2020 Cycling Tour of Britain to Begin in Penzance

In 2020, the Tour of Britain road cycling event will begin with a 105-mile opening stage in Cornwall.

Britain’s biggest professional cycle race will see 120 professional riders start on Penzance promenade and finish in Bodmin after visits to St Ives, Redruth, Falmouth, Truro, and the Eden Project at St Austell.

Organisers are hoping for 180,000 spectators and independent economic reports estimate that the event will generate more than £3 million of additional spending in the Duchy.

Adam Paynter, leader of Cornwall Council, said:”This is fantastic news for Cornwall. It will help to enhance our profile both at home and abroad.

“We will also work to ensure we create a long-lasting legacy from the event by raising the profile of cycling in Cornwall and motivating more people to get on two wheels and lead healthier, more active lives.”

Ex-professional cyclist Chris Opie, from Truro, said: “The chance to witness the world’s top athletes competing in one of the world’s toughest events right on their doorstep, enabling a generation to dream and to aim for exciting, ambitious goals, could be genuinely life changing.”

Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain Race Director, said: “A lot of hard work over a sustained period has gone into today’s news, which we know will excite sports fans in Cornwall and across Britain.”

The Tour of Britain is British Cycling’s premier road cycling event and the most prestigious race in Britain, and is shown live on ITV4 and Eurosport as well as being broadcast in 190 countries worldwide.

Details of the route for the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain in September will be announced in the late spring at the event’s National Launch and further details of the Cornish stage of the 2020 race will be announced this autumn.

Penzance Promenade to Undergo Major Improvements

A major Cornwall Council funded scheme to revitalise Penzance promenade is now underway.

Survey work to investigate the structural condition of the promenade, which has suffered a great deal of damage due to stormy weather in recent years, has already begun and once this work has been carried out the council will be asking groups, including Penzance Town Council, Penzance BID, environment and heritage groups and schools in the area for their opinion on how it should look.

An exhibition will be held in Penzance in the summer to present the ideas to the public, with the resurfacing work pencilled in to begin this autumn.

The improvements will be completed ahead of the Tour of Britain road cycling event in 2020, which sets off from Penzance for the first time as the field of world-class cyclists assemble on the promenade for the start.

Cornwall Councillor for Penzance Promenade, Jim McKenna, said of the news: “I have been working to try to secure funding for a new surface for the prom since the day I was elected.

“The fantastic news that the 2020 Tour of Britain will start from Penzance means that we can now look forward, not just to the race and the boost that will give our town, but also long-awaited investment into the promenade, which will benefit residents, businesses and visitors alike.

“I would also like to place on record my thanks to those in Cornwall Council who supported Penzance in this, together with the town council, BID and Chamber of Commerce – a great example of partnership working.”

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, Geoff Brown, said: “Regenerating the promenade, which has taken a battering over recent years, will encourage more visitors to come to the area which will in turn contribute to the local economy.

“Our residents know best what works for their community and so it is tremendously important that they are involved and have an opportunity to share their ideas on how the area should look.”

The scheme to revitalise the promenade is the first phase of a longer term regeneration and coastal protection scheme proposed by the Environment Agency.

As well as improving the area at Penzance, Cornwall Council’s ambition is to provide a Mount’s Bay trail and wider Bay to Bay cycling and walking trail.

A designated cycle route adjacent to the promenade has also been mooted and in time, the plan is to expand the Mount’s Bay route towards the north coast via St Erth, Hayle and St Ives.

Work Begins on New Multi-Million Pound Penzance Heliport

Work has begun on a new £4.3 million Penzance heliport that will allow passengers to fly to and from the Isles of Scilly once again.

The first turf was cut on the site at Jelbert Way this week by Mayor of Penzance Dick Cliffe, Cornwall councillor Simon Elliott, the chairman of Ludgvan Parish Council Roy Mann and Robert Dorrien-Smith, who is heading up the project.

The plug was pulled on regular flights between the Penzance and Scilly seven years ago, with the operators blaming rising costs, falling passenger numbers and a land dispute over its heliport site at Eastern Green.

