Things to Do in Mevagissey

Stroll along the harbour…

The harbourfront has plenty to keep you entertained and is both relaxed and lively in the summer months. Fishing and leisure boats cruise in and out, seagulls drift overhead and on a bright day, the water glimmers and lights up the whole village. On the left pier you have Mevagissey museum and on the right, the aquarium. As of 2020 both are donation funded. You can also enjoy award winning fish and chips and excellent pasties, which a sea breeze somehow makes feel like a balanced meal. If you have kids, grab a crab line and the day’s sorted.

Wander the winding streets…

Mevagissey has a range of interesting shops selling all manner of things from jewellery to pasties and glassware. You’ll find local artists, a bookstore, and a traditional village sweet shop called Digby’s. Mevagissey’s an excellent place to find gifts for friends and family. You will find Cornish souvenirs and they aren’t all crap, I found a lovely little glass owl in Meva as a kid. Mevagissey has multiple clothing shops including Fatface.

Cruise to Fowey…

Hop aboard the Mevagissey-Fowey Ferry and cross the sheltered St Austell Bay to the Fowey Estuary. The ride is smooth and the sea is usually quite flat in summer months. You’ll pass peaceful coves, hidden beaches and maybe see dolphins and seals. The journey is about 40 minutes across the entire St Austell Bay. You’ll arrive in the pretty town of Fowey, which has a beautiful estuary and quaint shops. Fowey feels more like a sailors village and is very pleasant. It was made famous by Daphne Du Maurie whose works were inspired by the area. Mevagissey is arguably a more authentic Cornish village.

Find the Lost Gardens of Heligan

Ok, so they were never really lost to the locals who have always played in the gardens as children but they were seriously overgrown and now they look fantastic, so getton’ down. This garden is within walking distance of Mevagissey and also has a place to eat with vegetables grown in the garden and a farm shop which has quality produce. In ‘March Month’ when fishing was notoriously poor, some locals used to work on Heligan Estate. After WW1, many of the workers did not return and so the 200 acre gardens fell into ruin. The rejuvenation in recent years has branded the garden as the ‘Lost Gardens of Heligan’..

Walk the Cornish Coast Path

Cornwall has a legendary coastline which is about as beautiful as it gets in the UK bar maybe Scotland. Mevagissey has excellent walks both inland and along the coastal path. You can walk from Pentewan to Mevagissey and then onto Chapel Point quite easily. In summer you feel the heat radiating from the baked earth of the footpath. Below, you’ll see coves, often with gin-clear water that allows you to see right through to the kelp, jellyfish and rock structures beneath. Above, you’ll see oystercatchers, gulls and cormorants and the odd kestrel hovering over the cliff. The paths are lined with wildflowers in springtime and early summer. You’ll need your best boots and a little stamina, the path is steep and one mile feels like two.

Chill out on the beach

Mevagissey is within walking distance of at least two beaches, and a short drive from many more. The beaches in the nearby St Austell Bay tend to be very sheltered, and are excellent for bathing, with pristine waters. The sea is warmed by the Gulf Stream which takes crazy-hot water from the Gulf of Mexico and delivers it right to us, albeit a little cooler by the time it gets here. If you’re on this site you definitely need some time at the beach, it’s why you’re here. Don’t worry, Cornwall’s not far away, it’s easy to get here. Just hop in your car. Once you’re in Meva it’s on your doorstep.

Go Fishing and Catch a Big’n

If you want an authentic traditional Cornish experience you have three options: explore an old mineshaft (not recommended), volunteer to help smuggle goods over from France or, more sensibly, go fishing. For the last of these options, Mevagissey is the place to be. Hop aboard a deep sea wreck fishing adventure and hook into some of Cornwall’s bigger species. Expect eels that make you feel insecure, sharks you didn’t think were in the UK and cod that make that fillet you had for lunch look pathetic. For those that prefer to keep two feet firmly planted on the land, there is also excellent fishing from Mevagissey harbour wall. For families, short 2 hour mackerel trips are also great fun and you’re almost guaranteed to catch fish.

