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The most wonderful time of the year!

05 December 2018
Following our last blog on upcoming festive events taking place in the Duchy during the festive season, below are some more exciting places to go and dates for your diary!

The Mousehole Lights (15th December switch on)


Needless to say, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without the beautiful light displays across the country, getting everyone in the mood for the big day. It’s particularly special in a Cornish harbour village or town, watching the lights twinkle and reflect off the water’s surface as the boats gently bob up and down.

One of Cornwall’s most famous and popular displays is in the far west, in the beautiful seaside village of Mousehole in Mount’s Bay, just around the bay from Penzance. The poet Dylan Thomas once described Mousehole as “the loveliest village in England”, and it’s hard to disagree with this sentiment.

Returning in 2018 for its 55th year, the Mousehole Lights display is truly spectacular, often with elaborate floating displays in the harbour itself. Things kick off at the entrance of North Quay with an open air Carolaire service, featuring the Mousehole Male Voice Choir, Members of the Mousehole Methodist Church and the Pendeen Silver Band.

On 19th December, the lights are traditionally turned off between 8pm and 9pm in respect for the lifeboat men who tragically lost their lives in the 1981 Solomon Browne lifeboat disaster.

Christmas at the National Trust (throughout the winter)

The National Trust really knows how to do Christmas in style, with all the trimmings. For starters, you can guarantee some tasty seasonal delights in the café and plenty of wonderful gifts in the shop for friends and family back home. What’s more, all of the Trust’s beautiful and grand Cornish properties and gardens are easily accessed from both Southern Halt and Stonerush Lakes. A popular attraction across the National Trust in previous years has been the traditional ‘green’ Father Christmas, presenting a refreshingly unusual alternative to the red version we all know!

We recommend paying a visit to Lanhydrock on the outskirts of Bodmin for a proper Victorian country house Christmas. It’s the perfect setting for indulging in seasonal delights. After all, it was largely the Victorians who brought in many of the traditions we know and love today.

Another particular favourite that you really should seek out if you can is the incredible garland in the great hall at Cotehele. This Tudor manor house is situated just west of the Tamar near Saltash. The great garland, which hangs majestically from the ceiling, spanning the length of the room, is a wonderful tradition that returns year on year and really is a sight to behold! Meanwhile, Trelissick, near Feock, just outside of Truro, is another National Trust gem, that’s great for a visit over Christmas. This grand country pile looks over the Carrick Roads, miles of waterways, rivers and creeks that lead out towards Falmouth and into the English Channel.

If great food and drink, a beautiful setting and slice of history sounds tempting, then the National Trust ticks all the boxes!

Christmas in Penzance (throughout the winter)


Every Christmas, there’s a whole host of festivities going on in and around Penzance, including the turning on of the Christmas lights, the town trail, live music and fantastic window displays with a popular competition to choose the best one, typically around a specific theme. Montol Festival is an ancient festival celebrating the midwinter solstice, traditionally held on 21st December in the streets of Penzance. This magical and mysterious event brings you much closer to an ancient winter celebration, with a real pagan feel courtesy of the masked street entertainers. Cap off the experience with a wander around the various market stalls, sampling the delicious food and homemade wares.

Carols at the Cathedral (December)

Whilst you’re in Cornwall, what could possibly be more Christmassy than a visit to Truro Cathedral to hear – and possibly even participate in – carol singing and beautiful choral music? Truro Cathedral has played host to some breath-taking concerts over the years, reminding us of the real meaning behind Christmas. December is usually packed with a varied calendar of events from the more formal to the relaxed and casual – in previous years, pets have even been invited in for a special Christmas service!

This is just a small taster of the many events and attractions to experience across Cornwall this winter. Each village and town has its own festivities, from traditional pantos and carol services to market stalls and fairs. In Looe, for example, New Year’s Eve sees thousands of people in fancy dress take to the streets, and the town’s fireworks display-launched from Banjo Pier - is a real spectacle!

Of course, sometimes, the best thing to do is simply head to your location of choice, then follow the sound of music and the smell of delicious winter warmer food! Wherever you find yourselves, we hope you have a fantastic winter right here in Cornwall.

Photo credits:

Main image: National Trust, Chris Lacey
Mousehole: Mike Newman
National Trust: Andreas von Einsiedel
Penzance: Mike Newman
Truro Cathedral:

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