Going to the Scillies?
So many people visiting Cornwall miss out on the Scilly Islands. A great pity - but so much the better for the rest of us!
A great sea trip is on the RMS Scillonian III which sails from Penzance harbour to the island of St Mary's in the Islands. She sails 6 days a week (except Sundays) and returns the next day, except at Easter and in August when day trips are available (see the schedule for 2007 on http://www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk/daysc3.htm)
There is a commentary on the places the boat passes.
Full information and tarifs on the Isles of Scilly Travel website, they are a bit complicated to give here.
But don't miss going to Scilly!
Penzance Is Easily Accessible
You can get to Penzance on the A30 or A38 motorways, in your own vehicle or on a coach. There are coach services at the station downtown. The train also terminates at Penzance station, right beside the bus station. Helicopters and ferries are available for transport to and from places like the Isles of Scilly. Once you're here just use your feet - the town isn't that big and it's fun to stroll around and find things you didn't know existed. To get out of the town and to outlying towns and villages there are plenty of regular bus routes.
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Take a bus!!! Or walk - it's faster!!!
Penzance has a small bus stand opposite the railway station and all the buses start from here to the different places near and around Penzance. The best option though is to walk (as I used to) all over Penzance except when going out of town or when carrying luggage!!! The frequency of the buses is quite less so be prepared to be late if you are in a hurry to get somewhere!!! Or walk!!! It's faster than waiting for the bus!!!
Penzance railway station
Penzance train station is located at the bottom end of the town. A typical high ceilinged Victorian building. It is an end of the line station; probably why the locals refer to anything East of the region as "up the line".
The staff are always helpful although there aren't many of them. If you have a few enquiries or a lot of tickets to buy it is a good idea to arrive early, There can be huge queues in the summer and if you don't buy on the platform you will lose any discounts (eg; student or family) that you are entitled to.
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Penzance Rail Station
very small end-of-the rail station of Great Western, I found it friendly and efficient; even if the hours of operation are tied directly to operating hours. The staff is friendly and the station decor is artistic. The bus station is essentially attached on the outside with a tourist information center. Panoramic views of the coast are just a stone's toss away with great views of St. Michael's Mount. The station is just next to the harbour and on the mere edge of the city center. This railway stations serves the town of Penzance and is the western terminus of the 305+ mile long Cornish Main Line from London-Paddington Station which takes roughly 5 hours journey. Visitors are welcomed to Penzance on a stone bearing two languages - English and Cornish. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
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Bus to and from Penzance
I visited Penzance in April 2013 and during my stay there I travelled by bus several times.
It is cheaper to buy a return ticket than two single tickets, and the driver does not always have change, so it is good not to pay with £10 or £20 bills.
The webpage transportdirect.info is good to use when planing your journey.
These are the bus journeys I did to and/from Penzance:
From Penzance to Marazion, and back
After I had left my luggage at the hostel I walked back to the station to take the bus to Marazion and Saint Michaels Mount. I took bus nr 2, which in April left once an hour. The bus was supposed to leave at 10.40 but was 8 minutes late. To Marazion it took 10 minutes.
Going back to Penzance the bus didnt take the same route, but a longer route.
A single ticket was £2 and a return ticket was £3.
To Mousehole from Penzance
After coming back from Saint Michaels Mount I waited at the bus station for the
next bus to Mousehole. In April (2014) bus nr 6 left Mousehole once every half an hour. The journey took less than 20 minutes and a single ticket was £3. A return ticket would have been £4.50, but I walked back to Penzance. To walk to Penzance took about an hour.
To Sennen Cove from Penzance
Bus 1/1A that goes from Penzance to Land's End also stops at Sennen Cove. I took a bus leaving 8.45 because the next bus was not leaving until two hours later (in April). The journey took 45 minutes and it was £5 (April 2014).
The bus was a dubble decker and I was lucky to get a front seat on the upper level, with a lovely view over the fields and narrow roads. The view over Sennen Cove was breathtaking as we descended along the road.
I'm happy I decided to start my walk here and not in Land's End, and I would advice everyone that can, to do the walk between Sennan Cove and Land;s End, not only visit Land's End. It is only 1 mile between Sennen Cove and Land's End, a beautiful walk along the Coast Path.
From St Just to Penzance
I came to the bus station in St Just well in time for the bus leaving for Penzance at 17.17. The bus never arrived and it turned out it had broken down. The next bus was leaving at 18.02 and was almost 10 minutes late. It was freezing cold and windy at the bus station and I'm glad that I had both mittens and hat to put on while waiting.
From St Just to Penzance it takes around 20 minutes by bus. I never wrote down the price of the ticket but I think it was £4 (April 2014). I saw on the map of the bus route (I had got the timetable at the tourist office in Penzance) that there was a stop near Alverton Street where it was better for me to go off. It was closer to my hostel than the bus station was.
Bus to and from Penzance, part II
From Porthcurno to Penzance
Before hiking from Sennen Cove to Porthcurno I had seen that there was a bus from Porthcurno to Penzance just before 14 and another one just before 18. There was alsoan option to take the bus at 16.16, which was first going to Land’s End before making it back to Penzance. I could have taken that bus, but the journey would have taken over an hour so I decided to walk a little further along the coast and return for the 17.56 bus.
The bus arrived almost on time. To Penzance it took around 45 minutes and the ticket was £5 (April 2014). It is bus number 1/1A that runs between Penzance and Porthcurno (not all buses stop in Porthcurno).
To Gurnard’s Head from Penzance
Before coming to Cornwall I had tried to find out which stretch of the Cost Path that would be good to hike in one day. Gurnard’s Head seemed to be a great starting point, but not a place to finish in as the last bus back to Penzance left quite early in the afternoon 8in April 2014).
In April 2014 there was a bus leaving Penzance for Gurnard’s Head at 8.36, the next left much later. I took the 8.36 bus and a single ticket was £4. I only had a £20-bill and the driver didn’t have change so he only gave me £6 back. Luckily, the only other passengers (a couple from Vietnam) could change a £20-bill and I could sort things out with the driver before leaving the bus.
The bus journey took around half an hour. The bus stopped outside the Gurnard’s Head hotel and pub, where also the trail down to the coast path begins. The bus had number 16/16A and was continuing to St Ives.
To St Ives from Penzance
In April 2014 buses left Penzance for St Ives about every half an hour. Both bus 17 and 16/16A are going there.
The bus fare was £5. First the driver didn’t have change to my 20-bill but I waited and when a few passengers had paid he had change. The bus journey takes 34 minutes.
I St Ives I was going to stay at Treloyhan Manor Hotel and luckily I saw a sign for the hotel near a bus stop on the way in to town. I rapidly took my luggage and went off the bus.
The bus station in St Ives must have one of the most beautiful views there are from a bus station!
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