Christmas in Cornwall

Christmas in Cornwall

29th November 2022

We love a Cornish Christmas. Cosy pubs to hide in while the rain lashes down outside, windswept walks on the beach, the twinkling lights of the harbour. There's still lots going on but no summer crowds to get in the way. Here's our pick of the festive fun, plus some lovely Cornish stays you can call home this winter.

Christmas in Cornwall

Light and Sound at the Eden Project

2 - 30 Dec, Eden Project, Bodelva
Follow the tunnel of lights to the Eden Project's famous biodomes, all lit up with ethereal colours this Christmas. Inside the rainforest dome you'll find a magnificent light display, with lasers, glowing orbs and fiberoptics twinkling beneath the jungle canopy. You can also book an ice-skating session, visit Father Christmas and take a crisp wintery stroll around the 24 acres of garden, then back to the cafe for a hearty plate of butternut squash mac 'n cheese.
Christmas in Cornwall

A Christmas Day Dip

25 & 26 Dec, 1 Jan
Voluntarily jumping into the ocean on 25th December (and Boxing Day and New Year's Day) is something of a Cornish tradition. Come Christmas morning you'll find many of Cornwall's beaches filled with brave, shivering souls wearing little more than their swimmers and a Santa hat - wetsuits are for the weak. The biggest events - Sennen Cove, Bude, Polzeath, Coverack, Falmouth, Watergate Bay, St Agnes, Newquay - attract hundreds of hardy wild swimmers. Some are raising money for charity, some are marking the year's end and others just want to wade into the sea in fancy dress. Make sure you've got warm clothes and a flask of mulled wine waiting for you afterwards - or even better find a snug pub with a good fire to thaw out in front of.
Christmas in Cornwall

Padstow Christmas Festival

1 - 4 December, Padstow
Make sure you only have a light lunch before you visit Padstow Christmas Festival, so you can spend the afternoon filling up on all the delicious local produce. Centred around the harbour of the pretty fishing village of Padstow, the festival is a celebration of the finest foods the West Country has to offer, such as creamy cheeses, artisan chocolate, pastries, locally brewed beer and small-batch gin. Plus you can see famous chefs such as Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw and Angela Hartnett doing their thing in the demonstration kitchen.
Christmas in Cornwall

Mousehole Christmas Lights

12 Dec - 6 Jan, Mousehole
A green sea serpent swims across the water, a blue Celtic cross shimmers out on an island in the bay - the Christmas lights have been bringing a touch of magic to Mousehole since 1963. What began as a few strings of lights along the harbour has grown into an event which attracts thousands to this lovely little village. In fact the lights are so popular that this year, to avoid the crush, there will be no big switch-on. Instead the lights will be turned on gradually from the 12th to the 17th Dec. And every year on the evening of the 19th Dec the lights are temporarily turned off in remembrance of the Penlee Lifeboat disaster of 1981, in which eight local lifeboat crewmen lost their lives.
Christmas in Cornwall

Heligan Night Garden

1 Dec - 3 Jan, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Pentewan
The gardens of Heligan were shut up and left to quietly decay after the outbreak of the First World War. Most the gardeners and staff went off to fight and never came home. Rediscovered in 1990 and brought back to life, it's now one of the finest gardens in England. This festive season you can find dream-like light sculptures and lanterns shining between the bushes and trees of Heligan's magical Night Garden trail. You'll see creatures including a luminous fox, a barn owl and a family of Tamworth pigs, while a flight of umbrellas lit from underneath become things of strange beauty. Once you've finished the trail you can toast marshmallows in the fire bowls and enjoy some warming winter snacks.

Places to Stay in Cornwall

Winter is a wonderful time to visit Cornwall. There's loads to do and see, but without the hectic summer crowds. You'll find empty beaches (Christmas swim days excepted), quiet pubs and off-peak prices. Here are some of our favourite snug Cornish winter hideaways.

The Sail Loft

Porth - Cornwall

Sleeps 6

Spacious, light-filled holiday home with direct beach access just north of Newquay in Cornwall, perfect for family holidays to the seaside.

The Lookout

Porth - Cornwall

Sleeps 8

A stunning, contemporary, Malibu beach house, between Newquay and Watergate Bay, with spectacular panoramic views of the Cornish coast.

Marners Rock 3

Fowey - Cornwall

Sleeps 6

Beautiful apartment with a balcony overlooking Cornwall's Fowey Estuary - a short stroll from the beach and perfect for seaside escapes with family or friends.


Helford Passage - Cornwall

Sleeps 10

Luxurious six bedroom house with a swimming pool overlooking the Helford River in South Cornwall, perfect for big families or trips with friends.

Watergate Bay Hotel

Watergate Bay - Cornwall

Sleeps 2-5 per room

Immerse yourself in the easy-going cool of Watergate Bay, with top-notch dining, ocean-view pool, spa and stunning suites, right on the North Cornwall coast.

Victorian School House

Fowey - Cornwall

Sleeps 16

Stylish converted school building in Cornwall with high-end, industrial interior design offering amazing harbour views from the comfort of the hot tub.


Bude - Cornwall

Sleeps 4

Rustic barn conversion with its own hot tub, packed with charming amenities and quirky features, ideal for pairs of couples or families.

The Studio

Sennen - Cornwall

Sleeps 2

A charming studio for two with plenty of character, plus a private garden and spectacular sea views.


Bude - Cornwall

Sleeps 2

Escape to the Cornish countryside in this underground hideaway with wagon rooms and private hot tub – perfect for a romantic getaway.

Treverra Cottage

Rock - Cornwall

Sleeps 8

A luxury farmhouse cottage on the exclusive Cornish coast, with a stunning infinity pool and steaming hot tub…

Shalmar Hollow

Rock - Cornwall

Sleeps 12

A luxury seaside retreat in Rock on the exclusive Cornish coast, with sea views, family suites and a heated outdoor pool…

Tremaine Manor

Pelynt - Cornwall

Sleeps 14

Stay in the grand manor house of a private hamlet in Cornwall with a range of hotel-standard services and facilities.

Uno St Ives

St Ives - Cornwall

Sleeps 2 - 4 per room

Stunning St Ives accommodation with a choice of four luxurious rooms to rent, each boasting breathtaking views across the town and out to the sea.

Camel Quarry House

Wadebridge - Cornwall

Sleeps 16

A glittering jewel in North Cornwall’s crown - with panoramic sea views, designer interiors, stunning roof terrace, cedar hot-tub and live-in housekeeper.


Sennen - Cornwall

Sleeps 6

Uncover the secrets of Sennen at this charming seaside cottage for six. Overlooking the ocean and Whitesands Bay, it’s perfect for families.

The Little Cottage

Newquay - Cornwall

Sleeps 2

A stylish, boutique stone cottage situated in the picturesque village of Porth, near Newquay. The perfect base for exploring the spellbinding Cornish coast.

The Family Roundhouses at East Thorne

Kilkhampton - Cornwall

Sleeps 2-6

A selection of super-luxurious larch wood roundhouses with hot tubs in Cornwall less than five miles from Bude beach!

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