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A traditional Cornish fishing village on Cornwall's southern coast with a beautiful old harbour

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Mevagissey Harbour
Museum and Aquarium
Lost Gardens of Heligan
Mevagissey is a village on Cornwall's southern coast. There have been people living here for many years, even back in the Bronze Age. Its strange name, though, only came about in the 14th century. It was created by glueing together the names of two religious figures: St. Meva, and St. Issey.
The settlement contains all the ingredients for a traditional Cornish fishing village. There's a beautiful old harbour, filled with fishing boats, and a maze of cottages linked by narrow, confusing alleyways. If your thinking of taking your car here, be aware it can be hard work negotiating the tight narrow roads in peak season! The fishermen here though, are still more active than in many similar villages. This is one of the places in Cornwall where you can watch the boats bring in the morning's catch, before eating those same fish at dinner that evening.

Mevagissey Harbour
Photo Dunleavy Family
The harbour has its roots in pilchard and sardine fishing. The boats would bring back shoal after shoal on a daily basis. Some of the oil from these fish was used at the late-19th-century power station to generate electricity, which powered the local lighthouse and streetlights. Actually, some Mevagissey residents claim that their village was the first place in the entire country to get electric streetlights.
Hundreds of fish are on display at the nearby aquarium, which is situated within an old lifeboat house. The exhibits are designed to give you a better insight into the local fishing industry. Mevagissey Museum is also close at hand, inside a building that was once used by smugglers to secretly build and repair their boats. It is now filled with interesting exhibits that sum up life in the village's past.
The World of Model Railways is another well-established attraction, with a main display that features over 30 trains travelling through some extremely detailed scenery. The building also contains an extremely well stocked shop which is almost a pilgrimage for some enthusiasts.
If you're planning to make a trip to Mevagissey, it's worth thinking about your timing. Some visitors prefer to aim for winter, to view the displays of Christmas lights, and to join in with the New Year's fancy dress party. On the other hand, during the warmer summer months, there are scenic boat trips available from the harbour. June is a particularly good time, as this is when the residents celebrate "Feast Week", which features a carnival, music, dancing, and a firework display.
Just two-and-a-half kilometres away from the village, there is a place that's definitely best viewed in spring and summer. This is a collection of botanical gardens known as the Lost Gardens of Heligan. The place was popular at the beginning of the 20th century, until the First World War broke out and Heligan was forgotten about. It was ignored until 1991, by which time the site had been taken over by bramble and ivy. Only through an extensive period of restoration was it brought back to its former glory. Today there are several different sections, ranging from well-kept Italian gardens, to wild jungle-like mazes.

Lost Gardens of Heligan
Photo SKI tripper
As the sun goes down in Mevagissey, one of the most popular ways to relax is to sit outside one of the harbour-side pubs, taking sips from a glass of locally-brewed, traditional Cornish ale.
Visitor Information
Mevagissey Tourist Information Centre, St Georges Square, Mevagissey, PL26 6UB. Tel: 01726 844 440
Mevagissey Museum is open daily from Easter to October from 11am to 4pm (5pm during July and August). Entry is FREE. East Wharf, Inner Harbour, Mevagissey, Cornwall, PL26 6QR. Tel: 01726 843 568
Lost Gardens of Heligan is open daily from 10am to 6pm (5pm from October to March). Entry costs around £10 for adults, £6 for children. Pentewan, St.Austell, Cornwall, L26 6EN. Tel: 01726 845 100

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