Pub of the month - December 2022

W ith festivities in full swing, the Ship Inn is the perfect place to celebrate the holiday season this December.

Enjoy the famous glittering lights lining the harbour and sink into cosy pub nooks, with a mulled wine in tow – it doesn’t get much better than this.

Mousehole may be small, but it sure to leave a last impression on you, often regarded as one of the most picturesque spots in the UK. While it’s a stunning location year-round, it’s particularly special during the festive period, with tales of old coming to life in front of your eyes.

Easily accessible, just a short drive from Penzance, make the most of your weekend with a visit to this magical village and take advantage of our cosy break offer for a little festive treat before Christmas.


Dine on the harbourfront 

Tuck into festival specials throughout December or choose something from our seasonally-crafted autumn/winter menu – this is a perfect setting to while away the long evening hours. And, if you’re looking to completely escape, why not be whisked away for Christmas by our elves and make the most of the day with your loved ones all while enjoying a delicious feast?

Our chefs have a passion for the southwest and the array of fantastic local produce we have available in the region, producing irresistible dishes for you to enjoy in this most stunning spot. Managed by the brewery, you’ll also find a selection of our award-winning beers to quench your thirst; this month sees Tribute Extra rejoin the cask line-up. An Extra special pint, this ale is sure to become a firm favourite as the cold weather draws in.

And, with the new release of our ‘Proper Dog’ beer too, paw a pint with your four-legged friend this holiday season. Created from brewers' wort (barley water) rescued from UK craft breweries, and natural beef flavour, Proper Dog is pawsitively delicious. As an alcohol-free, non-carbonated drink, there's no need to worry about walking a wobbly dog home, or nursing any ruff heads the next day.


L ovely, friendly old school inn. Excellent beer, great food but best of all are the team that work there. Exceptional service from the whole team where nothing was too much trouble. A rare gem. Thank you, Noah and team.

- Andy, Google

Step back in time

There’s plenty to uncover with a wander through Mousehole’s narrow maze of cobbled streets.

Mousehole was said to be ‘quite the loveliest village in England’ by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. The small Cornish village was the honeymoon destination of Dylan and his new wife Caitlin Thomas, who he married in Penzance in 1937 on their third attempt (having twice drunk their wedding fund prior to this date!). During this time, The Ship became their inn of choice, and today ‘Dylan’s Corner’ – in the corner of the bar – remains dedicated to the poet.

The traditional whitewashed rubble building with slate roofs, as it still appears today, dates to the 18th century, although it was heightened in the 19th to command extensive views across the harbour and beyond to Mount’s Bay.

With a long history as a port, it’s no surprise that Mousehole once had up to five inns. However, notwithstanding the rise in population and the adoption of Methodism during the 19th century, only the Ship Inn remained in 1841. The inn formed a group of buildings along the seafront which included fishermen’s and shipwright’s cottages, a general store, and a new quay. Built in 1838, this new quay, located just below the Ship, once landed goods such as salt for the thriving fishing industry.

The premises were in the ownership of the Bolitho family of Penzance before being sold to Christopher Martin in 1870. The Martin family subsequently sold the property to Walter Hicks in 1901 for £900. This was a time of rapid expansion for the brewery business; Hicks capitalised on the expanding fashion for seaside visiting, having recently built two new hotels – The Ship and Castle in St Mawes, and The Globe in Bude.

John Williams then held the tenancy between 1904 and 1940, however, by the end of this period the ‘conduct of the house’ had become problematic. Brief tenancies by the Teece, Ellis, Parker, Mitchell, and Stewart families then commenced before John Goddard took the helm for 15 years.

Today, the Ship Inn is a part of the brewery’s managed pub estate offering delicious seasonal dishes, perfectly poured pints from our award-winning range, and luxury rooms to recharge ready for more adventures around the harbourside.


Plan your adventure

While just five miles from Penzance, Mousehole seems a world away having retained its olde-worlde charm. Almost certain to capture your heart, this sleepy English fishing village is a popular choice for both locals and visitors alike – though many locals may argue it lies separately from England!

With a small sandy beach to dip your toes, independent cafes to treat yourself to the perfect cream tea, and plenty of independent boutiques to browse, this is truly a Cornish gem. Perched on the harbourfront, immerse yourself in the community with a stay at the Ship Inn – it doesn’t get any more central!

