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Christmas in Cornwall

Christmas in Cornwall

Anyone who lives in Cornwall will tell you that there is a myriad of reasons to visit here during the winter months. Our streets are quiet, the beaches are empty, and you get a sense of the ‘real’ Cornwall that few get to see. From storm watching along the coast to cosy pub lunches by a roaring log fire, lanterns adorning our cobbled streets and Christmas lights in quaint villages, there is something so special about Christmas in Cornwall.

Here are 5 reasons to love Christmas in Cornwall...

Winter Walks

With over 400 miles of coastline and some of the most beautiful scenery in the UK, Cornwall has an abundance of picturesque beaches and coves to visit (over 300 in fact!). The best thing about visiting them in December is they are all blissfully quiet and somehow their beauty shines even brighter in the solitude of a winter’s day.

Cornwall is very dog-friendly, especially after the summer period when seasonal dog bans are lifted, and you’ll often have the whole beach to yourself to enjoy. Winter months bring space, freedom and room to breathe with increased parking options enticing you to visit somewhere you have never been before. Some of our favourite coastal walks are:

  • Trevose Head
  • Rock to Polzeath
  • Port Quin to Port Isaac
  • St Agnes to Perranporth
  • The Lizard Peninsula

Christmas Markets

Christmas Markets are a must-do during the festive period, and Christmas Market’s in Cornwall are arguably the best. Highlighting the finest Cornish produce and handmade crafts the county has to offer, you are sure to find the perfect present for a loved one or gift for yourself. They usually start around mid-November, here is a list of our must visits still to come this year:

  • Padstow Christmas Festival, 5th – 8th December
  • Fowey Christmas Market, 6th – 8th December
  • Heligan Christmas Fair, 6th – 8th December
  • Winter Gift Fayre, 11th – 19th December
  • Healey’s Christmas Markets, weekends from 16th November – 22nd December

Christmas Lights

There’s something so special about Christmas lights, marking the true start of the festive season for many towns and villages in Cornwall. Anywhere you go, you’ll be sure to find a dazzling display enhancing the local area with festive cheer.

Now in its 56th year, people from all over the county make their way down to Mousehole to see their captivating Christmas display light up the harbour (pictured). Held in the entrance to the North Quay, you will find yourself surrounded by the warming sounds of Christmas carols from the Mousehole Male Voice Choir, Members of the Methodist Church and music from the Pendeen Silver Band. The Mousehole lights are on each evening between 5pm and 11pm from 14th December 2019 until 4th January 2020 (With the exception of 19th Dec, when the lights will be dimmed between 8-9pm).

Popular harbour light displays also adorn the pretty streets of Padstow, Fowey, Looe and Angarrack to name but a few, but Christmas light displays inland are just as delightful. Wadebridge, Newquay and  Truro  all have beautiful displays illuminating the street with vibrant colours and festive cheer in the air. 


Rogue Theatre takes over the wilds of Tehidy Woods this December and transforms it with lights, tents and decorations turning it into something truly magical for their enchanting winter celebration; Winter Wood. An enticing mix of performance, storytelling and magic surrounded by woodland makes this unique and immersive performance one not to miss this year. Plus, free hot chocolate for everyone – what’s not to love?

There really are some excellent performances to fill the darker evenings this year. Visit the Eden Project’s ‘Festival of Christmas’ throughout December to discover some of Cornwall’s finest musicians playing festive sets, beautifully lit Biomes and mulled wine around a giant Christmas tree alongside their wonderful ice-rink (open until February 2020). National Trust also have a host of fun activities to join in with such as a Tudor banquet at Trerice, beautiful illuminations at Trelissick, Christmas craft fayres at various locations plus a festive Christmas lantern walk at Trengwainton Garden and more.


There is something even more heart-warming about a Sunday roast in December and Cornwall is full of cosy pubs with roaring log fires serving the perfect Sunday lunch. Winter menus are full of hearty meals, which are even more comforting in December, not forgetting fresh-from-the-harbour seafood, decadent Cornish Cream Teas and the obligatory Cornish pasty - perfect after a blustery walk along the South West Coast Path.

Some of our favourites for a delicious Sunday lunch in Cornwall are:

  • The Mariners, Rock
  • The Stepping Stone, Wadebridge
  • The Pandora Inn, Falmouth

What is your favourite thing about Christmas in Cornwall? We'd love to hear from you! Share with us on social media @stevalcandles #stevalcandles