Here we look at some of the best things to do in Penzance Cornwall. Whether it’s for families, solo explorers, couples or friends on a day out, these Penzance attractions and activities should keep you busy during your visit.
Visit the Minack Theatre
This distinctive outdoor theatre is chiseled into the cliffs over Porthcurno, making it one of the world’s most exceptional and dramatic theatrical spaces.
At the Minack, you can enjoy plays, concerts, and other shows against the backdrop of breathtaking sea views.
See what’s on at the Minack Theatre. However, even when there are no performances, the theatre is a popular tourist attraction due to its unique structure and the stunning views it offers of the surrounding coastlines and ocean.
Just like the Eden Project further North in Mid Cornwall, the Minack Theatre is a truly unique sight that you won’t find elswhere in the UK. It’s a must for visitors to Cornwall and certainly one of the best places to see in Penzance.
Explore Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens is a major garden and art attraction in Cornwall, England. It’s located in a beautiful sheltered valley with panoramic views over Mount’s Bay, near Penzance. The privately-owned, 22-acre exotic and sub-tropical garden is filled with art installations and sculptures by internationally renowned artists.
The garden, developed since the early 1990s, has a wonderful mix of dramatic landscapes, broad vistas, planting schemes, and secluded spaces, enhanced by streams and exuberant vegetation. It is home to a wide range of exotic and sub-tropical plants, some of which are not seen anywhere else in the UK due to the mild Cornish climate.
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens also hosts an evolving programme of contemporary art installations, providing a unique combination of art and landscape. There’s a sense of the theatrical as you wander through the gardens, with sculptures, installations and landscaping all working together to create a remarkable experience.
On-site, there’s also the highly regarded Penzance restaurant – Tremenheere Kitchen, and an art gallery, Tremenheere Gallery, which hosts a series of exhibitions by local and international artists.
Discover St Michael’s Mount
Situated just off the shore of Penzance, St Michael’s Mount is a tidal island that attracts many visitors every year. Depending on the tide, you can either walk or sail to the island where you can explore the castle, chapel, and gardens.
Learn more about the castle, the church, the history and how to book tickets on the St Michael’s Mount website.
Make a note of the tide times so you don’t get cut off (like my family did when we were kids)!
Hike or cycle the South West Coast Path
This extensive coastal footpath meanders through Cornwall’s picturesque landscapes. Choose from numerous trails based on your fitness level to enjoy some of the county’s most beautiful scenes.
The South West Coast Path has it’s own website where you can plan your route.
See Penlee House Gallery and Museum
Unearth Penzance’s history and its people, from the Bronze Age to modern times, through the museum’s exhibits. The venue also showcases works from local artists and craftspeople.
Situated in Penzance, Cornwall, the Penlee House Gallery and Museum is a cherished venue known for its substantial collection of Newlyn School paintings, with pieces by Stanhope Forbes, Norman Garstin, Walter Langley, and Lamorna Birch, among others.
In addition to art, the museum also houses exhibits related to local history, archaeology, ceramics, social history, and fashion. Visitors can also enjoy a cafe and a gift shop on site.
The museum welcomes visitors from Tuesday to Saturday, offering free admission. Learn more at www.penleehouse.org.uk.
Swim at Jubilee Pool
This outdoor seawater pool is an ideal spot for swimming, sunbathing, or having a picnic. After a swim, Jubilee Pool also offers a lovely location to watch the sunset.
The Jubilee Pool, an iconic saltwater lido in Penzance, stands as the most prominent art deco seawater lido in the UK. Constructed in 1935 in honour of King George V and Queen Mary’s Silver Jubilee, it is a Grade II listed building.
With seawater sourced from Penzance Harbour and heated via a geothermal well, the pool remains open throughout the year. Jubilee Pool, a favoured spot for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking, also hosts a range of events such as swimming galas, concerts, and corporate events.
It features a 50-meter main pool and a smaller geothermal pool heated to 30-35 degrees Celsius. The pool is open from April to September, with an admission fee applicable for both adults and children.
Visit https://jubileepool.co.uk/ for more details.
Explore Morrab Gardens
These lush subtropical gardens house an array of exotic flora, like palms, bamboo, and ferns. With ponds, waterfalls, and a play area for kids, Morrab Gardens is a haven for nature lovers.
The Morrab Gardens, situated south of Penzance town centre, are a 1.2-hectare public garden famed for their Mediterranean and sub-tropical flora and for hosting the Morrab Library.
Highlights include the Morrab Library, exotic plant species, scenic ponds, waterfalls, fountains, a children’s play area, and the historical walled garden. Locals and tourists find Morrab Gardens an idyllic spot to unwind, appreciate nature, and learn about global flora. T
The gardens offer a range of activities, which include:
- visiting the library
- exploring the garden areas
- having a picnic
- walking or biking
- attending events like plant sales or concerts.
Find out more at www.morrabgardens.org.
Eat Out in Penzance
The town boasts a variety of dining options, from traditional Cornish dishes to international cuisine. Pubs and cafes are plentiful for a quick snack or a refreshing drink.
Among them is Tremenheere Kitchen mentioned above – one of the best restaurants in Penzance and a great place to eat for breakfast or lunch every day or dinner Fridays and Saturdays.
Indulge in wine tasting at Polgoon Vineyard
Polgoon Vineyard, a family-owned vineyard in Penzance, was established by local farmers the Pollard family in 1999. Situated on the 100-acre Rosehill Estate, the vineyard’s soil, a blend of clay and sand, is ideal for viticulture.
Polgoon Vineyard, a champion of sustainable farming practices, offers a range of wines, including whites, reds, and rosés, produced traditionally. The vineyard hosts tours and tastings, allowing visitors to learn about winemaking and sample their produce.
A shop selling wines, ciders, and juices is also available. Polgoon Vineyard, with its stunning Cornish scenery, is a must-visit for tourists and offers a range of activities for solo visitors, couples or groups.
Things to do include:
- vineyard tours
- wine tastings
- exploring the estate.
Visit the Polgoon website to learn more.
If you’re looking for interesting or fun things to do in Penzance then the activities and places to see above should make for an enjoyable visit.