It’s just down the road.
And so easy to take for granted.
There are bits that are tired.
And it suffers from ‘end of the line syndrome’.
But take another look – this town is glorious!
I’ve long loved Penzance.
As a child we came regularly and I sailed my little model yacht on the boating lake.
Slightly older I was entranced by the psychedelic Club Zero, now part of the Abbey Hotel.
And these days I long to stay in one of the 70s flats near the skate park.
Regular sea front walks.
At the moment we’re sharing the car, and I often drop Amanda off at the station for the morning train.
What a joyful task!
Because every morning that we do so Polly and I take 30 minutes or so to walk along a part of the front.
Usually it’s over to Newlyn (stopping at Jelbert’s for ice cream if we’re late enough), a little beach walking, and the rest on the prom.
But at other times I’ll drive to Long Rock and head towards Marazion, hoping for a coffee at the Hoxton Special (but they’re always only just setting up when we pass).
Great van parking here – £1 for 24 hours, amazing view, no facilities.
This is the main attraction for many, and wonderful it is too. Both for lounging at the cafe, and swimming.
There’s a project mooted to heat an area of it with geothermal energy – bring it on! Even for a sea swimmer I find it chilly most of the time.
It costs a fortune to keep the Lido going, and every few years a storm wreaks havoc with it, but what a joy it is to have on our doorstep – may the funds keep rolling in.
Swimming off Penzance.
The more benign south coast is generally better for swimming unless you’re comfortable in the waves.
There are a number of crews who swim off the Battery Rocks behind the pool every day, all year round, and there are painted marker boys out in the bay that help you track your distance.
Amanda and I don’t rank among such hardened souls but we do like to swim off the beach. Ideally we’ll swim on a rising tide when the sea has been warmed by the dark sand which has absorbed many hours of sunlight.
St Michael’s Mount.
I mentioned at the top how easy it is to take places for granted. We even forget that having the fairytale castle of St Michael’s Mount in the bay is truly outstanding.
Visit if you can. Ignore any feelings of doing the tourist thing. It is worth every minute.