The ancient market town of Marazion can even claim to be the oldest town in Great Britain, known as Ictis by the Romans. The name ‘Marazion’ has evolved from “Marghas Byghan” – ‘little market’ and “Marghas Yow” – ‘Thursday Market’. Marazion was the major town in West Cornwall until the late medieval period when Penzance then began to outgrow it.
As tin mining and Cornwall go hand-in–hand, Marazion is also surrounded by many mines such as Wheal Prosper, Wheal Crab, Wheal Rodney, Tolvadden and South Neptune. Some of these mines are still preserved today. But as the industries of fishing and mining have declined, is the natural beauty of the scenery and landscape, combined with the Mount that has ensured that for centuries visitors have returned to the town.
Although Marazion is quiet and restful, there are plenty of activities such as sailing, windsurfing, horse riding and beautiful coastal and inland walks. For even more adrenaline there are kitesurfing lessons available from X-Treem Air and there are plenty of surfing schools dotted around the surrounding coastline.
Penzance is Cornwall’s largest and most westerly borough. Only 10 miles from Land’s End, the town is surrounded by an area of Celtic culture and outstanding natural beauty. Majestic cliffs, rocky coves, pristine sandy beaches and crystal clear seas vie with the heather and gorse of the moors and early Christian and Bronze Age sites to form a landscape that is the heritage of a proud culture, and a source of inspiration for artists, writers and poets.
Ancient fishing villages, cliff-top walks, sub-tropical vegetation and a wealth of industrial and maritime heritage combine with early Christian history and Celtic legend to make the district surrounding Penzance a fascinating area. The coastline of coves and caves, the area’s history of smugglers and wreckers and its long tradition of music and song, inspired Gilbert and Sullivan to name one of the most famous of their productions “The Pirates of Penzance”.
Combining coastline and countryside, West Cornwall features an incomparable variety of wide sandy beaches, steep rocky cliffs and hidden little coves together with remote moors on granite headlands along with numerous small villages and towns, each with its own individual character. The Lands End Peninsula is justly famous for the welcome given to visitors both by its people and its environment. All around the West Cornwall coastline, the sea is clean and clear and its beaches regularly receive awards for both their facilities and their cleanliness. Many of the beaches are ideal for families and children, with wide-open sand gently shelving into inviting water, and lifeguards patrol most of these popular venues during the summer. For watersports enthusiasts, there are excellent opportunities for surfing and wind-surfing, while sailing is popular in Mounts Bay with regular Championships being held for a wide variety of classes of boats.
Both the cliffs and the moorland provide plenty of opportunity to “escape the crowds” with well marked footpaths all along the cliff-tops while the inland area is criss-crossed with footpaths and bridle-ways. Scattered over the Peninsula are many pre-historic sites where stone circles, standing stones and settlement sites can be found. As symbols of the heritage of the people of West Cornwall, there are numerous stark granite-built towers rising above the remote moorland and cliff-tops to be seen. These were the engine houses of the tin mines which once formed the life-blood of the Cornish economy.
The “jewel in the crown” of Mounts Bay is the island castle of St Michael’s Mount while, further around the coast, lies the Minack Theatre set dramatically in the cliffs above the sea. In addition to these “must see” sites, there is a great variety of attractions open to the visitor including the Lands End Experience as well as the Tate Gallery in St Ives, Paradise Park bird sanctuary in Hayle and others just a little further afield such as Flambards Theme Park at Helston and the Seal Sanctuary at Gweek. Added to numerous museums, galleries and other attractions in, and around, Penzance, plus the best Cornish food, drink and entertainment in a great range of bars, restaurants, pubs and clubs, there will never be a shortage of “things to do”.
Marazion lies in the sheltered curve of Mounts Bay, which is recognised as one of the top ten most beautiful bays in the world. The clean sandy beaches offer safe bathing and spectacular views while the climate is the most temperate in the British Isles. The picturesque scenery of the island castle of St Michael’s Mount and the stunning views across the bay to Penzance, Newlyn and Mousehole earn this beach its famous reputation. It has also grown in stature as a venue for both national and international sailing and windsurfing championships.
There is plenty to explore to by foot from Marazion and this location is ideal for holidays that do not depend on a car, as it is served by a first class bus service and is within easy reach of many local areas of interest.
Distances from Marazion:
Penzance – 3 miles
St Ives – 6 miles
Truro – 23 miles
Falmouth – 30 miles
Lands End – 13 miles
Isles of Scilly – 20 mins by Skybus, Lands End