Having lived in Cornwall for almost 8 years now, you would have thought I’d explored quite a lot of it. I have been to so many beautiful places, but there is still so much to see. I have been making it a priority to get out more and be a tourist in my own backyard (or County). So a few weeks ago, in what Cornwall would term “out of season”, I headed for the coastal village of Gorran Haven.
Gorran Haven is just a few miles around the coast from where I live and very close to the neighbouring harbour town of Mevagissey. Gorran Haven is much more sleepy, quaint and unspoilt than many other small coastal villages in Cornwall. I did visit during the Winter, which meant it was very peaceful. The car park is great, you can’t miss it & from there you just walk down the hill to the sea. Gorran Haven was a very busy and important fishing port from the 12th century right up until the 19th century. It was known for its pilchards, crabs and lobsters, but now the harbour has very few commercial fisherman and more holidaymakers.
This small village has a beautiful beach, its sandy shoreline and cove make it protected from the wind and a popular swimming spot. Even in the winter, you will see local residents taking a dip & wild swimming has had such a resurgence over the past few years. Although I do like to swim in the sea, I am not brave enough to go in when it is cold outside.
We visited on a bright, but chilly day and just had a lovely stroll up and down the tiny streets, and along the beach. Apart from the village Post Office, which also sells tea & cake, there was nothing else open. Not even the chip shop, that is the problem with Cornwall in the Winter, so many businesses and amenities either close fully until the end of March or they open for only a short time. If they were open, there is a café on the beach called Mermaid Café and The Beachcomber Café just on the hill overlooking the beach. The Beachcomber Café used to be a boat building shed, and the Mermaid Café used to be in part, The Ship Inn Pub.
There are so many lovely traditional Cornish cottages in this village & so much history down every street. The whitewashed cottages with pretty painted doors and windows are my favourite. They always look so quaint and homely. When I visited the streets were so quiet, and it is not a village that has a lot of traffic, with the streets being so narrow it is almost impossible to get a car through. So it means it is peaceful and the perfect place to soak in the sea air and enjoy the views.
I am sure if you visited from April – October the cafés and shops would be open, and there would be a little more hustle and bustle. I must admit that I like going during the “off season” as it feels calm, and you get time to yourself, so you can amble up and down the deserted streets. On the way home, we did stop into the larger harbour town of Mevagissey, which is only a few miles from Gorran Haven. It is somewhere that is well worth a visit. It has more amenities and I took quite a few photos, so make sure to keep an eye out for a post all about another pretty fishing town.