If you think Penzance is about hard-living pirates and rows of pasty shops… well, um… yes. We’re not going to deny we know how to indulge in life’s rich bounty.
But there’s a yang to our yin, and we have another more sprightly side. For starters, Penzance has long been a pioneer in healthy eating. Meanwhile, our awesome landscape inspires an energetic outdoors culture. And, looking forward, there are even plans afoot to make our town a haven for walkers and cyclists.
Here’s how Penzance can help you live your best healthy life.
Stock up on healthy foods
Our position way out west has fostered a strong alternative culture. Way before everyone and your brother turned vegan, Penzance had the legendary Granary, purveyor of mouthwatering vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free whole foods. Since then, the health food scene in Penzance has blossomed. There’s Archie Browns and Holland & Barrett for veggie food and wellbeing treats. And the wonderful Weigh Inn, where lovely wild rices come at reasonable prices. Eating well has never been so easy.
Stretch your body, free your mind
Penzance has been a highlight of the international yoga scene for decades. John Scott, he who taught both Madonna and Sting, was based here for many years and, through its many experienced teachers, the town continues to help students stretch the body and calm the mind. Pilates is big on the scene too – and a good option if strengthening your core is a priority. A great place to start for yoga and pilates is Clarence House Therapy Centre, although there are many other options, too.
Get your reps in at the gym
You’re a bit spoilt for choice when it comes to gyms in Penzance – at the last count we had at least seven for a town of 20,000 or so. (You’ve got to work off those pasties, somehow.) Top training tip: Oxygen Gym in the centre of town has awesome views over the bay from the treadmills and crosstrainers. Walk in visitors welcome.
Indulge yourself with a spa treatment
Sometimes, looking after yourself can feel an awful lot like indulgence. We have some wonderful spa treatments available in town, from Rachel’s bespoke spa rituals at Chapel House to Emily’s luxury facial and body treatments at driftSPA. Avoid disappointment: book ahead!
Exercise outdoors for free
We’ve got tennis courts. Newly refurbished, shockingly bright purples ones. And almost as good as their purply-ness is that they are absolutely FREE. Check them out opposite the Promenade near the arcade. Also newly refurbished, and free, are our basketball courts and outdoors gym at Wherrytown. For little ones, there’s a world of free play equipment in gorgeous locations at Wherrytown Playground (sea views), Alexandra Play Park (more sea views!) and Penlee Park (a lovely canopy of trees).
Walk your way to mental health
We’re going to keep using the word ‘newly refurbished’ in this post, because Penzance is in the midst of a gleaming makeover. One newly refurbished thing walkers need to know about is the coastal path from Penzance to Marazion. You can get your 10,000 steps in with breathtaking views of Mount’s Bay. It’s good for your body and the views are a tonic for the mind too. Scientific studies even suggest negative ions released by crashing waves may alleviate depression. Go walk, be happy.
Get on your bike!
The Penzance to Marazion Coast Path and the Promenade are bike friendly, which gives you approximately seven miles of scenic cycling on flat terrain, right against the water’s edge. But there’s more. The Penzance Town Deal is proposing 15km of new cycleways and improved pedestrianisation in and around the town. The aim is to give more emphasis to eco-friendly ways of getting around in our increasingly sustainable town, and bikes will take star billing. Fewer car rides, more healthy cycling. What’s not to love?
Enjoy our healthy streets
The Town Deal’s cycle programme is just part of an even bigger drive to make our town a healthier environment to live and visit. The PZ Healthy Streets Scheme aims to reduce traffic and pollution levels in the town centre and create a better environment for all. Watch this space for news on more pedestrian-friendly areas, more open spaces, less pollution and a greener future for our town. In other words, just by being in Penzance you’ll be making a healthy choice.
Find out more about the investment coming to Penzance: