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A port town in Cornwall, Penzance sits in the lap of Mount's Bay. With a pagan Celtic festival "Golowan" held annually in June, when midsummer is celebrated with crackling huge bonfires and colorful giants paraded around the town, this is where the miner's safety lamp was invented. The Dolphin Inn was the first place in 1564 in Britain where Sir John Hawkins (obviously nicotine starved) supposedly smoked tobacco that he had imported into England. He must have had no idea of the ramifications of this simple act for future nicotine freaks. It is where you will find one of the last remaining independent libraries in the UK. The Morrab Library was established in 1818 with 40,000 books in a stunning Georgian house.
Famous for not just having a smoke, Penzance has an old port to investigate, funky markets to explore, pubs galore for the odd drink or two and of course, the majestic St Michaels Mount standing in Mounts Bay. Quirky and odd, you can gawk at "The Egyptian House" with lotus columns complete with a royal coat of arms set into a sphinx or take a walk around the pre-historic settlement that was home to the Dumonii Tribe from 100BC to 400 AD at Chysauster where 28 meter oval houses were the dream houses of the day. If none of that appeals then grab a ferry to the Isles of Scilly and check out the abbey gardens and the Valhalla Museum. The must do thing is to walk across the tidal causeway to St Michaels Mount, a mediaeval castle dating back over 1,000 years.
Don't forget to indulge in some iconic Cornish fare of a hot Cornish pasty or a saffron bun. If thirst is more your concern, head to the Waterside Meadery Pub where you can guzzle down some potent mead wine in lots of different fruit flavors.
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