The nostalgic glow of Christmas lights in Penzance

Spectacular flamboyant Christmas lights - PenzanceLast night the doughty old town of Penzance was glowing, bathed in Christmas lights and with the very essence of an old fashioned nostalgic Christmas, so join me for a stroll along the old timeworn flagstones under a thousand twinkly lights.

I think there’s something special about Christmas in a Penzance – a town that has stood almost unchanged through the centuries that has seen so many Christmases’ come and go like the tide in its harbour.

Christmas lights in Penzance

A great cobweb of Christma lights spans teh first junction in PenzanceThere’s a great atmosphere just to walk along the worn granite pavements shining in the traditional street lights; the raised granite terrace intersected by winding steps guarded by metal railing buffed by the centuries; the bustle of shoppers and workers going home and even the lights of the traffic as it winds up the narrow road.

Railings worn by centuries in Penzance

Tiny Christmas trees bedecked with twinkling lights draw your eyes upwards and some lovely architecture is revealed framed by the night. Each element combined to give a hint of the bustle of Christmases past and present.

Welcome to Market Jew Street

Christmas flood lights on an Old building


A glorious fishnet of lights spangles the busy junction at the bottom of Market Jew that leads up the hill towards the towering presence of Humphry Davy – Penzance’s very own son who came from humble beginnings to rise to be the President of the Science Institute in London and as always wearing a jolly Santa Hat – I always wonder how they get it up there!


The carefully planned lights

The main Christmas lights arching across the streets are discreetly gold and pale blue backed by the flamboyant mauve of the imposing Former Corn exchange before climbing again to The Greenmarket.

Old building and Christmas lights

Christmas shop front Penzance

From snowflakes in Causewayhead

Christmas lighst - snowflakes garlanding causewayhead

Causewayhead – a narrow pedestrian precinct  of independent shops has a spangle of snowflakes

To holly berries in Chapel Street

Chapel street has a more traditional feel to the Christmas lights


historic chapel street at Christmas

Chapel Street winds gently down towards the sea again with discreetly traditional holly and berries fluidly arching across the road in glowing garlands of lights. It will be a fitting finale for the final serpent’s dance of Montol on the 20th of December, as it parades to the reception held by the newly elected Lord of Misrule.

Glittering shop fronts and restaurants in Chapel Street

I couldn’t resist taking a few snaps of some of my favorite shop fronts and the inviting  restaurants just about to open in secluded mews

A final Christmas memory from my evening in Penzance

couple walking hand in hand under nostalgic Christmas lights of Penzance

I have one final  Christmas memory to share with you this year and I think one of my favourite snaps -a slightly fuzzy one of a couple walking hand in hand under a curtain of lights over the historic granite streets of Penzance.

More Christmas lights in Cornwall

Every town and harbour is bejewelled and bedecked at Christmas time in West Cornwall from the tiny village of Angarrick to  the fantazia of Mousehole Lights on the Twelfth night last year. I really hope to visit the wonderful display in St Ives  too this year – there is always room for a new memory!

About Christine Taylor

Christine has written a weekly blog about life at Ednovean Farm and interesting places to visit in West Cornwall for over ten years now, concentrating on those off the beaten track places that only the locals find. Charles and Christine Taylor have hosted Luxury Bed and Breakfast at Ednovean Farm Nr Penzance in West Cornwall since 1991 and live there with three cats and five horses, including a Spanish Stallion called Danni. Ednovean Farm has been awarded AA five star gold for Bed and breakfast and is included in The Michelin Guide and The Alastair Sawday Guide . The Farmhouse and gardens has been featured in BBC Homes and Antiques, Homes and Gardens. Period Living and 25 Beautiful Homes as well as being used as a film and photo shoot location.

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