Penzance is a historic port and is the largest and most westerly borough in Cornwall. Situated on the south facing shores of Mount's Bay it has one of the mildest climates in the UK which, is evident from the abundance of palm trees positioned around the town and the gardens that have sub-tropical plants thriving in them.
It provides a delightful combination of coastline and countryside, offering a real blend of lovely sights and attractions. Impressive cliffs, rocky coves, natural sandy beaches and crystal clear waters compete with the heather and gorse of the moors creating a varied and contrasting landscape.
The best way to see all the town is to follow the Penzance Town Trail, it takes you on a circular route narrating the story and history of the town through its buildings and historical remains. The streets of the town turn up a number of wonderful sights such as the fabulously decorated Egyptian House, the statue of Sir Humphry Davy (pioneer of mining safety and a local hero), medieval crosses, churches, chapels and rounds. There are 16 individual way-markers along the route.
Chapel Street is home to many cosy and inviting traditional pubs, the ancient Admiral Benbow Inn was mentioned in the opening chapters of the novel Treasure Island. Antique shops, art galleries and book sellers are also dotted amongst the pretty streets.
The Penlee House Museum provides an in insight into the artistic side of Cornwall, home to a number of renowned paintings from the Newlyn School of Artists in addition to an interesting collection of antiquities and artefacts.
The Exchange Gallery is the place to go for innovative contemporary featuring art from both national and international artists, as well as local art work all displayed in a large exhibition space.
The Portncurno Telegraph Museum is an interesting place to spend some time, it has a wealth of historic information about the nearby Porthcurno village, with a range of Victorian artefacts pertaining to its past telegraph communications technology, as well as underground tunnels and secret escape routes. Leave some time to enjoy the delightful landscaped gardens.
Morrab Gardens are found close to the seafront and date back to Victorian times, filled with sub-tropical plants. These landscaped gardens were turned into a municipal park in 1889. Trewidden Gardens are well known for its visually stunning collection of flowering plants, including both azaleas and camellias. Trengwainton Gardens are a National Trust attraction with amazing views and numerous colourful exotics.
When the tide is out you can walk across the narrow causeway to the mystical St Michael's Mount, or you can take a short boat ride across. Home to a 12th century castle, with village and harbour and lush tropical gardens brimming with plants and trees. There are stories and myths associated with the mount which you will discover during a visit. The panoramic views are stunning from this vantage point.
The world-famous Minack Theatre is a breathtaking amphitheatre positioned on the side of a tall rocky cliff, overlooking the coastline. It produces a full itinerary of events during the summer months including, music, comedy, drama, opera and story-telling. Even if there are no performances you can still visit this astounding open-air theatre.
A visit to Penzance is incomplete without a stroll along the promenade, which dates back to the 1840s here you can enjoy the amazing views out across the bay. Why not indulge in some delicious fish and chips for a true Cornish experience.
The art deco Jubilee lido swimming pool is situated on the only promenade in Cornwall and looks out to Mount’s Bay. Built in the 1930s, the nostalgic design encompasses more genial times. It is open from June to the end of August for those wanting to take a dip.
The cliffs and surrounding countryside provide opportunities to escape the crowds. There are well-marked footpaths along the cliff-tops as well as bridle-ways.
Entertainment abounds in the area especially with the clean and clear sea offering numerous activities. Water sport enthusiasts can enjoy the opportunities for surfing and wind-surfing, sailing and scuba-diving. Visitors can take a boat trip, there are sea safaris and fishing excursions available too. The town's main beach lies between the harbour and Marazion, it is clean and safe for families with young children. With wide-open sand and inviting waters children will love frolicking and splashing about. Make sure to take along a bucket and spade.
The Golowan Festival held annually in June is a real crowd pleaser, with the Mazey Civic Day Parade featuring fabulous costumed processions, Morris dancing and music. The town is decorated and there are street entertainers, musicians, and plenty of stalls, along with fireworks. Lasting over nine days it cumulates with the Quay Fair day featuring more music and entertainment. The festival has grown into a major arts and culture festival.
Take time out to sample a local ale at a traditional pub where you will get to meet and chat with the locals. When the sun goes down there are clubs where the music plays into the night.
Home to some top-notch restaurants so when it comes to dining out you won't be disappointed with the choice or quality of food on offer. Enjoy local fish and seafood dishes as well as local produce in the restaurants.