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  • Claire Possee

Honeymoon in Penzance

I married my husband James, in September 2020. We had ‘eloped’ to Gretna Green which was a truly magical experience. However, mainly because of Coronavirus we hadn’t had chance to fit in a honeymoon. So instead, we waited until this year and booked ourselves a UK getaway – I much prefer that term to the ubiquitous ‘staycation.’ I was intrigued to know what Penzance was like in the 21st century as the last time I had visited with my family was around 1987. James had never had a holiday there, so it looked like an ideal place to book an Airbnb, get the train tickets arranged and head off for a long weekend. We made the booking for 24th September to ensure we would be settled in well for our anniversary on the Saturday.


Day 1 – Reaching our destination

After travelling down by train from Basingstoke to Exeter St David’s and then onto Plymouth, we arrived at Penzance station around 3pm. We took the winding cobbled streets up to our apartment, just off the main high street, and negotiated the various doors and entry codes to gain access. It looked like a reasonable and well-furnished pad. Time to stock up on essential foods for our evening meal and breakfasts – oh and some drinks – to start the holiday off in a suitable way.


When we’d got our bearings on the high street, we shopped in the Tesco Express – not unlike everyone else it seemed. In the evening we had our chosen meal and enjoyed some much-needed Pimm’s. We toasted our trip and our upcoming anniversary.


Day 2 – Land’s End

Once we had enjoyed a cosy breakfast of croissants and coffee, we headed off to the bus station to wait for the local bus. It would take us on a tour around the coastal roads to Land’s End. The driver was very adept at motoring us up the very steep hills and equally skilled at stopping at short notice without passengers flying out of their seats. In these times of Covid (bearing in mind Cornwall still has proportionally high infection rates) we were pleased to be on the top deck with an open seated area behind us.


An hour had passed, and we were at our destination. Unfortunately, the mist and poor visibility that we had encountered in Penzance earlier had followed us to Land’s End. The upside was the theme park that embraced the tourist spot had a welcoming café. On our way there we wandered through the park and saw some curious attractions. Amongst the mishmash of ghost trains and cinema experiences we found an old friend, Morph. You may know of the Claymation character from ‘Take Hart’ (back in the ‘70s and ‘80s) where he starred alongside the brilliant artist and presenter, Tony Hart. If you aren’t acquainted look him up on YouTube – you won’t be disappointed.


Soup and refreshments were enjoyed after this diversion and then we ventured out in the strengthening winds to view the renowned rocks and swirling sea. Having never been before we had nothing to compare it to, but I would say it’s unnecessary to charge for photos at the famous signpost landmark. I’m not sure but I think the fee for photos is around £10 – just as a warning in case you are thinking of visiting. We swerved this option and took some dramatic shots of the rugged outcrop instead.


It was time to get back on the bus for our return to Penzance and with the wind in our hair we walked back to the stop in readiness. Overall, it was a good trip out despite the squally weather. We finished the day by having a delicious meal at the Boatshed restaurant in Penzance. I can highly recommend their tuna steak with new potatoes and green beans, washed down with a fruity rose wine.


Day 3-4 – Lido Day and Departure

For the second half of our honeymoon/anniversary weekend we had decided to sample the aquatic delights of the Jubilee Lido on the seafront at Penzance. The sea water lido has been in existence since 1935 and has been run by the local community since 2017. Being keen swimmers and wanting a bit of Cornwall culture we had booked ourselves in for the 9.30am-1pm timeslot. The only snag was the weather – when we’d booked in advance for the main pool the sun was shining and the temperature in the south was around 22c. However, when we arrived at the pool on the Sunday it was only around 16c with the pool only slightly warmer at around 18c. Now James and I are not that dedicated to the cool waters, so we upgraded to the geothermal pool which was much warmer at 33c. Definitely the better option on the day. We finished our lido trip by having a warming coffee in the café. The whole experience was excellent, and I’d recommend anyone visiting Penzance to try out the Jubilee Lido.


Swimming always makes me hungry, so the next stop was to try out The Quirky Bird café on the high street. Another highpoint, this small but fun café serves up a variety of breakfast and lunch items. I ordered the jacket potato with cheese and salad, while James had the traditional breakfast which looked very tasty. It was good to do some people-watching while we enjoyed our lunch.


The day was topped off by having a relaxing afternoon and evening back at the apartment. Sadly, the weather had deteriorated further, and we had heard a storm was coming in, so it was best that we had done all our activities earlier in the day.


On the morning of our departure, we had an update about the storm. It wasn’t good news at all: the fierce winds and lashing rain had felled a fair few trees and heavy branches nationally. One tree had fallen on the railway line at Truro, typically on our main route home. James checked our route details through the rail app and yes there were severe delays. I won’t bore you with the full story but it’s enough to say we had to be very patient as we set out to Penzance station at 8.40am to commence travel. Waiting times, diversions and further delays meant we eventually got back home to Basingstoke at around 6pm, 3 hours later than originally planned. This didn’t detract at all from what was a very memorable and wonderful time away with James. A much-needed ‘recharge of the batteries’ was fulfilled. We hope to return to Penzance to visit some other landmarks and attractions that we didn’t have time for first time around. Thank you, Penzance, you are a perfect honeymoon destination.


Land's End

Land's End Rocks

Morph and Me

Jubilee Lido

Penzance Mood

The Quirky Bird Cafe

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