15 Best Things To Do In Penzance, England

15 Best Things To Do In Penzance, England

By will

Penzance, a charming coastal town in England, offers a plethora of activities and attractions that are sure to delight any traveler. From exploring the captivating St. Michael’s Mount to immersing yourself in medieval history, there is something for everyone in this vibrant destination.

One of the highlights of Penzance is its stunning gardens, where visitors can admire the vibrant colors and fragrant blooms. Whether you’re strolling through the picturesque Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens or exploring the exotic plants at Morrab Gardens, these tranquil oases provide the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Additionally, Penzance boasts a rich literary and artistic heritage, with numerous art galleries and literary connections waiting to be discovered. From contemporary art exhibitions to live performances and music events, there is no shortage of cultural experiences to be had in this thriving town.

So pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through Penzance’s best attractions.

Exploring St. Michael’s Mount

Marazion : St Michael's Mount
Photo by Lewis Clarke

If you’re visiting Penzance, you can’t miss exploring St. Michael’s Mount! This stunning island, situated just off the coast of Cornwall, is a must-visit attraction for both locals and tourists alike.

Steeped in history and surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, St. Michael’s Mount offers a unique and unforgettable experience.

As you make your way across the causeway at low tide or take a short boat trip at high tide, you’ll be transported to a place of wonder and enchantment. The island is home to a magnificent medieval castle and a charming village, where you can wander through narrow streets and discover hidden treasures at every turn.

The castle itself is a sight to behold, with its towering walls and grand rooms filled with centuries-old artifacts. Take your time exploring the castle’s fascinating history, from its origins as a Benedictine priory to its transformation into a family home. Don’t forget to climb to the top of the castle for panoramic views of the surrounding coastline and countryside.

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, St. Michael’s Mount has something for everyone. From its stunning gardens to its rich cultural heritage, this magical island will leave you spellbound.

So, make sure to add exploring St. Michael’s Mount to the top of your list when visiting Penzance – you won’t be disappointed!

Admiring the Stunning Gardens

Trengwainton Garden
Photo by Ian Capper

While exploring Penzance, you can’t miss the opportunity to appreciate the breathtaking gardens. As I made my way through the stunning gardens, I was immediately captivated by the vibrant colors and intricate designs that surrounded me.

The flowers were in full bloom, creating a kaleidoscope of hues that seemed to dance in the gentle breeze. It was truly a feast for the senses.

Walking through the gardens, I couldn’t help but be amazed by the meticulous attention to detail. From the perfectly manicured lawns to the carefully arranged flower beds, every aspect of the gardens was a work of art.

I found myself stopping at every turn, marveling at the beauty that unfolded before my eyes. The fragrance of the flowers filled the air, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere that was impossible to resist.

Whether you’re a nature lover or simply looking for a tranquil escape, these gardens are a must-visit in Penzance.

Immerse Yourself in Medieval History

St Mary's Church, Penzance
Photo by Bill Henderson

Explore the winding medieval streets of Penzance and let yourself be transported back in time as you immerse yourself in the rich history of this enchanting town.

As you stroll through the narrow lanes, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe and wonder at the well-preserved buildings that have stood the test of time. The medieval architecture is truly a sight to behold, with its intricate details and charming character.

From the imposing St. Mary’s Church to the historic Market House, every corner of Penzance tells a story of its past.

One of the highlights of exploring Penzance’s medieval history is visiting the iconic Chapel Street. This vibrant street is lined with historic buildings that date back centuries, including the famous Egyptian House and the Turk’s Head pub.

The Egyptian House, with its unique facade inspired by ancient Egypt, is a true architectural gem. Inside, you can explore a museum showcasing the history of Penzance and its connection to the arts. The Turk’s Head pub, on the other hand, offers a cozy atmosphere where you can enjoy a pint while imagining the tales of pirates and smugglers that once frequented its walls.

Immersing yourself in Penzance’s medieval history is like stepping into a time capsule. The town’s well-preserved buildings and charming streets will transport you back centuries, allowing you to experience the rich heritage and fascinating stories that have shaped this enchanting town.

