We welcome pre-booked group visits to Penlee House and offer a free introductory talk, plus free admission for the group leader and, if relevant, coach driver. If you are interested in bringing a group of any size to Penlee House, please contact us on 01736 363625 to discuss your requirements and book a time and date.
Penlee House was originally built as a Victorian family home, and consequently the galleries are of a domestic size. Unfortunately, therefore, we cannot accommodate any group comprising more than 25 at one time. We do, however, allow larger groups to split in to two and will repeat the introductory talk as necessary - one half might take a refreshment break whilst the other half look around.
When you book, we will ensure that your visit does not clash with other groups so that you have a safe and enjoyable visit. Because of the size of the galleries and the consequential restriction on numbers it is important that you arrive on time. If your plans change for any reason, please ring the Gallery and inform us of your new estimated time of arrival (01736 363625).
We offer a free 10-15 minute introductory talk about Penlee House and the current exhibition, but this must be booked in advance. Talks can usually be tailored to a group's interest, so if you would like us to focus on a specific subject or area of the collections, please let us know at the time of booking.
When paying for admission by cash, we would be grateful if the group leader could collect money from individuals beforehand and pay at the reception desk in one transaction. Cheques should be made payable to Penzance Town Council. We take all major credit and debit cards and payment on invoice can be arranged - please ask at the time of booking.
Please check the What's On - Exhibitions page for details of the particular exhibition that will be on show for your planned visit. Penlee House presents five temporary exhibitions each year and these are usually planned 2-3 years ahead, so if your visit is a long way ahead and beyond the scope of the published programme, please contact us for details.
Each exhibition has a direct relevance to the artistic and social history of west Cornwall and includes works from the permanent collection, supplemented by loans from public and private collections. If the main exhibition is not of work by the Newlyn School, we ensure that a representative selection of works by these artists is on show. In addition to the galleries, our museum contains a wealth of material relating to the archaeology and social history of west Cornwall.
Copyright remains live, and usually remains the property of the artist's estate, for 70 years after the artist's death. For this reason, many of the paintings on display are still within copyright, even if they belong to us. In addition to this, all our exhibitions contain works lent by private and public collections, and there is often a stipulation that no photography is allowed. Because of this, we do not allow any photography anywhere in the gallery or museum. We do, however, try to ensure that postcards, greeting cards and prints of the most popular images are available in our shop at reasonable prices.
To prevent accidental damage to the vulnerable works on show, we do not allow rucksack-style bags to be carried on visitors' backs. We do, however, have a cupboard where bags can be locked away, at the owner's risk. Bags can be carried by hand if preferred.
The small on-site cafe, the Orangery, has a limited number of covers and cannot accommodate groups. Tea, coffee and cakes are served throughout the day, but a minimum charge is levied at lunch time.
A typical daily menu consists of a fresh soup, a choice of sandwiches, paninis and jacket potatoes, plus a small number of main meals (including at least one vegetarian option). Please note that it is not possible to book tables in the cafe.