The grown-ups guide to Cornish festivities


Cornwall is magical in the run-up to Christmas. You can take bracing walks on beautiful, empty beaches. Explore one of our picturesque fishing village all a-twinkle with lights and get any last minute gifts you need at one of our festive markets.

There’s so much to do and see on a pre-Christmas break in Cornwall. Here’s our list of favourite festive events not to be missed:

Padstow Christmas Festival
3rd to 6th December 2014

Starring some award-winning chefs and more than 100 artisans and producers, Padstow Christmas Market celebrates all things traditional, Christmas and Cornish. Food and drink stalls will be laden with delicious produce from across the county and you’ll find everything an epicure could possibly want – from local cheeses and organic sausages to warm mulled wine and glasses of ale. This market brims with handmade gifts so you can get all your Christmas shopping done in one go. Some of this year’s highlights include chef demonstrations from our very own head chef, Tom Hunter on Thursday at 4pm, fireworks on the harbour on Friday at 8:30pm and the Santa Fun Run on Saturday at 1pm.

Mousehole Christmas Lights
Saturday 12th December 2015 at 7.00 pm

The Christmas lights in Mousehole are a stunning sight with floating displays of illuminations – sea serpents, fishing boats and whales – transforming the harbour and the streets of the village. The village is ablaze with colour when the lights are on. It’s a magical experience to walk the narrow streets following the winding strings of lanterns as they disappear around another corner into yet another street. Browse around the local gift shops and stop for a meal and a drink in one of village restaurants, cafes or pubs. The lights switch on will be held on Saturday 12th December at 7pm with a choir singing carols. The lights will then be on each evening between 5pm and 11pm from Sunday 13th December 2015 until Saturday 2nd January 2016 with the exception of 19th of December when the lights will be dimmed between 8-9pm.

Truro City of Lights
Wednesday 18th November at 7pm

Nothing heralds Christmas quite like the warm glow of festive lights and this year the theme for Truro’s festival of lights is the ‘Museum of Lost Stories’ with lanterns inspired by fascinating artefacts from our past. See handsome Truro lit up in spectacular fashion with this vivid, creative celebration that includes art, music, dance and – of course – light. The event features a dazzling procession of giant handmade withy and tissue lanterns floating through the streets carried by professional artists and accompanied by a host of smaller lanterns carried by Cornish school children and local community and youth groups. Every year the procession has a different theme and an escort of musicians and dancers including samba, brass bands and pipes and drums.

Fowey Christmas Market
4th – 6th December 2015

Said by many to be Cornwall’s biggest and best Christmas market, Fowey’s festive food, drink, music and shopping extravaganza is not to be missed. Highlights include the arrival of Father Christmas – in style and by boat – to meet local children, a lantern procession, hog roast and carol singing led by the Town Choir. You’ll find a wealth of traditional and Cornish traders offering all kinds of gifts, art and crafts as well as delicious local food and drink, all complementing Fowey’s eclectic range of quality eateries, boutiques and art galleries. There will also be various entertainers including Fowey River Singers and Fowey’s own Voiceworks Choir performing around the town, a hog roast and the vicar serving mulled wine and chestnuts. The market is open 5pm – 8:30pm on Friday 4th, 10am – 5pm on Saturday 5th and 10am – 4pm on Sunday 6th December.

Lostwithiel Dickensian Evening
Thursday 10th December 2015

Quaint Lostwithiel is the perfect setting for a Dickensian Evening. The evening kicks off with a lantern parade led by the Lostwithiel Town Band. Shops in the centre of town will be open late and shopkeepers dress up in Victorian garb. In fact lots of people get in the spirit and you’ll see stallholders, performers and townspeople kitted out in old-fashioned costumes. Choirs, bands, musicians and buskers perform throughout the evening in the street and in venues around town, singing carols and festive tunes. Once the festivities finish up around 9pm, the evening continues with live music and entertainment in local pubs and clubs.