A Very Christmassy What’s On Guide
There are so many brilliant festive things going on across Cornwall right now, it’s hard to know where to start. Well allow me — grab a coffee and a mince pie and start planning your Christmas fun here…
DECK YOUR HALLS
Haven’t got your tree yet? Good patience, well done – the needles won’t be dropping all over your presents on Christmas morning. Why not make a day of it and get yours at the Tregothnan Tea Estate? You’ll have to saw it down yourself, which is a great, festive way to make you feel like Bear Grylls. Or combine the outing with a walk and lunch at Cardinham Woods, where you’ll find a choice of beautiful firs. If it’s mistletoe you’re after, head to Cotehele (a Tudor manor this side of the Tamar) where they’ve grown a bumper crop this year. You can admire the famous 60-foot garland, see the man in red and scare off evil spirits in the wassail celebrations while you’re about it.
SEE THE LIGHTS
Since our first Cornish Christmas, we can’t let the festive season pass without a visit to Mousehole. Run by volunteers on a donation basis, the light display is second to none, depicting whales, boats and the local story of the Mousehole Cat. Slightly less well-known but equally enchanting are the lights of Angarrack near Hayle. The light show has a Twelve Days of Christmas theme that you can follow through the village. A little less high-tech but absolutely magical, is Christmas Lantern Night at The Lost Garden’s of Heligan on Mon 19 Dec from 5.30pm (FREE ENTRY – last entrance at 7.30pm).
ENJOY SOME FESTIVE TUNES
If you’re feeling fairly sensible on Saturday night (no bad thing ahead of next weekend), why not take in the Christmas concert at Truro cathedral performed by its male and female choristers (tickets from £12). On Sun 18 Dec the Minack presents the Christmas Cracker with the Mount Charles Band, who give lots of festive tunes their own special flavour (there are still some tickets and the weather’s currently looking dry). If you’d rather join the chorus, lend your voice to the Mousehole Carolaire, on Sat 17 Dec at 7pm, by the entrance to the North Quay or join the carol singers at Cotehele on Sat 17 Dec, 2pm.
CATCH THE LAST OF THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS
If you haven’t made to any of Cornwall’s famous Christmas markets – never fear, there’s still time. The best place to pick up unique gifts for all the family this weekend? Try:
- Perranporth Christmas Market — Sun 18 Dec, (11am-8pm). While you’re there, grab a pint at The Wateringhole and watch the Santas on the Sand fun run, which begins on the beach at 11am.
- For some old-fashioned Christmas fun, try Truro’s lovely Victorian Market, which runs from Tues 13 – Sun 18 Dec, with more than 65 traders at Lemon Quay.
- At Heartland’s Christmas Market Weekend you’ll find lots of local growers and makers selling their wares as well as live entertainment and children’s activities. Sat 17 Dec – Sun 18 Dec
TAKE THE KIDS TO MEET FC
If you think Christmas Eve is Santa’s toughest gig, you should see the number of Cornish gardens and hotels he’s hitting this month. Word in the playground is that the Santa at The Bedruthan Hotel is among the best. Children wander through a magical forest to meet Cornish Piskies, decorate gingerbread, do some festive arts and crafts and write Christmas wishes for the wishing tree, before meeting Santa and receiving their pressies. It’s fully booked on Sat 17 and Sun 18 and next week’s slots are selling fast, so dash away all.
If you miss him at The Bedruthan, never fear – the man in red will also be at:
- Trelissick, Feock: Fri 16 – Fri 23 Dec (on Sat 17 there’s will also be reindeer)
- Lappa Valley, Newquay: Sat 17 – Sun 18 Dec
- Trerice, Kestle Mill: Sat 17- Sun 18 Dec (a Tudor Father Christmas no less)
- Lanhydrock, Bodmin: Sat 17 – Sun 18 Dec
- Cotehele, St Dominick: Sat 17 – Sun 18 Dec
- Trebah Garden, Mawnan Smith: Sun 18 – Thurs 22 Dec
- Gwel An Mor, Portreath, Wed 21 Dec (with your Santa and reindeer experience, you also get a free visit and return pass for the resort’s great new soft play space, Base Camp)
- Heartlands, Pool: Sun 18 – Fri 23 Dec
WATCH A CHRISTMAS SHOW
At Heartlands, Pool, the incredibly popular Christmassy show of Christmasness by Squashbox Theatre is back and there are still some tickets remaining on Sun 18 Dec (age 5+).
And you can enjoy Cornwall’s very own Christmas story, The Mousehole Cat at The Solomon Browne Hall, Mousehole from Sat Dec 17 – Sat Jan 7.
TRY SOMETHING LESS TRADITIONAL?
How about a good stretch? There’ll be free yoga all day at The Falmouth Yoga Space that is hosting its Festive Yoga Festival on Sun 18 Dec, from 9am.
Or get yourself down to Lusty Glaze for their cosy Woodburner Sessions, with very talented Newquay songstress Daisy Clark on Sat 17 Dec, 7.30-11pm and multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter Joe Francis on Fri 23 Dec, 7.30-11pm.