West Cornwall

At the heart of art, to the beat of the Atlantic ocean...

 

Cornwall's wildest and most beautiful peninsula encircles Penzance. It's a unique and elemental embrace of land, sea, and sky. On one side bordered by charming fishing villages and gold sand beaches, upon which the English Channel laps. On the other, by cliffs that rise from green hills and stop just shy of the frothing Atlantic Ocean. West Cornwall delivers high drama and aesthetic bliss. In tones of deep grass green, foaming sea-capped white, and balmy blue flecked with sunlight.

Be inspired by worldclass culture, then make like the artists themselves and find the sublime outside. Hike the coast path, swim in the ocean, laze on warm sand. Return to civilisation to potter in harbours, dine al fresco overlooking glittering blue, roam subtropical gardens and stately homes. Then set out down the next county lane. In search of that rare magic that suffuses Cornwall's wild west.

 

St Michael's Mount

St Michael's Mount

'Through time and tide' is an apt strapline for this unique tidal island. St Michael's Mount rises out of the sea, with the church and castle at its summit. It's an iconic sight that is synonymous with Penzance. Over many centuries the town has evolved while the island has retained its distinctive fairytale silhouette. At low tide wander the tidal causeway to the island, but when the waters meet you can take a short boat trip across.

The ancient aspect of the island as viewed from across the water deepens when you step ashore. The island was acquired by the St Aubyn family after the English Civil War, they live in the castle to this day. Inside you can explore an eclectic range of rooms from the centuries, including the mid-18th-century Gothic Blue Drawing Room. Step outside and the terraced gardens evoke an Italian summer. Subtropical succulents cling to hot stone walls and sprays of coastal flowers waft in the breeze, surrounded by a near 360 degrees of blue sea and sky.

 

The Eden Project

The 8th Wonder of the World and home to the world's largest greenhouse. Two gigantic geodesic conservatory 'biomes' step between continents. One is a lush and majestic rainforest, complete with towering trees, a waterfall, a host of exotic wildlife, and even a canopy zip line. In the other the gentle dry heat releases the aromatic scents of the fruits and flowers of the Mediterranean, South Africa, and California.

Outside there are extensive grounds which are landscaped and produce tea, lavender, sunflowers and hemp. Across the valley that where the Eden Project nestles you'll find quirky art installations, fascinating science experiements, and ecological knowledge. The trestle tabled Cafe is a delight and there are great facilities for visitors with disabilties.

The Eden Project
The Golowan Festival

The Golowan Festival

Immerse yourself Cornwall's ancient culture by celebrating Golowan, heathen Cornish Midsummer. At the summer solstice, the rich hues of the shortest night are broken by a line of bright star points that span the length of the county. These hilltop fires were probably a form of sun worship to mark the longest day. Each solstice they blaze into the darkness as they have done since the time of the pagan Celts. 

Today's Golowan Festival brings past and present together in a community wide celebration of the solstice and the traditional Feast of St. John. Penzance town looks at its best with the Golowan Band, Penglaz, Serpent Dances, and hundreds of local performers across the full ten day event programme.

 

Town Centre

Penzance town centre is only a 10 minute stroll from our door, and a pretty one at that. A short walk along the waterfront takes you to the heart of town. You'll find all the amenities you could need, and plenty you'll just like. From independent art galleries and  shops selling local produce and handmade gifts, to banks and ATMs (recommended before visiting beach shacks and rural pubs).

As Cornwall's most westerly market town, Penzance is full of historic attractions. Like the 1930s Lido, or the oldest street, Chapel street, which is well worth an appreciative wander. On this friendly hub a fantastic array of cafes, pubs, and restaurants cater for all tastes.

Town Centre
St Ives

St Ives

Few places of St Ive's size have so strong an indentity. Like Venice or London, St Ives has a tangible atmosphere and a pull that draws in visitors time and again. Maybe it is the sight of the white buildings against azure waters, and the knowledge that it has inspired some of the world's art greats. Barbara Hepworth, Virginia Woolf, Peter Lanyon. 

All have St Ives in common, an elemental place of shifting light and crying gulls. Visit the Tate Modern and the Barbara Hepworth Garden, but don't neglect the tens of independent galleries too. You may find the greats of tomorrow today. 

Lands End

Finis-terre. Something magical happens at the land's end. You'll find it nine miles west of Penzance, at the most westerly point of the English mainland. On a clear day, look out for the Isles of Scilly on the horizon - a group of small, very beautiful, islands. Closer to shore is Longships Lighthouse, just over a mile out to sea, while in the distance, six miles to the southwest, lies Wolf Rock lighthouse.

Looking out to sea from here is a transformative experience. Thousands of miles of the Atlantic Ocean separating England from North America. Granite cliffs, oceanic air, down to churning waves and salt-spray.

Lands End