13 Days Of Christmas In Cornwall – Fun, Festive Things To Do All Season Long
If you are looking for inspiration for what to do over the Christmas period in St Ives, Cornwall, have a look here. I’ve picked the 13 best and most Christmassy things you can do in West Cornwall this festive season.
My list of markets and events is by no means comprehensive. You can email me to add anything you think I may have missed - if it is close enough and Christmassy enough I will add it. Shout too if I have made any mistakes!
1. Christmas Lights
Watch the Christmas lights being switched on in your town. From St Ives to Falmouth, Penzance to Perranporth, there are some lovely Christmas lights switch on events across the county. Some of the best are St Ives (biased I know), Newlyn and the amazing Mousehole Christmas lights. For us, Christmas isn’t Christmas without a visit to the Mousehole lights!
Some of the bigger events aren't doing a big switch on this year. St Ives lights are being turned on on Smeaton's Pier on the 25th November with no ceremony. The Christmas tree lights in Royal Square will be turned on on the 7th December by the Local Hero.
Christmas Lights 2022 Dates:
Truro - 18th November >>
Hayle - 25th November >>
Camborne - 25th November >>
Penzance - 26th November >>
Angarrack - from 3rd December (no big switch on) >>
St Ives (Christmas tree) - 7th December >>
St Just - 9th December >>
Newlyn - 9th December >>
Mousehole - from 12th December (no big switch on) >>
Other lovely places to visit to see some amazing Christmas lights are:
Heligan Night Garden >>
Christmas at The Eden Project >>
Trengwainton Gardens, Penzance >>
The Christmas Tunnel Of Lights in Charlestown >>
2. Christmas Markets
There are Christmas Markets, fairs, bazaars and fayres galore across Cornwall. We have so many local makers producing some beautiful things that make perfect, thoughtful presents.
We are going to be selling our game, The Great St Ives Pasty Dash at the Nancledra School Christmas Fayre on the 25th and 26th November, and the St Erth Christmas Market on the 3rd December. Come and see us if you are in the area!
Christmas Market Dates For 2022:
Bedruthan Christmas Fayre. 18th to 20th November
Una Christmas Fayre, Carbis Bay. 24th November and 1st Dec, 4 - 8pm.
Nancledra School Christmas Fayre. 25th (evening) and 26th November (all day).
St Ives Fair Mo. 26th November from 10am.
Penzance Christmas Market. 26th November and 17th December from 10:30am
Polgoon Christmas Market, Penzance. 26th November from 12noon.
Mousehole Christmas Craft Fair. 29th November from 10am.
Padstow Christmas Festival. 1st - 4th December.
St Ives Christmas Market. 2nd, 3rd and 4th December.
Trevena Cross Garden Centre Christmas Market. Every weekend in December.
Porthleven Christmas Market. 2nd, 3rd and 4th December.
St Erth Christmas Market. 3rd Dec 2-6pm.
Flame Christmas Market, Penzance. 3rd Dec 10-4pm
Nadelik Christmas Market, Heartlands. 3rd and 4th Dec 10-4pm.
Coastal Christmas Market, Carbis Bay Hotel. 3rd, 4th and 10th, 11th Dec 12-6pm.
3. Father Christmas
There are lots of lovely grottos, Winter Wonderlands and even Santa trains where your children can meet Father Christmas. Santa is also arriving by the RNLI lifeboat in St Ives on the 7th December at 6pm.
Places To Visit Father Christmas In Cornwall 2022:
Trelissick National Trust
Paradise Park, Hayle
Trevena Cross Garden Centre
Trerice National Trust
Dairyland Farm Park
Lost Gardens Of Heligan
The Eden Project
Gwel An Mor
Bodmin and Wenford Railway
Christmas Tunnel Of Lights, Charlestown
4. Ice Skating
Ice skating is such a fun and festive thing to do. Here in Cornwall you can skate at the Eden Project until February 2023.
Click here to find out more info about Eden Ice Skating >>
Trevena Cross garden centre puts on an amazing Christmas experience each year. This includes a fabulous snow display, which my children LOVE!
Trevena Cross is at Breage near Helston and their Christmas experience is on every weekend in December. It is free to visit but you will no doubt end up spending £££ as they have some amazing stuff!
Click here for more info >>
5. Choose Your Christmas Tree
Christmas isn’t Christmas to us without the annual choosing of our Christmas tree. If you are in St Ives, there is always a house on the Higher Stennack selling real Christmas trees. We have had one of these before and it was wonderful.
Other places to buy Christmas trees from are:
Ladydown at Polgoon Vineyard
Mole Valley at Ludgvan
Dobbies Garden Centre at Lelant
Trevaskis Farm at Connor Downs
There is also usually a Christmas tree seller on the A30 when you drive from St Erth to Penzance. I know a few people who like to buy them from there.
