Penzance is great for short breaks out of season and there are many boating trips from the harbour that will take you to explore the West Coast from the sea. Due to its excellent road and rail links, holidays in Penzance offer something for everyone; beaches, rock pools, coastal path walking, National Trust and English Heritage sites, restaurants and galleries. The town has plenty of car parks that offer a weekly stay from £30.
Penzance has secret treats; if you take the time to explore. For a start it’s a good town for walking. The very best way to see Penzance is by the alleys and walkways, the through-lanes from here to there. Take a day to explore the town this way and you will discover its beautiful parks, its Regency and Georgian architecture.
The oldest part of town is the quayside at Penzance’s Inner Harbour. The Dry Dock, Quay Street, Battery Rocks. The original promenade was built in 1844.
You can walk Penzance Promenade from Battery Rocks to Wherrytown, where there is one of two Penzance skateparks. From Wherrytown, keep to the seafront across Newlyn Green and you are in Newlyn. In all a 30 minute stroll, depending how long Jnr. wants to spend skateboarding. There is also a proper-job boating pool at Wherrytown for sailing those radio-controlled (and sail-driven) boats that just don’t get anywhere in the bath at home.
The arrival of the railway in 1852 made the ‘Montpelier of England’ (John Betjeman 1964 Shell Guide) even more accessible.
Many interesting boats visit Mounts Bay, from the surreal floating yacht-hotels to mighty ships like the four-masted windjammer, Kruzenshtern. There is a Sailing Club and The Mounts Bay Lugger Association which, as its name suggests, celebrates the beauty of the Cornish Lugger, a traditional fishing boat.
Penzance has two harbour-side pubs: The Dock Inn and The Dolphin. The Dolphin is reputedly the first place in Britain where tobacco was smoked and the hanging judge, Judge Jefferies, is reputed to have held court here in the 1700s after the Monmouth Rebellion.
Stay self catering in Penzance and you’re perfectly situated to explore the surrounding towns and villages with their own individual characters. Literally minutes from Penzance is the fishing port of Newlyn whilst a little further on you’ll find the quaint village of Mousehole with its harbourside bistro and community atmosphere. Take a stroll along the coast to Marazion beach or venture in the opposite direction to the beautiful Lamorna Cove. For more ideas, check out our blog post on Days out around Penzance.
The Jubilee Pool
This beautiful art-deco open-air bathing pool is the UK’s largest seawater lido. There is also an excellent cafe. The pool opens from the end of May until September. Even in winter, some hardy year-round swimmers use battery rocks (just north of Jubilee Pool) for their daily dip!
A sub-tropical garden with Victorian fountains and a band-stand, which still plays host to concerts in the summer. The Morrab Library sits in the gardens and is an absolute joy. The photographic archives and collections are wonderful.
Full of tress and squirrels, there is a specific dog-free and child-friendly play-park within the park. Penzance Tennis Club abuts the park and Penlee House Art Gallery & Museum (with excellent cafe) sits opposite the Penlee open-air theatre and is home to a large collection of Newlyn School paintings.
Shopping in Penzance
Market Jew Street is the main high street and like all high streets, it is in the process of adapting to new out of town shopping habits. However not all town centres have the beautiful granite terrace and arcade steps, the iron railings; or retain the architecture of previous generations above the modern shop frontages. There are many Georgian and early Victorian facades just above eye-level in Penzance.
Causewayhead leads up from the town centre. A pedestrianised street, this is Penzance's third main retail street. Half way up is the Savoy cinema, said to be the oldest continually running cinema in the British Isles.
Read more about things to do in Penzance on our blog.
Penzance self catering holidays are perfect; Chapel Street leads up from the harbour to the town centre where you will find a range of restaurants and pubs as well as independent shops and houses of historic interest and importance. Lavenders Deli on Alverton Street is perfect for stocking up on treats for your holiday cottage. Check out our blog on places to eat in Marazion for ideas on where to refuel during your self catering holiday in Penzance. Or if you fancy a restaurant with spectacular views, The Bay in Penzance is the place to go. Read more on our blog: Restaurants with the best views in West Cornwall.
