Five reasons to book your Summer Holidays in Penzance25 August 2023
Set on the shores of the gorgeous sweep of Mount’s Bay, Penzance is a simply stunning place to stay. Beautiful beaches, cracking coast paths, unique attractions and intriguing history all combine to ensure there’s a wealth of reasons to take your holidays in Penzance. Here are a few of our favourites.
Fantastic places to visit
Penzance’s bewitching, open-air Jubilee Pool is beloved by locals. Built in the 1930s, it’s all Jazz Age elegance – with bright white colonnades and light blue steps, it’s a glorious place for a bracing salt-water dip. Or book ahead to get tickets for a fabulous, unique and much warmer experience. Because a section of Jubilee Pool is now heated by geothermal energy to a delightful 30-35 degrees. A blissful alfresco dip here is a highlight of many people’s holidays in Penzance.
St Micheal’s Mount
St Michael’s Mount is one of the most memorable sights of any holidays in Penzance. From a distance it looks like a magical castle, perched on a rock in the middle of Mount’s Bay. As you near it becomes even more dramatic – a towering island rising from the sea. Depending on the tide, you’ll either walk to the island along a cobbled tidal causeway, or hop on a boat. Either way, you get to explore the historic house, tiny village and gorgeous gardens. Magical.
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens
Tremenheere is a sublime sub-tropical garden just over 2 miles from St Michael’s Mount, with fine views of the island-castle in the bay. Set in a sheltered valley with its own woods and stream, the acres here are filled with colourful exotic and verdant foliage – expect structural planting and plenty of palm trees, ferns and bamboos. These are combined with striking installations by internationally-acclaimed artists. It’s restful, inspiring, beautiful and thought-proving – a wining combination
Brilliant things to do
Walk along the beach
For many, a highlight of their holidays in Penzance is just to be able to walk from their accommodation straight to the sea. At Hotel Penzance we’re particularly lucky as the shore is just a few minutes’ walk away. From there you can either head east to stroll along the beach towards St Michael’s Mount, or west towards Jubilee Pool to explore the harbour and promenade. It’s fabulous either way.
Explore the town
That the town is packed with history is another plus point about holidays in Penzance. The Love Penzance Town Trail is a 1.3km self-guided walk that winds between small slate markers on streets and buildings. Follow it and you’ll discover the site of the town’s cattle market, an Art Deco cinema, mining heritage, a Georgian watering hole, striking Egyptian-style architecture, the legacy of a Spanish invasion in 1595 and a centuries-old smugglers pub.
Superb nearby attractions
Another reason to take your holidays in Penance is the wealth of superb attractions just a short distance away.
Porthcurno Telegraph Museum
A twenty minute or so drive from Penzance leads to Porthcurno, an exquisite sandy cove. The village is also home to PK Porthcurno a superb museum which charts how this sleepy valley is actually the hub of global communications. Expect evocative stories including how the first underseas cables came ashore here in the 1870s and life at telegraph stations around the world. You can even head deep into the WWII tunnels to discover how this village played a key role in secret war time communications.
Porthcurno is also home to the unique Minack Theatre, an iconic cliff-side amphitheatre which was built by hand by the formidable Rowena Cade and her gardener back in the 1930s. Today you get to discover the incredible story of the site’s construction and see a show – performances including plays, musicals and bands take place throughout the summer. For many, a performance at the Minack is one of the highlights of their holidays in Penzance.
Some nine miles due west leads to Cape Cornwall, a picturesque headland jutting sharply out to sea. It’s crowned by a 19th century chimney stack and has a tiny cove: Priest’s Cove, which is still used by local fishermen, and an even smaller tidal sea pool. Cape Cornwall is just fractionally further east than Land’s End – just 4 miles south, Land’s End is famously the most westerly point in England. While Land’s End now has a lot of cafes, attractions and shops, Cape Cornwall retains a wilder feel.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site
West Cornwall was named part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its unique mining history. And some of the best sites to visit are within easy reach of Penzance. They include the National Trust’s evocative Levant Mine (a Poldark filming location) where you can go on a guided tour taking in its mighty, still-working beam engine. A 20-minute walk inland leads to Geevor Mine where you put on hard hats before heading off on underground tours. A few miles by road takes you to another stunning mining site, Botallack, which clings to a headland – every inch the ruined cliff top mine. Evocative displays here show how its tunnels extended half a mile under the sea.
Penzance – set on the south coast of west Cornwall – is also perfectly placed for exciting explorations slightly further afield. The wedge-shape of the west country, which narrows dramatically in the far west, means Cornwall is thin here – it’s just 8 or so miles between the north and south coasts.
Which means if you’re staying in south-coast Penzance, the north coast is just a 15-20 minute drive away. Why might you want to switch coast? Often the surf is better on the north or far west coasts – which mean in Penzance, you’re just a short drive from the best breaks. Or, if there’s an offshore wind on one coast, and you want to swim, visit the beach or hike in more comfort, you can easily decamp to the other coast.
And while winds and tides and surf breaks might seem a bit befuddling, the great thing about somewhere like Hotel Penzance is that we have the local knowledge to ensure you really get the best from your stay.
Access to the coast path
The South West Coast Path is billed as the the 630 mile adventure – and it is. Stretching between Minehead in Somerset and Studland in Dorset, it encompasses some of the finest hiking in the UK. And Penzance is perfectly placed to explore some of the very best bits. Split it into sections and walk several over several days, or just cherry pick the one you like the look of – it’s up to you. Here are few of our favourites.
From Pendeen Watch to Cape Cornwall
This 4-mile hike is all rugged cliffs, mining heritage and surf dashed coves. From photogenic Pendeen Watch Lighthouse via evocative Levant Mine (a Poldark filming location) to another stunning mining site: cliff-side Botallack and onto Cape Cornwall.
From Cape Cornwall to Sennen Cove
The 5.2-mile hike between rugged Cape Cornwall and beautiful Sennen Cove is just over 5 miles. It sees you striding south from a dramatic headland towards one of the region’s finest surf beaches: Whitesands Bay, where fine sands stretch for almost a mile. Then there’s Sennen Cove itself, a pretty fishing village.
From Sennen Cove to Porthcurno
This trek is one of the most beautiful on the coast. At 6.3 miles and with lots of ascents and descents it’s a testing hike but really rewards. Walk in (and out) of Land’s End, discover hidden coves and delightful tearooms all before descending to the bewitching beach at Porthcurno.
Stay at Hotel Penzance
Finally, one of the very best reasons to book your holidays in Penzance – Hotel Penzance itself. We really are the ultimate Cornish indulgence – an elegant Edwardian townhouse with breathtaking views over the harbour and Mount’s Bay. A warm welcome, delightful rooms, restful gardens, a sun-drenched terrace, an outdoor pool, an acclaimed restaurant – this really is your Cornish home-from home. And you’re perfectly placed to do the wealth of other things that make holidays in Penzance some of the most memorable holidays around.
Book your stay with us today