St. Just in Penwith

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The green at St Just in Penwith

St Just is the mainland of the UKs most westerly town with a population of around 3000 in Cornwall. Traditionally a mining town, the last mine closed in 1996. St Just now makes the majority of its income from passing tourists.

Understand[edit]

Penzance Tourist Information Centre (Located between the rail and bus stations in Penzance),  +44 1736 362207. Can help with information and accommodation

Get in[edit]

The main way to get to St Just is by travelling via Penzance, 7 miles from the town.

  • By bus: From Penzance there are a couple of bus services (First Bus Cornwall route 10/10A) which takes 30–40 minutes and runs every 30 minutes during the day Mon-Sat, less frequently in the evenings and on Sundays and (Western Greyhound route 509) which takes 30 minutes and runs via Sancreed on Mondays to Saturdays there is no Sunday service on this route. Alternate buses run via Pendeen. In addition there is an open top summer service (First Bus Cornwall route 300) which runs Lands End - Sennen - St Just - Zennor - St Ives every couple of hours.
  • By road: St Just is situated at the end of A3071 which runs to Penzance and the A30 to England. There are also local B-class roads to Sennen (and Land's End) to the South and St Ives to the North.
  • By train: Nearest National Rail station is Penzance, a taxi costs around £20 or catch the bus.
  • By coach: London Victoria to Penzance.
'Jesus of the Trades,' one of two old paintings found in the church during repair work

Get around[edit]

The town is very small and easily walked. Plenty of free parking as well.

See[edit]

Sights are largely outside but near. Anywhere on the north Cornish coast near here is great with Cape Cornwall as the scenic highlight. Sennen Cove to the west and St Ives to the east have excellent beaches.

Nearby Beaches[edit]

  • Cape Cornwall - rocky beach with a bathing pool (Priest Cove), used by small day fishing boats.
  • Cot Valley - SSSI beach with a unique raised beach.
  • Porth Nanven - over the saddle to the South of Cot Valley - body rock beach with great swimming and snorkeling.

Various other beaches dot the coast near to the town.

If you have a car, you could try these tourist-orientated beaches:

  • Sennen Cove - nearby car park - very busy during the summer.
  • Gwenver - great surfing beach - half a mile walk from the car park.
  • St Ives town beaches - good selection, but busy and situated in the town.
Cape Cornwall down the Kenidjack Valley

Industrial remains[edit]

The whole area is full of mining remains but the following are outstanding.

  • Geevor - see Cornwall page.
  • Botallack - off B3308 towards Zennor; particularly The Crowns
    Botallack Crowns
  • Kenidjack - off B3308 at Tregeseal Kenidjack
  • Levant mine and beam engine (National Trust.)
  • Ding Dong Mine. The oldest mine in Cornwall (local legend says that it was visited by Joseph of Arimathea in the first centure CE)

Prehistoric remains[edit]

Settlements

  • Chysauster
  • Carn Euny - there is a fine fogue here.

Stones

  • Merry Maidens - stone circle Grid ref: SW433245
  • Boscawen Un Circle (Nine Maidens) stone circle SW412274
  • Men an Tol - holed stone with upright on each side SW427349
  • Lanyon Quoit - dolmen - SW 430337

Round Barrow

  • Ballowal Barrow at Carn Gloose, a fine viewpoint overlooking Cape Cornwall - SW355312

Granite churches[edit]

Although the granite churches here have much in common, they all have distinctive features.

  • St Just has ancient frescoes
  • St Buyan has a splendid rood screen
  • Zennor has a mermaid bench, a squint a sundial and an old font - as well as being by a splendid piece of coast and a great pub, the Tinners' Arms.
  • St Levan has a remarkable stone and shaped coffin rests.

There are plenty more.