So, take a leisurely stroll through the medieval streets, soak up the atmosphere, and let the history of Penzance come alive before your eyes.

Discovering Penzance’s Art Scene

Stepping into Penzance’s art scene is like entering a vibrant kaleidoscope of creativity and inspiration. The town is home to a myriad of art galleries, studios, and exhibitions that showcase the incredible talent of local artists.

From traditional paintings and sculptures to contemporary installations and multimedia creations, there is something to captivate every art enthusiast.

One of the highlights of Penzance’s art scene is the Penlee House Gallery and Museum. Housed in a beautiful Victorian building, this gallery features a remarkable collection of artwork by renowned artists such as the Newlyn School painters. Walking through the gallery, you can admire stunning landscapes, portraits, and still-life paintings that capture the essence of Cornwall’s natural beauty.

The museum section also offers a fascinating insight into the history and culture of the region.

In addition to Penlee House, Penzance is dotted with art studios and independent galleries that offer a more intimate and personal experience. These hidden gems provide a platform for local artists to showcase their work, allowing visitors to engage with the artists themselves and gain a deeper understanding of their creative process.

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Whether you’re a seasoned art connoisseur or simply appreciate the beauty of visual expression, Penzance’s art scene is sure to leave you inspired and in awe of the incredible talent that resides in this charming coastal town.

Visiting Contemporary Art Galleries

When you venture into Penzance, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of contemporary art galleries that will ignite your imagination. These galleries showcase a wide range of modern artwork, from paintings and sculptures to installations and digital art.

One of the must-visit galleries is the Newlyn Art Gallery, located in a converted fish packing shed. Here, you’ll discover thought-provoking exhibitions by both established and emerging artists, pushing the boundaries of contemporary art. The gallery also hosts workshops and events, allowing visitors to engage with the art and artists on a deeper level.

Another prominent gallery in Penzance is the Exchange, a contemporary art space housed in a former telephone exchange building. Its spacious and light-filled rooms display cutting-edge exhibitions that challenge traditional notions of art. From multimedia installations to interactive displays, the Exchange offers a diverse and dynamic experience for art enthusiasts. The gallery also boasts a rooftop garden, providing a tranquil oasis with stunning views of Penzance and the surrounding coastline.

Visiting these contemporary art galleries in Penzance is not just about appreciating art, but also about immersing yourself in a vibrant and creative atmosphere. The exhibitions constantly change, ensuring that each visit offers a new and exciting experience. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply curious, these galleries are sure to inspire and captivate you, leaving you with a deeper appreciation for the world of contemporary art.

So, make sure to add a visit to these galleries to your itinerary when exploring Penzance.

Appreciating Classic Masterpieces

Immerse yourself in the timeless beauty of classic masterpieces and let their artistry transport you to another era. Penzance, England is home to a number of art galleries that showcase a remarkable collection of classic masterpieces.

As you step into these galleries, you’ll be greeted by a captivating display of art that spans centuries. From stunning oil paintings to intricate sculptures, each piece tells a unique story and offers a glimpse into the rich history of art.

One such gallery is the Penlee House Gallery and Museum, which houses an impressive collection of classic artworks. Here, you can admire the works of renowned artists like Stanhope Forbes and Elizabeth Forbes, who captured the beauty of the Cornish landscape with their exquisite paintings. The gallery also features a variety of art styles, including Romanticism, Impressionism, and Realism, allowing you to appreciate the diversity and evolution of classic art.

Another must-visit gallery is the Newlyn Art Gallery, which showcases contemporary and modern art alongside classic masterpieces. Here, you can witness the seamless integration of old and new, as the gallery celebrates the legacy of classic art while also embracing innovative and experimental works. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or a casual observer, the Newlyn Art Gallery offers a unique and thought-provoking experience that’ll leave you inspired.

In Penzance, the appreciation for classic masterpieces goes beyond the walls of art galleries. The town itself is adorned with stunning architecture that reflects the influences of different eras. As you stroll through the streets, you’ll encounter elegant Georgian buildings, charming Victorian houses, and beautiful Edwardian structures. Each architectural gem tells a story of Penzance’s past and adds to the overall atmosphere of timeless beauty.

