Penzance, the farthest outpost in Cornwall, was once a touchstone for smugglers and pirates. For a taste of adventure, explore the surfing beaches and wild clifftop walks in this far-flung corner of England, with a stay at one of the best hotels in Penzance.
This bed and breakfast – just off the town’s promenade – is a snug retreat. The rooms aren’t stuffed with modern conveniences, but pine furniture in warm tones, big fluffy towels and amiable owners armed with plenty of local recommendations make it a homely base for exploring Cornwall. Single, double and family rooms are all available, and the affordable prices include a filling continental and cooked breakfast whipped up with local produce.
With its Queen Anne facade and 300-year history, this old Cornish manor house carries a lot of heritage. While the rooms have been renovated, they retain the grandeur of a large country pile, and on-site glamping tents cater to more adventurous parties. Period features such as ruffled curtains and roll-top baths all add to the old-fashioned vibe, allowing you to live out your Jane Austen fantasies in style. After a full English breakfast in the dining room, take a stroll around the stately gardens before heading into Penzance, which is just a short drive down the road.
This pastel paradise is a Grade II-listed building which features eight boutique bedrooms, some of which have been refurbished as recently as 2018. Light and feminine but not overly saccharine, rooms feature blush-coloured soft furnishings, button-back armchairs and French armoires. Breakfast is available in a beautiful sunroom from which you can enjoy views of the garden while sipping your morning coffee. Right in the centre of town, it offers a great base for exploring Cornwall.
Just south of Penzance, in the sleepy fishing village of Mousehole, the Ship Inn sits right on the seafront. Standard rooms have sunny window seats and town views, but it’s worth paying a little more for a Select or Deluxe room, which have sash windows overlooking the historic harbour. The views continue downstairs in the traditional pub, which serves classic ale-battered fish and chips and Sunday roasts – the perfect pick-me-up after a day exploring Cornwall’s coastal cliffs.
Sofia Vyas contributed additional reporting to this article.