Thanks to our recent bumper summers and ever increasing number of happy visitors, there are now more things to do in Cornwall over the festive period than practically anywhere else in the UK. From fairy lights to pantos, to Christmas markets piled high with locally produced arts, crafts and goodies, there really is something for everyone.
To help you plan ahead, we’ve come up with our own edit of a few things to see and do this year. At the very least, you can get all your Christmas shopping done at one of the many Christmas markets!
To get you in the festive mood is our very own Christmas fair at Bedruthan on the 24th and 25th of November, where you can browse for gifts with over 50 stalls to choose from, visit the beautiful Create art gallery and shop, enjoy a delicious lunch of locally sourced seasonal ingredients at the Wild Café, make use of our drop-in kids club sessions and face painting sessions (by donation) and even take part in one of our festive workshops.
Then there’s the Padstow Christmas Festival. The biggest and busiest of the lot. As well as local artists and jewellery makers, it has an amazing selection of locally produced gin, beer, pickles, meats and cheeses, making it the perfect market for foodies! We recommend you head there early though as it can get pretty busy. If you’re there after dark, you’ll get to see the beautiful harbour lit up too, where you can join in with some Christmas carols.
Following close on the heels of the Bedruthan Christmas Fair, there’s another stunningly festive spot for a Christmas Market – Fowey. Approximately 45 minutes by car from the hotel, next to a beautiful harbour, it is packed full of local artists, food stalls and crafts. Afterwards, you can wander through the surrounding maze of streets lined with craft shops, clothes shops, cosy pubs and art galleries.
If you’re super organised, done with shopping, and just want some twinkling Christmas lights, the best display of them all is the famous Mousehole harbour lights. Literally the whole harbour is illuminated. The big switch on is Dec 15th at 6.30pm, which will include performances from local choirs and bands. If you’re not sure you can face the crowds, after that they’re illuminated from 5pm-11pm from the 16th Dec to the 4th Jan 2019.
On the same weekend as Padstow is another festive offering – The Lost Gardens of Heligan have their Christmas Fair, and an entry ticket enables you to walk around their incredible gardens too, so you can combine your visit with a festive wintery stroll.
Fancy something a bit more active? There’s always ice skating at the Eden Project with Cornwall’s only ice rink. Whilst you are there why not explore Eden’s world-famous Rainforest and Mediterranean biomes. We also recommend checking out the Invisible World’s exhibit, the outdoor gardens, the rainforest canopy walkway and if you are brave enough, the Sky Wire. The list goes on, so be sure to make the most of your day there.
Entertainment wise, sadly the Hall for Cornwall is shut for refurbishment this winter, but we’ve come up with another couple of suggestions if it’s some proper festive theatre fun you’re after.
Arguably one of the most unique and enchanting theatre companies in the UK is the multi-award winning Rogue Theatre Company. Talent aside, what sets them apart is their ability to perform incredible theatre whilst harnessing the nature around them! This year, they’re back in the magical setting of Tehidy Woods with their ‘Winter Wood 2018 – Magic is in the Air’ (and it really is!). Follow the path into the land of myth and legend as Old Man Winter’s world of stories, faeries and festive wonder comes life. Just take a torch, a warm coat, wellies, and a sense of adventure.
For a good old traditional panto, Cornish Style, there’s the Miracle Theatre production of Aladdin which runs from the 7th Dec to the 5th Jan at the Princess Pavilion Theatre in Falmouth. Falmouth is a 40-50 minute drive away, but well worth the journey with its restaurants, bars, shops and the Cornwall National Maritime Museum.
If that little lot leaves you feeling a tad weary, we should add that Christmas in Cornwall isn’t all about activity either. Sometimes it’s the doing nothing that means everything, so you could just sit back, stare out to sea enjoy a spa treatment and bask in some glorious winter sunshine!