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11 Best Things To Do In Penzance, Cornwall – Hand Luggage Only

11 Best Things To Do In Penzance, Cornwall – Hand Luggage Only


The gorgeous town of Penzance is one of the top places in Cornwall to visit whilst in the southwest of England. Tucked away on the shores of the south coast, it’s absolutely idyllic to spend a few days visiting. Not only that, there are heaps of the best things to do in Penzance dotted across the town and the wider area. This all makes Penzance a perfect base to explore the westerly fringes of Cornwall; which is beautiful, by the way. 

Over the years, we’ve visited Cornwall’s coastal gems many times. We love the beautiful Cornish beaches, the stunning castles and the Cornish pasties. The latter are so tasty and you honestly have to have them on whilst you’re in Penzance.

So, to give you a running start on the top things to see in Penzance, I’m sharing our very favourite spots which we love. It’s an incredible Cornish town and you’ll have bags of fun! 

1.) Jubilee Pool

The Jubilee Pool is totally easy to spot whilst you’re strolling around Penzance. It’s right on the coastline and is absolutely gorgeous to visit on a warm sunny day.

Now, this art-deco pool is open to all; which means it can get pretty busy at peak times. That being said, it’s well worth heading here if you fancy a saltwater dip, without dealing with any of the surf or riptides in the sea itself. 

Best Things To Do In Penzance, Cornwall Jubilee Pool Visit

On most days, the main pool is able to accommodate walk-ins, in case you’re choosing to visit on a whim.

That being said, You will need to book their geothermal pool if you want access to this one as spaces fill up fast. If you fancy that geothermal heat, then book these tickets at least a few days (or weeks) in advance. 

Read more: Best things to do in Cornwall

2.) Chapel Street

Best Things To Do In Penzance, Cornwall Chapel Street

If you’re fancying a stroll through Penzance, then make sure to head to Chapel Street. You see, Chapel Street has a little bit of everything and is well worth visiting around lunchtime, especially at Admiral Benbow.

Best Things To Do In Penzance, Cornwall Admiral Benbow, public house

You see Admiral Benbow, is a cosy Cornish pub that’s been going since the 1600s, where it once was the frequented watering holes of pirates, smugglers and other people you really wouldn’t have wanted to bump into back in the 17th Century.

Thankfully, today, the clientele is much different! Just make sure to order their Wild Cornish Mussels or. their homemade fish pie. They’re so tasty. 

Afterwards, head further up Chapel Street and spot Egyptian House with its sphinx-like ornaments and colourful design before having a nightcap at The Turks Head. They champion local Cornish brews that are so delicious. 

3.) The Exchange Gallery

Just near Chapel Street is The Exchange Gallery. It’s so easy to visit and easily one of the best things to do in Penzance if you’re interested in contemporary art.

Now, what it lakes in size, it makes up with in collections. Inside, you’ll find heaps of local works and international installations within The Exchange Gallery itself.

Visits will take around 20-30 minutes and is so lovely to see if you’re looking for plans beyond the beach. 

Read more: Best things to do in Cornwall

4.) Minack Theatre

Best Things To Do In Penzance, Cornwall Minack Theatre Visit

The Minack Theatre is easily one of England’s best open-air theatres you have to visit for a show or even a walk around and around a 20-minute drive from Penzance itself. 

This place gives you a perfect view of Porthcurno Bay and its waters which is totally beautiful, especially around sunset. 

Best of all, the Minack Theatre has a Classical architectural style that allows you to take in the beauty of Cornwall all from your seat. It was intentionally built this way, by Rowena Cade in the 1920s and it’s stunning. 

Best Things To Do In Penzance, Cornwall Minack Theatre Book

Now, During the summer season, you can catch heaps of plays that are performed. That being said, you must book in advance, tickets sell out super fast, so make sure you grab these tickets as soon as you know your trip dates. 

Also, don’t forget you can easily visit Porthcurno Beach that’s just shy of the Minack Theatre itself. It’s beautiful and lovely to explore if you’re staying in the area a little longer. 

5.) Penzance’s wider shoreline

Best Things To Do In Penzance, Cornwall Penzance Harbour

If you’re something of a water baby, then you’ve come to the right area when visiting Penzance. The whole coastline around here is stunning and totally beautiful to explore. 

Now, to get a good feel for the area head out on a trip with Atlantic Adventures. These guys have their tours down to a tee! 

We absolutely loved the ‘Blue Shark Snorkel tour’ which was out of this world. You see, Blue sharks love this area of England and are quite easy to spot on this tour.  However, if you are just a beginner in snorkelling, this might not be for you. Lifejackets are provided, but if you’re unfamiliar with choppy water, you should try one of their other tours.

