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Joyous Jan! What to do in Cornwall this month

Banish the New Year blues with this culture-buster list of things to do across Cornwall this month. From beautiful ballets to sheep and light trails, here's Muddy's hitlist.

COURSE: A Modern Introduction to Wine, Wild Wine School, starts Jan

Forge the foundations of your wine education with A Modern Introduction to Wine, Wild Wine School’s signature online course.  Across eight weeks of study, breathe life into wine’s brilliant basics, while shining a special light on sustainable viticulture, and minimal intervention winemaking with Wild Wine School’s Debbie – wine and all materials provided. 

EVENT: ‘The Busy People Book Club‘, Canteen at the Orchard, Newquay Community Orchard, Newquay, 20 Jan

This is the book club for you if you don’t want the commitment of hefty novels. Melina Turner-Deeks group will meet to enjoy some hearty literary discussions regarding a selection of short stories that will be emailed to you. This is a no-stress group for people who love to read and talk about reading!!

MUSIC: Sarah McQuaid, The Acorn, Penzance, 20 Jan

With her new live-in-lockdown album The St Buryan Sessions drawing critical raves and appearing on best-of-2021 lists on three continents, Sarah McQuaid plays the first night of her 2022 tour in her adopted home town of Penzance before heading up to Cambridge, Ascott-under-Wychwood, Maidstone, Bordon, Luton, Nuneaton, Winchester, Salisbury and Wotton-under-Edge. 

EVENT: Ballet, Hall for Cornwall, 20-22 Jan

St Petersburg Classic Ballet returns to Hall for Cornwall this new year with two spectacular productions of Tchaikovsky’s best-loved ballets: perennial favourite, The Nutcracker, and the elegant Swan Lake.

YOGA: Silent Disco Yoga & Meditation, Truro Cathedral, 22 Jan

The Cathedral YOGA session is simply, an unmissable experience. Join fellow yogis and practice Vinyasa flow yoga in this awe inspiring location. The lights will be low, the walls drenched in up lighting and, as always, there will be a carefully curated, uplifting playlist befitting of such a venue. Finish your evening with Stretch leading you through a sublime 45 minute YOGA NIDRA guided meditation. Binaural Beats are played into the headphones to help heighten this deeply relaxing and restorative experience. A must attend experience in its own right or as part of the double event!

EVENT: Ewe Scanning, Lost Gardens of Heligan, 23 Jan

Join The Lost Gardens of Heligan to see the first glimpse of new life, where they will be scanning their flock of pregnant ewes LIVE in front of visitors inside The Barn.

ART EXHIBITION: Kenidjack  A Cornish Valley, Kurt Jackson, Jackson Foundation, St Just, until Feb 2022

St Just is the most westerly town in Britain, it is on the edge, faraway, ‘isolated’; archetypically Cornish and distinct in its identity, geography and heritage. It has two valleys, one on either side: Cot and Kenidjack; Cot is the tamer of the two, Kenidjack is the wilder and less accessible. In 2017, Kurt Jackson showed with great acclaim a body of work based on Cot Valley, now it is the turn for Kenidjack – hosted at the Muddy Award winning Art Gallery, The Jackson Foundation.

ICE-SKATING: Eden Project, until Feb 2022

Cornwall’s biggest outdoor ice-rink returns to the grounds of the Eden Project this October – and due to Covid restrictions you’ll have even more space on the ice-rink itself this year, so plenty of space to practice your axels and spins. The cafe is serving up sweet treats too, just don’t forget your face covering to wear rink side. Pre-booking online is essential, and you’ll need a locals pass or to pay to access Eden itself too.

COMEDY: Ed Byrne – If I’m Honest, Launceston Town Hall, 2 Feb

Comedian Ed Byrne leather and hearling flight jacket glasses holding foliage

Ed Byrne is one of the most successful comedians performing in the UK, regularly appearing on TV and touring to sold-out theatres. Originally from Ireland, he now lives in Essex with his wife and two children, but comes to Launceston with his new show If I’m Honest – when he’ll be taking along hard look at himself to work out if he has ANY traits that are worth passing on to his children.


Idless up to 10km, 9 Jan

A timed, friendly trail run through one of Cornwall’s hidden gems, with free parking, no cut off times & every runner will receive a medal!

Stormforce 10, 23 Jan

A 10 mile road race starting and finishing in Camborne on undulating mainly quiet country roads. It is the first race in the Cornwall GP/MTRS series. 

The Arc of Attrition, 28 Jan

Cornwall’s toughest footrace – an extreme winter 100-miler in challenging winter conditions. The Arc is a point-to-point race from Coverack to Porthtowan taking in 100miles of stunning and dramatic Cornish Coastpath, and will complete an Arc around the entire southwest foot of Cornwall. The race has a strict 35 hour cut-off with additional checkpoint cut-offs on the route. With checkpoints approximately 20 miles apart, competitors will need the ability to be self-sufficient for long periods of time.


