Mounts Bay Things to See and Do
Where would you like to go today? A garden, a heritage site, the beach, the shops? The 40-mile sweep of Mount’s Bay has so many different towns, villages and attractions to visit, as well as your choice of beautiful beaches, harbours and coves. Here’s a closer look at the best-loved places in western Mount’s Bay.
Marazion is home to Mount’s Bay’s best-known attraction: St Michael’s Mount. The tidal island, topped by its medieval castle, dominates this stretch of the Bay. Depending on the tide, visitors can walk the ancient causeway or catch one of the small passenger ferries across to the Mount’s harbour. Explore the castle and gardens, then treat yourself to a well-earned ice cream or pasty in the village.
Back across the causeway, Marazion itself is worth exploring. As well as its fabulous sandy beach (a great one for kids), the bustling town has a good selection of galleries and gift shops, as well as plenty of places to eat. Locals’ tip: Marazion quietens down after five-ish, so provided the tide is right, this is the loveliest place for a peaceful evening swim.
As West Cornwall’s largest town, there’s always a lot going on in Penzance. It’s very much a locals’ town as well as a visitor destination, giving it a lively, friendly and perhaps more “real” feel. It’s also the place to come to catch the Scillonian or helicopter over to Scilly (definitely worth a day trip during your stay here).
There are beaches to either side of the town, although the most popular place for a dip has to be the stunning Art Deco lido on the prom. Jubilee Pool boasts a geothermal pool and an excellent cafe as well as its large, sea-fed swimming space. Away from the coast, Penzance is a maze of fascinating streets, full of shops, galleries and places to eat. It’s also an excellent town for pleasant green spaces: try Penlee Park or the subtropical Morrab Gardens (both free).
Carry on along Penzance prom, and you’ll soon reach Newlyn. Famous for fish and art, Newlyn is a lively place, made up of winding little lanes, old fisher cottages, and pubs best described as “characterful”. Newlyn is actually one of the largest fishing ports in England: take a walk past the harbour, and you’ll get an idea of the scale (sorry) of the operation here.
It was a combination of Newlyn’s picturesque fishing community and wild surrounding landscape that drew artists here in the 19th century, forming the influential Newlyn School of Art. Today, you’ll find several independent galleries here, as well as Newlyn Art Gallery (near the prom). Relax in the comfort of Newlyn Filmhouse or head inland to explore the beautiful Trewidden Garden.
Again, keep heading west and you’ll arrive in Mousehole. If you like pretty cottages and colourful boats, “Mowzal” with its tiny beach and enclosed little harbour is simply idyllic. Wander around its warren of old houses, before heading down for a paddle or a fish around in the rock pools. There’s a choice of places to eat, drink or grab a picnic: it’s just the perfect place to spend a sunny day.
Mousehole also comes alive in the winter, when the streets and harbour are festooned with lights, and most of Cornwall turns out to see them. The liveliest night is Tom Bawcock’s Eve (23 December), when the stargazy pie is brought out to celebrate this legendary fisherman (read Antonia Barber’s The Mousehole Cat to find out more). The lights are dimmed on the 19th to honour the crew of the lifeboat Solomon Browne, who lost their lives on this date in 1981: both these dates remind us of the connection between the community in Mousehole and the sea.
Eureka Escape Cornwall
Eureka Escape Cornwall (Penzance), Penzance, UK
Jubilee Pool Penzance Pool & Cafe, Battery Road, Penzance, UK
Newlyn Filmhouse, The Coombe, Newlyn, Penzance, UK
Penzance Leisure Centre
Penzance Leisure Centre, Saint Clare Street, Penzance, UK
Polgoon Vineyard Ltd, Rosehill Meadow, Penzance, UK
RMV Scillonian III
Penzance Harbour, Wharf Road, Penzance, UK
St Michael’s Mount
Saint Michael’s Mount, Marazion, UK
The Hoxton Special – Watersports
The Hoxton Special – Kitesurf Paddleboard Lessons Hire Coffee Shop, Beach Road, Longrock, Marazion, UK
Trewidden Garden, Penzance, UK