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Unique festive experiences in Cornwall

If it’s in Cornwall, you can guarantee it’ll be packed with character – and Christmastime is certainly no exception. 

While the county’s array of markets, lights switch-ons and Father Christmas appearances all make for a fabulously festive prelude to the big day itself, there’s also an array of more extraordinary events awaiting visitors to Cornwall this Christmas.

From sea swims to wreath workshops, outdoor theatre performances, charity events and festivals, a wonderland of a different nature can be discovered throughout the western corners this winter.

Santa by Steam

Santa by Steam, Bodmin & Wenford Railway

Whether it’s Lappa Valley (selected December dates) or Bodmin & Wenford Railway (1st-24th December), Santa will be emerging on steam, so to speak, much to the delight of passengers. Tuck into mince pies and drinks as you enjoy carols on the platform at Bodmin Station before embarking upon the hour-long journey complete with a visit to Father Christmas’s grotto; while Lappa Valley also presents children’s entertainment including balloon making, card colouring, letter writing and indoor play carriages.

Montol Festival

Immerse yourself in a week’s worth of arts and community events in Penzance, which will culminate in the main event on 21st December: Montol Eve. Celebrating the midwinter solstice in spellbinding style, the Celtic festival features lantern and mask-making workshops, storytelling, carol services, street entertainers, ceilidh, late night shopping, procession, and guise dancing followed by the ritual burning of the sun effigy.

Shine For Shelterbox

Bring some extra goodwill to the festive period by attending or organising your own fundraising candlelit gathering in aid of one of Cornwall’s most renowned and impactful charities: Shelterbox. Your pre-Christmas party could help purchase vital equipment such as tools, blankets and tents to families made homeless by disaster across the globe.

Christmas/Boxing Day Swims 

Christmas Day Swim

With a beach undoubtedly near you, Cornwall’s popular tradition of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s swims continue to see crowds take the plunge at an assortment of super scenic locations. From Sennen, St Ives, Hayle and Penzance’s Battery Rocks in the west to Bude’s Crooklets Beach, Falmouth’s Gylly Beach and St Agnes, Polzeath, Poldhu and Charlestown to name but a few all staging ceremonial swims, there’s no better and more bracing excuse to dust off the Speedos to enjoy a dip!

Ice-skating at Eden

Ice Skating at Eden

Whether you fancy yourself as something of a pro skater or ice-skimming novice, Eden’s winter wonderland of a rink is the place to spin around this season. You’ll also find a fantastic range of refreshments at the Ice Café, and if you time it right, you can combine a skate with a Father Christmas outing or wreath-making workshop.

Rogue Theatre 

Rogue Theatre

For a fairy-tale-like adventure, look no further than the dramaturgical marvel that is, Rogue Theatre. ‘Winter Wood’ (8th-30th December) promises an enchanting experience amidst Tehidy Woods, where Old Man Winter will weave his wild tales of faeries and woodland spirits.

The Mousehole Cat 

Running from 15th-31st December, the heart-warming tale will be told by Cousin Jacks at Solomon Browne Memorial Hall in Mousehole, providing an additional boost of yuletide magic to your day.

Cornwall Hospice Care’s Santa Fun Runs

Santa Fun Run

Presenting five events to help raise vital funds for the brilliant Cornish charity, whether you fancy dressing up as Santa and running or cycling the course – or lining the streets to show your support - rest assured it’ll prove a fabulously fun and wonderfully benevolent experience for all. With runs in Truro, Padstow, Wadebridge, Falmouth and Helston.

Thinking of booking a last minute festive getaway? View all of our holiday cottages and apartments with availability over Christmas>

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