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St Ives or Penzance?

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canada
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St Ives or Penzance?

We will have 5 days in Cornwall in mid-June, and I'm having quite a time deciding how to use it. I've come up with reasonable accommodation possibilities both right in St Ives and in Penzance, and can't figure out which would be the better base. Is it better to be based in St. Ives and have to drive out to other parts of the peninsula, or be based in Penzance and want to go to St Ives a few times? (Thinking of traffic congestion and parking) The other part of the question is this - should we use all five days in one or the other, or maybe 3 days in this area and then move a couple of hours east to see another part of Cornwall? Is 5 days too much? (Don't scold me - I've never been there before - Canadian.....) We love scenic walks, quaint towns, galleries and crafts, and have a membership to National Trust. Any suggestions would be grand. I should add that we are driving down from Wales, so will spend some time along the north coast on the way. Thanks for your help!

Cornwall,UK
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for Cornwall, Isles of Scilly
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1. Re: St Ives or Penzance?

It depends how much time you will be spending at your 'base'. if you only want to stay there and will be out touring around most of the time, then Penzance has the better transport links, though to be honest St Ives isn't more than 15 mins drive from the main A30 road. St Ives is a prettier more characterful place, and is tourist orientated. Penzance is more 'ordinary' and cannot compete with St Ives on cuteness and being picturesque. Parking is a big issue at St Ives and you really need accomodation with parking nearby if you stay there. If you stay at Penzance,there is a rail line direct to St ives or a park and ride,so you wouldn't have to take the car.

There is plenty to see in West Cornwall to fill 5 days, inc Lands End (lovely walk along the coast from Sennen Cove) the Minack open air theatre and Porthcurno beach, The Lizard (Britains most Southerly point), St Michaels Mount, plus the beautiful coast path around the entire county which could use up all your time alone, if you liked walking.

Penzance, United...
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2. Re: St Ives or Penzance?

Penzance is my home town, and I agree with everything the previous person said. St Ives is undoubtedly the prettier of the two, but the downside is the parking, and depending on where you are staying, a lot of uphill walking. You don't mention the exact dates of your visit but June 22nd is the start of the annual Golowan festival, which is a very colourful affair.

To find out more about the area, see here …blogspot.co.uk/2011/01/penzance.html

Chepstow, United...
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3. Re: St Ives or Penzance?

I'll just add that Penzance has its attractive areas too...

The harbour with colourful boats and the arrival/departures of the Scillonian ferry (for the Isles of Scilly), and an enjoyable walk from the harbour along the Promenade, passing the Lido pool, to Newlyn where there's a nice little art gallery and good icecream at Jelberts by the bridge. You could walk onwards to Mousehole if you can manage it - you can always catch a bus back!

Or, from midway along the Prom, turn up Morrab Road and stroll up through the Morrab Gardens. At the top exit walk straight up 40yds then turn right along Parade St and then second right into Chapel Street which has a number of interesting buildings and some good eating places. This street will take you back down towards the harbour and The Dolphin Inn which is good.

Edited: 17 May 2013, 18:51
Widnes, United...
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4. Re: St Ives or Penzance?

If your accommodation has parking I would go to St Ives - it will be busy in June but not as bad as late July and August. Penzance is more of a town and it does have its charm but not quite the beauty and 'special light' of St Ives which is what makes it popular with artists. If you are travelling down from Wales take time to visit Port Isaac and Padstow en-route. I will be in St Ives mid June - so the sun should be shining!!!! Have a lovely time - everywhere you visit in Cornwall will be idyllic and five days will not be too long!! My dream is to visit Canada!

Cambridge, United...
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5. Re: St Ives or Penzance?

Whatever you choose there's a good bus link between the two so no need to worry about moving the car if staying in St Ives.

canada
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6. Re: St Ives or Penzance?

Thank you all for the great tips - we have decided on St Ives, and will look forward to exploring that lovely area. Can't wait!

Now.....any good tips on vegetarian eating spots?

Widnes, United...
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7. Re: St Ives or Penzance?

Would suggest:-

Rhubarbs on High Street

Spinacio's on the harbour

The Digey Food Room in The Digey

Trevaskis Farm near to Hayle good too

Lots of good vegetarian pasties too!

canada
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8. Re: St Ives or Penzance?

Thank you! Great to have a place to start.....

Walton-on-the-Naze...
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9. Re: St Ives or Penzance?

St Ives is quite good for vegetarian food. I enjoy the veggie sausage rolls and pasties there. Try The Bean Inn restaurant website for meals too. As others have said, parking can be a nightmare in St Ives, you will need to park and walk into centre, best to head for main car parks. When we first visited there we tried to drive around the narrow cobbled streets and got stuck, big mistake ha ha. Absolutely beautiful place, I love it.

10. Re: St Ives or Penzance?

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