I've lived in Penzance for almost seventeen years, and I've thought about doing a 'locals guide' to my home town for a while, but it wasn't until I read about Free People's blogging competition that I actually decided to grab my camera and my friend Nicole and hit the streets of Penzance, looking to document all of the little places I've loved through the years.
And it wasn't until I walked home (past the railway station and up the hill) that I realised how much I'm part of this town, how much of me I've given to it, like being part of the Golowan festival, having summer jobs in the cafes and museums, spending hours in the galleries, swimming off the promenade; even going out on a
Saturday night with my friends. It made me remember that I actually quite like it here, and think how much I'll miss it when I move to London in September.
I urge you to visit Penzance, even if just for a day, because although it may be a little dogeared, and have its fair share of eccentric characters, it has a whole-lot of heart.
Petersfield Book Shop
This tiny little bookshop is crammed to the tiles with shelves and shelves of books on every possible subject and in a vast array of languages too. It specialises in antique books, plays jazz music from a record player, and any wall not covered in books is plastered with paintings. It's one of those places you could lose a whole day in.
The Lost & Found Cafe
Just down the street from the bookshop is the lovely little Lost & Found cafe. I would kill for their cake (try the lemon polenta, the courgette, and the chocolate truffle), and their coffees are pretty good too. Nicole took an instant liking to the craft table as I photographed the interior. It's fairly new, and hidden away from the busiest part of town so it's a good place for a bit of peace and quiet.
Chapel Street Arcade
If you're one for digging for gold then the Arcade on Chapel Street is the perfect place to go. Downstairs is a vintage clothing shop, and upstairs you'll find records, books, furniture, glassware and china, and lots of vintage jewelry. It feels like someone's house (which is a bit weird) but when you see the price of some the items, you feel much more at home yourself.
A secret spot that only locals will know, melancholy hill (as I have titled it) is where I head when I've got things on my mind, or decisions to make. It's very windy, and has the best views of the whole town.
Other places of note in Penzance (which we had no time for) include:
The health food shop and Organic Cafe which has the best salads and natural beauty products ever.
Disused Art-Deco cinema which is used for Love Riot's nye parties, which have the best dj's, tropical alcoholic punches and fancy dress themes (African voodoo bling was last years). I've put gigs on here before and it's super pretty on the inside (red velvet chairs, original 1930 ceiling moldings and gold pillars), but looks terrible on the outside. A true hidden gem.
The Lamp & Whistle Pub
I like this pub because there's really cool paintings hanging on every wall (and some of the ceilings) and the music is always really good. There are rum tasting nights every week, and the pub's smaller size makes for a cosy, friendly atmosphere.
If you've ever lived in Penzance, you probably will have jumped off the prom into the sea at some point, or watched the fireworks, slightly tipsy on Mazey Eve, or had to pull the seaweed off your car after a stormy night. On one end is the Jubilee Bathing Pool (an art-deco lido) and on the other is a brand-new plaza for the skateboarders. It's just really, really pretty.No matter how long you've been living in one place, there is always something different and new to find. Stay curious, and go explore!
|Nicole on the prom|
Today I'm heading to Knee Deep Festival and going to End of the Road Festival later this month, and I'll be travelling across Cornwall on day-trips and (fingers crossed!) start moving house.
I'll be posting a lot more (follow me on Bloglovin' so you don't miss out), but in the mean time you can follow me on twitter @AmyRylett and now instagram @AmyRylett too!
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