Do[edit]

  • Go to Geevor - an old tin mine, you can go on an underground tour.
  • Walk up to the moors above the town.
  • St Just is good placed for an overnight stop on the Coastal Path (from Penzance, Lands' End and Sennen to the South and Zennor and St. Ives to the North).
  • Scenic flights or trial flight lessons from Lands End Airfield 2 miles from town.
  • Visit Cape Cornwall - 2 miles down Cape Cornwall Road (past the grey grim looking Secondary School). Once thought to be the most Westerly point in the UK, proved wrong with modern mapping. Stunning scenery and a welcoming Coast Watch Station (www.ccnci.org.uk) on the sea facing slope of the cape. A good circular walk (3 miles, an hour, plus stops) is: down Cape Cornwall Road to the cricket club, turn left and follow on to Carn Gloose, carry on down the track to Cape Cornwall. On the way back follow the road for 100 m and turn left 45 degrees along a foot path track, follow this round past the house on the left before turning left onto a foot path. Follow the valley all the way back to the town.
  • Visit the ancient stone circles around the town.

Events[edit]

  • Lafrowda Festival - performing arts festival with (free) live music into the night. Mid July.
  • St Just Feast - 1st November every year - the start of the St Just hunt (which isn't allowed to hunt any more), general 'piss up' in the town.
  • New Year's Eve - fancy dress night. Normally every one spills out from all the pubs and dances round the Christmas tree in Market Square (the one with the Co-Op) just before midnight.
  • Market Jew Day - early April every second year - another excuse for a party - traditionally the day when the Jews would be shipped out, but luckily now this is only celebrated in a tongue in cheek manner.

Eat[edit]

  • A large steak pasty from McFaddens butchers - without doubt the best pasty in Cornwall (and therefore the world).
  • Have lunch at the Cook Book - a cafe downstairs, second hand books shop upstairs. Sometimes does evening meals.
  • Jeremys Fish and Chips - locally caught fish, take away and during the summer restaurant upstairs.
  • Red Star Chinese take away
  • Kegan Teg - cafe which does decent evening meals and operates a bring your own bottle of wine policy.

Drink[edit]

St. Just is a small hard drinking town, expect good chat from locals but don't say Cornwall is part of England

  • The Star Inn (live local music on Monday nights, open mic on Thursday nights and a good croud on Friday and Saturday nights)
  • Commercial Arms
  • Kings Inn
  • Wellington
  • Rugby Club (with a bar) 5 minutes walk out of town.
  • The Royal Legion (open to non-members)
  • Sit in the Plein An Gwarry with a can - just behind the clock tower.

On Friday and Saturdays its not uncommon for people to club together and share a taxi to the night clubs in Penzance "Oii my lover are you going down barn tonight?" is what you may be asked, which refers to the Barn Night Club in Penzance. A taxi is around £20 each way - not too bad if you get 7 people and a 7 seater minibus taxi.

Sleep[edit]

  • Various B&Bs in and around the town. Contact the Penzance TIC for booking and more information.
  • The Commercial Hotel, attached to the Commerial Arms.
  • Lands' End Youth Hostel is a 1.5 mile walk (partially down an unlit hiking path so take note if arriving late in the evening) from the town, but is pricey compared to a B&B if you are a group of 2 or more.

Connect[edit]

Stay Safe[edit]

St. Just is a safe place with low rates of petty crime. Be sensible though and don't leave valuables on display in your car over night. St. Just is a major gateway for narcotics dropped off by small speed boats in the middle of the night at the large number of coves dotted around the coast. There is a significant organised crimal network operating, although this should be of little significance to the visitor it does create some of the lowest street prices for illegal drugs in Western Europe.

Go next[edit]

  • Visit the Isles of Scilly - a 15 minute flight from Lands End Airfield 2 miles from the town or a 2 hour 40 minute sea crossing from Penzance.
  • St Ives - drive (or take an open top bus in summer) the 15 miles along the North Coast road (B3306) to St Ives - spectacular scenery, plus various pubs to stop at along the way. Luckily the UK has a higher drink drive limit than the US or other European countries and it's perfectly normal to have a couple of pints and still drive. While the limit is higher, the police still crack down hard on anyone caught driving above this limit.
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This city travel guide to St. Just in Penwith has the status usable. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page