The new facility will be adjacent to the previous heliport site on the outskirts of the town and will reinstate direct 15-minute flights between Penzance and the Scilly islands of Tresco and St Mary’s.

Robert Dorrien-Smith said: “Today is a momentous occasion not just for the islands, but for West Cornwall.

“Today marks the start of the project that will once again make Penzance the proud home to one of the few scheduled passenger helicopter services in the world, with all the benefits to the local economy that entails.

“We also begin work to reinstate the much-missed third leg of the Isles of Scilly transport system, working together to deliver the resilience, choice and connectivity the islands need to achieve growth now and in the future.”

Simon Elliott, Cornwall Councillor for Ludgvan, added “I felt privileged to be part of this important step in returning the iconic helicopter service to Penzance and look forward to the day when this corner of Ludgvan Parish will see holidaymakers and Scillonians once again fly out over Mounts Bay.”

The heliport will help extend the visitor season on the Isles of Scilly, add around £10 million to the local economy and provide around 30 permanent jobs.

Mayor of Penzance, Dick Cliffe, said: “Cutting the first sods certainly felt like an historic moment. I cannot overstate the importance of this project to the economy of the islands and Penzance.”

Helicopters will fly between Penzance, Tresco and St Mary’s year round from spring 2020 and tickets are set to go on sale this summer.

Penzance Set for Multi-million Pound Cash Injection to Transform Town Centre

Penzance could be in line to receive a multi-million pound boost to transform and modernise its high street.

Cornwall’s bid to secure an allocation from a national £675m high street fund gained traction this week when Penzance was confirmed by Cornwall Council as the focus for its bid to the Government.

If successful the grant – which would likely see around £10m invested in the West Cornwall town, would pay for a complete reimagining of the town centre and could include high-quality housing replacing failing shops, and a hub for creative businesses.

Launched at the tail-end of 2018, the Future High Streets Fund is key part of the Government’s plan to revive high streets around the country, providing co-funding towards capital projects that transform and regenerate town centres through innovative proposals around transport, housing delivery and public services.

The Government allows just one bid from each local authority area, which has resulted in Penzance being put forward by the Cornwall Council due to the ‘unique mix of regeneration opportunities’ available to tackle the challenges in the town and has been supported by local partners and stakeholders, the Penzance Place Shaping Board and Regeneration Group, businesses and community organisations.

Tim Dwelly, Cornwall councillor for Penzance East, said: “If the bid is successful it could completely rejuvenate Penzance.

“We have worked really hard for years on ideas to improve Penzance and I think one of the reasons we have been chosen as Cornwall’s bid is because we are a united town in terms of ideas of what we can achieve via the town council, BID (Business Improvement District) and the new neighbourhood plan. It’s a real can-do time.”

Those ideas to give struggling Market Jew Street a rebirth include getting rid of low-quality retail in favour of residential living in the town centre.

Dwelly added: “We need to have more people living, working and playing on our high street.”

Local MP Derek Thomas said: “This exciting opportunity for Penzance will provide an important catalyst to ensure viability and vitality for our high street and promote much-needed growth, jobs and skills provision for the whole town and beyond.

“Penzance is not short of ambition and aspiration and it is to the credit of a number of people here in west Cornwall that the Government has heard our plea and created the High Street Fund. There is now a renewed opportunity for the community, businesses and organisations to come together to develop joined up proposals that will pave the way for future prosperity.”

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet member for planning and the economy Bob Egerton said: “The Penzance proposal is backed by extensive local support through and with the leadership of the Penzance Place Shaping Board. While we are disappointed that we are only able to support one town in this first round of bidding, I am sure that Cornwall will get behind the Penzance bid to ensure that rural areas get their fair share of funding.”

The council will now work with partners, stakeholders and businesses in Penzance to submit an expression of interest to the Government by 22 March.

Penzance to Isles of Scilly Helicopter Service to Restart with EU Funding Next Year

The return of the popular helicopter service between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly has drawn a step closer thanks to European Union (EU) funding worth almost £2m.

The plug was pulled on regular flights between the Penzance and Scilly seven years ago, with the operators blaming rising costs, falling passenger numbers and a land dispute over its heliport site at Eastern Green.

