere.

And if you’re looking for somewhere special to stay, try Boutique Retreats (www.boutique-retreats.co.uk), a self-catering company which has some of the best accommodation in West Cornwall. Some properties are offering a 10% discount for September, so take a look to see what’s available.

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