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What’s On October

Hello October, old friend. On the roster this month we have spooky new attractions, live comedy, Halloween antics and a string of excellent exhibitions. You ready? Let's go!

Yes, there are still things to do! The best live music, kids’ theatre, walks, and exciting new museum openings in this month’s Muddy curated guide.

MUSIC: Flats and Sharps, The Acorn, Penzance (1 Oct)

Flats and Sharps are a four-piece energetic, enthusiastic and spirited bluegrass outfit from Penzance, Cornwall.

NEW! ATTRACTION OPENING: Bodmin Jail, Bodmin (1 Oct)

Billed as the most exciting new attraction in the South West since the Eden Project after an £8.5 million re-development, Bodmin Jail re-opens this week. Using state-of-the-art technology and the latest theatrical effects, the Dark Walk – a major addition to the attraction and the first of its kind in the region – will treat visitors to a truly immersive and interactive discovery of Cornwall’s most haunting histories. Stories of Cornwall’s murky past will be retold, and visitors will be transported to life within the walls of the 18th century prison where they will learn the gritty reality of smuggling, mining and the everyday hardships of the jail’s most infamous prisoners. We’ve wangled a sneaky preview, so look out for our review soon!

COMEDY: Kernow King, Minack Theatre (2 & 3 Oct) The Acorn, Penzance (16 Oct), St Austell Arts Theatre (18 Oct)

The star of BAFTA-winning film, Bait, returns to Cornwall this October with his Greatest Hits show. Several chances to watch the show, including the Minack and The Acorn.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Aviation photography, Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre, Newquay (3 Oct)

If you (or your partner) are in to planes or aviation photography, Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre at the former RAF St Mawgan in Newquay is organising a photography event offering both day and night time access whilst the centre is closed to the public to allow photographers to seek out unique photos of the planes. Definitely a niche event, but sounds good if planes are your subject of choice. Booking essential.

RAILWAY: Bodmin & Wenford Railway Open Days, Bodmin General (3-4, 10-11, 17-18 and 24-25 Oct)

No running passenger trains but visit the station, shop and cafe, explore the exhibition and view locos and coaches on display in platforms one AND two (for the first time). There will also be work taking place around the railway, with teams of volunteers busy as ever working on restoration projects visible from the platform including the Diesel Group on Saturdays and the China Clay Wagon Project team on Sundays. No need to book to visit in advance, suggested £5 donation.

ART EXHIBITION:The Vanity of Small Differences – Grayson Perry, Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange (3 Oct 2020 – 2 Jan 2021)

Grayson Perry is a great chronicler of contemporary life, tackling subjects that are universally human: identity, gender, social status, sexuality, religion. 

Inspired by William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress six tapestries, each measuring 2m x 4m, chart the ‘class journey’ made by young Tim Rakewell and include many of the characters, incidents and objects Perry encountered on journeys through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells, and The Cotswolds for the television series All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry, first aired on Channel 4 in June 2012. 

In the series Perry goes on ‘a safari amongst the taste tribes of Britain’, to gather inspiration for his artwork, literally weaving the characters he meets into a narrative, with an attention to the minutiae of contemporary taste every bit as acute as that in Hogarth’s 18th century paintings.

ART EXHIBITION: New Landscape Paintings, Tremenheere Gallery (until 3 Oct)

Last chance to see New Landscape Paintings at Tremenheere, where seven artists create a show about romantic contemplation, light, space and poetic transport. The exhibition features work by Richard Cook, Gareth Edwards, Anthony Garrett, Andrew Hardwick, Marie Claire Hamon, Michael Porter and Lucy Willow.

Tremenheere Gallery is open Wednesday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm.

Image: @_anthony_garratt

CINEMA: Open Air Cinema, Polzeath (9 Oct) and St Ives (10 Oct)

Screenings of Dirty Dancing in Polzeath and both Dirty Dancing and The Greatest Showman and St Ives, right on the beach. VIP tickets include a chair, otherwise bring your own, and wear a coat if it looks like rain. Unlike some screenings, this one doesn’t need the darkness, so film times start earlier than sunset.

PUMPKIN PATCH: Trevathan Farm, St Endellion, Nr Port Isaac (opens 9 Oct)

The pick your own pumpkin field (above) opens 9 October – no need to book, just head to the field to select your own. Plus farm shop, restaurant and play area.

