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What’s on October in Cornwall

Did someone say F.U.N? Step right this way for fabulous festivals, foodie events, music, comedy and spooky Halloween hijinks. Find all the fun in Cornwall this month right here.

Yes, there are still things to do! The best of what’s on across the Duchy in this month’s Muddy curated guide.

EVENT: Creative Scilly Festival, Isles of Scilly, 8 – 31 October

This sounds awesome! Just off the coast of Cornwall (fly from Penzance or catch the Scillonian) the tiny cluster of wild little islands will host over 60 live events across all 5 inhabited isles; a schedule of immersive events; an eclectic and whimsical mix of home-grown Scillonian artists, interspersed with mainland creatives and performers, offering al fresco pop-ups, workshops, creative courses, imaginative talks and performances in some of the most unique locations in the British Isles.

ART COURSE: Teens Art Workshops, (online) St Ives School of Painting, 12 Oct – 9 Nov

The St Ives School of Painting is running a free art course, with five online sessions of creative fun, culminating in an exhibition in November. Explore five major steps in creating a final outcome that includes drawing, concept, composition, and painting. Once the workshops have been completed, the School of Painting will curate a one day exhibition of all the students’ final outcomes for students that have attended all the workshops. With a Private View, friends, family, and the public will be invited to see your artwork in a St Ives venue. Aimed at 13-16 year olds.

NEW! EXHIBITION: Reimagining Reality, Narisa Hall, Priory Park, Bodmin, 15 October – 23 Dec

Reimagining Reality is an innovative exhibition for Cornwall that will turn your world upside down! Explore the weird and wonderful peculiarities of science with interactive exhibits. Be prepared to be left wondering what you really know. If you think science really isn’t your thing, come for the art! Experience an immersive journey along surreal passageways leading to quirky exhibits that are an artwork in their own right. This exhibition is about as environmentally friendly as they come. Everything has been carefully crafted with waste or reclaimed materials. Follow the stories that are entwined in each exhibit; where it’s components came from and how it was transformed.

NEW! Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical, Hall for Cornwall

The long awaited re-opening of the new revamped Hall for Cornwall in Truro happens this month, with the world premiere of Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical. There’s still a few tickets for this weekend’s shows – it’s a brand-new musical based on the true story of Cornwall’s favourite singing sea-shanty sensations and the smash-hit 2019 Universal Pictures film which grossed over £11.5 million worldwide at the box office. Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical will be the first co-production for Hall for Cornwall’s new in-house producing company, Cornwall Playhouse Productions, and produced in partnership with producers ROYO.

NEW! EXHIBITION: Petrit Halilaj’sVery volcanic over this green feather , Tate St Ives, opens 16 October

This is Petrit Halilaj 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.

NEW! EXHIBITION: Lost for Words, Byre Gallery, 16 – 30 October

Siobhan Purdy’s collection for Lost for Words explores the recurring themes that predominate much of her work: vulnerability, isolation and a childhood spent retreating into secret worlds of nature and imagination. Siobhan describes painting as still being her ‘happy place.’ Lost for Words also includes work by fellow Cornwall artist Sue Kinley, Jayne Armstrong and ceramics from Lucy Burley and John Pollex.

FOODIE: Farm Suppers, Nancarrow Farm, 21 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.

SPOOKY EVENTS: Dead of Night Dance, Rogue Theatre, Tehidy Woods, 22 – 31 Oct

An immersive theatre adventure celebrating Halloween; a wickedly joyful treat for all ages in the sparkling dark heart of Tehidy Woods from Muddy favourite (and award-winning) magical Rogue Theatre. Trick or treat yourself this Samhan with a ticket to the under-land wonderland; a world of witch humour and wolfish delights. With all new dead good stories to tickle your ribs, thrill your spirits and chill your bones! Spirits of all ages welcome (family and fiend friendly).

NEW! EXHIBITION: SEEN, Newlyn Art Gallery, The Exchange, Penzance, opens 23 Oct

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!

EVENT: Tunnel of Lights: Arctic Adventure, The Shipwreck Museum, Charlestown, 23 -31 Oct

An immersive frozen adventure through the Shipwreck Treasure Museum’s underground tunnels as it’s transformed into a sparkling wonderland of ice. Follow the footsteps of Polar Explorers as you discover glittering waterfalls, giant icebergs, and frozen shipwrecks. Building on the success of the hugely popular Tunnel of Lights in 2020, the event returns for the Autumn season with thousands of lights, atmospheric Arctic soundscapes and a magical journey through a polar world.

ICE-SKATING: Eden Project, 23 Oct 2021 – 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. Also opening on 23 Oct is Eden’s spooky halloweden activities – see more in our half term guide.

FILM FESTIVAL: Ocean Film Festival World Tour, The Regal Theatre, Redruth, 27 October

The annual Ocean Film Festival is sweeping towards Cornwall with a brand new selection of the world’s most amazing ocean films, from both above and below the surface, including an iceberg-dodging kayaking expedition, extreme skimboarding, and exploring the Kuril Islands – known as one of the last paradises on Earth. 