Immerse yourself in the world of classic masterpieces in Penzance, where art becomes a portal to the past. Let the strokes of a brush and the chisel of a sculptor transport you to another era, where creativity and talent knew no bounds. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply looking for a unique experience, Penzance’s appreciation for classic art is sure to captivate and inspire you.

Enjoying the Picturesque Landscapes

Now that I’ve soaked in the appreciation for classic masterpieces in Penzance, England, it’s time to turn my attention to another delightful aspect of this charming town – the picturesque landscapes.

As I wander through the streets, I’m greeted by stunning views of the surrounding countryside, with rolling hills and fields stretching as far as the eye can see. The landscape is dotted with quaint cottages, their colorful gardens adding a touch of vibrancy to the scene. It’s a sight that instantly captures my heart and makes me fall in love with Penzance even more.

One of the best ways to truly immerse myself in the beauty of Penzance’s landscapes is to take a leisurely stroll along the coastal path. The path winds its way along the coastline, offering breathtaking views of the sparkling blue sea and rugged cliffs. I can’t help but feel a sense of tranquility as I listen to the gentle sound of the waves crashing against the rocks and feel the cool sea breeze on my face. The path is also lined with wildflowers, adding bursts of color to the already picturesque scene. It’s a perfect spot for a peaceful retreat, where I can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and simply enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds me.

As I continue my exploration of Penzance, I’m constantly reminded of the town’s ability to effortlessly combine classic art with stunning landscapes. It’s a place where I can appreciate both the creativity of human hands and the beauty of nature. From the masterpieces found in art galleries to the breathtaking views along the coastal path, Penzance offers a truly enchanting experience for all who visit.

Taking a Stroll Along the Coastline

Take a leisurely stroll along the captivating coastline of Penzance, and let the breathtaking views and tranquil atmosphere transport you to a world of peace and serenity.

As you step onto the coastal path, you’ll be greeted by the refreshing sea breeze and the gentle sound of waves crashing against the rugged cliffs. The mesmerizing beauty of the surrounding landscape is truly awe-inspiring.

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As you walk along the coastline, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the deep blue sea stretching out as far as the eye can see. The golden sands shimmer in the sunlight and invite you to take a moment to relax and soak up the beauty of your surroundings.

The rugged cliffs, adorned with vibrant wildflowers, provide a stunning backdrop to this idyllic scene.

As you continue your stroll, you may encounter charming fishing villages nestled along the coast, where colorful boats bob in the harbor. The rhythmic sound of seagulls fills the air, adding to the coastal ambiance. You might even catch a glimpse of seals basking on the rocks, or dolphins gracefully swimming in the distance.

Taking a stroll along the coastline of Penzance is not just a walk, but an immersive experience that allows you to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of this picturesque town.

So, lace up your walking shoes, breathe in the salty sea air, and let the coastline of Penzance enchant you with its captivating charm.

Sampling Delicious Local Cuisine

Indulge in the delectable flavors of the region by savoring the mouthwatering dishes of local cuisine in Penzance. As I wandered through the charming streets of this coastal town, the aroma of freshly caught seafood and traditional Cornish pasties filled the air.

Penzance is known for its vibrant food scene, offering a wide array of culinary delights that will satisfy even the most discerning palate.

One cannot visit Penzance without trying the famous Cornish pasty. These savory pastry pockets are filled with a hearty combination of meat, vegetables, and seasonings, and are a true taste of Cornwall. I couldn’t resist sinking my teeth into the flaky crust and being greeted by a burst of rich flavors. Whether enjoyed as a quick snack or a full meal, the Cornish pasty is a culinary masterpiece that should not be missed.

In addition to pasties, Penzance also boasts an abundance of fresh seafood. With its coastal location, the town offers a wide variety of fish and shellfish options. From succulent lobster to plump scallops, the seafood here is nothing short of exceptional. I had the pleasure of trying a local specialty, the Stargazy pie, which features a mix of fish, eggs, and potatoes, all topped with a pastry crust. It was a delightful combination of textures and flavors that showcased the true essence of Penzance’s coastal cuisine.

