Environment: Sustainable activities in West Cornwall

You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘take only photos and leave only footprints’, but there are so many other ways to care for the environment in the places you love.

Did you know that Penzance was the first community to be awarded ‘Plastic-Free’ status by Surfers Against Sewage? As part of this initiative, Refill PZ has made it easier to find places to fill up your water bottles in town. Marazion has also been awarded plastic-free status and you can find out more about the town’s upcoming events here.

Environmentally friendly things to do in West Cornwall

If you’re keen to make your trip eco-friendly, you could take part in a beach clean or reduce your carbon footprint by hiring e-bikes or exploring by train. Discover how you could make your next stay more sustainable.

Beach clean; Sustainable Penzance

Do something good, feel even better. Explore the coast while taking part in a beach clean and help us to create a safer and more sustainable environment for our wildlife – all while enjoying the great outdoors and getting to meet some lovely people. Check the Sustainable Penzance Facebook page to see when they’re hosting the next beach clean at Longrock and keep an eye out for the silent disco events from Plastic Free Penzance.

Six lessons in walking a tightrope ; Walk with us app

Technology meets captivating storytelling in this self-guided walk along the Penzance promenade. The Walk With Us app combines augmented reality with narratives about coastal erosion and climate change to create a whole new way of seeing the landscape. You’ll walk along the ‘tightrope’ listening to the narrator, pausing at specific moments to look at the images through your phone. Find out more here.

Scenic railway; Take the train to St Ives

The beaches, art galleries and restaurants of St Ives are just a short train journey from Penzance. Board at Penzance station, sit back and relax as the spectacular St Michael’s Mount rolls past your window. At St Erth, join the St Ives Bay Line for a scenic journey along the coast, through Carbis Bay to St Ives. Find out more about the journey here.

Sleeper train; London Paddington to Penzance

Wake up on holiday when you travel from London to Penzance via the First Great Western ‘Night Riviera’ sleeper train. You can book a comfortable cabin with a bunk bed, which gives you access to the First Class Lounge at London Paddington. There is also an onboard lounge, although you can enjoy room service in your cabin. Book your tickets here.

Cornwall in bloom; Trewidden Gardens

From tree fern dells to camellias and magnolias, this ‘Cornish spring garden’ in the grounds of a Grade II listed manor house is not to be missed – especially when it is coming into bloom. The gardens are open from February to September, so it’s perfect for an early spring visit. Once you’ve explored the 15-acre garden, head to the Tea Room for lunch and cakes made with locally sourced ingredients. Find out more here.

Birdwatching; Marazion

Pack your binoculars. In addition to the spectacular scenery, Marazion is home to an array of winged wildlife. You can spend hours wandering along the shore spotting gulls, oystercatchers and curlew, or head to Marazion Marsh Nature Reserve. If you’d like to know more, Cornwall Birdwatching Tours offers winter walks in West Cornwall and you can check the Cornwall Birdwatching & Preservation Society (CBPS) boards to find out what’s been spotted in the area.

Public gardens; Morrab Gardens

Did you know that there is a subtropical garden hidden in the middle of Penzance? Morrab Gardens is a free-to-enter public park that was created with plants gifted from estates in the local area. With a palm grove, fountain and rare subtropical plants, it’s the perfect place to unwind after a busy day of sightseeing. Find out more here.

Look up; Stargazing in West Penwith

From October onwards, the darker evenings create the perfect opportunity for stargazing. West Penwith is part of Cornwall's National Landscape and has recently been designated an International Dark Sky Park (one of just seven sites in the UK). This means the area is naturally dark and has minimal light pollution.

Head out on a cloudless night to experience nature’s spectacle in the sky.Top stargazing spots include the Merry Maidens Stone Circle near St Buryan and Carn Galver Engine House to the west of Zennor – you can find more through Go Stargazing.

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Things to do

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