The trip from Stonehenge to our cottage in the village of Mousehole (pronounced Mowzel) took about five hours – lots of traffic for the Easter holidays!
Apparently most students in the UK get a two-week break at Easter. We were told that in Cornwall the kids are off for the two weeks before Easter, but around London kids are off a week before and a week after Easter. So lots of people were getting out to the countryside from London on this Friday as the London Easter vacation started.
For me, it was a scenic trip!
For my chauffeur Kim, it was challenging . . . we were mostly on the A303 road, which is sometimes two lanes on each side of a divided highway (called a dual carriageway) but then sometimes narrows down to just two lanes. You definitely try to pass slower-moving vehicles when it is a dual carriageway and then tuck yourself back in the left lane before the road moves back down to two lanes. I think Kim thought this was fun, eventually. I just gasped a lot!
After about four hours, we arrived on the Penwith peninsula – this is the most western bit of the lobster claw that forms the southern end of Cornwall.
We got to Penzance, the most western stop of the British rail system (no pirates to be seen!) . . .
and then took the narrow little lanes to Mousehole, just 3 miles outside of Penzance.
I don’t think Kim expected it to be so tiny! And since I rode the bus here when I visited, I hadn’t realized how narrow the lanes are! Approaching the center of Mousehole . . . yes, we fit down this lane . . .
Here is the center of Mousehole – super cute, no? You have to crawl along behind the pedestrians until they move to the side for your car!
When you reach the clock and telephone booth, you are at the dead center of town!
Then we just turn to the right up Fore Street (that’s the street you see right next to the clock tower) . . .
and our little cottage is coming up on the left, about 100 steps from Mousehole Harbor.
Isn’t it quaint??
Almost all the homes are made of this beautiful stone.
I wonder if some of the Veales (Dad and Aunt Diane’s birth dad’s family) quarried stone to form blocks for houses like this? There is a quarry in Mousehole . . .
Our hostess Melanie popped right out to meet us. She was full of talk and said she and her husband were waiting for us, as they were going to go to their cottage in Dartmoor that evening and be there for the whole of our stay. She said she really wanted to meet us and see what we were like. Ha! I hope we didn’t disappoint! I think we might be the first Americans to stay in Cobbler’s Cottage.
The story of Cobbler’s Cottage is so neat. Melanie is probably about our age, and she has lived in Mousehole her whole life. She grew up in this house! Actually, she grew up in Cobbler’s Cottage and the next-door cottage called Churley’s Cottage where she and her husband live. It was one big house when she was growing up, but her husband divided the house in two to create Cobbler’s and Churley’s after their kids were out of the house.
The house was first a fisherman’s house, and then the town cobbler’s house. It is over 300 years old. In the “olden days” all the business was done in the bottom of the house and the family lived on the second floor. So pilchards (the fish that was the basis of the Cornish fishing industry for many centuries) were once dried and packed into barrels on the bottom floor – whew! I bet that was fragrant! Then the cobbler took over with his business, I’m not sure when.
The floors of the house are original!
And look at the thickness of the walls!
Here is the what it at the top of the steps – the living room! It is very comfy, and you can just open the half door at the top to let in the breeze (like Mr. Ed!).
The dining area is such a nice place to eat – we picked up some eggs and sausages and fresh bread for our first meal in Cobbler’s Cottage, and Melanie left us a bottle of wine in the fridge.
One of my favorite things is this painting of Mousehole Harbor with the bright daffodils.
From the living room you can see into the kitchen (more daffodils!)
Here is the kitchen, very spacious with all the cooking equipment you could need.
The upstairs bedroom with pink walls is just off the living room. I stayed up here in splendor.
Downstairs these stairs is the bathroom (very nice!) and an extra toilet room and shower room.
And another bedroom! Kim had the this bedroom where she could spread out. Grandmother would be proud as we made our beds every day 🙂 !
And this little door from her bedroom leads out to a “sun trap” eating area.
Here is the sun trap, looking down from my bedroom window.
The sun trap has a little view straight to the water.
And you can walk 10 steps to Jessie’s Dairy with the most delicious pasties, ice cream, sandwiches and Cornish fudge!
The first morning we woke up in the cottage was so bright and sunny. Here is something to know about the seagulls in Mousehole: they love a sunny day. The sun rises about an hour earlier right now than it does in Texas, so at 5:45 AM the seagulls were calling out their joy about the sun. Hitchcock’s The Birds were all I could think of!
Mousehole Seagulls are very regal. And very loud!
But that first morning was the very loudest; they settled down or I got more used to it. And our first morning in the cottage is when we enjoyed our first of Melanie’s scones. With The Pioneer Woman. YES she is here in Britain too!
It was very funny to be sitting in such an faraway place in a 300 year old house watching her!
We love our cottage. Even Kim allowed me to take her photo in the doorway!