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What to see and do

Out & About

Whatever your interest, there is something for everyone in West Cornwall. There is a small taste of what this beautiful area has to offer below. Our Customer Service team will be delighted to help with personal recommendations


  • Events »

    There are many events in West Cornwall throughout the year that attract visitors from across the world. There are a number or events listings, notably at www.visitcornwall.com/whats-on; the official tourist website. Many local listings guides give more details about the specific area.

    Around Penzance & St. Ives:


    Race for Life May 30th. This annual event takes place across the country
    Golowan Community Arts Festival June 16th – 24th. An ancient festival celebrating the feast of St John – the patron saint of Penzance, Golowan was resurrected in 1990 after years of obscurity. Now very much part of the Penzance calendar, it is week of wild activity with much for everyone. www.golowan.org
    Sea salts & Sail Festival in Mousehole. Traditional sailing vessels and maritime heritage http://www.seasalts.co.uk/
    The Penzance Literary Festival July 25th - 29th. Due to be opened by Penzance author Patrick Gale. http://penzance-literary-festival.org.uk/
    Newlyn Fishing Festival. August 27th www.newlynfishfestival.org.uk/
    St. Ives Festival is a magnet for visitors and features many top performers. Se here for this year’s line up: www.stivesseptemberfestival.co.uk/

    RSPB
    Every Friday, 6 April - 26 October. RSPB WILDLIFE CRUISE TO THE SCILLY ISLES ON THE SCILLONIAN. Join a friendly and knowledgeable RSPB guide on board the Scillonian for memorable wildlife spotting on this day-return trip to St Mary's, Isles of Scilly. Sailing time is just over 2.5 hours each way. While at St Mary’s there should be time for a stroll around this beautiful island and lunch in one of the many cafes. The Scillonian departs Penzance Quay 9.15am (8.45am Friday 3 August) and St Mary's quay at 4.30pm. Booking essential. Price: £35 standard, £30 RSPB members (please quote membership number when booking). Tel: 0845 7105555.
    RSPB
    Sunday - Thursday, 8 April to 23 September, 10.30am-4 pm. DISCOVER COASTAL WILDLIFE AT THE RSPB DISCOVERY CENTRE, LAND'S END, CORNWALL, TR19 7AA. Come for some superb coastal views while looking for ocean wildlife! We'll have telescopes set up and will be on hand to help you identify what you see. We'll have lots of hints and tips to pass on too! Look for dolphins, grey seals, basking sharks and amazing seabirds. Staff will also be on site during Easter. Exact times to be confirmed. Please note the postcode is only approximate. Free entry. 01392432691

  • Outdoors »

    The Great outdoors

    From walking to whale watching, West Cornwall is the place for those who love to spend as much time as possible outside. There are many guides available. We recommend Friendly Guides West Cornwall and Lands End peninsular guidebook.


    Beaches
    Glorious beaches are a feature with long golden sands at Gwithian and Hayle, the 4 beautiful beaches at St. Ives including Porthmeor, the famous surfing beach; Gwynver beach at Sennen Cove – considered by many to be the best surfing beach; the iconically beautiful Porthcurno, and the long gentle sweep of Mounts Bay with Marazion, Perranuthnoe and the popular family beach at Praa Sands. There really is a beach for every occasion, and all within easy reach of the hotel.

    Winter beaches: A digital postcard from Cornwall

    Walkers
    The South West path runs right past the hotel, and from Penzance to St. Ives via land’s End is one of the most spectacular sections. Passing through picturesque fishing village Mousehole; the amazing Minack theatre at Porthcurno, the stunning views at Cape Cornwall, Pendeen and the Gurnards Head, the artists’ haven at St Ives, and ending with the seals at Godrevy, this is wonderful walking territory. Inland walks also have much to offer with high points having views of both coasts, more ancient monuments than anywhere else in Britain, and access to wildlife reserves and gardens.
    Many walking guides are available, and both guided and self-guided walks can be arranged.

    Autumn on foot: a digital postcard


    Water
    Famous surfing and wind-surfing beaches at Sennen, St. Ives and Gwithian attract some of the world’s top surfers, but surfing lessons are available for everyone regardless of age, shape or size.
    Body boarding, or simply leaping around in the surfy sea is exhilarating and leaves you feeling wonderfully alive and invigorated.
    But if you prefer a gentler water experience, then there are numerous boat trips available. St. Ives has several boats offering trips down the coast line and the opportunity to see seals and seabirds out on the water. For a marine safari adventure, trips are available from Penzance. And you do occasionally see whales –though dolphins, basking shark, seals and fascinating bird-life are more frequents sightings. http://www.marinediscovery.co.uk/
    For a truly Cornish experience see the Cornish Maritime trust for events and to book a trip on one of their magnificent restored historic vessels: http://www.cornishmaritimetrust.org/

    Surfing: A digital postcard from Cornwall

  • Gardens »

    West Cornwall has a unique climate. Benefiting from the Gulf stream, and the resultant mild temperate climate, many plants thrive here that wouldn’t expect to see in Britain.
    The clean sea air means that lichens grow on trees and roof-tops, and wild flowers abound on the cliffs and in the hedgerows. The sweet smell of gorse and sea thrift tint the spring air with coconut ice, and from daffodils in January, the bluebells and campions that adorn the roadsides in May, the bright fuschia that grow wild in the hedges throughout the summer, Cornwall is awash with colour from the earliest signs of Spring to the last days of autumn.

