What’s happening in and around Penzance this year

The historic Jubilee Pool Lido in Penzance, Cornwall, by Ian Wool

The historic Jubilee Pool Lido in Penzance, Cornwall, by Ian Wool - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

From open air theatre to groundbreaking film-making, swimming in one of the world’s best lidos to celebrating Cornwall’s fishing heritage and the arts, Penzance has a packed programme in 2018 – and here’s a few of the best

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The Minack Theatre


Sitting a short stop away is The Minack Theatre which opens for its summer season in March. This month family favourite The Railway Children from 3-14 April. This unique theatre perched on the cliffs high above the Atlantic ocean boasts a full programme of drama, musicals and opera every summer, together with music, comedy and story-telling which includes HENRY IV (Part 1), family favourite The Railway Children and Around the World in Eighty Days.

Explore the full programme at minack.com/2018season

Bringing Home the Catch: Art and Fishing in Newlyn

24 March-9 June 2018

No one can visit Penzance without immersing themselves in the Newlyn School of Artists at Penlee House Museum and Gallery. Throughout the spring, an exhibition traces how the members of The Newlyn School discovered the picturesque fishing village and set about depicting the lives of the local community in the 1880s. this exhibition will feature a wealth of paintings, photographs and artefacts from the period 1880 to 1940.


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The Newlyn International Film Festival

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6-8 April

Penzance has long had a strong tradition of cinema and this year marks the inaugural International Film Festival. There will be series of screenings of shortlisted and prizewinning films in a range of categories throughout the festival, together with a number of talks by leading filmmakers on documentary and interactive and emergent forms of film. Special screenings of poetry films and refugee-related documentaries will also be featured.


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Penlee Park Open Air Theatre

June – September

The summer season runs from June until September, presenting both professional and amateur theatre, opera, comedy and music of the highest quality from both national and local touring companies.


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Golowan Festival

23-28 June

This is a highlight in the Penzance summer calendar when the community comes together to celebrate the Feast of St. John. Expect giants on parade and a packed programme of artists in celebration of music, performing arts and theatre throughout the town. The festival culminates in Mazey Day on 23 June when the streets of Penzance are decorated with greenery and locals and school children dressed in colourful costumes process around the town carrying spectacular sculptures based on local themes including giant fish, ships and pirates.


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Jubilee Pool

June – October

Cornwall’s much-celebrated Art Deco lido- Jubilee Pool on Penzance’s Promenade, is the perfect place for all ages to swim safely in fresh seawater. It’s a stunning sight and it’s easy to see why it is often named among the world’s top ten best lidos. It also boasts a great café.

For prices and opening times head to jubileepool.co.uk

Sea Salts and Sail Festival

13 – 15 July

Over three days, scores of historic vessels assemble in and around the picturesque Mousehole harbour to celebrate Cornwall’s rich maritime heritage. This unique event, held every two years, recreates the sights, sounds and smells of a bygone era when Tom Bawcock and his famous Mousehole Cat would have fished these waters. Crabbers, Beer Luggers, Pilot Cutters, Toshers, Prawners, Trawlers and Skiffs, the names of these craft alone stir the hearts of even the most hardened land lubber. The oldest confirmed boat so far, dates back to 1881, the newest traditional replicas are less than a decade old,


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Newlyn Fish Festival

27 August 2018

Celebrating all things fishy in Britain’s premier fishing port where you can satisfy your appetite with the best seafood you’re likely to find anywhere and help to raise money for the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. Held on the August Bank Holiday, the event gives visitors access to the usually off-limits Newlyn Harbour where around 60 different fish are landed each day. There are cookery demonstrations, luggers in the harbour, trawlers racing, gigs sprinting, children’s rides and food, drink and craft stalls to peruse.


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St Michael’s Mount special service

30 September

The stunning St Michael’s Mount opened its castle doors and gardens to visitors in March with a series of events. Climb to the summit of the castle and attend the special church service to celebrate St Michael’s Day - which will be held on Sunday 30 September as part of our regular Sunday church service, held in the historic chapel which dates back to 1135.

Find out more about events and activities through its season at stmichaelsmount.co.uk/events

Mousehole Christmas Lights

December – January 2019

The beautiful harbour of Mousehole is decked in lights for the festive period. 2018 will mark its 55th year and promises to be one of the highlights of Cornwall’s Christmas calendar.

Traditionally the lights are dimmed on 19 December between 8pm and 9pm to mark the Penlee Lifeboat disaster when the Solomon Browne sank on December 19, 1981 and the eight lifeboat men were killed trying to save the crew.