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South Cornwall

 

Holidays in South Cornwall

Self catering in South Cornwall presents an interesting dilemma. On one hand, you have the busy, vibrant town of Falmouth with its rich maritime heritage and large student population; rent a holiday cottage here and you will never be far from the action, day or night. On the other hand, travel in either direction along the coast and you will soon find yourself forced inland by a waterway. This is what makes many holiday cottages in South Cornwall relatively inaccessible, but persevere and you will be rewarded by some of the most untouched and tranquil holiday experiences in the county.

Let the roads and lanes lead you where they will – this is what holidays in South Cornwall are all about – you never know what you might find!

Experience South Cornwall

There’s an almost endless range of sports and activities available for you to enjoy in Cornwall to suit all tastes, ages and abilities.

Cornwall remains a Mecca for surfers with surf schools available for those who want to give it a go or take their skills up to the next level. There are also many other watersports to try, including scuba diving, kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing or dinghy sailing.

Stay in South Cornwall, and you’ll be perfectly placed to visit the breathtaking Lizard Peninsula. This area of outstanding natural beauty is the inspiration for many artists and authors, and it’s easy to see why.

The Roseland peninsula heritage coast is another beautiful area of the South coast. It’s one of the most unspoilt areas in Britain, and as such is the perfect place to explore.

With the Helford River and the River Fal nearby, this area of Cornwall has a distinct character of its own, with many small fishing villages nestled amongst sandy beaches and lush countryside. By contrast, Falmouth is a bustling harbour town, which provides a great day out for all the family. From shark fishing to exploring the gardens of Trebah, you won’t be short of things to do.

Venture further North along the South Coast and you’ll be well placed to visit the famous Eden Project, the Lost gardens of Heligan, and the stunning Caerhays Castle, which are all well worth a visit, wherever you choose to stay on a self catering holiday in South Cornwall.

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Healey's Cornish Christmas Markets

Healey's Cornish Cyder Farm are hosting the only Christmas market in Cornwall which is set on a working farm. Choose a freshly cut Christmas tree, browse festive gifts and go on a cyder making tour or a tractor ride. There will also be roast dinners and carol singing on the Sundays between these dates. 

23rd November - 16th December 2018

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Shadows & Light at the Eden Project

Enjoy a celebration of nature in light and music at the Eden Project this winter. This wonderful experience includes playful light sculptures, a magical ranforest, a musical garden by night and a stunning light show in the core.

24th November - 30th December 2018

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Eden Project Winter Festival

Winter is perhaps the most magical time to visit the Eden Project. Not only can you explore the biomes, there's also the opportunity to go ice-skating, watch live storytelling and meet Father Christmas! Why not enjoy some tasty treats and do some Christmas shopping while you're there too? Evenings are a particularly spectacular time to visit the Eden Porjet. 

24th Nov - 30th Dec 2018

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Christmas Grotto at Bedruthan Hotel

For a trurly magical Christmas experience, take the kids to the winter wonderland grotto at Bedruthan Hotel. Journey through the forgotten ice caves with the elves and Nordic characters, Tomte and Astrid, on your way to meet Santa, before creating your own magical decoration to take home with you.

1st - 23rd December 2018

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Santa by Steam

Join Santa and his elves aboard his magical steam train as you journey through the Cornish countryside. Awaiting Santa on the platform, you'll be entertained with carols performed by Liskeard band. On the hour long journey, children will get to meet and greet Santa, recieve a present and have their photograph taken. The grown-ups aren't forgotten either - you'll recieve a mince pie and seasonal drink!

1st Dec - 24th Dec 2018

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Cornwall Hospice Care Santa Series

Cornwall Hospice Care's Santa Series takes place in various locations across Cornwall: Wadebridge 8th Dec, Padstow 8th Dec, Truro 9th Dec, Falmouth 15th Dec & Helston 16th Dec. The Wadebridge event will be a 'fun cycle' and all of the other locations are fun runs, all in festive fancy dress of course!

8th - 16th December 2018

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Santa's Grotto & Elf Emporium

Meet Father Christmas, decorate gingerbread, make Reindeer food and have a festive day out at the Milky Way Adventure Park near Bude. At the elf emporium, new for 2018, children can write letters to the North Pole and take part in other fun activities. Online booking essential. 

8th - 23rd December 2018 (selected dates)

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Santa at Lappa Valley Steam Railway

Board the Santa Express  bound for Santa's magical grotto. On selected dates between the 8th and 24th December, children and their families can take a ride on the Santa Train to his grotto where they can receive a gift from Santa. There will also be children's entertainment, balloon making, Christmas card colouring and mince pies and mulled wine for the adults!