    Spring gardens: A digital postcard from Cornwall

    Sub-tropical plants flourish, famously at Tresco in the Scillies, but also in domestic gardens across West Cornwall.
    For more formal gardens http://www.greatgardensofcornwall.co.uk/ lists all the marvellous Gardens created by the great Victorian plant hunters, with Trengwainton, and Trewidden both within 10 minutes drive from the hotel. Other gardens at St. Michaels Mount, Trereife and Chygurno, Lamorna are open at certain times. Camellias, Rhododendrons and Azalea thrive, and displays of tree ferns and other exotic and unusual plants are features at many of the gardens in Cornwall.

  • Culture »

    Art
    Famous for both the Newlyn Society of Artists and the St Ives School of Art, West Cornwall has long been a magnet for painters and sculptors. There are many excellent art galleries. The Tate at St Ives is famous, http://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-st-ives and many local art lovers would also recommend Penlee House Gallery in Penzance. http://www.penleehouse.org.uk
    An art pass is available which gives 7 days unrestricted access to six West Cornwall Galleries.

    Newlyn School of Art provides inspiring art courses in painting, drawing, stone carving and printmaking taught by many of the best known artists working in Cornwall today. http://www.newlynartschool.co.uk/

    For those who wish to paint they will be in good company, with artists at their easels, taking advantage of the scenery and the quality of the light a familiar sight. Courses are available at the St. Ives art school, and range from drop-in life drawing classes to 7 day courses. http:// www.stivesartschool.co.uk //

    St Ives school of art: A digital postcard from Cornwall

    The Hotel and our restaurant The Bay play host to some of Cornwall’s finest artists with a several artists displaying their work on our walls. To see our current exhibition

    Heritage & History
    Cornwall is rich territory for history lovers from the abundance of ancient sites to the eye-catching Mine engine houses that are seen all over this part of the county.
    Mining has been at the centre of the county’s history from ancient times up to the present day. The Mining museum at Geevor offers a fascinating insight into the workings of a tin mine as does the new heritage site at Heartlands near Redruth. For more information about mining in Cornwall see http://www.cornish-mining.org.uk/
    There are many ancient history sites in West Cornwall from the Stone Age sites at Chun Quoit, through the marvellously preserved iron-age village at Chysauster and Carn Euny prehistoric village.
    The modern era has also had its share of drama. Porthcurno was the site of the first laying of submarine telegraph cables in 1870. A museum is now on the site.
    Penzance is also rich in history. The Battle of Cornwall in 1595 was the only time when the Spanish raiders landed on British soil, when they burnt down much of Penzance, Mousehole and Newlyn. The Penzance town trail is a series of markers throughout the town each indicating a site of historical interest. A guide book to the town trail can be obtained from Reception in the hotel.

    The Minack
    No visit to West Cornwall would be complete without a trip to the famous Minack Theatre. Built by Rowena Cade and now maintained by the Minack Theatre charitable trust, the Minack is roman-style amphitheatre set into the cliff overlooking Porthcurno beach and the wild sea. Few experiences can compare to watching theatre as night falls – and perhaps with dolphins or basking shark competing with the actors for your attention. www.minack.com

    Minack theatre: A digital postcard from Cornwall

  • Food »

    Cornwall is famous for the quality of its food. The Cornish pasty is world-famous and a proper pasty made to a traditional recipe is a treat. Cornish cream and Cornish ice-cream are also justifiably celebrated, but Cornish produce goes way beyond these traditional favourites. The waters around Cornwall teem with fish and shell-fish. Sea bream, bass, hake are all landed locally; lobsters, crabs, oysters, mussels are widely available from fishmongers and in restaurants and cafes. And fresh caught mackerel, pulled from the sea and eaten with a simple salad or on sour-dough bread is delicious.
    Wine is produced in Cornwall, and there is even a Cornish tea, grown on the Tregothnan estate. Less surprising than it at first sounds, given that Tea is a member of the camellia family, and camellias seem to be in every garden.

    Many food producers are happy to welcome visitors. Trevaskis farm, an organic farm, opens up its doors to visitors daily; Polgoon Wines in Penzance invites personal visits; Callestick Farm ice-cream has a tour where visitors can see the production process from start to finish.

    Restaurants and cafes across West Cornwall are of a very high standard; Farmer’s markets and farm shops are common, and it’s not unusual to see fresh produce for sale at the garden gate, especially eggs and fresh vegetables.

    Our own restaurant, The Bay, has two AA Rosettes. Our chef Ben Reeve takes full advantage of the best produce that West Cornwall has available, and has established relationships with many of the finest suppliers, for example Matthew Stevens fishmongers in St. Ives. Matthew Stevens also has a shop just by Porthmeor beach where you can buy fresh caught fish and local shell-fish.

    The Newlyn Fish Festival celebrates Newlyn’s long history as a hub for the fishing industry in West Cornwall, and is on August 27th. http://www.newlynfishfestival.org.uk/

    See here for a list of many local producers: http://www.foodfromcornwall.co.uk/ and a What’s On guide for Food festivals and events.

  • Countryside code

    Always remember when your out & about to use the counrtyside code..

    Winter beaches: A digital postcard from Cornwall