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A Winter Wonderland: Wrap up warm and enjoy the Christmas revelry with a host of festivities happening across Cornwall

23 November 2018
Out-of-season and winter breaks are becoming ever more popular in Cornwall, as visitors seek time to explore with fewer crowds about and experience a different side to Cornwall’s character. The winter months are all about getting cosy around roaring fires, delighting in festive music and entertainment and savouring the rich, spice-infused food and drink on offer across harbour market stalls.

If you are visiting with your family, perhaps the grandchildren, then they certainly won’t tire of things to do, with Santa making appearances across the county and countless festive trails to enjoy. But whoever said that Christmas is just for the little ones? We all know that’s nonsense, and there’s just as much fun to keep the grown-ups entertained across Cornwall too. Just imagine that steaming mug of mulled wine in your hands, sweet treats infused with cinnamon and nutmeg to tuck into, and carols filling the air!

To further whet your appetite and get in the festive spirit, we select just a few highlights to help you plan your festive adventures. Remember dates and details can always change – especially those that are weather dependent – so visit the respective websites for all the latest, up-to-date information ahead of your visit!

Fowey Christmas Market (30th November to 2nd December)

Fowey Christmas Market

This popular festive market in the pretty south coast harbour town returns again for its 14th year, presenting the perfect opportunity for picking up that special something for that special someone. Last year’s event, which showcased over 200 exhibitors in total, attracted over 10,000 visitors across the weekend, and 2018 looks set to be even better.

Across three days, the town comes alive with stalls, food, music, lights and much more. The ‘A Bite of Cornwall’ Christmas Food & Drink Market promises a plethora of tasty Cornish delights to sink your teeth into (or take home for friends and family, if you can resist the temptation).

Expect a hog roast with lots of cider and mulled wine to wash it down, in addition to the many café s and restaurants dotted across the town serving award-winning food. What’s more, this year, the organisers have announced an additional venue, bringing even more festive delight with 50 additional traders hosted in the Leisure Centre.

If previous years are anything to go by, keep a look out for children’s choirs, big band swing, samba, Santa’s arrival by boat and the traditional procession, as well as the big switch on of the lights. Fowey really knows how to get festive!

Padstow Christmas Festival (6th to 9th December 2018)

Padstow Christmas Market

Brought to you by Cornwall’s culinary holy trinity, Rick Stein and the Michelin-starred Paul Ainsworth and Nathan Outlaw, the Padstow Christmas Festival is always a real highlight of the winter calendar. Expect Christmas markets, chef demonstrations, loads of fantastic food – and don’t forget the incredible fireworks display over the harbour.

As you’d imagine from this north coast foodie destination, the market is a haven of quality food and drink producers, showcasing the very best of the South West. Previous exhibitors have included Cornish Meadow Preserves, The Cornish Crepe Co., Padstow Farm Shop, and Rodda’s, to give just a small example of the typical delights that await you.

But whilst food is understandably a huge part of the festival, there’s lots else besides, with arts and crafts stalls promising all manner of goodies and gifts to peruse. Throughout its duration, the town plays host to countless events and activities to get everyone in the festive spirit. Witness, for example, the marvel of hundreds of Santas taking part in the annual Santa Fun R un – one of many similar such events in towns across Cornwall in aid of the charity Cornwall Hospice Care.

Christmas at Eden (24th November to 30 December)


The great thing about the Eden Project is that it really does change with the seasons, ensuring a notably different experience up on every visit. Christmas at Eden guarantees a truly magical experience for all. Of course, it’s a great place to visit if you have children or grandchildren in tow – the little ones can meet Santa and his elves and also enjoy some festive storytelling. But it’s equally enchanting for grown-ups too! Every year, the ice rink returns for skating and there are usually lots of seasonal activities, food and gifts to entice you. In recent years, the Festival of Light and Sound has been popular, as the Biomes and night sky have been dramatically lit up with laser light shows accompanied by rousing music. This year, look out for the festive plant displays to meander through in the Mediterranean Biome.

Photo credit: Fowey Christmas Market: Lee-searle Photography

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