Stories & Characters

St Piran's Day in Cornwall

Spring has sprung in Cornwall. The daffodils and snowdrops have appeared in the woods and the sun is still up when you get home from work. March marks the transition from winter to the first fleeting glimpses of summer just over the horizon.

It seems fitting that March is the beginning of the annual celebrations and events that happen across Cornwall throughout the year. The warm up, if you will. Arguably, March 5th is the most important celebration of the entire year, St Piran’s Day.

St Piran was born in Ireland and after being thrown into the sea with a millstone, he washed up on the shores of Cornwall. Piran floated across to land on Perran sands. Here, he built a small chapel. You can still visit St Piran’s oratory on Penhale sands today and walk in the footsteps of this famous figure. Ten minutes stood here will make you understand why this spot was perfect; it is breath-taking. From the sea spray on the air when the waves are particularly restless to the endless blue skies in the summer, you feel so close to nature. Take a moment to breathe in the fresh air and walk the paths that St Piran and his followers would have explored. Stay in Perranporth over St Piran’s weekend and watch a retelling of his life performed by dozens of actors and musicians on the dunes. A performance unlike anything else you’ll see, amongst the grasses and sand of the dunes is an unusual location but bringing the acting to a natural environment makes for a magical show.

Heartlands mining attraction in Cornwall

Piran, as a patron saint of Cornwall, is most well-known for his discovery of tin. From this moment, Cornwall would begin to grow and become a global centre for mining. Tin mining still sits at the heart of Cornish heritage to this day. Supposedly, in any part of the world, if there’s a mine you’ll find a Cornishman at the bottom of it. The stunning tin mines along the north coast, near Botallack, attract thousands of people from around the world and continue to foster a fascination with Poldark country. The engine houses perched along the cliff edges rise above the horizon as far as the eye can see. You can easily spend a sunny spring day meandering through the ancient structures, searching through the rock piles for especially pretty pieces to take home. When the storms roll in, watch the drama unfold as the dark clouds draw in and the waves crash over the engine houses that are slowly slipping down the cliff side. As the storm slides down the coast, the skies will be split between dark clouds and blue radiance, making for an incredible picture of the clashing dark and light.

Cornish flag overlooking a Falmouth sunset

St Piran’s Day is a moment to celebrate all that the county has to offer. A strong heritage, long-lived traditions and landscapes to take your breath away at any time of the year. Stay in a Cornwall holiday cottage at any time of the year and celebrate the county's colourful heritage.

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