It was a loss for tourists, who found the 15-minute trip extremely convenient, but it was a much bigger blow for the residents of the islands, who relied on the helicopter to get to the mainland quickly, including for medical emergencies.

In a recent press release Penzance Heliport Ltd said preparation work had begun on building a new base for the aircraft, backed by a £1.8m grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). An added bonus is that the new heliport is just 200 metres from the previous site.

The remainder of the £4.3m project costs are to come from private investment, with the Tresco Estate and the Dorrien-Smith family, who live on and manage Tresco, the largest investors.

Flights are expected to restart in spring 2020.

Robert Dorrien-Smith, of Penzance Heliport Ltd, said: “This European funding, alongside the record support from islanders, visitors, businesses and agencies on the islands and further afield, shows the importance of Penzance heliport to the future growth of the Isles of Scilly.”

Cornwall council’s cabinet portfolio member for transport, Geoff Brown, said: “I welcome this news which will enhance passenger choice in travelling to and from the Isles of Scilly and improve resilience on the route.”

The chairman of the Isles of Scilly council, Robert Francis, said: “Excellent transport infrastructure is vital to the social and economic future of our islands. Today’s announcement will further strengthen our island transport links for a thriving island community.”

Queens Hotel Described as ‘Britain’s Best Storm-Watching Hotel’ During Storm Diana

The Queens Hotel has been described as ‘Britain’s best storm-watching hotel’ during November’s Storm Diana.

Local photojournalist Greg Martin came to us in order to get the best vantage point for photographing the waves coming up over Penzance Promenade and the results did not disappoint.

Martin, a who took the shots for Cornwall Live, said: “I have covered every storm hitting Penzance’s promenade over the past five years. Always with the Queens’ iconic white frontage in my field of vision. Often darting into the hotel’s porch for some temporary shelter when the biggest waves hit.

“Head-to-toe in wet weather gear, shielding my camera equipment from the spray and watching out for rogue waves as the freezing water breaches my breeches, I have often looked in, with envy, at the faces watching the storm from the sun lounge – drinking tea, smiling, dry.

“So, with Storm Diana on the horizon, I checked in to Penzance’s most sea-sprayed structure to photograph high tide from the inside.”

You can view the photos here.

Penzance Car Parks to Become Cheapest in Cornwall

Penzance car parks are set to become the cheapest in Cornwall thanks to a new park-and-ride scheme.

A recently announced initiative with Cornwall Council will see the first hour parking price in long stay car parks reduced to £0.50 (previously £1.50 in summer) and applied all year round.

The cost of parking during the second hour will also be reduced, while the first hour in short stay car parks will decrease by £0.50 too.

At an estimated to cost of around £150,000, this has been financed by transferring back some of the money the Council spent on the park-and-ride site next to Sainsbury’s at Eastern Green.

It is the latest move to improve parking in Penzance; earlier in the year all Cornwall Council car parks began to offer free parking from 4:00pm to 9:00am all year and a new resident-friendly ‘batch’ system was also introduced, which allows people to park for under £1.00 a day in long stay car parks in Penzance.

Penzance town councillor Tim Dwelly, who worked with fellow independent councillor Jim McKenna and Penzance BID, said: “We now have the cheapest parking deals Penzance has seen for many years.

“We have been given an assurance that the package will continue into future years, funded via the extra income generated by pay-on-exit.”

Spending Christmas in Penzance? Check Out These Christmas Events in Cornwall

Christmas in Cornwall offers up a veritable stocking full of Christmas events and experiences. For us to sit and unwrap each and every one of the festive happenings in this creative and unique county the Queens Hotel calls home would take well into the New Year.

So, instead, we offer up a small tasting platter of festive fun and spectacle. The events are listed with those closest to us at the top and those a bit further away at the bottom. Regardless of how much travelling you want to do, there’s something nearby for everyone who spends Christmas in Penzance to enjoy.

Mousehole Christmas Lights

Mousehole is an iconic seaside village beloved by tourists and locals alike. Just a few miles around the corner from the Queens Hotel, Mousehole is a great place to visit at any time of year, but becomes even more legendary at Christmastime.