THEATRE: Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, dates throughout October

Find outdoor theatre, music, comedy and opera at the stunning, world-famous Minack Theatre. Highlights include The Beauty Queen of Leenane (13 – 21 Oct). 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, dates throughout October

Entertaining shows for all the family from Sterts Theatre include an adaptation of local fave Daphne du Maurier’s, The Birds (20-23 Oct) and a Double Bill of comedy and drama features the debut plays of two highly regarded British Playwrights (Pinter and Mortimer) from 28-29 October.

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

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

FOODIE: Gralefrit Restaurant pop-up supper evening, 29 October

Gralefrit Restaurant pop-up suppers are run by Ethan Friskney-Bryer (head chef of Fitzroy & North Street Kitchen restaurants in Fowey), his wife Hazel and brother Joel, who can usually be found at Lovetts in Newlyn. 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.

MUSIC: Brother Sea, St Endellion, 30 October

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.

EVENT: Jubilee Pool Dog Day, Penzance, 31 October

As usual the Jubilee Pool celebrates the end of a paw-some season in the cold pool with a dog day, with mutts-anticipated tickets selling quickly. It’s a day that people go barking mad for, and please fur-give (them) and me for the puns!

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.

NEW! 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.

& sadly, what’s not on this year

FOODIE: Falmouth Oyster Festival, Falmouth, (postponed to 13 – 16 Oct 2022)

Falmouth’s Events Square usually plays host to one of Cornwall’s biggest and best loved specialist food events, The Falmouth Oyster Festival. The annual festivities celebrate the start of the oyster dredging season, the native Fal Oyster and the diversity of Cornish seafood, with four days of feasting, cooking demos, live music, food and craft stalls.


FOODIE: Truro Food Festival, 1-3 Oct

A city-wide celebration of Cornish food and drink where you can watch some of the best the UK’s culinary masters share their recipes live at the Chef’s Theatre as well as learning about some of their top secrets. Alongside this, find an array of local produce and a joyful selection of street food traders.

FOODIE: ‘Taste of Truro’ evening at The Alverton, Truro, 1 October

In celebration of this year’s Truro Food Festival, The Alverton’s Executive Chef Nick Hodges and Head Chef Erkki Mikk will be hosting an intimate evening, inspired by Truro’s plough to plate offering – expect a five course tasting menu with heavy Cornish influence alongside paired wines, plus a fish filleting demo and a cheese talk. Booking essential.

MUSIC: Proms at The Minack, 2 October

Missed out on the Last Night of the Proms in September? All is not lost, head to the Minack where a professional 16 piece orchestra and 4 singers under the baton of well-known conductor Patrick Bailey present a lively and varied programme including popular orchestral items from both the classical and modern repertoire, and songs ranging from opera and Gilbert & Sullivan to folk song and musical theatre. And, of course, the evening will conclude with the traditional Last Night of the Proms favourites, plus a firework display.

EVENT: Beach Clean, Perranporth Beach, 3 Oct, 10am

Sharps Brewery are sponsoring the Surfers Against Sewage’s (SAS) Million Mile Beach Clean. The team will be joining hundreds of members of the SAS team plus supporters and volunteers for the biggest beach clean of the month. The start and meeting point will be the Perranporth Surf Life Saving Club and the clean will last for approximately 1.5 hours with prizes given out post-clean for those most unusual finds. In addition, Sharp’s mobile beer truck will be outside The Seiners Arms serving participants over the age of 18 a free taste of Sharp’s Atlantic Pale Ale at the end of the clean as a great big thanks for their efforts. 

EVENT: Porthleven Arts Festival, until 3 October

The first Porthleven Arts Festival sounds like fun – more than 60 events across the town including exhibitions, art, workshops, music, poetry and performance. It’s about community, about participation and, most importantly, about celebrating art in all its many and diverse forms. Highlights include the Salty Sisters swimming, music from sea shanties to the blues via a delightful programme of classical music in St Bartholemew’s church and poetry performed and to reflect upon, including a tribute event for the late Nick Hardcastle and a spoken word performance by Megan Chapman. The mermaid day also sounds great fun, with a visit from a mermaid and Elspeth Stephenson (above) who is hosting a practical creative writing workshop that draws on the environment, the sea and mythology.

EVENT: At First Light, Stranger Collective, Porthmeor Beach, St Ives, 7 Oct

This sounds awesome and I’m sad I can’t make it – a bracing swim then breakfast and creative talks about the potential of the ocean and our relationship with it. Tickets are for breakfast and talks only, starting at 8am at Holan Collective. The dawn swim (From 7.15am) is optional. You don’t have to swim to attend!

