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Welcome to Penzance

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Holidays in Penzance

On a sunny day, St. Michael’s Mount, Mount's Bay and Penzance seafront might be mistaken for the Mediterranean. Sitting in the corner of a sheltered and attractive bay, the town has been a popular resort since the Napoleonic wars when the wealthier English people were cut off from the continent and searched closer to home for fresh air and the newly-discovered benefits of sea-bathing. The temperature in Penzance is always a little warmer than elsewhere; sub-tropical plants grow well in Morrab Gardens and in the gardens on St. Michael’s Mount.

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.

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.  

Did you know...

Penzance has one of the mildest climates in the UK!

Penzance: 'Montpelier' of Cornwall

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, KruzenshternThere 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.

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Places to visit near Penzance

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.

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Events

Golowan Festival - Penzance

Golowan Festival is an annual arts event that celebrates local culture and community. This year's events have been toned down, however, elements of the festival will still go ahead to celebrate midsummer. 

18th - 27th June 2021

Find out more >

Montol Festival

Each year, the people of Penzance celebrate the Winter solstace with a festival of Cornish tradition, torch processions, and dancing through the streets. It's a truly womderful celebration. 

21st December 2021

Find out more >

Penzance Literary Festival

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.

6th - 9th July 2022

Find out more >

Things to do in 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!

Morrab Garden
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. 

Penlee Park
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.

Eating out
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.

Wish you were here?

Transport yourself to the seaside with our Penzance webcam, which overlooks the Promenade and Mount's Bay.

Stay in Penzance

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Kitts Court

Kitts Court, Penzance

From £421 - £812
Sleeps 3 + cot

Fairings Cottage

Fairings Cottage, Penzance

From £418 - £1190
Sleeps 4 + cot

Ocean Tide

Ocean Tide, Penzance

From £380 - £970
Sleeps 4 + cot

The Wheel House

The Wheel House, Penzance

From £387 - £960
Sleeps 4

The Chapel Gallery

The Chapel Gallery, Penzance

From £843 - £1428
Sleeps 4

Penrose Mews

Penrose Mews, Penzance

From £351 - £750
Sleeps 2

Lido at The Carlton

Lido at The Carlton, Penzance

From £474 - £1308
Sleeps 4 + cot

The Carlton Apartments

The Carlton Apartments, Penzance

From £2427 - £6522
Sleeps 18 + 4 cots in 4 properties

Larrigan at The Carlton

Larrigan at The Carlton, Penzance

From £474 - £1308
Sleeps 4 + cot

Promenade at The Carlton

Promenade at The Carlton, Penzance

From £520 - £1525
Sleeps 4 + cot

Morrab View

Morrab View, Penzance

From £1022 - £2690
Sleeps 10 + cot

The Carlton Penthouse

The Carlton Penthouse, Penzance

From £958 - £2381
Sleeps 6 + cot

Other popular destinations in Cornwall