FOOD: Gralefrit Restaurant pop-up supper evenings (10/11 & 29/30 October)

Gralefrit Restaurant pop-up suppers are run by Ethan Friskney-Bryer (head chef of Fitzroy & North Street Kitchen restaurants in Fowey) and his wife Hazel. Using produce from their walled garden across the river and locally sourced fish and some meat, these supper evenings will be held both at Fitzroy and its sister restaurant North Street Kitchen (above).

Email to book.

FOOD: Farm Suppers, Nancarrow Farm (10, 24, 31 October)


Nancarrow Farm are inviting guests to enjoy a special feast from the comfort of their own picnic blanket on the farm, or one of their tables by the pond or in the barns. Book online, bring your own cutlery and crockery and Nancarrow will provide the fully loaded hampers delivered to your table – drinks available to purchase from the bar (it’s not BYO) and also, sorry, no dogs.

SURF COMPETITION: 2020 Caravan and Motorhome Club English National Surfing Championships, Watergate Bay, Cornwall (10 – 11 Oct)

While you’ll need to be a member of Surfing England to actually compete, get inspired by the Junior Shortboard Divisions (U12, U14 and U16) and Longboard Divisions (U18 Boys & Girls, Men’s Open and Women’s Open) in this surfing competition at surfing beach Watergate Bay.

ART EXHIBITION: Movements, North Coast Asylum, Newquay (until 14 Oct)

North Coast Asylum, Newquay’s newest art gallery situated in a grade II listed Gothic Church Hall which has been renovated into a brand new Art Gallery & event space opens with their first exhibition ‘Movements’ – a celebration of our landscape, sky & sea. It honours what is created through its many changing forms. Contributing artists include Nina Brooke, Jack Davis, Martha Holmes & Justine Eavis. Open Mon – Sat 10:30 – 4:30pm.

THEATRE: Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, dates throughout October

Find outdoor theatre, music, comedy and opera at the stunning, world-famous Minack Theatre – in socially distanced fashion, of course. Highlights include Dark Stories (8-10 Oct) and Loveplay (14 – 23 Oct) which due to the intriguing sounding explicit topic of seduction, transaction and romantic aspiration that takes place on a single spot of ground across 2000 years, it is really only for older/mature teens and adults. For kids, the excellent Horrible Histories are heading to the clifftop theatre for half term. Be quick though, as there are limited tickets.

THEATRE: Sterts Theatre on tour, dates throughout October

Entertaining shows for all the family from Sterts Theatre now on tour round selected Cornish venues showing some of their sell-out summer shows. Includes Twelfth Night in Liskeard (14-16 Oct), Guys and Dolls at the St Mellion International Resort nr Saltash (22-25 Oct) & the BFG in Launceston (28-31 Oct).

ART EXHIBITION: Newlyn Society of Artists: Edge of Dark, Tremenheere Gallery (until 1 Nov)

Untitled by Mike Thorpe 2016

The Newlyn Society of Artists presents ‘Edge of Dark’, an exhibition of paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations which explore ideas of light and dark, curated by respected artist Jesse Leroy Smith.

For this exhibition, NSA members have been invited to consider themes around ‘Edge of Dark’ in any way they choose. Some have produced work which is abstract in nature, exploring line, colour, shape, light and shade. Some have looked at edges and tone in landscape, natural forms or figurative work, while others have created works which consider the issues facing our society in these challenging times. 

Tremenheere Gallery is open Wednesday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm.

FOOD: Firepit feasts, Lula, Hayle (dates tbc)

Evening feasts on the beach at Lula’s from the team behind Amelie’s in Porthleven sound pretty awesome. Dates still TBC so we will update once we have more details.


Blues and jazz guitar duo – Lynn is considered one of the best female UK guitarists.

WALK: Tin Coast Walking Tours (16, 23, 30 October)

Tin Coast Walking Tours offer three fun, unique and creative guided circular walks around West Penwith and the Tinners Way, visiting many fascinating and rare Cornish antiquities (each walk approximately 8 kilometres / 5 miles). Musician, Ben Sutcliffe from ‘The People’s String Foundation’ has teamed up with actor/storyteller Mary Woodvine to tell local myths and fables along the way. Booking essential.

ART EXHIBITION: Landscapes, North Coast Asylum, Newquay (until 11 Nov)

Forever by David Hardy

North Coast Asylum, Newquay’s newest art gallery situated in a grade II listed Gothic Church Hall which has been renovated into a brand new Art Gallery & event space continues with the exhibition ‘Landscapes’ – they have chosedn a purposely broad title to allow space for their artist’s practices, which includes work by David Hardy, Maxine Clements & Sarah Woods.

