CHRISTMAS IN CORNWALL
THINGS TO DO
It’s not all sunny beach days and wetsuits here in Cornwall and as the evenings draw in and temperature drops, we want to give you every excuse to wrap and explore the best of what Cornwall has to offer this December. So, grab your festive knitwear and don your warmest jackets as we give you our top tips for the best things to do in Cornwall this Christmas.
What: Padstow Christmas Festival
When: 1st December 22 - 4th December 22
Where: Padstow, Cornwall
Padstow Christmas Festival – one of the UK’s largest festive markets – is back. If you haven’t been yet, this is a Cornish Christmas Festival like no other. The pretty harbour town is decorated in lights, there's a Christmas Market packed with local Cornish producers, from food and drink to arts and craft, and the town becomes a foodie hub, with some of the best chefs in the UK plying their trade in the Sharp’s Chefs’ Theatre... It really is a festive weekend you cannot miss.
Make your way into the Christmas Market and you'll find the Sharp’s sampling stand featuring our all-new Cold River Cider, as well as Chalky's Bite, a beer we brewed in collaboration with Rick Stein that's now claimed more awards than any other beer in our portfolio. This is your chance to try any of our beers on offer or just have chat to the Sharp's team who'll be on hand to answer your burning beer-y questions. For more info and how to grab tickets, head to the Padstow Christmas Festival website.
Spent a day at the festival and looking for somewhere warm to retreat? Head to the Golden Lion for their selection of fresh cask ales (including Doom Bar and Atlantic Pale Ale) and warm food. Or why not hop on the water taxi across the estuary and check out the Mariners in Rock, a joint venture between us and celebrity Chef, Paul Ainsworth. It’s one of the best pubs around with a fine section of beer, wine and delicious food (plus a warm fire). For large groups, we recommend booking ahead.
What: Tunnel of Lights
When: 3rd December 22 – 8th January 23
Where: Shipwreck Treasure Museum, Quay Road, Charlestown, St. Austell, Cornwall, PL25 3NJ
Explore the Shipwreck Treasure Museum this Christmas as it’s transformed into a festive retreat. Journey through various Christmas settings, from snowy winter wonderlands to rooms filled with giant baubles of every colour or beautifully wrapped presents. Explore their Shipwreck as snow falls around you and make a pit stop at their very own mini-German Christmas market. It really is an experience in Cornwall like no other!
Not quite done exploring? Head to Rebellion Charlestown just across the harbour and check out their wide range of drinks, from classy cocktails to cold beers (their festive food menu looks out of this world). Or try the Longstore, Charlestown for another dreamy festive menu and drinks offering.
What: Pentire Headland Walk
When: 3rd December 22 – 8th January 23
Rain or shine, prefer the great outdoors? That’s our sort of vibe too, so check out the Pentire Headland walk, and explore some of the rugged north coast of Cornwall using the famous Southwest Coast Path, just above Polzeath. This route takes in the spectacular Pentire Point and the Rumps and, on a clear day, offers views of Stepper Point to the south with Doyden and Tintagel Castle to the north. Keep your eyes peeled for grey seals and peregrine falcons often seen on this stretch of the Cornish coast. For detailed route instructions on this 3.4 mile coast walk, click here for the national trust website.
Have tired legs and in need of a sit down? Head to one of our favourite pubs around, The Waterfront Polzeath. Open 7 days a week, The Waterfront Polzeath is the perfect retreat after a day battling the elements and is home to a mouth-watering food menu and award-winning beers and ciders. So get in, take your waterproofs off and enjoy a well-earned sit down.
What: Hall for Cornwall
When: All year round
Where: Truro, Cornwall
Hall For Cornwall is a recently renovated theatre venue, based in Truro. Offering a wide variety of performances and workshops throughout the year, the theatre is a great option when looking to have some festive fun! Check out their website for all the festive shows they have coming, including panto with none other than Ed Rowe (Kernow King) himself (click here).
What: 7 Course Beer Tasting Menu
When: Subject to availability
Where: Halfway House, on A39 nr. Wadebridge
Sounds African born Henk de Villliers Ferreira owns The Halfway House Inn between Wadebridge and Padstow. Known for his love of steak, Henk's lifelong passion for beef is in the blood - –his grandfather was a cattle farmer and butcher. Expert in the art of butchery himself, and the science of beef ageing, Henk effortlessly transforms cuts of beef into mouth-watering taste sensations.
Over the years, Henk has worked across north Cornwall developing a loyal following with local clientele and world-famous chefs alike. He took over the Halfway House in 2016 and has developed a reputation for excellent quality, locally sourced food, especially fish from Newlyn.
Henk has worked with our beer sommelier, Ed Hughes, to develop an incredible 7 course beer tasting menu. That’s right, 7 courses each paired with a taster of a beer that complements the course perfectly. From Lobster Thermidor Tart to award-winning Cornish Jack Cheese, this menu has everything and has to be on a list of things to do for any beer geek or foodie out there. Check out the Halfway House website for more info and to book.
What: Heligan Night Garden
When: 18th November 22 – 2nd January 2023
Where: Pentewan, Saint Austell PL26 6EN
The Heligan Night Garden is a must this Christmas. Don’t miss your chance to be immersed in an enchanting lantern experience, set amidst the atmospheric Lost Gardens of Heligan.
Journey through the magical garden trail, exploring woodlands and gardens beautifully lit with installations and lanterns. Discover breath-taking displays of fauna and flora and celebrate the characters of our community, all illuminated within Heligan’s much-loved and iconic locations.
Following an extended 1-mile one-way journey around their accessible Gardens, the Heligan team will direct you to discover nature in a celebration of the wildlife that make Heligan their home all year round. Explore at your own pace, stop to take in the smells, toast marshmallows by the stunning fire bowls, experience their glittering oak trees, and enjoy seasonal warming take away refreshments and meals amid a truly festive backdrop for your Winter’s evening. For tickets and more, click here.
What: Wax Activity Bar
When: Open Daily (12:00pm – Late)
Where: Newquay, Cornwall
Looking for something slightly different to do this Christmas? Check out Wax Activity Bar, Newquay. An awesome bar where you can book out experiences, such as interactive darts, axe throwing or escape rooms (18+ only).
What: Boxing Day Dip
When: 26th December @ 12:00pm
Where: Porthminster Beach, St Ives
Feeling brave? Gather on Porthminster Beach for the annual St Ives Boxing Day Dip. Wear a bikini or wetsuit, it’s completely up to you. Follow St Ives Boxing Day Dip on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest info.
Once soaked, head to the Porthminster Beach Café, an acclaimed beachside restaurant that serves up one of the most memorable dining experiences in Cornwall. They’ve built an enviable reputation for combining Asian and Mediterranean influences in dishes showcasing the freshest seafood, garden-grown produce, and foraged coastal ingredients. They’ve also got a BBQ/Garden bar (weather dependent, of course).
Another option is the Sloop Inn, a cosy pub with fresh cask ale and a great food menu, offering everything from seafood and steaks to vegetarian and vegan options.