The village is brought alive by the Christmas lights display, that stretches from the waters of the harbour itself right up through the town and the hills beyond. Look out for the classics, such as the spouting whale, the sea monster, and the church.

Mousehole has even more to celebrate at Christmas than many places in Cornwall, as the 23rd of December is Tom Bawcock’s Eve. The legend goes that at some point in the 16th century a particularly stormy winter meant that none of the village’s fishing boats had been able to go out.

With supplies running out, famine descended upon the town. As Christmas approached, Bawcock, desperate to alleviate the suffering of his fellow townspeople, set sail in his fishing boat and headed out into the storm.

He eventually returned, his haul bursting with fish; enough to feed the starving people and see them through the rest of the winter. Look out for the Stargazy Pie lights, representing the traditional Tom Bawcock’s Eve meal, complete with fish heads poking out the top.

Sennen Christmas Day Swim

Most people think of Christmas as a warm and cosy time, where you can retreat inside and enjoy creature comforts. The classic songs conjure images of hiding from the worst of the winter weather in front of open fires, but some embrace the climate – throw themselves in head-first, in fact.

But the Sennen Christmas Day Swim is exactly what the name suggests; the chance to throw yourself into the icy waters of one of Cornwall’s top beaches with a 100-or-so other hardy souls. It’s certainly a refreshing and memorable experience!

Rogue Theatre’s ‘Winter Wood’, Tehidy Woods

Rogue Theatre’s ‘Winter Wood’ showcases the kind of innovation and creativity that the landscapes and folklore of Cornwall inspire in the local artistic community.

Set in the beautiful Tehidy Woods, the show is an immersive journey through the trees, bedecked with lights and inhabited by faeries, woodland sprites, and Old Man Winter himself. Hear songs and tales before gathering in the central performance tent with free hot chocolate for live music, festive stories, face painting and craft.

The theatre’s show, Winter Wonderland, was twice voted one of the Guardian’s top ten Christmas walks, and won Best Theatre Show 2017 Award from What’s on Cornwall.

Performances are held throughout December and you can book tickets here.

Ice skating at the Eden Project, St Austell

Cornwall’s iconic Eden Project is also home to the county’s only indoor ice rink. Set against the backdrop of the enormous biomes deep within the disused quarry where this stunning eco-attraction resides, the rink offers a magical and memorable experience for all.

The Eden Project offers a comprehensive programme of icy events on their rink, so whether you are a couple down a romantic Christmas getaway or a family looking to some festive fun that wears the kids out, there will be something for you to do.

Tiny tots (18 months to 5 years) and accompanying adult will of the parent and toddler ice play sessions; 40 minutes of fun on the ice rink – no skating involved – that are sure to create a memorable treat full of laughter.

Kids aged 6 to 12 years old who can skate will love the chilly junior sessions, that include races and games on the ice.

General skating sessions are open to all. For more information and prices, and to book your session on the ice, check out the Eden Project website.

Eat, Drink and be Merry at the Queens Hotel this Christmas

That’s exactly what we offer here; from cosy festive stays to a quick winter warmer in our restaurant, we’re always in the Christmas spirit here at the Queens Hotel Penzance.

Christmas is both a time for new experiences and surprises, and nostalgia and tradition. Our offerings feature both. So whether you want an exciting new twist on Christmas or an unbeatable classic, we’ve got it covered.

Here’s what’s going on at the Queens Hotel Penzance this Christmas.

Mince Pies and More in the Sun Lounge Overlooking Penzance Promenade

The Queens is not just a Hotel in Penzance – it’s also an amazing seafront restaurant, located on an historic promenade overlooking Mounts Bay.

In the midst of all the Christmas hustle and bustle, it’s nice to take an hour or two and just slow down again. Remind yourself of the joy of sitting still, and warm the winter chill from your bones with a hot drink and mince pie in our cosy sun lounge while the waves fly up and over the Promenade.

Share the amazing tastes and views with friends, loved ones, or just yourself and a book (four-legged friends are welcome too). Christmas in Penzance is busy, but there’s always time for a festive treat and some peace on Earth!

