Your December Muddy Guide 2018
Ho ho here it is! Your bumper December Muddy Guide with added sparkle. From indie Christmas theatre to the best markets and winter feasts – it’s time for some festive fun.
Shadows & Light, Eden Project, Bodelva, various dates until Weds 30 Dec
An all-new after-dark experience this Christmas, as Eden is transformed into an ever-changing landscape of shadows and light. With lights shows and illuminations throughout Eden. Free with Eden admission.
Fowey Christmas Market, Fowey, Fri 30 Nov – Sun 2 Dec
Fowey Christmas Market is one of Cornwall’s most well-known Christmas events, providing 10,000 visitors with quality locally produced food and drink and festive gifts. Traders are carefully hand-picked, so you can look forward to finding an extensive collection of handmade, locally produced gifts, arts and craft as well as some of the region’s finest locally produced food and drink.
A Dickensian Christmas on tour, various dates and locations until 22 Dec
1869, Victorian London. The household staff of 48 Doughty Street gather on Christmas Eve for a tradition long carried out, but seldom spoken about. That is until the arrival of an unexpected visitor in the winter cold. All he wants is a room for the night, and in return, he’ll entertain with his finest festive stories. But what’s the catch? A Dickensian Christmas is a festive story-telling romp through some of English literature’s most loved Christmas fables, poetry and music from Dickens to Hans Christen Anderson.
Christmas Open Studios, Krowji, Redruth, Fri 30 Nov – Sun 2 Dec
Open Studios is one of the rare opportunities to see inside the studios at Krowji, meet the makers and buy work direct from artists. Visit 60 artists, makers and designers opening their studio doors to the public for this free festive event.
Wonder Nights, Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, Torpoint, until 6 Jan
Wonder Nights is an after-dark adventure the whole family can enjoy together. Escape here to a fun, wondrous world of sensational sights around every corner. Discover enchanting lands under the stars and glorious gardens illuminated with gleaming delight this Christmas.
Healeys Christmas Market, nr Newquay, every weekend from 24 Nov until 16 Dec
Healeys Christmas Markets will run every weekend from 24 Nov until 16 Dec. From arts, crafts, food and plenty of Cornish cyder, the markets are set against the beautiful backdrop of a working farm. A family experience you won’t find anywhere else with cobbled courtyards lit with magical lights, freshly cut Christmas trees, choirs, carols singers, farm animals, tractor rides, Sunday roasts and mulled cyder.
Near.Ta Theatre Christmas. Time, venues around Cornwall, Sat 1 Dec – Thurs 27 Dec
Bringing bucketloads of Christmas spirit, and back for its tenth anniversary tour, is Near-ta Theatre’s festive comedy, Christmas. Time. Charlie and Toby are feeling low, and why wouldn’t they? It’s Christmas Day and they’re serving time at Her Majesty’s pleasure. But why shouldn’t they be having a Merry Christmas in spite of their incarceration? What’s stopping them from creating Christmas around them? Absolutely nothing! And so they set off on their festival of carols, Claus, Christ and custody!
Winter Festival, Tate St Ives, Sat 1 Dec
Celebrate the start of the festive season with special talks and family-friendly activities. At the heart of the festival are many local choirs and performers including St Ives Combined Chapels Choir, Cornwall Youth Chamber Choir and Cornwall Music Service Trust Combined Primary School Choir. Special £1 entry for the day.
Trelissick Illuminated, Trelissick Gardens, various dates 1 – 23 Dec
Trelissick becomes an illuminated wonderland as the sun sets. Meander along the garden paths and enjoy a magical experience of colour and light. Admission charges apply, free for National Trust members.
Wreath Making & Spa Day, Una St Ives, Sat 1 Dec
Una St Ives has teamed up with Jen of Twigs and Greens to offer you a two hour wreath making workshop. Jen will talk you through how to make your own beautiful Christmas wreath and supply all of the materials needed. Before your workshop you have use of the luxury facilities at Una including infinity pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi.
