Cornish fishing villages you need to visit

Cornwall is defined by many iconic things, like pasties, beaches and surfing. But it is fishing villages and communities that embody Cornwall’s spirit. BBC 2’s hugely popular Cornwall: This Fishing Life is a testament to how passionate this industry is to the people it supports. To help you explore these yourself, here’s a run-through of fishing villages in Cornwall you need to visit.


Mousehole, Mount’s Bay

South of Penzance and Newlyn, is a small settlement surrounding a beautiful crescent-shaped harbour…this place is Mousehole. Now before you visit this place you need to know one thing, it’s pronounced “Mow-zul”, not “Mouse-hole”. Put on a Poldark-esque accent if it helps you remember. The village itself is a collection of granite houses facing Mount’s Bay and the iconic St Micheal’s Mount. There is little through traffic too, so you can enjoy the village in pure tranquillity! The village has a collection of two incredible restaurants, six delicious cafes and an atmospheric local pub serving classics — not bad for a village with a population of 700!

…and you can stay here >


Port Isaac & Port Gaverne, North Cornwall

Port Gaverne With Fishing Boat Web

You will have likely seen this small corner of Cornwall on the television or the silver screen. Famously Port Isaac was the setting for “Portwenn”, the fictional fishing village in Doc Martin. When visiting you can visit his house and other well-known locations. Port Isaac & Port Gaverne were also the locations for the film Fisherman’s Friends, based on the real-life sea shanty group from the area. Previously they have put on free concerts on “the Platt”, and this could be on the cards for 2021….

Stay in the neighbouring Port Gaverne >


Coverack, the Lizard


Coverack is a tiny village nestled on the side of the Lizard’s wild coast, an area known for its shipwrecks, epic coastal walking, and unique flora & fauna. The village is set around a headland, complete with pub, old lifeboat station (now a great chippy) and quaint harbour. This place oozes with history… the harbour was built in 1724 from local serpentine stone as a base for the thriving pilchard fishing fleet. Shoals of pilchard could number hundreds of thousands, so it is easy to imagine the hustle and bustle of times gone by. Fun fact: The Paris Hotel (the pub) itself is named after an American liner that was shipwrecked nearby in 1899.

Stay in Coverack >


St Ives, West Cormwall

Now we couldn’t make a list on fishing villages with mentioning St Ives! Now we do accept this isn’t technically a village, but it certainly fits the fishing theme. Before the town was known for artists and tourist, this was a place built on graft of Cornish men and women that depended on their connection with the sea. St Ives has countless beaches that are all walking distance from the centre, and the white sands and rich turquoise water are unlike anywhere in the UK. The countless studios and galleries is also a big draw, and not forgetting the famous Tate Gallery right by Porthmeor beach. You are also spoilt by the many great shops, café, restaurants and pubs it has to offer.

Stay in St Ives >


The Helford, South Cornwall


Nestled on the southern side of the Helford River is a village where life slows down. It is very different to the other places mentioned. For one thing, it isn’t exposed to the fury of the Atlantic, so it’s a haven for sailors, kayakers and fisherman alike. The pub could also be the best in Cornwall, and has stellar views of the river. For fans of Daphne du Maurier, this is right next to Frenchman’s Creek, which gives it’s name to her famous swashbuckling romance of the same name.

Stay in the Helford >