Introducing Penzance & Around
Gulls wheel overhead, fishing trawlers ply the coast and there's a scent of brine on the breeze around the old harbour town of Penzance. Stretching along the western edge of Mount's Bay, Penzance has marked the end of the line for the Great Western Railway since the 1860s, and the town still feels one step removed from the rest of Cornwall. It's faded in spots, but unlike many of its sister towns along the coast, Penzance has resisted the urge for over-gentrification and still boasts the kind of rough-edged authenticity Cornwall's daintier towns lost long ago.
Like Truro and Falmouth, Penzance's wealth was founded largely on the booming maritime trade of the 18th and 19th centuries, and there are some fine Georgian and Regency townhouses dotted around town, especially along Chapel St and Queen St; look out for the extraordinary Egyptian House, which looks like a cross between a Georgian townhouse and an Egyptian sarcophagus, and was originally built for a wealthy local mineralogist, John Lavin, as a geological museum.
Penzance & Around destination guides
Cornish Coastal Path West: St Ives to Penzance
Walk on the Cornwall Coastal Path West from St Ives to Penzance.
Cornish Coastal Path South: Marazion to Mevagissey
Walk along the southern section of the Cornwall Coastal Path