Around this time of year, without fail, you will always find me in Cornwall, for two main reasons; chiefly to see family but also because it’s one of the best places to spend the Christmas and New Year period in the UK.
I wrote a lot about Cornwall last year to promote and share a bit about the county in which I grew up and there’s one place in particular that I’ve been meaning to cover for a long time, Mousehole. There’s no better opportunity to talk about Mousehole than during its Harbour Lights festival, which qualify as one of Cornwall’s top festive attractions; the lights attract in around 30,000 visitors a year and have been doing so for over 50 years. If, like me, you are a Cornwall lover then it’s one of those things that you simply must see. I’ve seen a lot of light displays lately and I definitely consider the Mousehole Harbour lights to be my favourite of the lot.
I would suggest arriving in Mousehole a little bit before it gets dark so that you can witness the light installations coming on one by one, which has everyone watching in eager anticipation until the whole harbour is glowing bright with colour. It’s a pretty small village and there is very limited parking so you may well have to park on the outskirts and walk over.
The light installations are inspired by Cornish heritage and the legend of the Mousehole Cat. Some of the installations have been going up for years, including the Celtic Cross which sits on the rocks out to sea.
Walking through the lit up narrow streets and across the Harbour walls is a magical experience. Our exploration of Mousehole ended up at the oldest property in the village (above right), the Keigwin House which has an fascinating story behind it. Hundreds of years ago, Mousehole was invaded by the Spanish and almost all of the houses were burned to the ground, except this one, which is the only remaining one from the Tudor period.