Penzance is a food lover’s paradise, offering a tantalizing selection of local dishes that are sure to please. From the iconic Cornish pasty to the fresh seafood delights, the culinary scene in Penzance is a true reflection of the region’s rich flavors and traditions.

So, if you find yourself in this charming town, be sure to embark on a gastronomic adventure and discover the delicious local cuisine that awaits.

Exploring Quaint Cafés and Shops

As you wander through the charming streets of Penzance, you’ll find yourself drawn to the quaint cafés and shops that add to the town’s undeniable charm. These little treasures offer a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you’re looking for a cozy spot to enjoy a cup of tea or a unique boutique to find the perfect souvenir, Penzance has it all.

One café that shouldn’t be missed is the charming Little Brews Café. Tucked away on a quiet side street, this hidden gem offers a warm and inviting atmosphere, perfect for enjoying a leisurely breakfast or a mid-afternoon treat. The menu boasts a variety of delicious options, from freshly baked pastries to hearty sandwiches made with locally sourced ingredients. As you sip on your perfectly brewed cup of coffee, you can’t help but feel a sense of tranquility wash over you.

After fueling up at the café, take a stroll down Chapel Street. Here, you’ll find a plethora of unique shops waiting to be explored. One standout is The Old Curiosity Shop, a quaint boutique that specializes in antique jewelry and vintage clothing. As you step inside, you’ll be transported back in time, surrounded by a treasure trove of unique and one-of-a-kind pieces. The friendly staff are more than happy to share the stories behind each item, adding an extra layer of charm to your shopping experience.

Exploring the quaint cafés and shops of Penzance is a must-do for any visitor to the town. The combination of delicious treats, cozy atmospheres, and unique finds make for an unforgettable experience. So, grab a cup of tea, browse the shops, and immerse yourself in the charm of Penzance.

Taking in the Vibrant Seaside Atmosphere

After exploring the quaint cafés and shops in Penzance, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the vibrant seaside atmosphere that enveloped the town. The salty breeze, the sound of seagulls, and the crashing waves all combined to create an invigorating atmosphere that was impossible to resist.

Whether you’re strolling along the promenade or sitting on a bench overlooking the sea, there’s something truly enchanting about the seaside charm of Penzance.

One of the best ways to fully immerse yourself in the vibrant seaside atmosphere is to take a leisurely walk along the picturesque Penzance seafront. The promenade stretches for miles, offering stunning views of the rugged coastline and the sparkling turquoise waters.

As you walk, you’ll pass by charming beach huts, colorful fishing boats, and maybe even catch a glimpse of a seal frolicking in the waves. There are also plenty of benches where you can sit and soak up the tranquil ambiance, or simply watch the world go by.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a photography enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of the sea, the vibrant seaside atmosphere in Penzance is sure to captivate your senses.

Discovering Penzance’s Literary Connections

To fully appreciate the literary connections of Penzance, you’ll want to explore the town’s historic bookshops and visit the places that inspired famous authors.

One of the must-visit bookshops in Penzance is the iconic Edge of the World Bookshop. Located in a charming 18th-century building, this independent bookstore is a treasure trove for book lovers. As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by towering shelves filled with a diverse range of books, from classic literature to contemporary works. The knowledgeable and friendly staff are always ready to assist you in finding the perfect read. Take your time to browse through the shelves, immerse yourself in the rich literary atmosphere, and perhaps stumble upon a hidden gem.

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In addition to the bookshops, exploring the places that inspired famous authors is a fascinating adventure.

One such place is the historic Morrab Gardens. This beautiful Victorian garden has been a source of inspiration for many writers, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who supposedly used the gardens as a model for his fictional Baskerville Hall. As you stroll through the gardens, you can imagine the characters from famous literary works coming to life amidst the lush greenery and vibrant flowers.

Another notable location is the Penlee House Gallery and Museum, which showcases the works of the Newlyn School of Art. This art movement, which flourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, attracted many writers to Penzance, including D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. Exploring the gallery and its collection of paintings allows you to delve into the artistic world that inspired these renowned authors.

Enjoying Live Performances and Music Events

Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene of Penzance by enjoying live performances and music events.

