Lots to see and do
There are literally hundreds of places to see and things to do in west Cornwall. Here is a small selection of our favourite places.
Newlyn School of Art
Opening its doors for the first time in September 2011, Newlyn School of Art is a dynamic and innovative art school situated in the heart of the famous artistic colony of Newlyn. It’s located just a few hundred yards from where the Forbes School of Painting was run by Stanhope Forbes, the ‘father’ of the Newlyn School of painters, between 1899 and 1938.
Newlyn Fish Festival, August
Celebrate all things fishy at the end of August in one of Cornwall’s most distinctive and original fishing ports.
Satisfy your appetite with the best seafood you can get whilst enjoying great cooking demos, live entertainment or bidding at the seafood auction.
August Bank Holiday Monday sees the annual Cornish celebration of the sea, fishing and seafood at the annual Newlyn Fish Festival, where you will find more fish than you can shake a mermaid’s tail at!
More information at www.newlynfishfestival.org.uk
The historic capital of west Cornwall, Penzance is the cultural and business centre of the region. Set amongst the stunning scenery of Mount’s Bay and only ten miles from Land’s End, there’s a palpable aura of ancient beauty surrounding the town. Penzance is an outstanding town – there’s so much to do here! Whether you fancy exploring the heathery moors and craggy cliffs, or surfing the waves and relaxing on the pristine sands of the beaches, your needs are always catered for. With all this and easy connections to the rest of Cornwall and the UK, you couldn’t ask for a better place to stay!
Golowan Festival, June
The Golowan Festival in Penzance celebrates midsummer with a packed programme of art, cultural and fun events throughout the town, culminating in the Mazey Day procession and Quay Harbour day. Next year’s programme is in preparation; register for the newsletter at www.golowanfestival.org to keep up to date and be sure to book your stay at Panorama early!
Penzance Literary Festival, July
Established in 2010, Penzance Literary Festival has grown into one of the UK’s favourite festivals for authors and visitors. The annual Litfest takes place at the beginning of July and features an eclectic programme of talks and events. Visit www.pzlitfest.co.uk for more details.
Montol Festival, December
The Montol Festival is an annual heritage, arts and community festival in Penzance, held between the 14th and 22nd of December each year. The festival is a revival or reinterpretation of many of the traditional Cornish midwinter traditions and Christmas traditions formerly practised in and around the Penzance area.
St Michael’s Mount
The iconic island of St Michael’s Mount rises gracefully to the castle and church at its summit. Accessible on foot at low tide across a causeway, at other times it is reached by a short evocative boat trip. The oldest surviving buildings date from the 12th century, when a Benedictine priory was founded here. Following the English Civil War, the island was acquired by the St Aubyn family, who still live in the castle. In the intervening years many additions and alterations were made to convert it for use as a mansion house. Fascinating rooms from different eras include the mid-18th-century Gothic-style Blue Drawing Room.
Every year thousands of visitors flock to west Cornwall by car and by coach to see the Christmas lights in the towns and villages.
Both Newlyn and Mousehole are famous for their lights. In Newlyn, Father Christmas arrives by the Penlee Lifeboat for the big switch-on, more details on their Facebook page. The Mousehole lights are usually switched on the following day at 7.30pm, see website for more information.
Angarrack, near Hayle, is also worth visiting for their 12 days of Christmas displays. In fact, nearly all the local villages and towns arrange some fantastic decorative lights and residents take great pride in decorating their windows as well. If you’re staying with us around Christmas, please ask for this year’s recommendations.
Chysauster Ancient Village
Chysauster is an ancient Celtic settlement, originally occupied almost 2,000 years ago. The ‘village’ consisted of eight stone-walled homesteads known as ‘courtyard houses’, which are only found on the Land’s End peninsula and the Isles of Scilly. Each house had an open central courtyard surrounded by a number of thatched rooms. The houses form one of the oldest village streets in the country.
Cape Cornwall Golf and Leisure
Walking the Cape Cornwall golf course you could easily be forgiven for thinking that it was one of the oldest golf courses in England. Yet it was only designed in 1990 by Bob Hamilton, who also designed courses in Scotland and Singapore.
It is a truly natural course, ranging over both farmland and cliff tops and presents the golfer with a mix of challenging holes, and stunning views. ‘Challenging’ is indeed the most often used word when golfers return to the clubhouse, particularly on a windy day.
Land’s End is the most westerly point of the British mainland and the closest to the North American continent. Looking out to sea from here allows the mind to appreciate the scale of the Atlantic Ocean, seeming to stretch beyond the horizon forever. The granite cliffs, which make up the coastline of west Cornwall, are seen at their best here where the combination of the power of the sea and the strength of the cliffs reduce man to a mere spectator of nature. On a clear day, the Isles of Scilly can be seen lying just on that horizon. Closer to shore is the Longships Lighthouse, just over a mile out to sea, while in the distance, about six miles to the south-west, can be seen the Wolf Rock lighthouse.
Isles of Scilly
Panorama Guest House is a popular place to stay overnight for visitors travelling to the Isles of Scilly.
Warmed by the Gulf Stream, buffeted by the Atlantic, and relying on sea and air links with the mainland, the unique Isles of Scilly are a world apart. Populated by a friendly community of just over 2,000 islanders, sub-tropical Scilly has a tranquillity and a quality of life long lost to less isolated places.
Exotic plants and wild flowers, ancient cairns and crumbling castles, sparkling white sands by an azure sea – all just 28 miles from Land’s End.
Take a boat trip to the Isles of Scilly by the Scillonian III from Penzance. Alternatively fly from Land’s End aerodrome, Penzance Heliport or Newquay Airport.