Penzance is a large market town situated on the western edge of Mounts Bay. The name comes from the Cornish "Pen Sans" meaning Holy Headland, the original fishing village growing up close to an ancient headland chapel which once stood close to the present Parish Church.

The town is the terminus for the nationwide rail system; the mild climate and numerous activities drawing holiday makers from many parts. There are good beaches, an outdoor swimming pool and a lengthy esplanade runs beside Mounts Bay. Two parks boast many sub-tropical plants.

Panzance Harbour

Penzance is known for its fine 19th century granite buildings and forms the commercial heart of the regional district of Penwith. There are many shops and a thriving market. Just a bit further along the coast (south west) is the fishing port of Newlyn.

Located 2 miles (3 km) north west of Penzance is Lanyon Quoit, a Neolithic stone structure dating from 2500 BC.

The Scilly Isles are located just 27 miles (45 km) southwest of Lands End and Penzance provides a stepping stone to these peaceful, sub-tropical islands. There is a regular boat service from Penzance harbour and, at the time of writing, helicopter flights are also available from the local heliport.

Content by B Benney

Places of Interest to visit in Penzance

Tribute to Sir Humphry Davy

A statue of the celebrated chemist Sir Humphry Davy stands at the top of Market Jew St, near the house where he was born. He was a President of the Royal Society and famously invented the Miner's Safety lamp, which saved countless miner's lives in the local tin mines.

Cornwall Geological Museum

The museum displays rocks, minerals and fossils collected from Cornish quarries and mine workings. The collection is housed in St John's Hall, said to be one of the largest granite buildings in the country.

Penlee House Gallery and Museum

The Gallery specialises in the Newlyn School artists (c.1880 - c.1940).

Penzance Maritime Museum

The museum contains treasures and other objects found during local diving expeditions

Trinity House National Lighthouse Centre

Tells the story of lighthouses and has many interesting displays of lighthouse equipment.

Map of Penzance


 • Festivals & Events  • Where to Stay  • What to Eat  • Walks & Trails  • Weather  • General Info  • News & Articles

UK Regions:

 • South East  • South West  • London  • East Anglia  • Midlands  • Wales  • North East  • North West  • Scotland