Yes, there are Christmas lights in towns all over Cornwall but these are the particularly special and famous ones and I can’t resist a visit every year. In Mousehole the harbour and town is lit up with everything from sea monsters to star gazey pie and Angarrack’s display depicts the twelve days of Christmas.
Charlestown Christmas Market, Charlestown Harbour, Sat 1 Dec
Charlestown’s Christmas Market will run for the third year running alongside Short and Strong cafe. It will coincide with the Christmas lights switch-on and be open for all things festive…… gifts, mulled wine, cheese and food specials! Father Christmas will be making a very special visit from the North Pole from 2-4pm so make sure to bring the kids!
Etsy Made Local Christmas Fair, Guildhall, St Ives, Fri 30 Nov – Sun 2 Dec
Etsy Made Local St Ives is part of the Etsy Made Local nationwide initiative with events taking place nationwide over the first weekend in December. Organised by a team of local Etsy sellers, there will be 40 stalls selling high quality products and gifts, live music & cocktails on Friday night and a pop up cafe on Saturday and Sunday. This year’s focus will be on sustainable and plastic free products. FREE ENTRY. Children, Dog and buyers friendly.
Roots Culture Christmas Market, Mount Pleasant Eco Park, Porthtowan, Sun 2 Dec
Forget the high street, support local makers and do some Christmas shopping from independent crafters, makers, upcyclers and inventors. As well as beautiful stalls, there will be pop up music acts throughout the day and DJ Countryman ensuring the vibes are always good!
Twilight Sensory Spa Garden & Fondue, Bedruthan Hotel, Newquay, various dates from Weds 6 Dec
As the evenings draw in treat yourself to an evening Sensory Spa Garden where you’ll adventure through seven stages of hot and cold therapy. Enjoy the starlight in the deep-seated hot tubs, the warmth and aroma of cedarwood sauna and two beautiful scrubs. Then head to the Wild Cafe for a delicious classic fondue made with Gruyere and Comte cheese, flavoured with sherry and kirsch, served with a selection of cured Cornish meats and salamis, green salad, sautéed potatoes, homemade sourdough and pickles. £45
Festive Wreath Workshops with Miranda Hackett, Weds 5 Dec, Cotehele, nr Saltash & Fri 7 Dec, Botelet, nr Liskeard
Come and create your own fragrant and natural wreath using fresh, locally sourced materials and dried festive touches, to display on your door over the Christmas season. We will use generous quantities of foliage to make your wreaths handsome and lush in the scenic surrounds of National Trust’s Cotehele or Botelet Farm. £60 – £65pp.
Aladdin by Miracle Theatre, Princess Pavilion, Falmouth, Fri 7 Dec – Sat 5 Jan
Miracle Theatre is delighted to be back at Princess Pavilion with a new & not to be missed Christmas show suitable for all! Every Christmas for the last fifty years the Willoughby-Brown family have gathered at their country seat in Cornwall to eat, drink, laugh and bicker and, with the help of their loyal staff, to provide their own entertainment in the form of a home-made pantomime. This year, as an act of seasonal charity, the family has decided to embrace the epithet of ‘great art for everyone’. They have offered to install themselves on the stage of the Princess Pavilion, where they invite you to assemble and share their unique interpretation of the oriental fairy-tale Aladdin.
Padstow Christmas Festival, Padstow, Thurs 6 – Sun 9 Dec
Cornwall’s largest food festival, Padstow Christmas Festival, is an annual celebration of food, drink and all things Christmas. This year’s event will be opened by Nathan Outlaw at noon on Thurs 6 Dec and ends at 5pm on Sun 9 Dec. The event is free to attend, with a huge Christmas market, dozens of chef demos on two stages, a lantern parade, fun run, firework display, food stalls and much more. Park & Ride is available.
