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5 things to do this weekend

What’s on this weekend in Cornwall? Plenty, since you ask – here’s five picks, including art exhibitions galore, cultural goings-on across the county, wine tastings and even a mermaid visit.

Go to a cultural arts festival (or two!)

Will it be north coast or south coast or both? Head first to the North Cornwall Book Festival in St Endellion near Port Isaac which runs from 23 – 26 September where authors include local favourites Liz Kessler, Lamorna Ash in conversation with Lisa Woollett and national faces, including George Alagiah.

And then head south to the Porthleven Arts Festival from 25 September – 3 October with 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.

See some sheep!

It’s Rare Breeds Month at The Lost Gardens of Heligan and this weekend it is all about the sheep for the Heligan Woolly Weekend – make your way to The Barn to meet a variety of visiting rare breed sheep and learn more about these estate lawn mowers, why they are so important and the conservation breeding programme that Heligan proudly works hard to complete.

Try some Spanish vino

It’s the Al Fresco Spanish wine and pinxtos night at The Bottle wine bar in Newquay with a special one-off menu featuring a selection of pinxtos, charcuterie and cheese celebrating the Basque country (one of the areas of Spain that inspired The Bottle). Tickets are £20 – booking essential – which comes off the bill, and includes a complimentary glass of Txakoli on arrival. Find wine by the glass and bottle paired with the dishes on offer, plus cocktails too.

Check out some art

Plenty of exhibitions around the Duchy to feast your eyes on, including your last chance to see Haegue Yang Strange Attractors at the Tate St Ives, and there’s new exhibition opening in Penzance (Discovering Anchor Studio: An artist’s haven in Newlyn).

Meanwhile in Bude you’ll find surfer art heaven at Joy Editions, which is showing J.J Midwinter’s ‘The Waves Between’, and in Newquay at North Coast Asylum Martha Holmes solo exhibition ‘Late Summer’ sounds intriguing. Plus, Muddy Award winning Jackson Foundation Gallery in St Just has Kenidjack  A Cornish Valley (on until Feb).

Go for a run…

If you’re a bit of a seasoned runner then these guys are still accepting entries: ‘Man Up & Down 2021is a charity 20k trail along the North Cornish Coast starting at 8am on Sunday 26th September. Setting off from Portreath, navigating the iconic, rugged, North Cornwall coastline and ending at the Watering Hole in Perranporth. There will be checkpoints at Porthtowan and St.Agnes, there are no cut off times, every runner will receive a medal, awards for 1st, 2nd, 3rd place male & female!

For the less fleet of foot, but no less enthusiastic, what about a Parkrun? Cornwall’s options include Penrose, Heartlands, Trelissick, Lanhydrock, Tamar Lakes, Mount Edgcumb & Plym Valley (note that the Eden Project is not running this weekend but it is usually). Up and at ’em early so you’ll be having your coffee by 10am, a nice sweaty way to get your weekend off to a good start.

(Sea Hats cover image (c) Sue Hill)

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