11 Reasons to Love Christmas in Penzance

11 Reasons to Love Christmas in Penzance


How about a cosy Christmas in Penzance?

Our portside town offers the best independent shopping in Cornwall, intimate, piratey pubs with crackling fires and the chicest eateries this side of the M25.

Add our romantic location at the tip of England and some curiously Celtic get-togethers and you have a Christmas venue like nowhere else.

Come for a day trip. Settle in for a week. But do visit. We’re warming up the mulled wine and pasties for you already…

Experience the Christmas lights  

There’s a Dickensian feel to Christmas in Penzance, with strings of golden lights spanning narrow streets. Magical! Look out for Penzance Christmas Lights Switch On, Saturday 2 December at 5.30pm, including live music and choirs. And don’t forget, you’re also a mere Brussels sprout’s throw from the famous lights of Newlyn, Mousehole and Angarrack, too.

Watch the Humphry Davy Lantern Parade

Join in with a little bit of Penzance history by cheering on the Humphry Davy Lantern Parade on 16 December. Celebrating the famous chemist and inventor of the miners’ lamp, our parade processes through the town from the top of Causewayhead at 5pm.

Discover unique gifts on Penzance high street

‘Better just get them a gift token.’ Said no one – ever – while shopping in Penzance. In recent years, our town has become a treasure chest of independent shops that are perfect for finding unique pressies with plenty of personality. The best town in Cornwall for unique gifting – fact.

Mingle at a Christmas market

The waft of mulled wine. A whiff of artisan cheese. And a wonderful display of crafts from talented local makers. Just a flavour of what you’ll discover at the Christmas Market at St John’s Hall. Visit on 2 December from 10am-5pm on the day of Penzance Christmas Lights Switch On. Then, top up a second time on 16 December (again 10-5pm) on the day of the Humphry Davy Lantern Parade.

Indulge in pagan revelry

Take off those comedy Christmas jumpers and don your masks, feathers and er… horses’ heads. Penzance’s astonishing winter solstice event, Montol, on 21 December has to be seen to be believed.

One of the UK’s most idiosyncratic, arty and visually captivating festivals, the main procession starts from 6pm in Chapel Street. Find out more about Montol here. And, while you’re at it, read up on Penzance Celtic festivals.

Hunker down in a cosy pub or bar

Chunky jumpers. Open fires. The smell of cinnamon in the air. Christmas in Penzance offers some of the most atmospheric and piratey pubs in all the UK. Meanwhile, there are cool-as cocktail spots where diabolically good things are down with tequila, absinthe and twists of lime. You Have Been Warned.

Take a winter stroll on the Promenade

Emerge from your winter’s cocoon to a chaos of spray on Penzance prom. All it takes is a high tide and a light swell for Penzance to deliver the best liquid fireworks in the South West. Bracing. Beautiful. But do take care.

Go all out on that big Christmas meal

Want that roast with the most? We’ve got that, with all the trimmings. But Christmas in Penzance also offers a smorgasbord of renowned and famous eateries – in fact, people talk about us as ‘Cornwall’s new gourmet capital’. Rustic warehouses with modern platters, Georgian townhouses offering fishy dishes, and cafes galore piled high with cakes and treats. Tuck in.

Walk off that cheese!

You’ve done your bodyweight in cheese, nuts and that stodgy German cake from Lidl. You HAVE to get some exercise. Oh, you lucky reveller. Because you’re in Penzance and have a world of famous walks on your doorstep. Penzance to Marazion is a lovely flat stroll with views of the Mount. Mousehole to Lamorna takes in cliffs and woods. Or work up a sweat climbing one of our atmospheric Penwith hills.

Gaze at West Penwith Dark Skies

Did you know that West Penwith is an International Dark Sky Park and one of the best places in the world to see the cosmos? On the next clear night during your Christmas in Penzance, turn off that Columbo rerun, don your wooly hat and gloves and head out into the wilds. We’ve written a complete guide to the West Cornwall night sky here. Be prepared to say, ‘Awww…’

See a quintessentially Cornish show

Tucked away behind Queen’s Square, the Acorn Theatre is a little Penzance gem brimming with festive offerings. Over the holiday season, it will host Crachit’s Christmas Cracker!; A Night of Cornish Dancing and Music; Coppice Theatre’s Jack Frost 7 show; A Christmas Carol from David Mynne (a founder of legendary Kneehigh Theatre); and The Christmassy Show from Squashbox Theatre.

Happy Christmas!

Find out more about our beautiful town at www.lovepenzance.com.