As we all know, west is best, so with pirates, palm trees and beach-front promenades, make this celebrated seaside town your next port call.
Why go there?
Made famous by the sentimental swashbucklers in Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera The Pirates of Penzance, this Cornish port has enjoyed many other dramatic acts during its history. For contemporary visitors, Penzance is the ideal seaside destination for a family day out, with excellent attractions and beautiful scenery.
Where do I start?
Take a trip up Chapel Street, the historic heart of Penzance. Drop in for a pint at the Admiral Benbow pub, which notably features in the opening scenes of the novel Treasure Island, and look out for another literary connection at number 25, the former home of Maria Branwell, mother of the Brontë sisters.
Where should I kip?
Continue along Chapel Street and you can’t miss the Egyptian House, a 19th-century grade I listed building. As the name suggests, this is a small but perfectly formed piece of architecture inspired by ancient Egypt that also houses three guest apartments. If you don’t fancy a flight into Egypt, the nearby Artist Residence is a boutique hotel offering plenty of charm and style.
Get yourself to the Games as Arts/Arts as Games Festival, 10–31 May, at The Exchange Gallery. Visitors can experience live performing robotics installations, playful hybrid music instruments and interactive video pieces and games.
If I do one thing?
Take the plunge at the Art Deco Jubilee lido swimming pool, one of the jewels of Penzance’s promenade with superb views out across to St Michael’s Mount. Built in 1935, the pool has undergone extensive work to complement its classic look with all the amenities that a modern water baby could want.
Penzance train station