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.
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.
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|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 >|
Visit Santa and his elves at the magical grotto at Paradise Park on selected dates in December. Tickets include a gift from Santa and there's no need to book, tickets are on sale on the day from 10am.
5th - 24th December 2020 (selected dates)
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.
The West Cornwall Spring Show has been running for over 90 years and is a showcase for horticultural excellence within the area of Penwith.
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!
Join in the celebrations at this community led festival of free entertainment. The annual event celebrates the engineering and mining history of the Camborne area, and is dedicated to Richard Trevithick, pioneer of high pressure steam power & inventor of Road and Railway Locomotives.
Growing in size and popularity, the St Ives Food Festival features top chefs, quality Cornish goods, sandcastle competitions for children and food demonstrations.
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!
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.
7th - 10th July 2021
For two weeks only, Adventure 001, supporters of Cornwall Air Ambulance, will be bringing their helicopter experiences to St Ives! Choose from a 6 minute flight from £35 to a 30 minute flight from £96 and take in the incredible views across St Ives bay and beyond!
Dates TBC August 2021
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 HM Coastguard helicpoters!
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.
The 2018 shout will feature more than 20 sea shanty groups for a fun weekend of shanty singing, sailor and pirate themed fancy dress and beer. This year's event will be raising money for Cornwall Air Ambulance and its New Heli Appeal and takes place in various pubs and venues in St Ives.
Find unique Christmas presents and tasty treats at Flambards Christmas Craft Fayre. Stalls will be set up in various areas of the park, there will be Christmas music to get everyone in the festive spirit and a chance to meet Santa too.
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.
Each year, the people of Penzance celebrate the Winter solstace with a festival of Cornish tradition, torch processions, and dancing.
21st December 2021
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.
23rd December 2021
Spend New Year's Eve in St Ives for an unforgettable evening at the largest fancy dress party in the county. Ring in the New Year with an unbeatable fireworks display by the sea.
31st December 2021
Find out more about New Year's Eve in St Ives here>