Newlyn (just to the south west of Penzance) is the fishing capital of Cornwall and its large harbour is regularly crowded with ocean-going fishing vessels. The main traditional catch is here pilchards (AKA sardines). The fishing industry expanded after arrival of the railway in 1859, allowing easy transport of fresh fish and seafood to London. Sadly this has declined somewhat over recent years and the town's large pilchards works is now a heritage museum.

Newlyn harbour
Newlyn's bustling colourful harbour is lined with seagoing vessels and inshore craft (by Bill Boaden - CC2)

The town old and harbour area is steeped in history and renowned for its excellence fish restaurants. The old pier (shown above) dates from the Middle Ages. The area behind the harbour is filled with cobbled lanes and narrow streets of traditional terraced stone cottages and fish cellars.

The town has remained a favourite haunt of artists for over a century, and is known worldwide for its affiliation with the "Newlyn Group". This 19th century artist's colony produced many memorable pictures depicting the life and hardships of fishing families in the area. Several of these paintings are on view in the Penlee House Gallery and Museum in Penzance.

Due to its excellent light, this part of Cornwall is prolific with art studios and galleries, including the famous Tate at nearby St Ives. Newlyn's own Art Gallery majors in contemporary works and sculpture.

The Penlee Lifeboat still operates from the harbour as part of the marine search and rescue facilities in SW cornwall.

Ferries and helicopters depart daily to Isles of Scilly.

Content by B Benney

What to see and do in Newlyn

Newlyn Art Gallery

A showcase for some of the top names in contemporary art. You can also view masterpieces from the old Newlyn School, including works Norman Garstin and Laura Knight.
Regular programme of changing exhibitions.

The Pilchard Works Heritage Museum

An award winning museum that preserves the history of the pilchards fishing industry in Cornwall. Visitors can watch the traditional salting and packing packaging process, still utilising the original presses.

Newlyn Fish Festival

At the end of August this festival attracts multitudes who come to enjoy a feast of seafood and joyful entertainment. A local delicacy is Star Gazy Pie. A fish, egg and potato pie, lined with protruding fish heads.

Map of Newlyn


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