Plan your Christmas break in Cornwall
The evenings might be getting darker, but it won’t be long until the harbours are glowing with Christmas lights. West Cornwall is magical in December, and in this guide, you’ll find a whole host of seasonal celebrations that will make your visit extra special.
You could discover local makers at a Christmas market, follow a lantern parade through Penzance high street or listen to a brass band on the cliffs at the Minack. Discover what’s waiting for you in West Cornwall this Christmas.
Polgoon Christmas Market
Polgoon Vineyard will be hosting a Christmas market from 12-5pm. With gifting inspiration from local candlemakers, jewellers and more, plus festive hampers filled with Polgoon goodies, you can get your Christmas shopping started in earnest. Find out more here.
Flame Christmas Fair
The Acorn Theatre is opening its doors to artisan makers this December. You can expect one-of-a-kind gifts with connections to the local area, including sea glass jewellery and nature-inspired notebooks. You’ll find details of this event and the theatre’s Christmas performances here.
Christmas Makers’ Market
Newlyn Art Gallery and Exchange
This curated event at Newlyn Art Gallery celebrates established makers and up-and-coming creatives. A variety of businesses are involved, including signwriters, jewellers, sculptors and home fragrance experts. Find out more here.
Geo and Fizz
Add a little extra sparkle to the season with a ‘Geo and Fizz’ experience at Jubilee Pool. Ring in the Christmas period at this famous art deco venue and enjoy a relaxing soak in its geothermally heated pool. The event starts at 4pm and is for over 18s only. Book your tickets here.
Christmas on the cliffs
The Minack Theatre has a calendar of events this December, including storytelling, music and drama. You could see the Pendeen Silver Band performing a Christmas concert on the cliffs or enjoy a mesmerising performance of A Christmas Carol. Find out more and book your tickets here.
Sparkle on the screen
November & December 2022
Snuggle up for a festive film at the Newlyn Filmhouse this winter. A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story by Nottingham Playhouse was filmed at Alexandra Palace and will be showing from November 27th. You could also catch the Royal Ballet’s Nutcracker on December 8th and The Muppet Christmas Carol from December 9th. See what’s on here.
Christmas lights in West Cornwall
Let it glow! Penzance will be kickstarting the festive season on November 26th with the town’s Christmas lights switch-on event, which includes a market and silent disco. From November 30th, Trengwainton will be hosting a Christmas lights festival in its spectacular garden. You can book your tickets for this event through the National Trust.
The celebrations continue in Newlyn on December 9th with the ‘grand switch on’, which includes fireworks and a visit from Santa. Mousehole’s magical harbour lights are also not to be missed. This year, there will be a staggered switch-on from December 12th. Please note, the lights will be switched off on December 19th for an hour to remember the lives lost in the 1981 lifeboat disaster.
Festivals in West Cornwall
Lantern parades, masks, fire beacons and Stargazy Pie. Visiting West Cornwall in the winter is an opportunity to experience some of our most enchanting local festivals.
Humphry Davy Lantern Parade, December 17th
This event celebrates Humphry Davy, the famous scientist and inventor of the Davy lamp used by miners. Watch the magical parade through Penzance Town, where you’ll also find street entertainment and a Christmas market.
Montol, December 21st
Montol is a blend of Cornish midwinter customs and Christmas celebrations. At sundown, revellers follow a masked procession through the streets of Penzance. Join them for carol singing, late night shopping, dancing and the burning of the ‘dying sun’. Find out more here.
Tom Bawcock’s Eve, December 23rd
This popular festival in the village of Mousehole celebrates Tom Bawcock, a legendary Cornish fisherman who saved the village from starvation. The festivities usually include music and lantern processions. It is also your opportunity to try Stargazy Pie, a local dish made from pilchards (sardines).
Gift inspiration: Winter experiences in Cornwall
From geothermal swims at Jubilee Pool to rockpool safaris and mining experiences, there are so many ways you could treat someone you love to an adventure in West Cornwall this winter. See our off-season itineraries for more inspiration.