Festivals, culture and independent shops

With shops and cafes galore and gardens filled with exotic plants, it’s easy to spend time in the port of Penzance whatever the weather.

Don’t miss historical Chapel Street with its independent boutiques, vintage stores, bookshops, pubs and cafes. Marvel at the astonishingly elaborate Egyptian House and pop in for a pint at the Admiral Benbow, the original inspiration for the inn of the same name in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Check out the Union Hotel, too, where it’s said the announcement of Nelson’s death was first made following the battle of Trafalgar.

From the midsummer Golowen festival and Mazey Day celebrations to Montol’s rivers of fire and misrule just before Christmas, there are plenty of festivals to tempt you into town, too.

Culture vultures can pay a visit to the latest exhibition at The Exchange Gallery, or enjoy varied theatre from comedy to dance to children’s performances to Shakespeare at the Acorn Theatre or the outdoor Penlee Park.

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Enjoy a stroll along the prom and a bracing dip in the waves off Battery Rocks, a popular spot with local swimmers throughout the year.

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The best Lit Fest in the west! Penzance welcomes a host of authors in July for talks, workshops and Q&A sessions.