Open Mon – Sat 10:30 – 4:30pm.

HARVEST: Heligan Harvest, Lost Gardens of Heligan (17 Oct – 1 Nov)

Celebrate the fruition of The Heligan Garden & Estate year with an exciting array of displays, demonstrations and autumn inspired menus.

ICE-SKATING: Eden Project (17 Oct 2020 – 21 Feb 2021)

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. Also opening on 17 Oct is Eden’s spooky halloweden activities – see more in our half term guide.

FILM: Rebecca, Netflix (21 Oct)

Not strictly speaking in Cornwall exactly but fans of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca have long awaited this modern film adaption, which launches on Netflix on 21 October. Manderley, once home to the eponymous Rebecca, is unmistakenly Menabilly, one of du Maurier’s Cornish homes, which still sits on National Trust land at Gribben Head where its remote location conjures up an elusive foreboding quality, often found in du Maurier’s novels.

THEATRE: Dead of Night Dis-dance, Rogue Theatre, Tehidy Woods (23 Oct – 1 Nov)

An immersive theatre adventure celebrating Halloween; a wickedly joyful treat for all ages in the sparkling dark heart of Tehidy Woods from Muddy favourite magical Rogue Theatre. Wander the winding woodland path and through Mr Logan’s gate into the land of the rapturously dead, where lost souls await, to show you the way, and mislead you to the Dead of Night Dis-Dance. Rest in the peace of the underworld forest and chill,   as a collection of comic, ghoulish and ghostly stories come to life on Mrs Logan’s underworld stage!

MUSIC: Brother Sea, St Endellion (24 Oct)

South West based Celtic-folk band that brings together the acclaimed duo Harbottle & Jonas, with the award winning song writer Kris Lannen and the haunting Celtic tones of Annie Baylis on fiddle. All tickets come with pre-release download of Brother Sea’s new single, September.

FOOD/MUSIC: Autumn bonfire feast, Trefresa Farm, Rock (24 October)

Head chef of the St Kew Inn, Andi Tuck, joins forces with the crew from Porthilly Spirit Festival to create an autumnal bonfire feast featuring wood fired cooking and an acoustic music set from singer/songwriter George Ogilvie – tables pre-booked only, max 6 per booking. Tickets on sale 7 Oct.

ART EXHIBITION: Haegue Yang: Strange Attractors, The Tate St Ives (opens 24 Oct) 

The largest UK exhibition to date by South Korean artist Haegue Yang opens at The Tate St Ives late October, the first exhibition to take place across both the award-winning top-lit gallery in the new building and the spectacular sea-facing gallery in the original building. The exhibition brings together new and existing works spanning installation, sculpture, drawing, collage and painting. Haegue Yang is renowned for creating immersive environments from a diverse range of materials. Her sculptures and installations often use industrially made objects, interwoven with labour-intensive and craft-based processes. These processes reflect pagan cultures and their deep connection with various seasonal ritualsin relation to natural phenomena. The context of St Ives, and the Cornish landscape and its ancient archaeological heritage are important points of inspiration.

ART EXHIBITION: A Prehistoric Cornwall, Kurt Jackson, Jackson Foundation, St Just (until 7 Nov)

This autumn sees the launch of ‘A Prehistoric Cornwall’, the latest exhibition from Kurt Jackson, arguably one of Britain’s most celebrated living landscape painters. This body of work sees Jackson visit the relics of prehistoric Cornwall and captures the county’s extraordinary range of ancient monuments with a new series of paintings and sculpture. The landscape is full of these monuments, some are obvious and picturesque – a stone circle-while others are incongruous; hidden and overlooked despite their size and historical significance, cut-off and smothered by dual-carriageways, roundabouts and car dealerships.

‘A Prehistoric Cornwall’ is displayed beautifully within the award-winning Jackson Foundation gallery, an expansive carbon-positive ex-industrial building tucked away down a side street of the charming post-mining community of St Just-in-Penwith. Massive white walls and exposed black steel allow Jackson’s canvasses, as monumental as they are in their own right, space to breathe as the impressive 300m2 of polished concrete floorspace allow the viewer to become immersed in the artwork from a distance or inspect the minute detail up close.

HARVEST: National Trust, Cotehele online Apple Festival

Book in advance to visit this fabulous property and its orchard including helping with the apple harvest, as well as join in online for the apple based festivities.

Find more ideas here

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