8th - 24th December 2018 (selected dates)

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Santa's Grotto & Christmas Treasure Hunt

There will be two Christmas treasure hunts taking place at the Ship Inn in Pentewan on Sunday the 9th and Sunday the 16th of December. The treasure hunts begin at 12pm and include meeting Santa in his grotto. Places must be booked in advance.

9th - 16th December 2018

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Rogue Theatre Winter Wood

Created by Cornwall’s award winning highly visual Rogue Theatre, Winter Wood is an adventure for families and those who still believe in Magic.

Pass through the Woodland Gate and follow the twisting path. Let the faeries and woodland spirits lead the way with stories and songs. Follow the wandering path and meet Old Man Winter who will weave a tale and reveal the path to your fantastical destination, an enchanted celebration, and a wondrous festivity of wintry marvels.

8th Dec - 30th Dec 2018

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Truro Winter Gift Fayre

Find the perfect presents for your nearest and dearest at Truro's Winter Gift Fayre. You can expect to find luxury food and drink, festive decorations and gorgeous gifts, with more than 80 stalls from local South West producers.

12th - 20th December 2018

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Santa's Grotto at Paradise Park

Visit Santa and his elves at the magical grotto at Paradise Park on selected dates in December. Tickets include a gift from Santa and there's no need to book, tickets are on sale on the day from 10am. 

15th - 24th December 2018 (selected dates)

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Mousehole Christmas Lights

Possibly the most well-known and popular Christmas Lights in the county, Moushole combines stunning displays against the backdrop of their gorgeous Cornish fishing harbour to bring real festive magic to all who visit at this special time of year. 

15th December - 4th January 2018

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The Alternative Christmas Market at Heartlands

The Heartlands Alternative Christmas Market isn't your average festive fayre! There will be live music, a mini silent disco, food & drinks stalls, arts & crafts, workshops and Christmas gifts from local traders. 

Sunday 16th December 2018

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Montol Festival

Each year, the people of Penzance celebrate the Winter solstace with a festival of Cornish tradition, torch processions, and dancing.

21st December 2018

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Tom Bawcock's Eve, Mousehole

The tradition of Tom Bawcock comes from the feast or famine lifestyle of Cornwall.  The story goes that it was just before Christmas; there had been no fish for weeks, the boats couldn’t get out into the raging storm, the village was starving. One man, Tom Bawcock, dared to take his boat out of the harbour’s safety. He returned with enough fish to make fish pie for the whole village. 

Today, a festival takes place each year to celebrate Tom Bawcock's bravery. During the festival, Star Gazey pies are eaten in memory of this famous event.

23rd December 2018

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New Year's Eve in St Ives

Spend New Year's Eve in St Ives for an unforgettable evening at the largest fancy dress party in the county. Ring in the New Year with an unbeatable fireworks display by the sea. 

 Sunday 31st December 2018

Find out more about New Year's Eve in St Ives here>

 
 

St Ives Feast Day

Held on the anniversary of the consecration of the Parish Church of St Eia in 1434 AD, Feast Day offers visitors to witness - and even join in with - some centuries-old traditions. A morning precesison led by the Mayor to bless the Well of St Eia. Following this, the Mayor will 'Hurls the Silver Ball' into a crowd of children who assemble on the beach below. The one who returns the ball to the Guildhall steps by midday receives a silver coin. In the afternoon the Mayor then throw pennies from the balcony of the Guildhall for children to collect.

4th February 2019

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St Pirans Day Celebrations

Gool Perran Lowen - Happy St Piran's Day in Cornish! 

St Piran's Day, celebrated on March 5th, is the national day of Cornwall, named after one of Cornwall's patron saints. According to legend, St Piran, a 5th century Irish Abbot, was thrown into the sea in Ireland tied to a mill stone; somehow he washed up on the Cornish coast still alive. He made Cornwall his new home and became the patron saint of tin-miners after rediscovering tin smelting. 

Today, Cornwall still celebrates his heritage. On the closest Sunday to St Piran's day, Perranorth hosts one of the largest St Piran's celebrations. Held at the dunes on Perranporth, a play is performed to re-enact St Piran's life. Spectators are welcomed and encouraged to dress in black, white and gold, the colours of Cornwall. 

Other celebrations will be held in various locations across Cornwall.

