If you’re looking for true taste of Cornish life, Newlyn is the perfect choice. From the working harbour where you can watch the catch of the day arriving back at shore to the traditional white washed cottages and nearby beaches, you’re sure to fall in love with this Cornish gem.
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Very much a working port (the largest in England in fact), holidays in Newlyn are also fast becoming sought-after as a terrific place to experience all that the Cornish coast has to offer. With events spanning every season including its famous Christmas lights ‘switch-on’, a swathe of upmarket eateries, independent shops and galleries, and its proximity to some of the best beaches in Cornwall, Newlyn offers a terrific all-rounder for seaside holidays with friends and family.
If you’re a local to the area, you’ll be all too familiar with The Lands End Coaster (also known as The Atlantic Coaster)– an open top bus which tours the coastline of West Cornwall between Penzance and Land’s End. Just a stone’s throw from Newlyn, the bus leaves from its base at Penzance so if you’re an early riser you can hop aboard first thing and have time to stop off in the neighbouring towns and villages of Marazion, Porthcurno, Zennor, Sennen and St Ives.
If you like a scenic amble why not get off at Lands End and walk to Sennen where you can pick up the next bus, or stop in at St Ives for lunch on the harbour.
Fancy a swim but don’t like cold water? Jubilee Pool on Penzance prom is one of the UK’s most iconic Art Deco seawater lidos and now features a geothermal pool which is permanently heated to between 30 and 35 degrees, so you’ll be able to enjoy open air swimming at any time of the year.
Of course, if you don’t mind chillier temperatures, you have the main and training pools to choose from where you can take a dip or practice your lengths, and if you feel like refuelling afterwards, you can enjoy coffee and light bites in the café which overlooks the sea.
Catch the train from Penzance to St Ives. Starting your journey in Mounts Bay you’ll be treated to views of St Michaels Mount right off the bat, with more sea and coast panoramas along the way. As you pass St Erth, the views from Lelant to St Ives are out of this world and it’s easy to see why the route was not only a favourite of Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, but is also billed as one of the top ten most scenic railway journeys in all the UK.
Very possibly the only cinema in the UK to be built into a cliff, Newlyn Filmhouse is a swish arthouse cinema with its own bar and restaurant that wouldn’t look out of place in a cosmopolitan city like Bristol or London. Once a disused fish processing plant, the building has been transformed into a two-screen cinema, showing everything from subtitled foreign movies to big screen blockbusters and we think it’s a must visit attraction for the whole family while staying in the area.
Being a working fishing port, you can count on Newlyn offering some of the best of locally caught fresh fish and seafood there is. Pop down to the quay and pick up your own fresh ingredients for a crab sandwich you can whip together in your Newlyn holiday home, or if you’d prefer to be treated to a sit down meal, take your pick from these fabulous restaurants which can be found dotted around town:
Part-owned by a local fishmonger and named after an old fishing boat from Newlyn, this modern, wood-clad ‘shack’ is set on the harbourside just a few hundred metres from the fish market. Dishes are designed for sharing; with all the fish landed at Newlyn cooked simply on the grill. Natural wines are served by the glass and carafe, and guests can sit on the covered waterside terrace.
Set in the heart of the village this restaurants is something of an icon in west Cornwall. The menu comprises primarily of taster plates consisting of local Cornish fish and seafood that allow guests the chance to sample the area’s best local produce. The restaurant is seasonal and closes during the winter months, reopening its doors to the public in early February.
Set right on the harbour wall, this historic maritime pub is owned and run by Chef and restaurateur Ben Tunnicliffe and is something of a must-visit dining destination for seafood lovers. Built in 1717, this proper Cornish pub has been welcoming seafarers, miners and artists for over 300 years, and now it’s a haven for food lovers who can cosy around the wood-burner during the winter months or enjoy the sunshine out on the terrace during the warmer. The pub is dog-friendly, making it the perfect pit-stop for dog owners out and about exploring West Penwith.
This Brasserie, Pizzeria and Bar can be found right in the centre of Newlyn and offers delicious Italian-inspired dishes in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Expect hearty mains like Melanzane Parmigiana, Spaghetti Carbonara, and Macaroni Ciccioni, as well as hand rolled and stretched sourdough pizzas. The Bridge is dog-friendly too so dog-owners can enjoy dinner on the covered, heated patio with their canines alongside.
Newlyn actually has three beaches. The sandy beach in the town itself is excellent for dog-walking as it allows dogs all year round. The second is a pebble stretch which extends off the Penzance Promenade beach, and the third, Roskilly (which also allows dogs all year round, lies just to the west of Newlyn.
There are also several incredible beaches that lie not too far from the town itself and these include Marazion, Sennen, Perranuthnoe, Gwithian, Porthcurno, Porthgwarra and Cape Cornwall which is great for rock pooling.
We think Newlyn is a terrific base for family holidays in west Cornwall. Not only are there fantastic beaches like Sennen, Porthcurno and Marazion within just a short drive of the village.
And if you’re looking for a full day of activity you’ll find adventure on the family-friendly landmark of St Michael’s Mount nearby (about 15 minutes’ drive), fun-filled play at the award-winning Paradise Park with JungleBarn indoor play centre, and discovery at PK Porthcurno’s Global Museum of Telecommunications (both about 20 minutes’ drive away).
The South West Coast Path lies close by and offers several good walks in the area including the flat 2-mile walk from Penzance to Marazion along the seawall. The surfaced path is suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs and offers wonderful views across Mounts Bay. It’s also particularly good for dogs as it passes a beach and pubs where dogs are welcome.
You can also opt to walk in the opposite direction to the charming village of Mousehole – a one-way walk through Newlyn to starry gazy pie country. Catch the bus back to Penzance after a browse through the place Dylan Thomas called ‘the prettiest village in England.’
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