Running in Penzance
Admittedly Cornwall is more famous for its leisurely pace of life and calorific cream teas than its enthusiasm for running! In fact, a local saying goes ‘it is best to miss the train than be seen running for it.’ However, with a section of the 630-mile South West Coast Path accessible nearby, YHA Penzance is perfectly positioned to offer some sensationally scenic routes.
Run to the sea front from the hostel and, once there, turn left for a 4 mile beach run to St Michael’s Mount, a tidal island that’s steeped in Cornish myth and legend and is home to a castle and a kaleidoscope of colourful sub-tropical flora and fauna.
RunYHA - Penzance to Land's End
Distance: 16.5 miles/ 27km
Start/Finish: Penzance Station TR18 2LT, Land's End
Terrain: Trail, road, coast path
Ascent: 791 metres
Navigation: Easy to moderateGood for: Coast, history, culture
Route info: wildrunning.net/02
A tough but rewarding coastal run with plenty of scenery and history that can be run in sections or, for those up for a challenge, in its entirety. Steep steps and narrow paths make for exciting, technical running. Leave Penzance by the coast road to the west, through Newlyn and Mousehole (described by Dylan Thomas as the prettiest village in England), before following the SW Coast Path sign left out onto the rugged coast path. Continue along an undulating mixture of trail and granite steps to Lamorna. The secluded cove and café here, surrounded by bluebell woods in spring, provides a welcome spot for a rest. Climb steep steps to the cliff top, passing Treen’s white sandy beaches and the Minack Theatre. In the final miles, grasslands make for easier running as Land’s End beckons.
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Rest your weary legs with a bus ride back to Penzance. And your home for the evening is a beautifully restored Georgian mansion complete with all the amenities you’ll need for a comfortable stay.
Other things to do nearby
Penzance has the best transport links in West Cornwall, giving great flexibility in choosing your route.
Marazion and Gwithian have regular events for both Kite and Wind Surfing.
If you are looking to combine water sports with climbing then Coasteering is for you. Kernow Coasteering offer coasteering adventures on the rocky coastline close to YHA Land’s End.
The only Cornish gallery specialising in the Newlyn School artists, the museum also covers West Cornwall's social history. Visit the Gallery's website
Explore the quieter back roads of Penwith, with their wealth of ancient sites and superb views or take an easy ride along Cycle Route 3 to St Michael's Mount.
This iconic and highly photogenic site is one of the best known megalithic structures in Britain. see the Historic Cornwall or the Wikipedia website
From monks to a Cornish giant, the history and mythology that layer up on this rocky tidal island near Penzance is richly diverse.
The area is famous for its granite routes, including Chair Ladder and Commando Ridge, but there are other options including the vertical wall at Gurnard's Head.
This ancient Cornish mining town, Britain's most westerly town, has a wealth of artistic talent and Plain-an-Gwarry - an open air mediaeval theatre, situated near the WWII War Memorial. Nearby ther
With footpaths heading in all directions from the hostel door, you'll soon enjoy cliff top views towards Land's End before crossing the sands of Sennen Cove, or passing Cape Cornwall and the dramatic
If you are looking to combine water sports with climbing then Coasteering is for you.
If you've never surfed before, then book a lesson at Sennen Cove - tuition, board and wetsuit hire are all available in the village. More experienced surfers will enjoy the big waves at Gwynver.
Penzance to Land's End Distance: 16.5 miles/ 27km Start/Finish: Penzance Station TR18 2LT, Land's End Terrain: Trail, road, coast path Toughness: Challenging A
7.1 miles The largest mining museum in Britain with underground tours and “gold” panning. Levant Beam Engine is a short walk away. Visit the website
The most south-westerly point in mainland Britain, with spectacular views, iconic signpost and a range of visitor attractions.
The history of cable telecommunications, only a short walk from the Minack Theatre and beach at Porthcurno. The museum explains the dawn of wireless science in the former global hub of cable comm