Christmas Lunch in Penzance; All the Trimmings, None of the Prep

Christmas Lunch is the highlight of the day for many. This year, why not treat yourself to an extra special Christmas Dinner in Penzance: one featuring all your favourites, but without the shopping list, bulging cupboards, hours of cooking and endless dishes?

Put down your apron, pick up a cracker, and spend Christmas Dinner at the table, not bent over pans and roasting trays. Our chefs have put together a delicious Christmas Day menu packed with mouthwatering dishes – the only dishes you will have to see – and seasonal favourites, all followed up with coffee and a mince pie.

There won’t be Boxing Day blues with our fantastic three course lunches

As joyful and triumphant as Christmas Day might be, it can also be exhausting. We know how much there is to take care of, from tidying away the wrapping paper on Christmas morning to the mountain of washing up left by the evening, so we have created a Boxing Day menu that provides you with the luxurious break you deserve.

Let our talented chefs and friendly waiting staff serve you up a delicious three course meal in a warm and welcoming restaurant, while you take a moment to relax after a hectic Christmas Day.

You won’t be sad that Christmas Day is over once you sample the scrumptious fare from our kitchen.

Download our Christmas Day menu here: https://www.queens-hotel.com/dine/christmas-day-menu.pdf

Download our Boxing Day menu here: https://www.queens-hotel.com/dine/boxing-day-menu.pdf

Please note we are now fully booked for Christmas Day lunch, but we still have space on Boxing Day. Book now to secure your place!

Make it a December to Remember with a Christmas Party in Penzance at the Queens Hotel

What would Christmas be without a party?

Treat friends, family, colleagues or employees to a brilliant festive lunch or dinner of one, two, or three courses from our superb Christmas party menu, or throw an evening bash to remember. Available from the 1st to 22nd December, our Christmas parties are sure to delight with their fine flavours and festive atmosphere.

When you book your Christmas party at the Queens Hotel you can book overnight accommodation at a discounted rate, meaning your guests are able to truly relax and enjoy themselves without having to worry about travelling home: a comfortable bed and a cosy room is just a few steps away at the end of the night.

Download our Christmas Party menu here: https://www.queens-hotel.com/dine/christmas-party-menu.pdf

Have a magical Christmas in Penzance with the Queens Hotel

Our exciting Christmas events and menus represent fantastic value for money and are sure to get booked up quickly. Don’t miss out: get your place today and enjoy a truly magical and relaxing Christmas at the Queens Hotel Penzance.

Don’t forget that you can enjoy a bit of festive sparkle regardless of your schedule or budget; from a quick break to enjoy hot drinks and mince pies to a Christmas Day lunch or family/works party.

Read through our divine party menus and get your plans confirmed today.

Once you’ve taken a look at the menu, call us on 01736 362371 to book or email us enquiries@queens-hotel.com.

Plans Hotting Up for Jubilee’s Geothermal Pool

The Jubilee Pool in Penzance is set to become UK’s first geothermally heated facility thanks to a hugely successful local fundraising campaign.

A Crowdfunder page was created to raise funds for the ground-breaking project and, after hitting its minimum target of £350,000, an additional target of £500,000 was set. On 30 October, 2018 the project successfully raised a total of £528,680 from 1380 investors in 153 days. With the additional money, the pool hopes to fund revamped disabled access and facilities and refurbishment of the changing rooms.

Jubilee Pool Director Susan Stuart said: “The additional fundraising really is a game changer for the pool and Penzance. This project means people will visit all year around from far and wide and will boost the local economy and help regenerate the town. It also means for us we can borrow less and pay less interest so we can spend our money as efficiently as possible and improve our facilities and service from not just ‘great’ but to ‘excellent’.”

Widely considered to be the best example of a pre-war Lido in the world, the Jubilee has provided safe seawater swimming for people of all ages for decades.

In June 2018, planning permission was granted for the Jubilee’s ambitious geothermal project, which aimed to heat the pool all year round with temperatures up to 35 centigrade.

Drilling had already started to reach the hot rocks which will be used to heat the water – however this was put on hold to enable better traffic flow during the summer holidays. The work restarted in mid-September and remains underway.