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Best things to do in Penzance (and nearby)

Best things to do in Penzance (and nearby)

Cornwall is a part of the UK that alluded for me for so long then my best friend move there and I quickly fellin love with the area! Now most holiday makers who head to Cornwall head to the more well known areas such as the famous St Ives and Newquay however those that travel a but further south are rewarded with the charming town of Penzance and its nearby attractions. In this guide I round up the best things to do in Penzance, and also the standouts attractions nearby! 

Best things to do in Penzance

The Jubilee Pool

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The Jubilee Pool The Jubilee Pool

The Jubilee Pool is one of the main landmarks for tourists heading to Penzance! Built in 1935, the Jubilee Pool has recently undergone refurbishment and will become the first pool in the UK to be heated by geothermal to make it useable year round!

This is a great place to bring the kids in the summer and offers terrific views. There is also a lovely cafe at the pool that serves a terrific breakfast. A must try is the Fisherman’s Breakfast with scallops and bacon!

As the pool is currently not heated (it will be soon) – please check the opening schedule here for current opening times! 

Penlee House Gallery and Museum

Penlee House Gallery and Museum is a beautiful museum set in some gorgeous parkland in the middle of Penzance. The Museum houses collections covering archaeology, textiles but perhaps most importantly artworks from the famous and local Newlyn School!

For those visiting with children there are family packs available to borrow and pre-schooler events the first Tuesday of every month!

To check the active temporary exhibition programme and opening hours please visit the Penlee website! 

Penlee Park

As well as being the home of The Penlee House Gallery and Museum! The Park is great for a stroll but during the Summer Month’s it is home to the Penlee Open Air Theatre!

To check the current summer programme please check their website! 

And for the more active among you there is also a lovely tennis club in the ground of the park!

Chapel street

Of all the streets in Penzance the most noteworthy and my personal favourite is Chapel Street! The street is full of beautiful architecture, antique shows and some lovely restaurants.

The highlight of the street has to be  the Egyptian House. This grade I listed building in the Egyptian Revival Style is a icon in Penzance!

The Egyptian House

Trengwaiton Garden

Just on the edge of town, is the beautiful sculpture garden of Trengwaiton. Run by the National Trust Trengwaiton has a great variety of plants that you wouldn’t normally find in the UK due to the mild climate of Cornwall!

Morrab Gardens

The Morrab Gardens is just slightly outside of the centre of Penzance! This three acre walled garden is a great place to spend an hour!

The Exchange

The Exchange Penzance

The Exchange in Penzance is a contemporary art gallery and has a changing display! The building is the most modern in the whole of Penzance and is hard to miss especially in the evening!

South west coast path

The South West Coast Path runs through Penzance. The walk from Penzance to the nearby Marazion is less than 3 miles and is pretty flat! The walk offers some great views of St Michael’s Mount!

Best things to do near Penzance

St Michaels Mount

A short 10 minute drive away from Penzance is the town of Marazion the gateway to St Michaels Mount!

St Michael's Mount

St Michaels Mount is run by the National Trust and can be reached either by boat or foot depending on what time of day you are visiting. The Mount gets cutoff from the mainland during High Tide and we saw many people walking across suddenly finding themselves swimming back to shore because they had mistimed the crossing!

At high tide the ferry costs 2GBP to get to the Mount and is definitely the safer way to travel! During high season, the queues for the ferry can get long so I recommend going early in the day!

Highlights of the mount are the castle, chapel and beautiful walled gardens!

There is also the beautiful Long Rock Beach next to the ferry! As this is so close to Penzance, it does get busy!


For those interested in Cornish literature the fishing village of Mousehole is a must! The famous cornish book the Mousehole cat is set here!

Tip: Pronounced Mowzel not Mouse-hole!

Praa Sands

Praa Sands Beach best thing to do near Penzance

This is one of my favourite beaches in Cornwall! To access the beach from Penzance it is a 20 minute drive! The beach is only a short walk from the car park and there are amenities such as a cafe and shop on the beach front! The beach is very family friendly with beautiful white sand and blue waters that will make you think you are anywhere but the UK!

Next Read: For more of Cornwall’s best beaches check out this post! 

Porthcurno beach

Porthcurno Beach

Another of my favourite beaches in Cornwall! About 25 minutes to drive to from Cornwall! The car park is a short down hill walk from the beach – though harder on the way back up! The beach is beautiful and I would recommend allocating one whole day to spend at the beach in good weather!

There are plenty of facilities at the Porthcurno area including toilets and a cafe!

Porthcurno telegraph museum

If rain suddenly hits as you are at Porthcurno then why not head inside to the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum. Porthcurno is actually really important in the history of telecommunications as the telegraphs crossed the atlantic and were received at Porthcurno! At its pinnacle, the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum was the world’s largest Telegraph station!

Minack theatre

The Minack Theatre is a great place to view Porthcurno Beach from. We didn’t have time to go up and the stairs looked a bit daunting with our toddler but it is certainly a place I am desperate to visit on our next trip! During the theatre open air performances are held at the theatre – check the current programme here!

Lands end

A must for those that like a good quirky photo and are into their bucket list! Lands End is the most southerly point of the UK and is a great place to get a photo!

Portheras Cove

Another of my favourite beaches in the Penzance area! This beach is a bit of a trek but it is so worth the walk! One of the great things about this beach is it is a hidden gem and really only known to locals so you can avoid the crowds! Located between Pendeen and Morvah.

We parked in the Farm Car Park at the end of Rose Valley and took the 15 minute walk down. It is a lovely walk that winds down farmland. You will be rewarded with one of the emptier beaches in Cornwall!

Events on the Penzance Calendar

The Golowan Festival

A festival with Pagan origins that takes place on the 23rd June!

Best Restaurants in Penzance

We had some amazing food in Penzance. The Best restaurants in Penzance and nearby were:

  • Jubilee Pool for a Fisherman’s Breakfast!
  • GoDolphin Arms in Marazion for lunch or dinner after visiting St Michaels Mount
  • The Cornish Barn on Chapel Street!

Have you been to Penzance? What is your favourite thing to do near Penzance or in the town itself? 

 Best things to do in Penzance! Best things to do near Penzance! #cornwalltravel #cornwall #visitcornwall #penzance #landsend #cornwallwithkids

 Best things to do in Penzance! Best things to do near Penzance! #cornwalltravel #cornwall #visitcornwall #penzance #landsend #cornwallwithkids


Saturday 3rd of August 2019

A great read Leona, it took me back in time. I went there a couple of times when I was much younger. Your photos really make me want to go back again.

Cath - Passports and Adventures

Monday 24th of June 2019

Sadly I've never made it to Penzance. I'd love to go, and especially want to see St Michael's Mount. Hubby has been to Lands End on his bike but not me. #fearlessfamtrav


Monday 17th of June 2019

We just love Cornwall and I spent many summer holidays as a child in St Ives, so know this area well. It's beautiful in the sunshine #fearlessfamtrav

Tanja/The Red Phone Box travels

Friday 14th of June 2019

bucket list trip! maybe one day.. #fearlessfamtrav

Kids of the Wild

Tuesday 11th of June 2019

* covered is the missing word!