Penzance in the New York Times’ Destinations to Visit in 2017

Penzance ©John Such for Visit Cornwall

Cornwall is a hugely popular holiday destination, for UK residents and international visitors. Boasting over 300 beaches and a varied and rugged coastline, it’s easy to see why the county has won the best holiday destination for 8 consecutive years at the British Travel Awards. But West Cornwall in particular is standing out as must-visit destination for 2017.

The historic coastal town of Penzance specifically has been enjoying the spotlight this month as a hot destination for 2017, featuring in none-other than The New York Times’ ’52 Places to Go in 2017’, up there with Zermatt in Switzerland and Osaka in Japan. Penzance is celebrated for its stunning scenery, unrivalled culinary culture and, of course, the phenomenal popularity of our beloved Poldark TV series.

Boasting one of the mildest climates in the UK, West Cornwall as a whole is a well-rounded destination for holidaymakers. Families will relish the choice of white sand beaches, and how easy it is to hop from the north, south or west coast on this narrow tip of the UK. Sennen Cove & neighbouring Gwenver are shockingly beautiful and perfect for taking to the surf. Those seeking a path less trodden should head to Pedn Vounder, where the shallow azure water pools around swathes of white sand. Culturists will find fulfilment at the iconic sites of Land’s End, The Minack Theatre & St Michael’s Mount, while horticultural enthusiasts will be in their element with a whole host of sub-tropical gardens to wander amongst, not to mention the plethora of wild flowers that adorn the cliff paths and moorland.

The warmer climes of the west produce bumper crops and early springs, making West Cornwall a veritable foodie destination, even by Padstow’s iconic standards. Ben’s Cornish Kitchen in Marazion is a must, with imaginative dishes like venison, accompanied by spiced pumpkin, black garlic, beetroot granola and a port & damson jus. For laid-back dining, St Andrew’s Street Bistro in St Ives is a welcome relief from the thronging crowds of the harbour side. Serving up eclectic and hearty dishes of fresh seafood – think, locally smoked tiger prawns – and locally sourced meats under the command of Chef Neil O’Brien.

Getting There

It may be the western-most tip of the UK, but getting to West Cornwall is easier than you might think: catch a direct train from Paddington to Penzance – the overnight Riviera Sleeper Service is a great choice for passing the time in blissful ignorance. Driving is a common choice, however flying into Newquay is the quickest option, with direct flights from all over the UK and Europe including London, Newcastle, Belfast, Edinburgh, Faro & Dusseldorf, to name a few – as well as indirect flights from New York via Dublin.

Where to Stay

Browse our collection of luxury self-catering accommodation in West Cornwall.