5th March 2019

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Boscastle Walking Week

Boscastle Walking Week is an annual event which has grown in popularity over the years. Organised by local people with local knowledge, everyone is welcome to join the organised walks for a small fee of £3-£5.  You'll be guided on some of the most beautiful walks along the Cornish coastline, amid woods and streams and on rambles to secluded waterfalls. Celebrate the history of this stunning scenery as you learn about the famous author Thomas Hardy, who spent a year living in the area. 

March 2019

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Cornwall Spring Flower Show

Held at Boconnoc House, Lostwithiel, the 107th edition of the Cornwall Spring Flower Show is a real treat for gardening enthusiasts. The two day event features show gardens, competitive classes and horticultural stands. Enjoy the fabulous displays, pick up plants for your own garden and ask the experts for some tips and advice!

6th-7th April 2019

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Porthleven Food & Music Festival

The small Cornish fishing village of Porthleven hosts its annual Food & Music Festival every April and encorporates street performers, a range of local produce, Samba dancing, theatre, beer marquees, hip-hop dancers, fireworks, Cornish singing & much, much mmore...the list is endless!

19th - 21st April 2019

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World Pilot Gig Championships, Isles of Scilly

This annual event takes place on the Isles of Scilly over the May Day bank holiday weekend. With crews coming from all over the South West, races start on Friday,and finals take place on the Monday. 

TBC April 2019

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Bolster Festival

Bolster festival in St Agnes celebrates the demise of the legend of Bolster the giant. The community re-enact the life and downful of the giant as they parade through the streets and down to the cliffs overlooking Chapel Porth beach. 

5th May 2019

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Helston Flora Day

An ancient annual event, Helston Flora Day includes craft stalls and traditional dances throughout the day, where crowds line the streets to watch the procession.

8th May 2019

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Padstow 'Obby Oss' Festival

A colourful tradition that takes place on the first day in May in the quaint harbour town of Padstow. The locals decorate the town with flags, flowers, greenery and a flagpole. The crowds are greeted by the swirling and dancing 'osses' who parade through the town, followed by the 'Teazer' who dances along behind. 

Expect lots of dancing, singing and performance.

1st May 2019

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St Ives Food & Drink Festival

Growing in size and popularity, the St Ives Food Festival features top chefs, quality Cornish goods, sandcastle competitions for children and food demonstrations.

10th - 12th May 2019

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Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature

Celebrating the life and works of this renowned author, the Du Maurier community festival in Fowey has grown into a popular annual event.

11th - 18th May 2018 

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Open Studios Cornwall

This free art exhibition sees over 200 art studios open their doors to the public in a week long event across the county. From sculptures, to photography, pottery, and artwork, you can be sure to find something that takes your fancy.

May - June 2019

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Fal River Festival

A ten day festival celebrating life on River Fal. The not-for-profit event encorporates music and drama, arts and heritage, gig racing, swimming and lots more.

Early June 2018 TBC

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Eden Sessions

A truly magical experience in Eden's natural amphitheatre. Previous performers include Jack Johnson, Paolo Nutini, Jessie J, Kaiser Chiefs, The XX and Eddie Izzard to name but a few. Tickets also include a daytime pass to the Eden Project.

June & July 2019

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Royal Cornwall Show

This three-day event is the highlight of Cornwall's agricultural year, showcasing the very best of Cornwall's rural lifestyle. The event is packed with activities, competitions, food and craft demonstrations and stalls, displays, music, and, or course, lots of animals!

6th-8th June 2019

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International Sea Shanty Festival, Falmouth

The Falmouth Sea Shanty was founded and is organised by Falmouth Shout. Sea Shanty events aim to preserve and promote the maritime heritage of Falmouth and Cornwall as a whole and are thoroughly enjoyable.

14th - 16th June 2018

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Polperro Music & Arts Festival

Polperro holds an annual 9 day festival with a craft fayre, live music, comedy nights and a procession. The festival is completely free to attend so make sure you visit to experience Polperro at its best.

15th - 22nd June 2019

 

 
 

Golowan Festival - Penzance

Golowan Festival is an annual community arts event that celebrates local culture and the social and natural environment. 'Mazey Day' takes place on the Saturday of the festival and guarantees to be a very colourful affair!

23rd - 28th June 2019

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Mevagissey Feast Week

Celebrated since 1754, Mevagissey Feast Week is a celebration of food, music, dance and more. With a host of colourful events being held throughout the week, this is a festival not to be missed!

June 2019

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Rock Oyster Festival

Live music, performing arts, endless entertainment for kids, and of course fantastic seafood.

July 2019

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Tropical Pressure Festival

Head to Mount Pleasant Eco Park to join in with the park's annual festival celebrating the rich cultures of Africa, Latin America and the caribbean. Enjoy live music, dance and food throughout the weekend. 