Visit The Eden Project

The Eden Project is based in one of Cornwall’s clay mining pits behind St Austell. This world-famous tourist attraction is best known for its tropical and Mediterranean biomes and has been replicated around the world. As well as learning about the various biodiversity hotspots in the world you get a birds-eye view of the biomes on the UK’s longest zip wire, which is on-site. There are various events all year round, with concerts throughout the summer months and an ice rink in the winter. Perfect for families on drizzly days when you can’t face the beach for the 10th time… Keep an eye out for various offers for discounted entrance.

Cycle Pentewan Valley Trail

2.1 Miles from Mevagissey (6 minutes) A web of cycle trails through a small woodland with scenic streams and lush swamp areas. Bikes available on site for the whole family. The cycle trail in Pentewan is along a stream and meanders through a woodland. The main trails are flat, smooth and great for young children. This is one of the best things to do near Mevagissey for families that like to get active. There are tougher narrow paths through the forest with hidden streams and paths covered in roots and bumps. Look out for trout in the river, they sometimes sit on the rocks on a sunny day…

Visit Caerhays Castle…

18 minutes from Mevagissey lies a castle set within rolling hills and gardens. The 19th century castle was designed by John Nash. When you visit the castle, you can also spend some time on Caerhays(pronounced Car-hays) beach, where there is sometimes good surf.

Explore Local History in the Museum

Entry to Mevagissey’s museum is FREE. This three-floor building provides an intimate insight into the lives of locals throughout time and is worth visiting. If you want to enter the museum with some background knowledge, read this article on the local history.

Mevagissey is a very good place for families. In particular, the Mevagissey-Fowey Ferry would make for a nice day out with kids. Heligan is also fun as it has tame sheep and in spring time is filled with frogspawn and frogs. Most restaurants are used to families with kids and Hubbox in Pentewan is particularly easy-going with children as you can sit outside by the beach and they can easily play on the beach until your food arrives. Caehays castle, The Eden Project and a coastal walk to a nearby beach are all brilliant options. In Mevagissey itself, you can pick up a crab line and catch crabs while tucking into some fish and chips. The only un-family friendly thing about Mevagissey and Cornwall in general is driving on a sunny day when there’s traffic. Avoid this with early starts and by sticking to the south coast.
Mevagissey is certainly dog friendly and you will see cockapoos in particular all over the place. Many restaurants allow dogs including Harbour Tavern and The Ship Inn. Trip advisor reviews have even mentioned that in some establishments dogs are given a drink faster than their owners! The harbour on a sunny day is practically a canine social club. Well behaved dogs are even allowed on the Mevagissey-Fowey Ferry (2020). Certain beaches however do not allow dogs between April and October, so you will need to check which beaches allow dogs before visiting. The nearby beach of Pentewan for example does not allow dogs in summer, nor does porthpean.
Yes, everything except some boat trips and a few ice cream shops is open. You will experience the place without crowds. If anything Mevagissey is more charming in winter because you feel as if you are in a real peaceful village, with not too many people about. It’s still very pretty even when the weather’s not what you’d hope for. Watching storms especially is very cool at Mevagissey. You just aren’t going to regret a trip to the South Coast of Cornwall and especially not Meva.
Always sunny – is that what you want to hear? No but seriously, while Mevagissey is not permanently sunny, it is always far brighter than almost everywhere else in the UK. That’s why so many artists have been attracted to Cornwall over the century, the lighting is incredible. A little bit of sun and the glimmering of the sea lights up the whole village. Mevagissey is also in some ways more charming when a bit moody. On a wet summer’s day Cornwall still feels a lot more summery than most places in the UK. Few people realise that parts of Cornwall are defined by Geographers as sub-tropical rather than temperate, which is why the Cornish gardens are able to grow plants that can’t grow elsewhere in the UK.