"Penzance" Top 5 Page for this destination Penzance by psychocy

Penzance Travel Guide: 103 reviews and 302 photos


Brought to fame by Gilbert & Sullivan's 'Pirates of Penzance' play, Penzance is a wonderful seaside town with a number of interesting sites and shops. It isn't huge, with a population of 20,000, but it feels quaint while offering the amenities of larger communities. It would serve as an excellent base for exploring West Cornwall, since it's proximity to landmarks like St. Michael's Mount, Land's End, St. Ives, and Minack Theater is unrivaled. Penzance is the westernmost town in all Britain - go further and you just find farms and villages. Go even further and you fall off some big cliffs and wind up floating around in the Atlantic Ocean.

A Bustling Market Town

The name Penzance is from Pen Sans, an ancient Cornish term meaning 'Holy Headland'. Penzance has been a market town since it was settled at least 1000 years ago, and it offers an impressive number of shops, cafes, hotels, museums, parks, and churches for its size. Everything in town is within walking distance of town center, and there are many interesting little side streets with cool pubs and shops. Keep an eye out for Causeway Head and Chapel Street - my two favorite shopping and eating areas in town.

Plenty To Do

From the bus/train station (right in the center of town) you can see St. Michael's Mount in the distance and Mousehole and Newlyn a few miles west along the shore. These are good places to stroll through and explore. In the other direction you'll find the ancient town of Marazion. Stay a while and you'll find great pubs, street musicians, long beaches, and restaurants filled with fresh seafood from neighboring Newyln.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Lots to see and do, good shopping, excellent transportation facilities to take you all over West Cornwall.
  • Cons:I've heard it is quite crowded during the high seasons.
  • In a nutshell:Use it as a base of operations, or at least stop and check it out.
  • Last visit to Penzance: May 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (10)

Comments (4)

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Mar 3, 2006 at 11:28 AM

    Penzance seems to have everything I want from my holiday: a harbour to watch the boats, some exotic plants and even a ghost walk. Did you actually see any ghosts? (noticed that light at the back of the headstone?) Excellent photos and interesting tips.

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2006 at 2:27 PM

    Fantastic little page with brilliant photos of Penzance. Your page brings back many memories of my time in this lovely cornish village. I once used Penzance as a sort homebase from where I explored Cornwall. :o)

  • aadil's Profile Photo
    Jan 13, 2006 at 11:34 PM

    Great to see your pics and info on Penzance, brought back fond memories of my trip there!!! Always good to walk around the city especially when it is so small and easily walkable. I had a great time walking there. Thanks for sharing on VT!!!

  • hayward68's Profile Photo
    Jan 13, 2006 at 1:08 PM

    You've certainly discovered more of Penzance than I have and I've been numerous times! The wind as you walk the Promenade can be fierce, but I still love the walk.

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