Christmas in Cornwall is truly magical!

 Festive markets and fantastic events from theatre and live music to chilly Christmas swims for those that dare. Harbours, towns and villages are illuminated with twinkling lights and there’s plenty to do for everyone. Read on for your guide to Christmas in Cornwall. 


Mousehole Christmas Lights – Started in 1963, the Mousehole Harbour Lights are switched on each December, illuminating the village until early January. The Lights this year will again be subject to a staggered switch on, the first displays start early December with displays added daily with the expectation that everything will be illuminated mid December. The lights will be lit from 5pm to 10pm each day.

Angarrack Christmas Lights – Featuring lights designed and built in Angarrack, the main display includes twelve illuminated displays telling the 'Twelve Days of Christmas' with the eleven pipers being 20m wide and nearly 10m tall. The twelve drummers drumming are equally impressive. The lights are turned on the first Saturday in December, and are illuminated between 5pm and 10:30pm every day until Twelfth Night.

St Ives Christmas Lights – Join the parade along The Wharf at 6pm, light up the evening streets with festive lanterns await the arrival of Father Christmas by boat. Keep your eye out for dates nearer the time.

Christmas Tunnel of Lights – Explore the Shipwreck Treasure Museum this Christmas as it’s transformed into the most Festive place in Cornwall with a snowy winter wonderland and mini-German Christmas market. Pause for some family Christmas crafts and follow Father Christmases footsteps through the glittering North Pole.



Christmas at Eden – Don't miss the magic of Christmas at Eden. Discover the twinkling Med Biome and fill up on festive cheer with the Big Band playing all your seasonal favourites. Wander round the enchanting Rainforest which will be awash in colourful lighting and marvel at the beautiful illuminated waterfall.

Ice Skating – The Eden Projects glittering ice rink is open from October - February (check out their website for current dates). Choose between general skating and a family fun skate as well as parent and toddler sessions. You can hire out a special skating aid to give that extra stability to young children.

Father Christmas at Eden – Meet father Christmas, his elves and discover how the reindeer fly using magical reindeer cubes made by his festive elves in preparation for the big day.


Heligan Night Garden – “Enter the Heligan Night Garden and enjoy an enchanting lantern experience set amidst the atmospheric Lost Gardens.”

Meet Father Christmas – Meet Father Christmas at The Lost Gardens of Heligan and explore the Gardens on your way to your fireside visit. There will be music, Christmas crackers and festive crafts before meeting Father Christmas. 

Lantern Making Workshops – Make your very own lantern to guide your family around the enchanting night garden at Heligan. Workshops run daily and their festive team are on hand to guide your children through the process of decorating and assembling a handheld lantern. There is then a magical lantern procession as you navigate the pathways by the warm glow of your own decorated lantern and watch the mesmerising flames and reflections on the magical Night Garden path.

Christmas Wreath Creation Workshop – “Deck your doors with boughs of holly!” Create your very own Christmas masterpiece with freshly gathered foliage, seed heads, larch cones and other floral treasures.



Christmas at Trelissick – Christmas returns to Trelissick this year with a whole host of festive events. Father Christmas can be found telling his festive tales in the stables each weekend and the 12 days of Christmas will be introduced with a display by each team. Learn about the history of the families who once called Trelissick home while taking in the decorations and enjoying the festive food in the café. They even have a full array of seasonal goods in their Christmas gift range and craft fair.

Christmas at Godolphin Wrap up warm for a Christmas family walk on the wider estate, discover how to make a traditional wreath for your front door, using fresh and natural foliage or take part in the winter family trail. 

Christmas at Trengwainton – Wander through the walled gardens and orchard under the warm glow of the fairy lights during the after-dark winter festival. Along the route there are lighted structures creatively made by local schools, artists and partner organisations.


Heartlands Christmas Market – Festive fun at The Heartlands Christmas Market includes plenty of stalls selling an array of locally made crafts, perfect for anyone looking to purchase a unique gift. There will also be tasty seasonal treats, beverages and some entertainment throughout the day.

St Ives Christmas Farmers’ Market – The weekly farmers’ market is the perfect place to pick up last minute local gifts and fantastic Cornish Christmas food. There is also The St Ives Food Trail where you’re able to sample delicious Cornish produce as you go.

Fowey Christmas Market – Fowey Christmas Market is one of Cornwall’s most magical festive events, attracting tens of thousands of visitors to the quaint harbour town of Fowey, which comes alive with festive merriment, Christmas shopping, seasonal music, and a smorgasbord of quality locally produced food and drink, and festive gifts.



Tom Bawcock’s Eve – Mousehole was once very short of food in the 16th century after storms stopped the local fishing boats from leaving the small fishing harbour. This went on until the day before Christmas Eve, when Tom Bawcock decided to brave the stormy seas and take his boat out to fish. He landed a huge catch of fish despite the story and battled his way back to the harbour, where the villagers of Mousehole warmly greeted him. The people were so hungry that they placed the fish they caught whole into a pie, with the heads and tails sticking out through the crust. This is the famous “Starry Gazey Pie”. The people of Mousehole hold a special celebration on 23rd December every year with a special serving of Starry Gazey Pie in the Ship Inn and lantern processions.

Montol – The Montol Festival is an arts and community festival celebrating the midwinter solstice and Cornish traditions of the past, culminating in the main event, Montol Eve on December 21.


The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno – Enjoy a Christmas performance in the spectacular open-air theatre. Don’t forget a warm coat!

Hall For Cornwall, Truro –  Check the website for the next panto - we can highly recommend.

The Woodfired SessionsHearty food, warming drinks, great music, the perfect way to spend a wintery Sunday! The Polurrian is showcasing some of the county’s favourite singers and musicians. Woodfired Sunday lunch is available from 12-4pm before live music starts at 4pm in the vista lounge with stunning sea views.

Una Sessions – The ultimate sundowner. Delicious dishes, expertly mixed cocktails and spellbinding live music every Sunday.


The tradition of diving into the freezing Atlantic Ocean is expanding and the list of beaches taking part is forever growing. Some beaches even have a wetsuit ban!

Christmas Day

Sennen: Sennen Cove, 11am. Wetsuits are banned!

St Agnes: Trevaunance Cove, 11am. Wetsuits are banned and the event is usually followed by hot mulled cider at The Driftwood Spars.

Boxing day

St Ives: Porthminster Beach, midday. Wetsuits are optional and a donation can be made for Mind Charity.