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Abtot Logo. Encounter Walking Holidays member number 5357


Visitors taking a more relaxed route, maybe exploring Loe Pool after staying in Porthleven, may spend a night in Mullion. Approached from the Cornish Coast Path through Poldhu Cove, where the first transatlantic radio experiment was carried out by Marconi, Mullion Cove is a pretty working harbour with turquoise waters, set in spectacular granite cliffs.  The harbour is sheltered by Lion Island, which prevents the worst of the weather from battering the two stout sea walls. Nevertheless, during the six years up to 1873 there were no less than nine wrecks under Mullion cliffs along a mile and a half stretch of coastline, making the lifeboat station which was operational between 1867 and 1909 a necessity. The coastguard outpost at the top of the cliff was in use until recently and stands beside an old canon. 


The harbour as it stands today was completed at the end of the nineteenth century after several disastrous pilchard seasons, the old pilchard cellar and net store still stands on the quay. Access to the cove itself is through a tunnel in the cliffs and has inevitably been the subject of many smuggling legends, not least in 1801 when a King’s Pardon was offered to any smuggler giving information on the Mullion musket men involved in a gunfight with the crew of HM Gun Vessel Hecate.


The village itself lies about a mile inland from the cove and is the largest on the Lizard peninsular. St Mellanus Church, a 15th century building, is renowned for its richly carved pew ends, including one of Jonah and the whale, and also has a dog flap in the south door for the shepherds’ dogs. Opposite the church is the Old Inn, a thatched pub with its walls festooned in old photographs and nautical memorabilia as well as real ale and good food. Other restaurants and cafes offer a great choice of food, and the art galleries and craft shops are interesting to wander around.

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