Zennor, Cornwall - 700 year old Pub and its own Mermaid


With high rocky cliffs over the Atlantic on one side and rugged, boulder strewn granite hills and moors to the other, Zennor is a diamond in the rough. Surrounded by wildflowers, Bronze age monuments and disused tin mines this peaceful village with its own mermaid legend and blowhole has an air of romance & magic.

As well as inspiring us it also worked its wonder on D H Lawrence who stated

“At Zennor one sees infinite Atlantic, all peacock-mingled colours, and the gorse is sunshine itself. Zennor is a most beautiful place: a tiny granite village nestling under high shaggy moor-hills and a big sweep of lovely sea beyond, such a lovely sea, lovelier even than the Mediterranean… It is the best place I have been in, I think”  – D. H. Lawrence, 1916.


Our first stop was the 700 year old Tinner’s Arms. What a friendly place – it has to be really because the main hub of the pub is the size of a large sitting room. Locals, walkers, dogs and kids all thrown together with the fire roaring at one end and a bar stacked with local beers at the other. Hand carved tables, low beams, stone floors, good local food and a big collection of games for the kids to play made it a massive hit with us.

We settled down for a slap up lunch that was loved by all, washed down with some Zennor ale and Moomaid ice-cream made on the farm at the end of the road.

The parish church of St Senara next door houses a beautiful medieval oak seat with a carving of the ‘Mermaid of Zennor’.

Legend claims that a local squire's son named Matthew Trewhella was a member of the church choir and known for his beautiful singing voice. A mermaid named Morveren, hearing his voice, came into the church to listen. She was smitten and lured the chorister into the sea at nearby Pendour Cove. He never returned and on warm summer evenings it is said that their voices can be heard joined in song, emanating from beneath the waves.

We will definitely be back to Zennor to explore more and The Gurnards Head nearby is calling me.