6. Get Christmas Crafty!
There are lots of lovely workshops going on across the county where you can make your own Christmas Wreath or Christmas gifts. There are some fab looking workshops in Carbis Bay Hotel and Una St Ives. You can also travel further afield to the Lost Garden Of Heligan, who are running wreath making workshops.
Places To Find Wreath Making Workshops
Carbis Bay Hotel >>
St Ives Library >>
Sea Of Coffee, St Ives >>
Una Spa, Carbis Bay >>
The Gannet Inn, Carbis Bay >>
St Ives Harbour Hotel >>
Lost Gardens Of Heligan >>
You can also visit the stunning Christmas wreath at Cotehele >>
7. Christmas Carols
There is nothing quite so beautiful as a lovely Christmas carol concert. There are some lovely ones in churches across the county and some quite big ones in Truro cathedral.
There are charity Christmas carol concerts on at Carbis Bay Hotel and Una Spa this year.
If you prefer something a little more rustic, come to St Ives on Christmas Eve and follow the carollers around town.
Christmas Carols Dates 2022
The Tate Winter Festival >>
25th and 26th November at Tate St Ives
Carbis Bay Hotel Charity Carol Concert >>
9th December 7:30pm at Carbis Bay Hotel.
Festive Carols At Porthmeor Studios >>
10th December at 7pm
Christmas Concert With Lanner Silver Band >>
11th December at Heartlands
Pendeen Silver Band Christmas Concert >>
18th December at The Minack Theatre
Una Spa Festive Charity Christmas Carols >>
20th December at Una Spa, Carbis Bay
Oh no he didn’t! Oh yes he did! Panto is a staple of any child’s Christmas. The very best panto (in my obviously unbiased opinion) is the ones put on in St Ives by Kidz R Us. This year they are going a little different and are putting on Elf Jr The Musical, which my children are sooo excited about!
Treasure Island - A Classic Christmas Adventure! >>
1st to 31st December at Hall For Cornwall in Truro
Sleeping Beauty >>
8th - 11th Dec at The Guildhall, St Ives
Elf The Musical Jr - Kidz R Us St Ives >>
20th - 23rd and 27th - 30th December at Kidz R Us in St Ives.
If Panto isn’t your thing, there are lots of other shows and plays going on.
St Ives Shanty Shout >>
25th and 26th November
The Nutcracker at Newlyn Filmhouse >>
15th and 20th November
White Christmas, The Musical >>
12th - 19th November at Hall For Cornwall in Truro
Christmas Quiz In Aid Of The Edward Hain Community Project >>
9th December at The Western Hotel, St Ives
The Mousehole Cat >>
13th - 31 Dec at the Solomon Browne Hall in Mousehole
Phil & Friends Christmas Revue >>
11th Dec at the St Ives Theatre
The Christmassy Christmas Show of Christmassy Christmasness
17th Dec at The Minack >>
22nd Dec at The Acorn Theatre in Penzance >>
A Christmas Carol
17th Dec at The Guildhall, St Ives >>
21st and 22nd Dec at The Minack Theatre >>
23rd Dec at The Acorn Theatre, Penzance >>
10. Lantern Parades
Lantern Parades are becoming a really big thing in the Christmas calendar down her in Cornwall. There are lots of other lantern parades, lots of which you can take part in.
On Saturday 3rd December you can make lanterns for the St Ives parade at the St Ives Library. Click here for details >>
Lantern Parade Dates 2022:
Hayle - 25th November >>
Camborne - 25th November >>
St Ives - 10th December >>
Humphrey Davy (Penzance) - 17th December >>
11. Montol Festival
The Montol Festival in Penzance on the 21st December is a must see. It is a pagan celebration of mid Winter with lots of parades, traditions and some amazing costumes. Watch the bizarre craziness before your eyes or get dressed up and join in the parades!
Click here for more information about Montol >>
12. Swim In The Sea
A staple part of Christmas in Cornwall is a dip in the sea. There are lots of organised events, many of which are raising money for charity. There is the Christmas Eve Swim in Penzance, the Gwithian Christmas Day swim and the St Ives Boxing Day swim on Porthminster Beach. There are also several New Years Day swims further up in Cornwall.
13. New Year’s Eve In Cornwall
The festive season in Cornwall is finished off in style by New Year’s Eve. New Year’s Eve is celebrated in St Ives by a big party in the harbour. Everyone dresses up in amazing fancy dress and parties in the street and on the beach. At midnight there is a spectacular fireworks display.
What do you love to do to celebrate your Christmas in Cornwall?