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Where to see Father Christmas in Cornwall

Christmas in Cornwall is always a magical experience, from the twinkling lights that cast the towns and villages in a colourful glow to the variety of Christmas and Boxing Day swims that add a certain rush of adventure to the big day.

Of course, when it comes to festive appearances, there’s one in particular that puts smiles on rosy-cheeked visitors – a visit from Father Christmas himself! Whether arriving by boat in St Ives or waiting to regale you with stories in his cosy log cabin, Father Christmas makes the most of a variety of events around Cornwall in the run-up to Christmas.

Looking forward to meeting Cornwall’s jolly VIP? Here are the best places to see Father Christmas in Cornwall this holiday season…

Father Christmas at the Eden Project

Father Christmas in front of a crowd at the Eden Project in Cornwall

1st to the 3rd, 8th to the 10th, and 14th to the 24th of December

Step inside a cosy log cabin to see behind the scenes of Christmas. Meet Father Christmas and his elves, discover the magic of giving, and leave with a Christmas present you can watch grow for many years to come. Children can sit down and enjoy an enchanting interactive experience, before meeting Father Christmas himself. They also run relaxed sessions for children who prefer a quieter, less crowded experience. Booking in advance is strongly advised, and you will need to book entry into the Eden Project as well. You can turn your visit into the ultimate festive experience with a visit to the famous ice skating rink!

Christmas Grotto at Bedruthan, Mawgan PorthFather Christmas standing on the cliffs and looking out to sea at Bedruthan Hotel and Spa

Various dates throughout December

Visit the enchanting woodland grotto at Bedruthan, where Father Christmas waits to say hello-ho-ho! You can visit as a group alongside other families, or you can book in for a one-to-one meeting, followed by a delicious festive feast. Bedruthan also runs a cheer-filled Christmas market, offering everything you need for some magical memories. 

Santa by Steam at Bodmin & Wenford Railway

Father Christmas waving in front of a steam train at Bodmin and Wenford Railway in Cornwall

Every weekend in the run-up to Christmas

Embark on a rail journey with a difference at Bodmin & Wenford Railway’s Santa by Steam events throughout December. This year, Father Christmas will be joining you for the train ride as he jingles and jangles through the carriages handing out gifts and munching on mince pies. Upon reaching Bodmin General, you can visit the magical Victorian Carriage for some seasonal snaps in Santa's photobooth, before taking part in some festive arts and crafts.

Santa arrives by lifeboat in St Ives

Santa waving to the camera in front of a crowd in St Ives

Wednesday the 13th of December

You can enjoy Christmas lights all the way through November in St Ives, and then the festive celebrations gear up a level in December with Santa's impressive arrival; instead of arriving on his sleigh, Santa likes to arrive in St Ives via lifeboat with the RNLI.

After waving to the crowds of children and families gathered around the harbour, Santa will lead a procession through the town to Royal Square, where carol singers and the town band await - not to mention copious amounts of mulled wine!

Father Christmas at Lappa Valley, near Newquay

Father Christmas in his grotto at Lappa Valley

Various dates throughout December

Throughout December, families can board an extra special train bound for Santa’s magical grotto, where children will receive an early Christmas present from Father Christmas himself. During the train journey, there will be tasty mince pies and hot chocolates for all, and kids will have the chance to write and post their letter to Santa.

Dine with Santa at Newquay Zoo

Santa in his grotto at Newquay Zoo

Various dates throughout December

Out of all the places you can see Santa in Cornwall, there’s only one place where you can dine with him! Back by popular demand, Newquay Zoo’s Dine with Santa events give the little ones the chance to enjoy a delicious breakfast or dinner with Father Christmas at Café Lemur. 

Alongside a selection of foods to enjoy, the kids can get involved with some Christmas crafts, before receiving an early Christmas present. There’s lots to see and do around the zoo too, making this a perfect day out for the whole family.

Visit Santa in Charlestown

Father Christmas sitting in his sleigh at the Shipwreck Treasure Museum in Charlestown in Cornwall

Friday the 15th to Sunday the 24th of December

Home to the magical Tunnel of Lights, the Shipwreck Treasure Museum in Charlestown is always a firm favourite when it comes to festive experiences in Cornwall. This year, the museum will be welcoming an extra special guest as Father Christmas himself visits the twinkling tunnel. Come and say hello to Santa and his helpful elves, who have a little Christmas keepsake for all the children.  

Excited to meet Father Christmas? Explore our cosy Christmas cottages and start planning your next festive stay in Cornwall.

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