July 2019 

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St Ives Bay Helicopter Tours

For two weeks only, Adventure 001, supporters of Cornwall Air Ambulance, will be bringing their helicopter experiences to St Ives! Choose from a 6 minute flight from £35 to a 30 minute flight from £96 and take in the incredible views across St Ives bay and beyond!

Dates TBC August 2019 

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Stithians Show

Celebrated since the early 1800s, the Stihtains Show is a fine agricultural event showcasing animals, arts and crafts, food and drink, music and more. Don't miss the Countryside Area and Exhibition Ring. 

16th July 2019

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Charlestown Regatta

Enjoy a week of live music, watersports, competitions, pasty-making, children's sports, raft races and a carnival, all with the backdrop of the famous Georgian harbour.

Date TBC July 2019

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Lusty Glaze Sundowner Sessions

Every year Lusty Glaze beach hosts their Sundowner Sessions - an opportunity to watch your favourite artsits perform live in the stunning setting of the natural ampitheatre provided by the cliffs at Lusty Glaze. 

Date TBC July 2018

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Hayle Fest

Enjoy a weekend of live music, local food and drink, food demonstrations, crafts and local goods stalls and much more! Don't miss out!

Dates TBC August 2019

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Henri Lloyd Falmouth Week

Henri Lloyd Falmouth Week is one of the largest sailing regatta's in the south west with more than 300 yachts racing over eight days.There is also a full events line-up which includes entertainment in Falmouth's Events Square and offsite activities such as outdoor film screenings and Red Arrow displays.

August 2019

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Fowey Royal Regatta

The Fowey Royal Regatta includes sailing contests, a carnival, the crowning of the Fowey Queen, a pasty eating contest, and as per tradition, a giant pasty which is shared out among the community. 

August 2019

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Bude Carnival

Join in with the carnival celebrations for a fun filled day of music, dance and competition!

August 2019

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Newquay Boardmasters Festival

Be part of the UK's biggest surf, skate and music festival at this years 'Boardmasters', held in the popular seaside resort of Newquay.

TBC August 2019

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St Ives Lifeboat Day

A fun packed day hosted by the RNLI lifeboat Station. See the lifeboats on display and in action on the water with demonstrations featuring one of the HM Coastguard helicpoters!

August 2019

 
 

Bude Lifeboat Week

Bude Lifeboat Week includes a range of activities  and events, including quizzes, a children’s disco, live music, a craft fair and, on Lifeboat Day (28th) and search and rescue demonstration, a beach treasure hunt, rowing races, canoe polo, a pasty competition and more!

August 2019

 
 

Newlyn Fish Festival

Newlyn Fish Festival is the biggest and best of its kind in the UK. Taste some of the finest seafood on offer and enjoy cookery demonstrations, live music and arts and crafts. Local fishmongers take part in the The Cornish fishmonger of the year competition and the popular 'Fishy Trail' is perfect to keep the kids entertained.

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TBC August 2019

 
 

Bude Jazz Festival

Top UK and international jazz, blues, swing and boogie bands make up the Bude Jazz festival, with over 120 events including street parades, late night jam sessions and a dance marquee.

August 2019

budejazzfestival.co.uk

 
 

World Bellyboard Championships

The World Bellyboard Championships is open to all ages and abilites and takes place at Chapel Porth, St Agnes. The only rules?... No wetsuits or surfboards allowed!

September 2019 

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Newquay Fish Festival

A three-day celebration of all things seafoodie! Barbecued fish on the beach; cooking demos from the best of the best; fish merchants selling the freshest seafood imaginable - ready for you to take back to your holiday home and cook up using your newly-learned skills!

September 2019

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Mining & Pasty Festival, Redruth

Celebrating the Cornish pasty and Cornwall's mining heritage, Redruth brings you a cultural three day event. Try your hand at pasty making, join the pilgrimage, and finish off with a concert to remember. Fun for all the family. 

September 2019

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St Ives September Festival

Now becoming a sellout event, this festival keeps attracting more and more visitors who come to enjoy a wide range of acts, including music, theatre, poetry and visual arts.

14th - 28th September 2019

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Falmouth Beer Festival

Always a popular event, the Beer Festival takes places annually at the Princess Pavillions. Admission includes a commemorative festival glass and offers over 250  cask ales, 100 ciders and perries, fruit wines and bottled beers.

