When you consider that Penzance is one of the premier tourist destinations in Western Cornwall, it’s hardly surprising that the town is full of fantastic things to do and sights to see. Use this guide to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything while visiting the town and its bearny attractions.
If you have good weather to take advantage of during your break in Penzance, then you should head over to Trengwainton Garden, just up the road from Penzance in Madron. Owned and cared for by the National Trust, Trengwainton is easily one of Cornwall’s finest gardens. With over 25 acres of beautifully maintained and varied gardens, ranging from the famous rhododendron beds to the giant ferns and their stunning walled gardens, Trengwainton is the perfect place for a wander in the sunshine. If you decide to make your way up to the terrace you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views to ba had looking out over Mounts Bay.
What’s more, every effort has been made at Trengwainton to make it as family friendly as possible. Between the kids trails, den building days and scarecrow competitions, the little ones are sure to enjoy a day in the gardens - and you can even take the dog. Then there’s the café, which uses many ingredients from the kitchen's very own garden, meaning it doesn’t get much fresher. It's easy to see why it’s won the Café of the Year Award in Cornwall and regularly receives rave reviews.
Prices: Adult £8.00, child £4.00, family (1 adult) £12.00, family £20.00
Opening Times: Sunday-Thursday 10:30am – 5:00pm
The Jubilee Pool
If you fancy a day of relaxing, how about spending a few hours at the pool? Well, the Jubilee Pool isn’t just any pool. Built in the heyday of the lido era back in the 1930’s, the Jubilee Pool is one of Penzance’s best-loved and unique attractions. Ideal for young and old alike, it’s the perfect place to pass an afternoon in the sunshine, whether it’s taking a dip in the pool, catching some rays, or just sitting back and enjoying the panoramic views out over Mounts Bay. The Jubilee Pool also has its own licenced café should you get a bit peckish during the day. Alternatively, you’re welcome to take along a picnic to enjoy at the poolside.
Sadly the Jubilee was quite badly damaged during the storms of recent winters and it has been temporarily closed for repair work, however this should all be done in time for the 2016 season when the pool will be opened back up to the public.
Why not also check out our guide tothe best beaches in West Cornwall?
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens
Even though it only opened quite recently, Tremenheere has quickly become one of the finest attractions in the Penzance area. Named after the family of landowners that resided on the site for over 600 years, Tremenheere is now a stunning sculpture garden that makes the most of the stunning scenery, fertile conditions and west Cornish microclimate. Although it’s perhaps most notable for the wide array of sub-tropical and exotic plants, Tremenheere is also making a name for itself with the various contemporary art installations that call it home. With works by famous artists including James Turrell and David Nash, among others, on permanent display and various art events being held there throughout the year, there's always something to see.
If you decide to pay Tremenheere a visit, then make sure you stop off in The Kitchen, where you’ll be able to tuck into a delightful home-made meal, or even pick up a pre-prepared picnic which you can then take away and enjoy in a quiet corner of the gardens.
Prices: Adults £8.00, Age 11-15 £4.50, under 11’s free, concessions £6.50
Opening Times: Summer months 10am-5pm daily,
If you like to spend the afternoon strolling round a garden, find out our other favourite gardens in Cornwall.
The Cornish Pirates
What is there to do in Penzance if you’re something of a sports fan? The answer is obvious: head down to The Mennaye Field, the home of the Cornish Pirates. Formerly the Penzance and Newlyn RFC prior to their merge in the 1940’s, the Pirates have since become one of the finest and best known sports teams in the area. The team currently ply their trade in the RFU Championship, the second highest tier in English domestic rugby, and so welcome some of the best teams going down to the South West.
The regular season for the Pirates tends to begin sometime between the end of August and the start of September, with games being held on either a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, making it the perfect way to experience something a bit less touristy on your trip to Penzance.
Contact: Ticket Office - 01736 331961, www.cornish-pirates.com
Penlee House Museum
Or if you fancy getting your fill of culture while you’re away, you’ll want to pay a visit to Penlee House. Originally a luxurious Victorian home built by the Branwell family back in 1865, it has since been transformed into a fantastic art gallery and museum aimed at showcasing some of the local heritage and culture. The gallery contains various temporary exhibitions as well as the marvellous permanent collection featuring works by many of Cornwall’s finest homegrown artists as well as those from the famous Newlyn School. Then there’s the museum section with its selection of displays highlighting some of the key aspects of the region’s history, from famous faces such as Humphry Davy, to the development of key industries such as mining, fishing and tourism.
If you happen to get a bit peckish while on your visit, you’re in the right place. Penlee’s Orangery Café offers a selection of home-made treats ranging from afternoon teas through to light lunches, all of which make the most of the area’s fantastic local produce.
Prices: Adults £4.50, concessions £3.00, children under 18 go free.
Opening Times: 1st April-31st October 10:00am – 5:00pm, 1st November-31st March 10:00am – 4:30pm
Like museums? Well, not only does Cornwall offer a range of museums but they also offer some magnificent art galleries and here are the 10 best galleries in Cornwall!
Following on from Penlee is The Exchange. As the name suggests, it’s located in the old telephone exchange right in the heart of Penzance town. It opened in 2007 as an offshoot of the Newlyn Art Gallery. Since then, The Exchange has become a key part of the Cornish art scene with a variety of exhibits all aimed at bringing the best of both the national and international contemporary art scenes down to the South West. But that isn’t it, there are also regular workshops, live performances and film showings to keep you occupied on your visit, along with a family-friendly café and bookshop.
Prices: £3.50 (includes entry to Newlyn Art Gallery)
Opening Times: Summer Months: Monday-Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm, Winter Months: Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm.
So there you have it, a varied mix of some of the best places to go while you’re away in Penzance. Take a look through some of our other guides below if you would like some more inspiration on attractions to visit while on your holiday in Cornwall.