There are lots of great things to do in Penzance, Cornwall, a pleasant fishing town in the far southwest of England. With miles of golden, sandy beaches nearby, a charming harbor, and a town center, you won’t be stuck for places to visit in Penzance.
I’ve visited Cornwall almost every year since I was born and think of the place as a second home. Although I prefer the rugged north Cornish coast, there’s no denying the beauty and tranquility of the fishing villages and towns along the south coast such as Penzance.
Whether you want to try your hand at paddle boarding, sunbathe on the beach, or enjoy a Cornish treat such as cream tea, in this article you’ll find the best Penzance attractions, nature walks, and things to do near Penzance.
Below you’ll find a mixture of things to do in Penzance from enjoying the beaches, ocean, and coastal paths, to exploring galleries, museums, and traditional pubs.
1. Go on a Cornish Foraging Wildlife Walk
Unleash your inner Bear Grylls on this fabulous foraging walk along the beautiful Cornish coastline. The tour starts with a foraged tea from the local hedgerows and can also include seaweed diving and tasting of some traditional wild foods.
You’ll also have the chance to look out for dolphins, basking sharks (I’ve seen one myself from the Cornish cliffs), and other wildlife along the coast before finishing up with a glass of elderflower champagne. This is one of the great things to do in Penzance for couples and nature lovers.
2. Penlee House
Penlee House is a large art gallery and museum set within acres of tropical gardens and is one of the most famous Penzance tourist attractions. The onsite Orangery Cafe is the perfect place to indulge in a classic Cornish cream tea with cream from a local dairy.
The museum and gallery are open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm during the summer, and from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm during the winter months.
Admission is £6.00 for adults and £3.00 for children. Penlee House is definitely one of the top places to see in Penzance.
3. Craft a Set of Silver Rings
This fun three-hour workshop will have you crafting your very own set of sterling silver rings to take home.
You don’t need any experience in jewelry making and the class will have you cutting, filing, and texturing personal pieces while learning all about traditional jewelry-making techniques.
The course takes place near Hayle, less than thirty minutes by car from Penzance, and is the perfect idea for a rainy day in Cornwall.
4. Take a Trip to Mousehole
The small fishing village of Mousehole is one of the best attractions near Penzance thanks to its picturesque harbor and rich history. You’ll find narrow, cobbled streets filled with artisan shops, galleries, welcoming pubs, and cafes.
The Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (I recommend listening to his play Under Milk Wood) described Mousehole as “quite the loveliest village in England” as he honeymooned there after getting married in Penzance. Be sure to visit his favorite pub – The Ship Inn – for a pint of Tribute.
5. Visit Longrock Beach
A day at the beach is one of my favorite Cornwall activities and a visit to Longrock is one of the great things to do in Penzance with dogs, the family, or with your significant other. Longrock beach is dog-friendly year-round so it’s a great option if you have a furry friend with you.
This stretch of sand is perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing thanks to its stunning views across to St. Michael’s Mount. It’s just under a mile away from Penzance and so is easily walkable if you fancy some exercise. Visiting the beaches is also one of the great things to do in Penzance for free.