Penzance, Cornwall

Back in England last September, I dragged myself away from Cornwall’s lovely Port Isaac and headed down to Penzance, thinking it would be a good spot from which to explore various places on my list: St. Michael’s Mount, Poldark’s mines, the Minack Theatre and St. Ives.

Dragging myself away from sunny Port Isaac

It started raining as I stood on the hill above the town waiting for the bus. The rain increased as the day went on, and by the time I arrived in Penzance, it was so heavy and the wind was so strong, I couldn’t see where to go.

I flopped into one of the taxis, sitting in a queue at the bus depot and he dropped me at the door of my B&B. I rapped the knocker, footsteps thumped down a hall and the door was flung open.

‘You’re too early!’ said the woman.

‘Oh,’ I said, unable to think of anything else.

‘I’ve been trying to contact you.’

‘Have you?’

‘Yes. Didn’t you get my emails? Booking in time is not till four o’clock.’ I’d forgotten about that, what with having spent the day in three different buses and arriving in a typhoon.

‘Um, I don’t have one of those gadgets, yet – um, that has emails.’ She stared at me as if I was from another planet.

‘Oh well, you’re here now. You might as well come in.’ Thank heavens for that. I would have had to stand for the next three-quarters-of-an-hour, flooding her door step. Not a good start to Penzance.

‘Lucky I was home,’ she said, as I dragged my case and bag up five flights of steps, wondering why I always get given the top floor. ‘I almost went out.’ But then she didn’t, so I didn’t understand the fuss.

It was a very nice little room, though the shower right next to the dressing table was unusual.

Still, it did the job. All I wanted was to get dry and warm. I had missed lunch, though, and was starving, so I had to head out again into the typhoon to find something to eat. Coming back, I decided to walk along the promenade. Not a good idea. It was all I could do to keep myself erect.

Penzance promenade

The house was halfway up a steep hill, as everything seems to be in Cornwall.

Image by The London Foodie (on a sunny day)

I let myself in, filled out my breakfast menu for the morning and adjourned to my room to recover. Some days are more like hard work than others when you’re on the road. But it’s all part of the adventure.

By the next afternoon, the rain had stopped and I had a chance for a wander around. I didn’t know what to make of the place. It seemed a bit run down to me, some parts of it, anyway. The promenade itself needed a bit of a spruce up, I thought; empty buildings, graffiti.

On the outskirts of the township, I discovered a main road, edged by large homes, a lot of them rentals by the run-down look of them. Then there were others that were just beautiful.

I ventured down Love Lane, hoping I wouldn’t end up lost, and found an oasis of green. Houses were hidden along both sides with their back gates opening onto it, and I thought what a lovely place it would be to live.

Love Lane

It led all the way back to the promenade via a lake, where I sat for awhile in the sunshine, watching the ducks.

From there, I crossed the road for my first view of an English pebble beach, a strange thing when you’re used to beaches with – well – sand. How do you sun bake on pebbles?

The Promenade-Image by The London Foodie

I pretty much forgave Penzance for my bad start. I’ll leave my difficulties with the bus services (or lack of) for another day, along with that age-old question. Why does every bit of food have to be positively swimming in mayonnaise?






15 thoughts on “Penzance, Cornwall

  1. Oh dear, I’m sorry to read about the standard of hospitality! Why run a business serving the public if your people skills are so awful? We visited Penzance when we were staying in St Ives a few years ago. Like you, I was a bit disappointed but we enjoyed walking along the coast to Mousehole.


  2. Penny Caulfield

    The pebble beaches are a curiosity aren’t they, there are some in France as well, I guess we are just not used to them after our beautiful sandy beaches here. I didn’t get to Penzance but perhaps just as well !

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We are from the U.S. and were new to driving in the U.K. Penzance was our second night. On our first night, we learned that unlike the massive US, one couldn’t just drive into a motel at the last minute, find a room and a huge parking lot. So we called ahead to Penzance and and asked the proprietor of a little B&B if they had parking. He said yes, but when we got in, he got into the car with me and we drove around to find a spot on the street and he helped move our bags back to the hotel. Nonetheless, we had a great visit to the town.

    Liked by 1 person

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