This charming town offers a plethora of opportunities to indulge in the arts. From small local venues to larger theaters, there is something for everyone’s taste. Whether you’re a fan of classical music, contemporary dance, or even stand-up comedy, Penzance has it all.

One of the highlights of the live performance scene in Penzance is the famous Minack Theatre. Perched on the cliffs with breathtaking views of the ocean, this open-air theater is a true gem. Watching a play or musical here is an unforgettable experience. The talented performers, combined with the stunning natural backdrop, create a magical atmosphere.

Additionally, Penzance hosts a variety of music events throughout the year. From jazz festivals to folk concerts, there’s always something happening. So, grab a drink, sit back, and let the music transport you to another world.

Whether you’re a culture enthusiast or simply looking for a fun night out, Penzance’s live performances and music events are sure to captivate you. The town’s artistic spirit is alive and thriving, offering a diverse range of entertainment options. So, why not embrace the local culture and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of performances that Penzance has to offer? You won’t be disappointed.

Embarking on Coastal Walks and Hikes

Explore the breathtaking coastal trails and hikes in Penzance, where you can wander along rugged cliffs, feel the spray of the sea on your face, and discover hidden coves along the way.

The coastal walks in Penzance offer a truly immersive experience in the beauty of nature. As you traverse the trails, you’ll be greeted by stunning panoramic views of the turquoise waters and dramatic cliffs that line the coast. The sound of crashing waves creates a soothing soundtrack as you make your way through the rugged terrain.

One of the highlights of these coastal walks is the opportunity to explore hidden coves that are tucked away along the coastline. These secluded spots provide the perfect setting for a peaceful picnic or a moment of tranquility. The sense of adventure and discovery is heightened as you stumble upon these hidden gems, and it adds an element of excitement to your hike.

Whether you choose to embark on a short stroll or a more challenging hike, the coastal trails in Penzance offer something for everyone. So lace up your hiking boots, grab a map, and get ready to be captivated by the natural beauty that awaits you along the shores of Penzance.

Relaxing on Penzance’s Beautiful Beaches

Indulge in pure bliss as you sink your toes into the soft, golden sands of Penzance’s beautiful beaches. Penzance is blessed with several stunning beaches that offer the perfect setting for relaxation and rejuvenation.

One of the most popular beaches in the area is Perranuthnoe Beach, known for its picturesque surroundings and calm waters. As you lay back on your beach towel, basking in the warm sunshine, you can’t help but feel a sense of tranquility wash over you. The rhythmic sound of the waves crashing against the shore creates a soothing melody, inviting you to unwind and let go of any worries.

Whether you choose to take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline or simply lie back and soak up the sun, Perranuthnoe Beach provides an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Another must-visit beach in Penzance is Marazion Beach, which offers breathtaking views of the iconic St Michael’s Mount. As you gaze out at the magnificent castle perched atop the island, you can’t help but marvel at the beauty of nature. The beach itself is expansive, with plenty of space to spread out and find your own little slice of paradise. The crystal-clear waters beckon you for a refreshing swim, while the soft sand invites you to build sandcastles or simply lie back and watch the world go by.

With its serene atmosphere and stunning backdrop, Marazion Beach is a true gem of Penzance.

Penzance’s beautiful beaches provide the perfect setting for relaxation and tranquility. Whether you choose to visit Perranuthnoe Beach or Marazion Beach, you’re guaranteed to find pure bliss as you soak up the sun and enjoy the soothing sound of the waves.

So why not treat yourself to a day of pure relaxation on one of Penzance’s stunning beaches?


In conclusion, Penzance, England offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy.

From exploring the historic St. Michael’s Mount to immersing oneself in the stunning gardens, there is something for everyone in this picturesque town.

The art scene in Penzance is also thriving, with contemporary art galleries showcasing a range of impressive works.

Literary enthusiasts will delight in discovering the town’s literary connections, while live performances and music events provide entertainment for all.

And let’s not forget about the coastal walks and hikes that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Finally, for those seeking relaxation, Penzance’s beautiful beaches provide the perfect spot to unwind and soak up the sun.

Overall, Penzance is a destination that promises a memorable and enjoyable experience for all who visit.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.