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Penzance

Penzance (pen-sans– ‘the holy headland’) is located at the ‘toe’ of England, stands on the north west shore of Mounts Bay, approximately 10 miles from Lands End and commands the expanse of the famous bay.

st-michaels-mount

Penzance is the largest town in west Cornwall, and boasts many fine old buildings, dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries, particularly along Chapel Street.

Penzance’s tour de force is the exotically fronted Egyptian House, which was built in 1830, while a few doors away, the Penzance Maritime Museum houses a colourful collection of nautical memorabilia.

The Penzance Museum and Art Gallery, set in attractive gardens, features a good collection of works by artists of the well-known Newlyn School. The newWharfside Shopping Centre has generated an increase in visitors to the town. The ‘Jubilee’ outdoor swimming pool, on the seafront, has undergone a major facelift and is available for safe outdoor bathing.
Up until 1838, the market town of Penzance was originally a coinage town of the Stannery of Penwith – the place where a coin (quoin or corner) was cut from tin ingots to be assayed for quality. Market Jew Street, the main street of the town, has changed very little since the 19th century. At the top of the hill stands the domed Market House (now a bank), and in front stands the statue of Sir Humfrey Davey, the famous Cornish chemist, and inventor of the miners Davey Lamp.

Penzance harbour makes for an interesting visit, especially when it is crowded with visiting boats and yachts, or the occasional naval vessel.

The Isles of Scilly Steamship Company are based here so if you fancy a sea trip you can catch the Scillonian III from the Lighthouse Pier for a day trip or longer stay to the Isles of Scilly. Sadly you can’t now take the helicopter as the heliport, just outside and east of Penzance was closed in Autumn of 2012, but you can still take a light aircraft from Land’s End airport which is just 2 miles away from Cape Cornwall.