Home > West Cornwall > Penzance > Penzance Further Information

Penzance Further Information

Click here for bed and breakfast accommodation in Penzance

About Penzance

Once a remote market town making its living from fishing and mining.  It was not until 1859 which heralded the arrival of the railway line that its fortunes were transformed.  This made the far west of Cornwall accessible to the tourist industry and holidaymakers in their thousands arrived to enjoy this lovely area.

Today, Penzance is a bustling town and has Cornwall's only promenade.  Long coastal walks can be enjoyed which stretch all the way to Newlyn.  Also on the promenade is the Jubilee Swimming Pool, a large open-air seawater pool that is extremely popular with both local and visitor alike.

The town of Penzance consists largely of one wide long main street, with side roads going off, leading down to the seafront and harbour.

There is a good selection of shops including high street names, a good choice of restaurants, tea rooms and pubs.  The main car park is on the sea front overlooking the harbour.  Parking is by pay and display, toilets are situated at one end and the town centre is just a short walk away.

Although Penzance is a tourist resort in its own right it is also well known as a jumping off point for visits to the Scilly Isles.  A daily ferry runs from the harbour, there is also a helicopter and airplane service.

Penzance is an excellent base from which to explore the far west of Cornwall, there is no doubt that Penzance is the premier resort for this area.

Popular nearby places include: Lands End, Newlyn, St Ives, Marazion, Lamorna Cove, Sennen Cove, St Just, and Cape Cornwall.

Penzance town does not have its own beach as such but just a short distance away approaching Marazion the beach open up.  It is sandy and flat providing excellent bathing.  Of course, like anywhere in Cornwall, excellent beaches abound, Penzance is no exception, they are all around.

Although Penzance is a major tourist resort, what draws people in such large numbers.  Accessibility by train could be a factor, the station is right in the town and most accommodation in Penzance is within a easy walk or short taxi ride.  The town is very pleasant with a laid back attitude.  What it does have is quiet little pubs and restaurants with lovely views and walks overlooking Mounts Bay.

The seafront stretches all the way around to Marazion, home to St Michael's Mount.  Situated some 500 yards offshore and connected to the mainland by a cobbled causeway.  Once a monastery, it was donated to the National Trust in 1964.  Now a popular destination for tourist, it can be reached at low tide via the causeway and by ferry at high water.

At one end of the Promenade is the little village of Newlyn: The largest fish landing port in England and Wales and a base for approximately 200 vessels.  Newlyn is also famous for its artists, drawn here by the exceptional light, this developed into the Newlyn School of Art and subsequently the Newlyn Art Gallery

Another local village is Mousehole: Famous for its Christmas lights and the unfortunate crew of the Penlee Lifeboat – The Solomon Brown, lost in a hurricane whilst attempting to rescue members of the coaster Union Star.

The Cornish mild climate seems to breed gardens and the Penzance area is not exception:

Trewidden Garden: Two miles west of Penzance towards Lands End.  The garden is best known for its collection of 300 varieties of camellias.

Morrab Garden: A sub tropical garden located between the town centre and the promenade.

Trengwainton Garden: Located at Madron near Penzance.  A woodland garden with views over Mounts Bay.  Exotic trees and shrubs including tree ferns creating a prehistoric feel.

Hardy Exotic Nursery: An excellent selection of exotic plants.
Tel. 01736 740660

Other attractions in Penzance include:

Geevor Tin Mine: Walk through narrow 18th century tunnels with a guide.  Visit the museum and surface buildings, shop, café. www.geevor.co.uk

Merry Maidens Stone Circle: Restored in the 1860's, a 24 metre stone circle.  Each of the 19 stones, which according to tradition represent maidens that were turned to stone. Access to the site can be gained from just off the B3315 from Penzance. www.stonepages.com/england/merrymaiden.html

Pendeen Lighthouse: A rugged clifftop location, a good place to walk, look for seals and wild life. www.trinityhouse.co.uk/interactive/gallery/pendeen.html

Pendeen Mining Museum: St John's Terrace, Pendeen, Penzance. The mining museum houses working models of local mines.  The workshop sells a variety of jewellery made from local materials such as granite and silver.

Penlee House Gallery and Museum: Am elegant gallery set within a Victorian house and park.  Features art of the area from 1880 -1940 and the famous Newlyn School. www.penleehouse.org.uk

The Pilchard Works: At Newlyn, this is an award winning factory showing the history of Pilchard fishing in Cornwall.

Mousehole Wild Bird Hospital and Sanctuary: The famous hospital on the Cornish cliffs, accepting any bird in need of care.
Open times – daily
Entry  -  free
Location  -  Raginnis Hill, Mousehole.  Tel. 01736 731386

The Minack Theatre: An open air theatre on the cliff tops www.minack.com

Penzance Accommodation:

The accommodation in Penzance is quite spread out as the town itself is quite small. In and around the town there are: Penzance guesthouses  -  these are often quite large houses converted into guesthouses.

Penzance self catering  -  these are split into two categories: Penzance apartments & Cottages in Penzance, these are quite numerous, many are basically second homes being let out when not in use by the owners.  Unfortunately, like most popular places in Cornwall this tends to increase the cost of property putting it out of reach of the local population.

The hotels in Penzance are not numerous considering the town's popularity but they tend to be of excellent quality.

Many of the hotels in Penzance are to be found either on the approach roads or towards the seafront.

The Penzance camp sites and caravan parks are all on the outskirts in the surrounding countryside.

Penzance is basically a place for families and visitors touring around.  It does not have the lively night life of Newquay or the more tranquil night life of St Ives.  It has friendly little pubs, some good restaurants and magnificent scenery.