Amelies Festive Feasts, Port Eliot, Saltash, Fri 7, Sat 8 and Sat 15 Dec
An exclusive three course Christmas feast in Port Eliot’s enchanting orangery. Gather your friends, loved ones or colleagues together for a festive feast night in sumptuous surroundings. This promises to be a magical music and food-filled festive evening, Port Eliot style. £42pp.
Angel Heart Theatre presents The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Mount Pleasant Eco Park, Porthtowan, Sat 8 Dec
A magical family-friendly theatre show in the Eco Park Barn. This 60 minute performance is a delightful re-imagining of one of Aesop’s most-loved Fables. Jacob is a young boy who loves to be playful. When he is given the responsibility of being the village shepherd his wild imagination leads him astray. This tale about the power of our words is brought to life for young children and their families, with Angel Heart’s impeccable combination of puppetry, dynamic and live music.
Doom Bar Session with Huey Morgan, The Jubilee Queen, Padstow, Sat 8 Dec
The next Sharp’s Brewery Doom Bar session will take place on Sat 8 Dec, featuring popular BBC Radio 2 and Radio 6 Music DJ, Huey Morgan, frontman of the band Fun Lovin’ Criminals. The Jubilee Queen in Padstow will be hosting even more fun and funk on the Camel Estuary, transporting music and beer fans from the Padstow harbour, across the Doom Bar sandbank, out into the estuary before returning back to Padstow against the backdrop of some stunning scenery and epic beats.
Seasonal Supper with Buchanan Wines, Surfside, Polzeath, Sat 8 and Sat 22 Dec
Join Buchanan Wines Cornwall and Surfside Polzeath for a two-course seasonal meal matched with intriguing and interesting wines (available by the glass or bottle). Celebrating the beginning of winter, book a seat at the table in anticipation of delicious food, wine and conversation. You will be eating by candlelight in the beach restaurant Surfside, which is situated on the beach at Polzeath. £22.50pp
Mount Edgcumbe Christmas Fayre, Torpoint, Sat 8 – Sun 9 Dec
It’s the the 15th annual Christmas Fayre at Mount Edgcumbe. Expect inspirational cooking demonstrations from West Country chefs, lots of local produce, gifts and crafts. Plus a programme of entertainment, a family activity zone, living statues and Santa in his Grotto. Scheduled ferries from Stonehouse and the Barbican. Entrance: £3 adults, £1 children.
Rogue Theatre’s Winter Wood, Tehidy Woods, Sat 8 – Sun 30 Dec
Multi award-winning Rogue Theatre returns to the wilds of Tehidy Woods this December with their enchanting winter celebration; Winter Wood (with all new stories). Follow the path deeper into the Winter Wood land of myth, legend and festive magic as Old Man Winter’s world of stories, faeries and winter wonders comes life. Created by Cornwall’s immersive and highly visual Rogue Theatre, Winter Wood is an adventure for families and those who still believe in magic.
Heligan by Night, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, various dates Weds 12 Dec – Sat 5 Jan
This December, step in to ‘Heligan by Night’ and experience the art of illumination as internationally renowned light artist Ulf Pedersen returns to reveal the night time magic of Heligan’s historic plantings. Journey through an after-dark Lost Gardens and delight in the incredible textures, colours and atmosphere created by Pedersen’s thought-provoking illuminations.
Winter Wonderland with Badger Forest School, Wheal Martyn, St Austell Fri 14 Dec & Cardinham Woods, Fri 21 Dec
Join the Muddy Award-winning Badger Forest School team for Winter Wonderland 2018, proudly supporting Children’s Hospice SouthWest (CHSW). The annual winter lantern walks include lantern making, festive nature crafts, a unique after-dark lantern walk in gorgeous settings, carol singing around the campfire, yummy hot chocolate, mulled wine, mince pies and treats.
The Mousehole Cat, Solomon Browne Hall, Mousehole, Sat 15 – Mon 31 Dec
A magical puppet and live action production of Antonia Barber’s classic children’s story, The Mousehole Cat, performed in the heart of Mousehole alongside the village’s famous Christmas light display. Based on a well-known Cornish legend this uniquely heart-warming story of the friendship between a fearless fisherman and his devoted cat will warm your cockles… almost as much as an ‘efty portion of stargazy pie! This show lasts for approximately one hour. Last year it sold out, so book early! All tickets £10.