FOODIE: The Cornish Italian Pop Up, Loading Bay 7, Truro, 8 October

Ugo Massabo of The Cornish Italian is hosting a pop-up restaurant in Truro at Loading Bay 7 on Walsingham Place. For one night only, it will be turned into a cosy Italian trattoria for the night, with an open kitchen tempting guests with the sights and smells of authentic Italian cuisine. The three-course menus (£25pp) are available online and, with limited space, pre-booking is essential; tables for two, four, six and eight people can be reserved. 

EXHIBITION: Athem, Tremenheere Gallery, until 9 Oct

Through the diverse media of sculpture, pottery, oil paint and mixed media, Masoud Akhavanjam, Julia Florence, Danny Romeril and Marion Taylor’s art and art practices are drawn together in a lyrical exploration of this particular moment in time.

YOGA: Silent Disco Beach Yoga, Fistral Beach, Newquay, 9 October

And the beat goes ohhmm! Join Ocean Flow Yoga for a silent disco style special POPUP yoga class, probably the last outdoor yoga event they put on for 2021. Think Vinyasa Flow yoga, building energy through movement whilst listening to the sound of euphoric Balearic beats. There will be plenty of room to spread out on the beach – look out for the raked out mat spaces towards the middle/north end of Fistral Beach. You’re outside drinking in the fresh air as you listen through headphones to Jen’s melodic instructions, watching the crashing waves. You’ll need your own mat or towel & to pre-book a ticket.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Aviation photography, Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre, Newquay, 9 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.

RUNNING: Eden Marathon and Half Marathon, 10 Oct

Entries are closed for Cornwall’s biggest running event but you may still appreciate the heads up that things will be busier that day!

HARVEST: Heligan Harvest, Lost Gardens of Heligan, 9 – 17 October

This year Heligan’s Harvest is thinking about their past, present and future. Going back in time, eavesdrop on the ghosts of the Victorian garden. Relish the present with delicious food and drink, as well as celebrate the current team who tend the gardens, farm and estate. The future also beckons with demonstrations to develop your own harvesting skills for next year and thinking about Heligan’s future, be it further restoration of the Flower Garden or combatting climate change with cows! Expect an exciting array of displays, demonstrations and autumn inspired menus.

LITERARY FESTIVAL: Falmouth Book Festival, Falmouth, 13 – 17 Oct

Featuring a dynamic line-up of authors, poets and storytellers, this is the first Falmouth Book Festival. It takes place throughout the town and sets out to celebrate books, sharing ideas, and bringing people together. Kicks off with author Dawn French, who has been chancellor of Falmouth University since 2015, talking about her game-changing, Women’s Prize longlisted fourth novel, Because of You.

COMEDY: SEANN WALSH – Back from the Bed, Launceston Town Hall, 15 Oct

The comedian and actor is back with his postponed tour, with a new name and some additional content, as, he puts it, “sticking with ‘Same Again?’ felt a bit triggering after the year we’ve had. So it is now called Back from the Bed. Some of the material will be the same as I had always planned and some of it will be new because it will be difficult to avoid mentioning the last year in which millions of decent people tragically lost their lives to TikTok”. Love him, or indifferent to him, it’s nice to see national names in comedy making it down to the south-west.

EXHIBITION: In Your Hands, Newlyn Art Gallery, ends 16 Oct 2021

In Your Hands is a group exhibition connecting international artists with people in Cornwall in collaborations to realise or fabricate their artwork. The artists have put the making of their art into the hands of others, placing their trust in them, and embracing serendipitous outcomes.

While the pandemic has brought restrictions to travel, there is an ever-growing desire to be part of international networks. Touch has been very much missed, and In Your Hands explores new connections, inviting a dance between continents; a call and response with words and flowers; and an ode to the home we have all spent so much time in. Includes the installation by Klaas Rommelaere (above), a textile artist based in Antwerp, who created a fabric room, furnished with cross stitched objects, ornaments and possessions created by over 80 people across Cornwall and the UK, including members of the Tea, Cake & Art group, and others who took part in the recent Extraordinary Postcards exhibition.

THEATRE: Everyman Tour, Various locations, until 17 October

Miracle Theatre brings Carol Ann Duffy’s electric adaption of the fifteenth century English morality play right up to date, creating an intense, exciting, multi-media experience with live music, projection, choreography and a high-energy cast of 4. 

EVENT: Peeky Blinders’ Murder Mystery Night at The Alverton, Truro, 22 Oct  

Guests will get to travel back in time to city life in 1919, where a family of gangsters rule the streets in newsboy caps with a razor sharp edge.

ART EXHIBITION: Martha Holmes solo exhibition ‘Late Summer’ , North Coast Asylum, Newquay, until 24 October

Head to North Coast Asylum in Newquay to check out Martha Holmes’ wonderful collection that captures the essence of the Cornish coastline through abstract studies of colour and light. Her work is emotively charged by a deep connection to the ocean and its ever-changing influence on the landscape from which she paints.

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