Best festive experiences in Cornwall
There’s something extra special about Christmastime by the coast in Cornwall, the salty tang of the sea air adding a rosy glow to windswept cheeks. From fishing villages festooned with twinkling lights to lantern processions and Christmas fairs, here are some of our favourite ways to mark the season in a truly Cornish way.
Looe lantern procession
A parade around East and West Looe with homemade lanterns kicks off the festivities in this charming seaside town, culminating with the switch on of Looe's Christmas lights. This year the procession is due to start from the Globe Inn at 6 pm on 2 December.
Fishermen’s Choir in Polperro
The Polperro Fishermen's Choir, and the offshoot, Polperro Wreckers, can most often be found performing shanties on the quay throughout the summer. Seasonal concerts to look out for in 2022 include the Wreckers performing at the Polperro Christmas Lights celebration on 3 December and the Fishermen's Choir at West Looe Quayside on 18 December. Visit their website for more details and dates.
A visit to see the floral garland hanging in the Great Hall at the National Trust’s Cotehele House on the Tamar River is a Cornish Christmas essential. The 60-foot-long wreath is made up of thousands of flowers grown on the estate. Time your visit to coincide with one of the various carol performances; the house is open daily between 19 November to 6 January (closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day).
Heligan at Night
The Lost Gardens of Heligan open their gates for the Heligan Night Garden, a magical trail through the grounds lit with installations and lanterns. It's an opportunity to celebrate native wildlife, fauna and flora against a truly festive backdrop, with fire bowls, glittering oak trees and warming refreshments. Available for bookings from 18 November.
Tunnel of Lights at Charlestown
Another iconic Cornish attraction to benefit from a sprinkling of festive magic is the Shipwreck Treasure Museum in Charlestown. A giant snow globe, the snowy winter wonderland of Narnia's frozen forests and the UK’s longest tunnel of indoor festive lights are just some of the highlights as the attraction aims to capture every imaginable Christmas setting. From 3 December to 8 January.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without festive markets. Head to the quaint harbour town of Fowey for local fare, yuletide tipples and gifts aplenty over the weekend of 2 to 4 December. Or Mount Edgcumbe country park on 10 and 11 December for their Christmas Fayre. As well as local produce, gifts, and crafts there will be workshops in the Barrow Centre.
Get in the spirit at Talland Bay Hotel
The team at Talland Bay Hotel like to go to town with festive sparkle. Come to marvel at the eye-catching decorations over festive afternoon tea (served daily throughout December) or something hearty from the bar menu or treat yourself to pre-Crimbo coastal escape. You’re guaranteed to be spoilt.