Mousehole Sea Salts + Sail Festival
Mousehole’s biennial Sea Salts and Sail Festival revives old traditions and celebrates the heritage of West Cornwall's most famous fishing village, providing a day out for all the family.
From the Friday afternoon, scores of historic and classic vessels start to appear on the horizon and then gradually assemble in and around the picturesque harbour, often rafted several deep. Home ports include places in Mounts Bay, Falmouth, St. Ives, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and beyond. Many of the boats represent the last in a handful of authentic examples of their kind. The dedicated crews brave ‘the gaps’, skilfully guiding their vessels through the narrow opening of the 500 year old granite harbour entrance. Some, seen as the elite of classic sailing, manage this without engines, just as Mousehole’s forefathers would have done on a daily basis, hundreds of years ago.
Local bands provide live music throughout the festival and a well-stocked food and beverage tent will oil the dry inner timbers.
This is very much a family festival, so there’s plenty of entertainment for the kids. There’s poetry, storytelling, wood and stone-carving. The young mariners can also make traditional craft models and then race them in the harbour water – an event that causes much fun, noise and laughter. What might also be of great interest to the kids, is the Photographic Display. This captures village life from the 1800s to present day.
As well as the food and drink tents, there will be a dozen or so marquees selling locally crafted goods. Visitors can also enjoy seashore foraging, boat trips and cooking demonstrations or simply take a guided stroll through this beautiful historic village. The old faded black and white postcards showing scenes of the harbour filled with be-canvassed ships are brought to life on this very special weekend.
Did you know?
Dylan Thomas and Caitlin whilst visiting friends in Cornwall decided to get married. They stayed in Wyn Henderson's cottage at Polgigga and in Mousehole. They married on 11th, July 1937 at Penzance Registry Office having postponed the wedding twice as they had drunk the money put aside for that purpose. Thomas wrote that they were "with no money, no prospect of money, no attendant friends or relatives, and in complete happiness". After a reception and honeymoon at the 'Lobster Pot', (Wyn Henderson's restaurant) in Mousehole, they rented a studio from the painter Max Chapman at Newlyn.