Penlee Park

Penzance is not known as a tourist destination in comparison to the likes of St Ives or Padstow or Newquay, mainly because it does not have the wonderful sandy beaches in those locations. It is more of a working town, a little gritty in places and too many charity shops. It does however have the only promenade in Cornwall and a lovely  art deco Lido which is currently closed for a geothermal project to heat a section of the pool and redevelop the top terrace, due to open in the summer. The town also has some lovely Georgian housing mainly close to the Morrab Gardens and Penlee Park.

Last Friday saw us do an emergency dash to a dentist (not me) and so I had an hour to take a wander around Penlee Park which houses the Penlee House art gallery and museum (above) along with the Orangery café, an open air theatre,  a children’s play area, sensory garden, Victorian pond, Memorial Garden, and the courts for the Penzance tennis club all set in wooded parkland. The parkland surrounding Penlee House was initially planted by J.R. Branwell who died in 1902 and included many rare species from all around the world.

I have visited the Penlee Memorial Garden before and that was my first stop. No-one else was in the garden so I had a lovely half an hour quietly walking around photographing the flowers and listening to the birds.

There are several benches where one can rest and take in the solitude of the garden.

Heading out towards the café you find an unusual sculpture of the ‘The Broccoli Juggler’ by Kurt Jackson, 2015.

Kurt Jackson says, “I live and work within an agricultural community here in the far west of Cornwall, many of my friends and neighbours are farmers. The landscape has been shaped by their activities and by their ancestors before them. In the last few decades their livelihoods have become more tenuous, less certain with market prices falling; labour, transport and production costs rising, and the disruption from extreme weather events more frequent. ‘The Broccoli Juggler’ juggles precariously, throwing up cauliflowers (broccoli in the local dialect), a small tractor and a home whilst perched, balanced on the remains of a cast iron ancient carcass of the ancestors’ farm machinery.”

Close by is the Sensory Garden which is a space to relax and enjoy gentle reflection with the plants being mostly scented. The lovely water feature is filled with copper oak leaves and made by Michael Johnson at the Copper Works in Newlyn in 2000.

The park itself does not have many flowers but it makes for a nice circular stroll around the grounds. Rhododendrons are most distinctive at this time of the year and typical woodland plants can be found such as Vinca (Periwinkle), Pieris and Arum lilies.

Finished at the Orangery café for a Flat White coffee. Sadly no cake though there were several tempting offerings, but we are on a sugar free diet at the moment so cake is not allowed.

Jo’s Monday Walk


  1. Colline says:

    What a lovely walk through a beautiful park.

    1. Heyjude says:

      The Memorial garden is the prettiest, but as far as parks go it is not bad.

  2. What a lovely spring walk, Jude. I’m glad it wasn’t you with the tooth problems! I love the broccoli juggler and all the color and exuberance. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      I’m glad too Cathy! Enough aches and pains of my own!

  3. Just marvellous. Cornwall in the spring… I hope one day.

  4. Lynn says:

    That beautiful door with the iron work looks so inviting. I am looking so forward to exploring this area!

    1. Heyjude says:

      The Memorial Garden is very small, but lovely. Morrab garden is larger and has some unusual plants.

  5. How lovely to have some free time to wander and explore. Our friend Kevin, of Kevtoberfest fame, would tell you there is no such thing as too many charity shops. He is the king of “op-shopping” as we call it here. 🙂

  6. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Is this a public park Jude, with free entry? It’s lovely. Not too keen on the sculpture though.
    How’s the sugar free going? I’ve been dairy free since mid January and feel so much better, I have more energy and my asthma has improved.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Yes it is a public park Gilly. The sculpture is a little odd I must admit. Sugar free going OK, surprising what contains sugar! Drinking loads of water is the hardest thing! Did you enjoy the cheese from Kind Co ?

  7. restlessjo says:

    It’s beautiful, Jude! I have a 6 year old looking over my shoulder 🙂 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Not on the beach yet then?

  8. Will have to make a beeline there next time I am down. Broccoli juggler is brilliant!

  9. Gardens, door(way)s and benches. You must have been like a kid in a sweet shop Jude 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      It was a happy hour 😀

  10. Perhaps if the town put on regular performances of “The Pirates of Penzance” tourism would go up. Lovers of Gilbert and Sullivan who came for the show might stay for other things.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Oh, there is lots happening in the town Steve. Pirates invade each year on Mazey Day during the Golowan Festival 🙂 It’s just the town centre itself could do with an injection of new businesses and upkeep. Parts look very scruffy, but that can be said for a lot of Cornish towns. Cornwall is the second poorest region in northern Europe apparently.

      1. I had no idea that Cornwall is so poor a region. Does that at least mean that living there is more affordable than in other parts of England?

        1. Heyjude says:

          Hah! If only. It is a county that relies on seasonal work so low paid jobs in hospitality or agriculture. And plenty of second homes for the wealthier people to come down for 2-3 weeks in the summer therefore making the cost of housing expensive or rent them out as holiday lets. Villages without amenities and irregular public transport. We live only 3 miles from our nearest town, but we’d have to walk 2 miles to a bus stop to get there. And no pavement / sidewalk so a dangerous walk.

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