Fancy a go at coasteering? then head over to Kernow Coasteering, they organise one of the best things to do in Penzance if you want to try your hand at coasteering across the Cornish coastline. 

Alternatively, head out into the open seas with Marine Discovery. Their Discovery Voyage, on board their catamaran, is so incredible.

You’ll get to spot the seal colonies near Lands End and even head around 10 miles away from the shoreline itself. From here, you’ll even catch a glimpse of porpoises, minke whales and dolphins. 

Read more: Best things to do in Cornwall

6.) Trengwainton Garden

Best Things To Do In Penzance, Cornwall Trengwainton Garden

Found on the fringes of Penzance, Trengwainton Garden is a stunning area that’s perfect to visit in summer.

You see, it gives you the chance to see a wide range of plants that aren’t normally seen in the UK because of Cornwall’s mild climate, all within the 16th-century grounds of Trengwainton House. 

Visits will take around 90 minutes, and it’s well worth exploring if you’re travelling more slowly in the area. 

7.) Boscawen-un Stone Circle

Best Things To Do In Penzance, Cornwall Boscawen-un Stone Circle

Around a 10-minute drive from the centre of Penzance, The stone circle of Boscawen-un is a must-visit spot whilst in the area.  

You see, the site dates all the way back to the late Neolithic-early Bronze Age. This in itself is so impressive! Like, some of these stones have stood in this very spot for 3-4 thousand years. 

Now, just like Stonehenge, no one is certain of its historic uses. However, it’s assumed that Boscawen-un was a place for local residents’ ceremonies and rituals. 

Visits take around 30 minutes and it’s well worth exploring if you’re interested in ancient history. After all, it’s not often you can see the remains of Neolithic and Bronze-Age peoples sites. 

Read more: Best seaside holidays in the UK

8.) Morrab Gardens

Best Things To Do In Penzance, Cornwall Morrab Gardens Penzance

Morrab Gardens is right in the heart of the town, which makes a visit one of the best things to do in Penzance if you’re looking for a more chilled time.

You see, this lovely garden is three acres of gorgeousness. Best of all, the gardens make the most of the milder climate with heaps of sub-tropical plants. 

Now, a visit here won’t take longer than 10 minutes; but it’s a lovely spot for a stroll (or even a picnic).

Afterwards, take a short stroll over to the Victorian Penlee House. You see, Penlee House Gallery and Museum is a historic and beautiful spot in Penzance filled with artwork from the lines of; Stanhope Forbes, Walter Langley, Norman Garstin and Lamona Birch.

Now, although there is no permanent exhibition in the gallery, Penlee House Gallery and Museum organises exhibits or shows featuring its local art collections that are constantly changing

Oh, and don’t forget to spot the Penlee Cross. It’s tucked away at the front of the house. It was an 11th-century masterpiece that once stood at the Green Market of Penzance and was so worth seeing. 

Read more: Best seaside holidays in the UK

9.) Prussia Cove

If you’re looking to head out for a longer walk or hike, then make sure to follow the Southwest Coastal Path towards Prussia Cove

Now, if you’re walking from Penzance itself, it will take around 180 minutes each way. It’s lovely; but make sure to pack a lunch, snacks and plenty of water along the way. 

Altneravielty, join the coastal path after parking at this spot. This way, you can focus on following the cliff walks around Prussia Cove itself. 

Once here, don’t forget to spot the gorgeous cottages and Cudden Point for some views across the region. It’s lovely. 

Read more: Best things to do in Cornwall

10.) Lanyon Quoit

Best Things To Do In Penzance, Cornwall Lanyon Quoit

Dating back to the early Neolithic period (about 4-5 thousand years ago), Lanyon Quoit is a Megalithic tomb that’s totally epic to see. 

Yes, it might be small, and visits might only take 15 minutes, but it’s easily one of the best things to do in Penzance if you’re interested in early history. 

Now, it’s believed this was a site where people were laid to rest and where shamans potentially visited to seek guidance from previous generations. 

Read more: Best seaside holidays in the UK

11.) St. Michael’s Mount

Best Things To Do In Penzance, Cornwall St. Michael's Mount

On the easterly fringes of Marazion Beach, St Michael’s Mount is incredible to visit. You see, it’s a tidal island that’s well worth a visit for an afternoon.

In fact, it’s one of the best things to do in Penzance if you’ve got a few spare hours. You see, you’ll be able to walk across and explore the gardens and experience the beauty of this stunning island. It’s like something from a fairytale. 

Just be sure to book tickets in advance, they do sell out fast at peak times. Oh, and take some layers with you; it can get blustery if there’s a westerly wind. 

Read more: Best things to do in Cornwall

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