Nestled in a corner of glorious Mount's Bay, Penzance has long been one of Cornwall's gems. Soak up the oldeworlde pirate atmosphere as you discover the cobbled alleyways, winding streets, subtropical gardens and dockside taverns for which the town is famous. And do not forget to try an authentic Cornish pastie while in town. Choose two of the half-day shore excursions below :-
Penzance Walking Tour
Penzance is the principal town on the Land's End peninsula and is only 16 kilometres from the Land's End landmark itself. With a population of approximately 20,000, it is both a market town and a popular tourist destination and features an attractive promenade on the sea front. On this walking tour today, enjoy a leisurely stroll through the town and some free time in Penzance.
Pendeen to Botallack Coastal Walk
After a short transfer by coach from Penzance port, arrive at Pendeen, where the Pendeen Watch Lighthouse has been guiding passing vessels around Pendeen for nearly 100 years. Head off on a guided exploration hike of Cornwall's fascinating mining heritage, stopping at the dramatic clifftop setting of Levant. Levant was known as the queen of Cornwall's submarine mines, today, the surviving buildings and ruins offer a window to another world, where men and women toiled to extract the riches of the earth from beneath the crashing waves. Enjoy the delightful walk along the coastal path dotted with iconic mine chimneys and engine houses, to Botallack Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Botallack's World Heritage status testifies not only to the importance of its historical features, but also to the importance of the mining landscape and the technological developments and scientific research that took place here. The Cornish had a huge influence on the development of mining throughout the world, with over 250,000 people having left Cornwall between 1815 and 1915 to work in other mining areas.
Land's End and St Ives
Transfer by coach from Penzance to arrive at iconic Land's End, where England's westernmost point on the mainland plunges into the sea at the end of the cornish peninsula. Stroll around the rocky plateau where, if the day is clear, fine views of the steep granite cliffs and rugged coastal scenery can be enjoyed. For generations of English mariners, sighting Land's End meant the end of a long, often arduous journey, while watching it fade from view over the stern meant the beginning of unknown adventures to come.
Next, set off on a scenic drive to the north coast and the picturesque artists' haven of St Ives. The dazzling jewel in Cornwall's crown, St Ives is a charming seaside town and fishing harbour. Generations of artists have been inspired by the area's undeniable natural beauty, and seduced by the clarity of light unique to St Ives and its romantic coastal scenery.
Scenic Drive of Cornwall's Highlights
Your scenic exploration of Cornwall's highlights begins with a drive to St Ives Bay on the north coast. Passing near to author Rosamunde Pilcher's birthplace of Lelant, the journey heads east towards Camborne and Redruth. Threading through narrow country lanes, past small granite cottages and stern Methodist chapels, with old, abandoned engine houses dotting the undulating landscape, we get a sense of a time when this area was the beating heart of Cornwall's mining industry. Rising high over Camborne and Redruth is the spectacular tor, Carn Brea, a 27-metre (90-foot) granite column built in 1836 as a tribute to Francis Bassett, a philanthropist and member of the most important mining family in the area. Arrive in the maritime port of Falmouth, which sits on the county's south coast at the end of the Carrick Roads Estuary. Falmouth is the traditional gateway to the Atlantic and one of the world's greatest sailing harbours. After a comfort break, your journey continues towards historical Pendennis Headland, where the route ascends, offering a view over the dockyard below and a spectacular vista out across Falmouth Harbour. The headland is dominated by Pendennis Castle, one of the finest of the mighty fortresses built by Henry VIII to defend the Cornwall against invasion. The route ventures past the golden sand of Gyllyngvase Beach as you set off west to the quaint market town of Marazion. From here, pause to enjoy spectacular views of the world-renowned St Michael's Mount. Separated from the mainland by a tidal causeway, this is no dusty museum or dormant relic of a past life. Home to a bustling island
community, life on this craggy island is ruled by the tides and weather, with crystal-clear waters lapping the shores during the summer months and waves lashing the steep cliffs during winter storms. It will then be time to board the coach for the short journey back to Penzance.
Trebah Garden and Cornish Cream Tea
After crossing the Cornish countryside by coach from Penzance, with views out to sea of the renowned St Michael's Mount, arrive at Trebah, a beautiful subtropical Cornish ravine garden. Rated as one of the 80 finest gardens in the world, Trebah's 10 hectares (26 acres) are home to a stunning collection of rare and exotic plants, trees and shrubs, which cascade into a private and secluded beach on the tranquil Helford River. Upon arrival at Trebah, set off on a guided tour of the stunning garden, which begins with a spectacular view across
the valley. En route to the water gardens with their waterfalls and koi carp, pass under canopies bursting with blooms. See glades of 100-year-old tree ferns, and giant gunneva or rhubarb, that is five metres high, as your memorable walk through this fascinating space continues to Rhododendron Valley and Hydrangea Valley. The journey down through the sheltered garden leads to the private beach, a lovely spot to take in the views of one of the world's most beautiful sailing spots. After your tour of the garden, pause to indulge in a delicious Cornish tradition, a scrumptious cream tea consisting of a freshly baked scone, strawberry jam, thick Cornish clotted cream and a cup of tea or coffee. Free time follows, so explore the garden at your leisure or perhaps shop for souvenirs in the charming gift shop before boarding the coach for the journey back to Penzance.