Cornwall is a magical place to spend the festive season, whether visiting in early December for festive markets and events, during Christmas week or for a New Year getaway Prepare to be enchanted by dazzling displays of colourful lights, which illuminate Cornish harbours, towns and villages. Watch spectacular lantern processions, listen to angelic voices singing carols (and join in yourself too) whilst warming your hands with a hot chocolate or mulled wine.
Read on to discover some of the wonderful Christmas light switch-on events in Cornwall this year.
Falmouth’s festive lights – Thursday 29th November
Festive fun in Falmouth begins at 5pm when children from various local schools and singing groups gather in Events Square for a spectacular lantern procession. Santa will also join the procession which will move through the town towards the Moor. After the procession and Christmas carols, the big festive lights switch-on will take place on the Moor at 7pm.
Bodmin’s spectacular lights & festive events – Friday 30th November
The Cornish town of Bodmin has gone all out this year with a light up clock tower and Christmas light projection show, plus its own Santa's grotto and post box for children to send their letters to the North Pole. During the evening there will be late night shopping throughout the town, a lantern procession at 6pm, shortly followed by the projection light show, which will repeat on a loop throughout the evening. The spectacular festive lights will be switched on at 6.45pm.
Newquay’s festive festival & light switch-on – Friday 30th November
This fun-filled event kicks off at 4pm with live music and entertainment in the high street, featuring dancers, singers, stilt walkers and fire breathers. The lantern parade will light up the sky at 6.30pm, with the Christmas light switch-on at 7pm and a dazzling firework display at 8pm. There’s also late night shopping, a Santa’s Grotto and plenty of restaurants, bistros and bars to retreat to for a refreshing drink or delicious meal.
Mevagissey’s magical lights – Saturday 1st December
Head down to Mevagissey harbour for 5pm to eat, drink and be merry, enjoying the live entertainment and wonderful community spirit. At 7pm the lights will be switched on and will illuminate the pretty harbour with colourful twinkling lights. Later, Mevagissey’s welcoming pubs and eateries offer somewhere cosy to retreat to. We recommend car sharing or arriving early as car parks will fill up.
Christmas lights in Cadgwith Cove – Saturday 1st December
This little event is full of community spirit and is sure to get you in the festive mood. There will be hot and cold refreshments, jolly carol singing and an appearance from Father Christmas. The event begins at 6pm and the lights are expected to be switched on at around 7pm, after which you can enjoy a warming drink in the local pub. Cadgwith Cove is an unspoilt fishing village which almost seems to have frozen in time and the Cadgwith Cove Inn is a traditional Cornish pub where you’re sure too feel right at home.
St Ives in December events – Saturday 1st December
This fantastic event begins with the St Ives lantern parade which will light up the streets as it makes its way into Royal Square. Look out for the Aspects Holidays lantern! The impressive parade will be accompanied by singing, dancing and a Celtic Samba band, followed by the countdown to the big festive light switch-on. St Ives will be lit up with hundreds of sparkling lights, a spectacular sight which is sure to get you into the festive spirit.
Padstow’s Carols and Christmas lights – Saturday 1st December
Head over to Padstow for 6pm to enjoy Christmas hymns from the Padstow Carolers and the magical light switch-on which will sparkle all across the harbour, reflecting on the water to create a magical scene. Enjoy an enchanting evening with a convivial atmosphere with you nearest and dearest. If you’re not in Cornwall on the 1st, you should be able to get quite a clear view from our Padstow webcam. The Padstow Christmas Festival takes place between the 6th and the 9th which is another great opportunity to see the lights, do some Christmas shopping and watch live chef demos, music and other festive entertainment.
Angarrack’s animated 12 days of Christmas lights – Saturday 1st December
Angarrack is a small village in West Cornwall with a huge reputation for Christmas lights. This is a true community event where everyone gets involved to make sure the whole village becomes a winter wonderland. Wrap up warm and explore the streets of Angarrack – the lights will guide the way! See how many of Santa’s reindeer you can spot and seek out the partridge in a pear tree and the 11 other brilliant displays that tell the story of the 12 days of Christmas.
Looe’s torch light procession and festive lights- Friday 7th December
From 6.30pm there will be two processions of twinkling lights, both making their way from East to West Looe. The final destination is the Quayside Centre where there will be some jovial carol singing followed by the big festive light switch-on, including displays on the harbour and the colourful lights and shining star on the Christmas tree.
Coverack’s community Christmas event – Saturday 8th December
Prepare to be dazzled by the captivating display in Coverack which lights up the pretty harbour, with the beautiful Christmas tree as the main feature. There will also be a lantern procession, with Father Christmas arriving on a pony-drawn sleigh, Christmas carols and tasty treats available. Children will receive a special gift from Santa and most people gather around the tree for the magical light switch-on.
Newlyn Harbour lights switch-on & fireworks night - Friday 14th December
With just a couple of weeks to go until Christmas, this event will really kick off festivities in West Cornwall. Head down to the harbourside for 6pm to be entertained by Newlyn Primary School’s carol service and then a jolly sing-along accompanied by The Penzance Silver Band. Santa will arrive on the Penlee Lifeboat at 6.30pm and the evening will end with a bang with the grand firework display and lights switch-on at 7pm. There will also be gift stalls and hot and cold refreshments.
Mousehole’s famous harbour lights – Saturday 15th December
Now in their 55th year, the Mousehole Harbour Lights are some of the most well-known Christmas lights in Cornwall and beyond. This year their festive event will begin at 6.30pm with an open-air Carolaire service at the entrance to North Quay (or in Mousehole Methodist Church if the weather is bad). The wonderful choir service will feature the Mousehole Male Voice Choir, members of the Mousehole Methodist Church and members of the community, singing alongside the Pendeen Silver Band. The beautiful music, sparkling harbour lights and joyful atmosphere will leave guests with a warm Christmassy glow.
Cornwall’s Christmas lights will stay up throughout the festive season, so why not go and see them during your festive Cornish break? Find holiday cottages with availability during Christmas week here>