View all of our Penzance Cottages >
|Holidays In Newlyn >||Holidays in Lamorna >|
|Holidays in Marazion >||Holidays in Hayle >|
|Holidays in Gwithian >||Holidays in Praa Sands >|
|Holidays in Lelant >||Holidays in Porthleven >|
|Holidays in St Ives >||Holidays in Penzance >|
|Holidays in Sennen >||Holidays in Porthcurno >|
|Mousehole Holidays >||Holidays in Carbis Bay >|
|Holidays in Cape Cornwall >||Holidays in Pendeen >|
|Holidays in Perranuthnoe >||Holidays in St Buryan >|
|Holidays in St Just >|
Growing in size and popularity, the St Ives Food Festival features top chefs, quality Cornish goods, sandcastle competitions for children and food demonstrations.
13th - 14th May 2017
Golowan Festival is an annual community arts event that celebrates local culture and the social and natural environment. 'Mazey Day' takes place on the Saturday of the festival and guarantees to be a very colourful affair!
17th - 26th June 2016
A fun packed day hosted by the RNLI lifeboat Station. See the lifeboats on display and in action on the water with demonstrations featuring one of the Search & Rescue helicopters from RNAS Culdrose!
August 2017 - Dates TBC
Newlyn Fish Festival is the biggest and best of its kind in the UK. Taste some of the finest seafood on offer and enjoy cookery demonstrations, live music and arts and crafts. Local fishmongers take part in the The Cornish fishmonger of the year competition and the popular 'Fishy Trail' is perfect to keep the kids entertained.
28th August 2017
Now becoming a sellout event, this festival keeps attracting more and more visitors who come to enjoy a wide range of acts, including music, theatre, poetry and visual arts.
9th - 23rd September 2017
Possibly the most well-known and popular Christmas Lights in the county, Moushole combines stunning displays against the backdrop of their gorgeous Cornish fishing harbour to bring real festive magic to all who visit at this special time of year.
TBC December 2017
The tradition of Tom Bawcock comes from the feast or famine lifestyle of Cornwall. The story goes that it was just before Christmas; there had been no fish for weeks, the boats couldn’t get out into the raging storm, the village was starving. One man, Tom Bawcock, dared to take his boat out of the harbour’s safety. He returned with enough fish to make fish pie for the whole village.
Today, a festival takes place each year to celebrate Tom Bawcock's bravery. During the festival, Star Gazey pies are eaten in memory of this famous event.
Held on the anniversary of the consecration of the Parish Church of St Eia in 1434 AD, Feast Day offers visitors to witness - and even join in with - some centuries-old traditions. A morning precesison led by the Mayor to bless the Well of St Eia. Following this, the Mayor will 'Hurls the Silver Ball' into a crowd of children who assemble on the beach below. The one who returns the ball to the Guildhall steps by midday receives a silver coin. In the afternoon the Mayor then throw pennies from the balcony of the Guildhall for children to collect.
Date 5th February 2018
The small Cornish fishing village of Porthleven hosts its annual Food & Music Festival every April and encorporates street performers, a range of local produce, Samba dancing, theatre, beer marquees, hip-hop dancers, fireworks, Cornish singing & much, much mmore...the list is endless!
Popular with visitors and locals alike, this exciting festival celebrates everything literary, including spoken, written, recited and sung word. Take part in the reading and writing discussions and activities and enjoy the many performances.
A three day event celebrating Cornwall's Maritime heritage, with traditional sailing vessels, live music, and craft and cookery demonstrations. Profits donated to local charities.
Experience the sights, sounds and smells of a working military Naval Air Station, be wowed by spectacular flying displays and get up-close with state-of-the-art aircrafts - learning what life is really like in the Royal Navy.