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All Destinations UK Cornwall Penzance

Ships, smugglers and a magical island approached by a walkway: this major Cornish port has much to offer inquisitive guests.

Far down the Cornish peninsula, tucked into its claw foot is the major maritime port of Penzance, gateway to the Isles of Scilly, and popular with guests who are staying nearby and looking for a bit of town life. With the little villages of Mousehole and Marazion on either side, the rather bigger town of Penzance has all the shops, museums and attractions that make up a good day out. The harbour, once essential for Cornwall's tin trade, still does a busy line in fishing, and is also the ferry terminal for trips across to the pretty Scillies, almost 30 miles out to sea.

These islands are known for their mild microclimate, and the waving palms and sub-tropical plants can also be found in Penzance. A few metres off-shore is another unique sight: the tiny little island of St Michael's Mount, floating just out to sea (there's a twin island in France of the same name). The stunning castle and its extensive grounds and gardens make for a fun day's exploring and the whole place is accessible by a covered causeway when the tide is down; depending on timings, guests can hop on a boat to make the trip when the path is covered over again by waves.

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