Feast Wild with Pencoose Pantry & Wild Tipi, Trewithen Gardens, nr Probus, Sat 15 – Sun 16 Dec
Nestled away beneath the trees a Tipi awaits… Inside, the fire crackles and glasses chink in raised cheers as sumptuous smells drift from the kitchen, awakening our senses. Joy and laughter drift up past boughs of holly, towards the twinkling lights above us, as we dance and feast and celebrate coming together as friends, old and new. Enjoy a night of deliciously cooked, seasonal food, ceilidh dancing, music and laughter around the fire.
£2 Entry Weekend, Cornwall Birds of Prey Centre, St Columb Major, Sat 15 – Sun 16 Dec
With everything from golden eagles to vultures, buzzards to snowy owls, if you haven’t visited Cornwall’s Bird’s of Prey Centre, I’d really recommend taking the kids for this special £2 entry weekend.
A Vicar of Dibley Christmas, The Acorn, Penzance, Fri 19 – Sun 21 Dec
Following on from their hugely successful production of ‘The Vicar Of Dibley ‘at The Minack last year, the Seven Stones team reunites for this brand new seasonal adaptation. Featuring Geraldine, Alice, Hugo and No no no no, Yes! Jim Trott, together with all the wonderful characters you would expect from one of the greatest situation comedies of all time.
Montol, Penzance, Fri 21 Dec
Montol is Cornwall’s traditional festival of midwinter on 21 Dec (the Winter Solstice) in Penzance. Dancers in full disguise, called Guisers, parade the streets, accompanied by music from peccadillos, drumming and burning torches.
Luca Silvestrini’s Protein: The Little Prince, AMATA, Penryn, Sat 22 Dec
The well-loved story The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, is retold using Protein’s mix of humour, dance and music, encouraging us to look at the world through our hearts and reconnect with the child that’s in us all. Join the Little Prince in this live stage show as he journeys through the baffling world of grown-ups, meeting a king who reigns over nothing, a businessman obsessively counting stars and a vain man craving admiration! Along the way he encounters a lone pilot stranded in the desert and together they discover the power of friendship and the complexity of love.
Tom Bawcock’s Eve, Mousehole, Sun 23 Dec
We always spend an evening in Mousehole at Christmas time, to see the amazing light display but Tom Bawcock’s Eve is the biggest celebration. Every year, the school children and locals parade lanterns and sing the traditional song and Star Gazey Pie is served up in The Ship Inn on the harbour side. This is all in honour of Tom Bawcock, a fisherman who according to legend, risked his life to go out fishing and feed the hungry people of Mousehole, one especially stormy winter.
The Lost Gardens Open for Charity, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, 26 Dec & 1 Jan
The Lost Gardens of Heligan once again opens its gates in aid of local charities on Boxing Day 2018 and New Year’s Day 2019. Whilst no garden admission charges apply on these special days, visitors are encouraged to make a minimum £2 per person donation to this year’s nominated charities.
Fancy Dress & Fireworks in St Ives, Newquay and Looe, Sun 31 Dec
There are parties all over but the places that really go for it on New Year’s Eve in Cornwall are St Ives, where the streets close and everyone dresses up and fireworks light up the sky at midnight; Newquay for its brilliant fireworks and party atmosphere and Looe, where you can expect fancy dress and firework shows (usually at 6pm and midnight, so the kids can enjoy them too). This year for the second time there will also be a big fireworks display launched from Pendennis Castle in Falmouth.
Finally, I can’t list them all because I’d be here until January but don’t forget to check Facebook or ask locally for your nearest Santa Runs and Christmas Day/ Boxing Day/ New Year’s Day swims. A Cornish Christmas wouldn’t be the same without them!