ART: Winter Sculpture, RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great Torrington, until Mon 31 Jan

Pic credit: Connected by Ed Elliot

Get out in the fresh North Devon air for this year’s captivating sculpture exhibition – more than 100 pieces, all set against the beautiful wintry backdrop of the gardens. 

MUSICAL: Mamma Mia!, Theatre Royal, Plymouth, from Tues 18 Jan (for three weeks)

A holiday sojourn for gloomy January – pop on something spangly and immerse yourself in the sun-drenched Greek island and cheering music of the mighty Abba.

MUSIC: Wolf Alice, Plymouth Pavilions, Plymouth, Fri 28 Jan

Wolf Alice are back on the road for the first time since 2018.  Celebrating their third album ‘Blue Weekend’. If you haven’t seen them, grab this opportunity, if you have seen them this is your reminder to get a ticket – they’re already sold out elsewhere – before this Mercury prize-winning band become too big to play Devon.


GET OUTSIDE: The Lost Gardens Open for Charity, Lost Gardens of Heligan, New Year’s Day, Sat 1 Jan

Take a walk around the gardens for a good cause, and shake off your turkey stupor… All money raised from garden admission on these special days will be donated to this year’s nominated charity which is Children’s Hospice South West.

PANTO: Cinderella, Hall for Cornwall, ends Sun 2 Jan 2022

Packed with all the traditional ingredients of laugh out loud comedy, spectacular dancing, live music and singing – not to mention a large sprinkling of Cornish heart and fairytale magic – our homegrown retelling of the classic CINDERELLA story promises to be a ball for adults and children alike.

EVENT: Heligan Night Garden – An Enchanting Lantern Experience, Lost Gardens of Heligan, ends 2 Jan

Enjoy an enchanting lantern experience set amidst the atmospheric Lost Gardens – back again for 2021. This was truly beautiful last year – make sure that you book in advance to explore the gardens as they are beautifully lit by a variety of traditional paraffin lanterns and discover a breath-taking display of flora and fauna lanterns, illuminated within Heligan’s much-loved and iconic locations.

EXHIBITION: Suzy Sharpe, The Language of Birds ends 5 Jan 2022

The paintings and prints of Blackrock based artist, Suzy Sharpe form the Winter Exhibition at The Old Coastguard in Mousehole. Suzy’s paintings are informed or inspired by poetry, mythology, folk tales and the experience of wildlife. Suzy’s work features the magical momentary glimpse of a Barn Owl, the barely heard hoot of a Tawny Owl and the distant flock of lapwings whilst passing an estuary, standing under a cloud of 200,000 starlings and trying to ignore the roar of the busy rush hour road close by as well as the hectic human land- scape of wind turbines, power cables, plastic, and roads navigated daily by our wildlife.

EVENT: Beach Guardian Christmas Tree ‘Planting’, Constantine Bay, 9 Jan

Once you have taken your real Christmas tree down and stored your decorations away to re-use again, why not put your tree to some good use – bring them along to help the Beach Guardian team use the trees to create ‘fences’ across the dunes as the marram grass has been reduced due to erosion.


EXHIBITION: SEEN, Newlyn Art Gallery, The Exchange, Penzance, until 8 Jan

Seen is co-curated by young LGBTQIA+ people from Cornwall aged between 11 – 19 working in partnership with LGBT+ charity Intercom Trust, and SHARP, Programme Producer. Through workshops and conversation about contemporary art the young people have explored the importance of representation within art and culture and the many sides of what it means to be seen. The expanding subject of Queer art involves an important history of reclamation, resistance, love and freedom and often explores personal experiences as well as depictions of LGBTQIA+ cultures. Includes artwork from LGBTQIA+ artists such as Francis Bacon, David Hockney, Wolfgang Tillmans and more. I would say look out for the giant mural over the façade of The Exchange but having seen the mock up, I don’t think you’ll miss it!

EXHIBITION: Discovering Anchor Studio: An artist’s haven in Newlyn, Penlee House Gallery & Museum, until 8 January 2022

Forbes, Stanhope Alexander; Gala Day at Newlyn, Cornwall; Hartlepool Museums and Heritage Service

The Grade II* listed Anchor Studio has been at the heart of cultural life in Newlyn since the 1880s. It  was used for over 60 years by Stanhope Forbes, father of the Newlyn School, and then by John Wells, a principal St Ives Modernist. Forbes and his wife Elizabeth ran their school of painting from Anchor, attracting many students who became distinguished  artists. Featuring paintings by artists associated with Anchor, this exhibition explores the history of the studio and its recent restoration.

EXHIBITION: Petrit Halilaj’sVery volcanic over this green feather , Tate St Ives, until 16 January

This is Petrit Halilaj’s first UK museum solo exhibition (he usually lives between Germany, Kosovo and Italy) and his work revisits 38 childhood drawings that he made in Kukës II refugee camp in Albania during the Kosovo war (1998–99), when he was thirteen years old.

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