TBC October 2019

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Lost Gardens of Heligan Harvest

Celebrate this special time of year at Heligan with an array of harvest-themed events! Enjoy produce tasting, food demonstrations, garden tours, corn dolly making and a harvest trail. 

TBC October 2019

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Eden Project Beer Festival

Join in with this anual event at Eden celebrating local beers and speciality ciders. Enjoy live music and delicious local food too! 

TBC October 2019

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Falmouth Oyster Festival

Celebrate the start of the Oyster season at Falmouth's Events Square. Get involved with food demonstrations, browse local craft stalls and taste some spectacular seafood!

TBC October 2019

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Bude Blues, Rhythm and Rock Festival

For the first time the Bude Blues, Rhythm and Rock Festival will be taking place in November, featuring Wishbone Ash, Focus and Thorbjorn Risager.

TBC November 2019

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Looe Literary Festival

This four day festival takes places throughout the town of Looe, with guest authors and speakers making it the perfect festival for book-lovers.

TBC Novemeber 2019

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The Cornish Winter Fair

Celebrate Cornish farming and food at this free event! Get up and close to animals, try your hand at milking, kick off your Christmas shopping at the craft stalls and try some local food and drink.

TBC November 2019

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Truro City of Lights

A festival of light delights the crowds who line the streets to see a parade of giant handmade lanterns. All manner of samba, brass and pipe bands process alongside, accompanied by flamboyant dancers. Further outdoor music performances take place throught the evening and there are many a food and drink stall at which to pick up a tasty snack or warming drink.

TBC November 2019

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St Ives Shanty Shout Weekend

The 2018 shout will feature more than 20 sea shanty groups for a fun weekend of shanty singing, sailor and pirate themed fancy dress and beer. This year's event will be raising money for Cornwall Air Ambulance and its New Heli Appeal and takes place in various pubs and venues in St Ives.

TBC 23rd - 24th November 2019

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Charlestown Christmas Market

Find unique gifts and tempting treats at Charlestown Christmas Market featuring a wide range of local crafters and traders.

tbc 24th - 25th November 2019

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St Austell Brewery Celtic Beer festival

 The annual St Austell Brewery Celtic Beer Festival will have more than 180 ales and ciders, live music and a thriving atmosphere for a good cause.

tbc 24th November 2019

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Made in Cornwall Christmas Fair

Browse an impressive selection of Cornish crafts and delicious food on the Piazza in Truro. It's a great place to find special Christmas gifts for loved ones with plenty of choice from local artisans, artists and food and drink producers.

TBC 28th November - 2nd December 2019

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Fowey Christmas Market

Head to Fowey for a weekend of festivities! Get your Christmas shopping underway with over 100 local traders selling high quality food, drink and crafts, while enjoying some live music and entertainment.

TBC 30th November - 2nd December 2019

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Mevagissey Christmas Lights

The big Christmas lights switch on in Mevagissey will take place at 5pm, illuminating the harbour with sparkly lights.

TBC 1st December 2019

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Flambards Christmas Craft Fayre

Find unique Christmas presents and tasty treats at Flambards Christmas Craft Fayre. Stalls will be set up in various areas of the park, there will be Christmas music to get everyone in the festive spirit and a chance to meet Santa too. 

TBC 1st - 2nd December 2019

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Padstow Christmas Festival

Rick Stein, Paul Ainsworth and Nathan Outlaw will be flying the flag for Cornwall at this year’s 10th annual Padstow Christmas Festival. For your chance to see chef demonstartions, head to the festival stage or to the Sharp's Chefs' Theatre - the demonstartions are all free to attend!

Why not make the most of your visit to Padstow and pop into the Chrsitmas market where you will find an array of food goodies and handmade gifts to purchase. There will also be a selection of live music to enjoy, and you can take the children to meet Santa in his grotto!

TBC 6th Dec - 9th Dec 2019

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Christmas in Looe

Looe lantern procession and carol service will take place on the 7th December. The procession starts at 6.30pm with the carol service and festive lights switch-on at 7.30pm. On the 8th Santa will arrive in Looe by boat and lead a procession to his grotto in East Looe where there will be a market, bouncy castle, face painting and food stalls. The Looe Santa fun run takes place on the 9th in the morning and fancy dress is encouraged. On the 9th there will also be a Christmas Market and gin fair from midday - 5pm. 

TBC 7th - 9th December 2019

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Heligan Christmas Fair

Find unique gifts for your loved ones at the Lost Gardens of Heligan Christmas Fair. £2 includes entry to the gardens and access to more than 100 stalls, featuring some of the best local producers, creators and artisans.

TBC 8th & 9th December 2019

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