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"Penzance : the capital of West Cornwall" Top 5 Page for this destination Penzance by TheWanderingCamel

Penzance Travel Guide: 177 reviews and 480 photos

Penzance is the main market town of West Cornwall, and people come here to shop from as far away as Redruth. The shops are very good for the size of the town, and you can find most things you want – even if there isn't much choice of assortment.

Market Jew Street is the main shopping street, and the heart of the town. It runs from the large Lloyd's Bank building down to the railway station (from where leave most of the buses into the country). This is where you find the Post office, and the local Woolworths, WH Smith, Boots and others of that ilk.

Antique shops and art galleries are in profusion in Chapel Street and in Causeway Head, both at the top of Market Jew Street. There is a farmers' market on alternate Fridays and Saturdays.

In the summer everything is largely geared for tourism: lots of bed and breakfast offers, cafes and souvenir shops, not to mention pasties on sale.

Don't forget to taste (often) Cornish ice cream, made with Cornish cream. The up country version tastes pale and insipid afterwards!

I am including Newlyn and also Mousehole in this page. Newlyn is admistratively part of Penzance, and Mousehole is close enough to be very much influenced by it.

Historical Penzance

Look at how little the main street has changed in the last century! This photo was taken in 1911!


The tourist season opens with the Golowan Festival on the feast of St John at the end of June.

The famous flags are displayed in the streets and the festival culminates with procession leading through the town.

See the "Local Customs" tips

All Penzance reviews and photos were posted here by lulu. Please see our Homepage re photo use.

  • Intro Updated Dec 30, 2011
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Reviews (10)

Comments (14)

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Sep 18, 2009 at 6:11 PM

    I believe we were supposed to visit Penzance during our '84 visit but the place was crowded so we opted for Looe instead. Still wish we had seen Penzance, if only because of the Gilbert & Sullivan Opera.

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Mar 25, 2009 at 9:52 PM

    Oh lovely, Cornwall and the villages are high on my list for one of my next hiking trips :-) I love the smuggler statue :-))

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Dec 22, 2008 at 1:29 PM

    Strange coincidence I should find a Saint John in your tips! Penzance is a lovely seaside town = I must go back with VT eyes sometime!

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Oct 7, 2008 at 1:26 PM

    Leyle, lovely little page about Penzance. Just 10 years ago I used it as a base to explore Cornwall. Among other places I visited St. Ives, Newlyn, Mousehole and Land's End. Your page brings back loads of memories of that trip.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Feb 29, 2008 at 2:47 PM

    Glad to hear they have a football club called The Pirates. Whenever I hear about this place I think of the song "I am the very model of a modern Major-General" from the Pirates of Penzance.

  • Oct 24, 2007 at 3:55 PM

    They play opposition a slight class up from who you mention. National 1 They play Exeter Chiefs, Northampton Saints and Plymouth Albion. They are a fully professional outfit and on 2 league behind the frirst team is the new set up called Mounts Bay

  • lou31's Profile Photo
    Jul 22, 2007 at 1:34 PM

    Nice little wander round your Penzance page. Enjoyed reading about the artist community. The women in the painting 'The Bread Winners' look like they are levitating!...cheers and happy travels...

  • christine.j's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2007 at 11:53 AM

    The Jubilee Pool looks great! For some reason it reminds me of the seawater pool, described in the old Enid Blyton books about Cornwall I read as a child.

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    May 8, 2007 at 11:15 AM

    Do the current Pirates of Penzance wear eye patches and puffy shirts? ;-) Nice page!

  • sachara's Profile Photo
    Nov 4, 2006 at 1:37 PM

    Nice to see your page of Penzance, bringing back memories. It was my first destination by car outside the Netherlands, visiting the campsite of friends of my parents.

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