Back In My Day, These Were The Only 5 Places To Go Out In Penryn


A rare happy, not-ill moment during Freshers Fortnight with Thea, my lovely Bristolian flatmate.

My uni years were not my happiest. But in hindsight, Penryn – despite being a teeny-tiny town with barely anything to show on its high street – actually had some pretty decent drinking haunts, most of which were fairly new and set up to satiate students’ appetites for booze. Say what you want about uni students, but in a relatively deprived area like Penryn, the students’ custom massively, massively helps the local economy during the winter months.

If you decide to go to the Exeter Cornwall campus, Camborne School of Mines or Falmouth Uni, you may find this guide helpful.

  1. Number 20
    A bar with the best quiz night in town that offered the winners a £50 bar tab. After a year of trying, unsuccessfully, to win it with my flatmate Molly and a group of her friends, I finally won it on my last go in a team of two with my then-boyfriend. Although Molly’s group were not impressed that we bumped them into second place yet again, they were much happier when we shared our winnings with them. It’s very pretty, has some amazing cocktails, and has a selection of board games for punters including Jenga. Good times were had here.
  2. The Thirsty Scholar
    A new business set up during my second year of uni, this pub showed BT Sport football to give it an appeal beyond thirsty scholars from the uni, and served amazing mulled wine. Dimmed lights gave it a homely, intimate feel. Although maybe that was the mulled wine talking.
  3. Miss Peapod’s Kitchen Cafe
    Overlooking the tiny harbour, this scenic building was a cutesy cafe with cakes and coffees by day, and a cosy, folksy music venue by night. A must-visit for any student at some point.
  4. The Kings Arms
    I love a slightly shabby, cheap old man pub, and this was very definitely one of those. Quite literally. As the only football lover in my vicinity, I went here to watch Man City famously lose the FA Cup final to Wigan, getting rip-roaringly drunk to celebrate, and ended up having a long chat with two very friendly old men. They really were very nice. It just got a bit awkward when one of them – who was 65 – showed me a picture of his 5-year-old child, said his wife was 25, and that they’d been married for 9 years. He married a 16-year-old when he was 56. GULP. Ain’t no-one open-minded enough for a 40 year age gap.
  5. The Stannary
    And, if all else failed, there was the student bar. Good for a quick drink between lectures, comfy study group meet-ups, and Freshers Fortnight events. But not much else.

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