Did you know? Parts of the fishing port and the cottages huddled around the harbour date back to 1266 – and the south quay originates from 1390, claiming the title of the oldest pier in Cornwall.


What's on?

Not sure when to visit? Plan your trip around one of these events and get involved with the local community. 

Mousehole Lights – 12th December – 6th January

With the tradition dating back to 1963, the Mousehole lights have become renowned globally with thousands flocking to see this stunning display year on year. With a gradual lighting planned from the 12th of December, with the full display on show from the 17th, it’s a must-visit this holiday season.

Tom Bawock’s Eve – 23rd December

In memorial of legendary fisherman Tom Bawock, the small village re-enacts his act of heroism all those years ago amongst a lantern parade – concluding the celebrations with plenty of stargazy pie to go around. Head down to the Ship Inn to join in the festivities.

Montol – 21st December

Held annually and coinciding with the winter solstice, the Montol Festival in Penzance in unlike anything you’ll have experienced before. Revived in 2014, the event sees many perform traditional Cornish customs to celebrate midwinter and Christmas.

Pendeen Silver Band Christmas Concert – 18th December

Get into the swing of Christmas. In one of the most unique settings in the UK, the Minack Theatre, Pendeen Silver Band will be performing a medley of rousing tunes to get you in the festive mood. Stay warm with a hot chocolate or mulled wine, completing the experience. 


Go on a hike

Mousehole to Lamorna Cove

Looking for a good stomp to blow away the winter cobwebs? This challenging walk along the coastal path to from Mousehole to Lamorna Cove is sure to provide with plenty of ups and downs on route. Enjoy gorgeous views across the horizon and explore ancient woodlands through the Kemyel Crease Nature Reserve before arriving to stunning Lamorna. If you’re feeling a little tired after this hike, hop on one of the regular buses back to Mousehole.

You can easily loop back around too, making this a perfect circular route under just five miles – just be sure to pack your boots as the paths can be muddy! Refuel with a much-deserved meal at the Ship Inn, washed down with one of our award-winning pints. The ideal way to spend your winter days, it doesn’t get much better than this, with the fresh sea breeze making you feel alive. 

Penzance to Mousehole

A relatively gentle walk along the quayside through Newlyn ending in the home of star-gazey pie, this route is a wonderful way to explore the local area with views stretching out to St Michael’s Mount. Before beginning along the path, wander through Penzance and browse the selection of independent boutiques and cafes.

Coming in at just under an hour, this route can easily be extended if you’re after a little more, by starting at the famous St Michael’s Mount. Be sure to pack your camera, with plenty of opportunities to snap the perfect postcard shot along the way – if you’re lucky, you may even see a rainbow appear above the winter mizzle.

Loop from Treneere

Another hiking loop, this route will take you through Cornwall’s mining history to the famous Ding Dong, also known as Greenburrow Engine House. A relatively long walk at three-and-a-half hours, you’ll have certainly deserved a pint or two as you circle back to the beginning of this route. On a clear day, you may also catch a glimpse of St Michael’s Bay guiding you back home and a freshly prepared meal.

While Ding Dong may be the tallest of sights in the area, there are plenty of other points of interest such as the Men-an-Tol, Nine Maidens Stone Circle, and the Bosiliack Entrance Grave – discover a historic landscape and uncover Cornwall’s past.


Make it a road trip

While it may seem the most westerly point, follow winding roads to discover Cornwall’s furthest point. With Penzance a stopping point from St Austell and starting point for St Ives, make the nearby Mousehole your base to explore this rugged landscape.

Rather than driving full-speed along the uninspiring A30 straight to Land’s End, go slow and meet the most authentic version of Cornwall. Enjoy breathtaking views as you follow meandering lanes along the coast, with extraordinary points of interest such as the open-air theatre carved into the cliff, to World Heritage UNESCO mining sites.

There are some fantastic places to stay dotted along this section, whether it’s the Pedn Olva in St Ives or the Pier House in Charlestown, plan your adventure along the South West 600 – you can even visit us where it all began at the brewery.


Stay with us

We’re offering you an exclusive 10% discount for stays at the Ship Inn, booked in December. Use the code ‘PUB10’ to redeem and escape to the picturesque village of Mousehole.  

* All bookings must be made before December 31st. Only available for use on bookings made before May 18th at the Ship Inn.