Whether you’re shopping for a big birthday or small souvenir, Penzance has a wide range of quirky, independent shops.
We’ve taken a tour around town to bring you ten of the best.
1. Circa 21
21 Market Jew Street
Run by super-lovely silversmith Esme Burton, Circa 21 sells handmade jewellery alongside gifts and homeware, with a real emphasis on supporting Cornish makers. You’ll find locally made skincare products, artisan kitchenware and unique greetings cards. Esme’s lucky sixpences make great gifts for weddings or special birthdays.
2. Number 36
Pop into Number 36 for a cache of options for different budgets. With accessories always a winning gift, choose from scarves, jewellery and bags. If home accessories are more their thing, opt for a brightly patterned mug or cup and saucer set from Pip Studio.
3. Pure Nuff Stuff
The Egyptian House, Chapel Street
You really can’t miss Pure Nuff Stuff: just look for the highly unusual Egyptian House on Chapel Street. Once you’ve finished marvelling at the building itself, head inside to wonder at the smell of fresh, natural skincare products. Pick up some soaps or ‘bath shots’ for a small present, or say it well with a customised gift box.
4. No. 56
56 Chapel Street
Feel instant ease as you step into the calm, coastal tones of No. 56. If you’re shopping for a home-lover, take your pick: highlights include soft grey and white linens, vintage-style kitchenware (think Kilner jars and light wooden utensils) and frosted glass vases. Your finds will work equally well in a townhouse or classic Cornish cottage.
27 Market Jew Street
If you love pretty things, you’ll enjoy browsing the wares at this hidden gem. Quirky children’s presents, Cornish crockery and coastal-style decorations are all Drift staples, along with failsafe options like candles, jewellery and scarves. Around Christmas, there’s a dazzling array of decorations that make excellent couples’ gifts.
6. Mounts Bay Trading
This Aladdin’s cave has a truly eclectic collection of goods, ranging from novelty gifts to big-name men’s and ladies’ fashion. On the ground floor you’ll find ethnic-style decor and soft furnishings, while upstairs you can pick up clothing by French Connection, Sandwich and Barts. A great choice if you’re looking for something a bit different.
7. Newlyn Books
Captain Cutter’s House, 52 Chapel Street
Once a traditional tobacconist, this richly stocked second-hand bookshop deserves a very leisurely browse. If you’re a book-lover, lose hours among volumes of local history and rare old editions of major works. For a really one-off gift, grab some vintage Penguin paperbacks and wrap them in decorative gift paper from Endpaper (just across the corridor).
8. Make Industries
45 Market Jew Street
If you are looking for something unique… as a gift or a treat for yourself then a visit to Make Industries is a must. All items are Made in Cornwall and the shop sells works of art, crafts and food from 40 local makers.
9. Hobbs The Kitchen Shop
A proper cookshop supplying everything you need to cook great food. They stock many leading brands in cookware and also specialise in Arcos and Opinel knives, silicone tools and some brilliant gadgets. Nordicware and Silverwood Bakeware make spectacular cakes easy. Pots, pans and utensils for the established chef or the student cook, for a small shop they certainly pack in a few choices!
10. Polgoon Vineyard
It’s well worth venturing outside the main town to visit this beauty of a vineyard on the A30 near Castle Horneck. The original on-site shop selling Polgoon’s own wine and cider (all grown and made on-site) has been expanded to include artisan food, with a great selection of local delicacies to put in a gift hamper.
For even more options, take a look at our guide to shopping in Penzance.