Made famous the world over by the Gilbert and Sullivan musical The Pirates of Penzance, this historic market town enjoys a stunning location on the south west coast of England, the warmest temperatures in the UK and a beautiful natural landscape that takes in crashing waves, sandy beaches and rugged cliffs. Considered to be the 'capital' of western Cornwall, Penzance is one of the UK's most popular holiday destinations and continues to captivate visitors of all ages. Popular with a young, hip crowd who head here in summer for the surf and the laid back ambience, Penzance is also chock-a-block with family friendly attractions and is also popular with older visitors who appreciate the beautiful surroundings, the relaxed pace of life and the friendly, welcoming atmosphere.
Penzance is set in the lovely Mounts Bay, officially classed as one of the most beautiful bays in the world. Just 10 miles from Land's End, Penzance is easily accessed by rail and by road and has direct rail links with London and the south of England as well as with major destinations in Wales, the Midlands, the north of England and Scotland. The A30 and A38 roads provide motorway and dual carriageway links with much of England and there are also regular National Express coach services to Penzance from across the UK.
Things to See and Do
Penzance is one of the UK's most popular tourist destinations and with good reason. The beautiful location, fantastic beaches, warm weather and attractive archiitecture, together with lively nightlife, excellent restaurants and plentiful accommodation combine to make this a great holiday destination. Its sheltered, southern position means that Penzance enjoys the warmest climate to be found anywhere in the British Isles, making this a hugely popular destination among watersports enthusiasts, who flock here each year to make the most of the relatively warm waters. The rugged cliffs to be found in and around Penzance make this a key destination for adventure sports enthusiasts, while fishing, hill walking, swimming and horse riding are all popular pastimes among visitors looking for less white-knuckle activities.
Castles and Culture
Cornwall is steeped in tradition and mysticism and there are many museums and cultural events that bring the area's rich history and fascinating culture to life. The natural landscape is simply breathtaking and clifftop footpaths and bridleways lead out into the countryside, passing ancient sites where stone circles and standing stones can be seen. One 'must-see' in Penzance is St Michael's Mount Castle, which sits on an island out to sea. The warm climate has had a marked effect on the flora and fauna of Penzance and there are some wonderful parks and gardens in the town, boasting sub-tropical vegetation. Culture vultures will be in their element here too. There are no less than 11 museums to be found in and around Penzance, including the impressive Penlee House Gallery and Museum, which is set in a handsome 19th Century home and illustrates the interesting social history of Penzance.
Drinking and Dining
With a restaurant, café or tea room to be found on every corner, Penzance claims to have more places to eat per resident than New York City. Whether or not this is actually based on fact, there is certainly no chance of going hungry in Penzance. From traditional tea rooms serving delicious cakes and scones with cream and jam to sophisticated restaurants serving international cuisine, alongside the usual takeaway options, there's something to suit every taste and every pocket. Don't leave Penzance without sampling a real Cornish Pasty – these hearty pastries filled with chopped meat, potato and vegetables are absolutely delicious. With around 30 pubs in the town there's no chance of going thirsty either and nightlife ranges from cosy inns to lively nightclubs filled with young surfers.
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