With December fast approaching, this can only mean one thing: it’s time to get festive. At this time of year, you’ll mostly find us lining up Mariah on our playlists, getting stocking fillers organised and planning our Christmas Day outfits (only to then take them off within an hour and get back in loungewear). We’re not sure about you, but our December diaries tend to get pretty full quite far in advance, so it’s important to start planning now so you don’t miss out on any festivities, especially if you’re thinking of having a Cornish Christmas this year.
Cornwall in December is pretty magical and, if you’ve been toying with the idea of a festive getaway, now’s your chance. Book up a cosy cottage, and enjoy the county’s dramatic storm watching or head to a restaurant with sea views in between your festive shopping sprees.
There’s a lot that Cornwall gets right: the pasties are life changing, the beaches are Instagram worthy and the cream teas are delicious, but Cornwall also doesn’t mess about when it comes to Christmas. Without a doubt, the best way to get in the festive spirit is to head to one of the Christmas fairs and, if you time your visit right, you may well stumble upon some of the best Christmas markets in Cornwall.
Wandering through stalls and picking out gifts and stocking fillers is a much more enjoyable way to shop for Christmas and something that staying home and endlessly scrolling through the web for gifts just can’t rival. The delicious smells wafting from food and drink stalls combined with the twinkling lights and the festive music is enough to get anyone’s bells jingling.
There are plenty of Christmas markets in Cornwall that happen on an annual basis and with each year they seem to get bigger and better. Some markets offer more of a lively vibe with a higher footfall, whereas others have more of a chilled setup with relatively small crowds, so if large crowds aren’t your bag at the moment, Cornwall’s got your back.
It was almost impossible to pick out our favourite Christmas markets but we dug deep and have chosen a handful of festive fun that you simply won’t want to miss. So, although we’ve already given you plenty of reasons why visiting Cornwall in the winter is an absolute must, here are a few more.
Dates: Selected dates between 24th November and 24th December 2021
Location: Lemon Quay, Truro, TR1 2LW
Organised by Truro Farmers’ Market, this much-loved event is a popular Christmas market in the festive calendar. Located in Lemon Quay in the heart of this Cornish city, The Big Christmas Market offers up some of the best local produce, gifts and treats. In addition to running on most days throughout the festive period all the way up to Christmas Eve, this event is also open for several late-night-shopping Wednesdays throughout December.
Whether visiting by day or night, shoppers can soak up the festive atmosphere while sampling some local artisan produce, from craft beers to sustainably sourced fish, while picking out gifts and stocking fillers for friends and family. Lovers of homemade treats will be spoilt for choice at this event and will enjoy browsing the many stalls run by talented local artists and producers.
Whether you’re in the market for a piece of handmade jewellery, some irresistible beauty products or vintage goods, The Big Christmas Market has it all. Offering more than 100 traders, this annual event is an absolute must for anyone looking to up the festive ante this year. And, once you’ve had your fill of Christmas cheer, there are plenty of pubs and restaurants in and around Lemon Quay on offer to take a load off, enjoy some delicious food and have a peek through your bags and admire your festive haul.
Dates: Every weekend from 13th November through to 19th December 2021
Location: Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm, TR4 9LW
This Christmas market is definitely not to be missed. Now in its fifth year, Healey’s Christmas market is located in a rural spot in Callestick, just a short drive from Perranporth, and guaranteed to get you in the festive mood. Transforming the farm into a fairytale wonderland and offering mulled cider and tasty food, Healey’s is a fantastic spot for families at any time of the year but particularly at Christmas. Featuring twinkling fairy lights dotted around the courtyard, Christmas music and local crafts, this event is perfect for the family and promises to deliver a large dose of festive cheer. You can prebook your tickets for whichever weekend suits but please note that the dates may be subject to change so it’s best to keep an eye on their Facebook page.
Dates: 26th-28th November 2021
Location: Fowey Town Quay, Albert Quay, Webb Street and Town Hall venues
Attracting thousands of visitors every year, the beautiful harbour town of Fowey is always a joy to visit but especially in the run-up to Christmas. Spread across various locations throughout the town, Fowey Christmas Market promises a jam-packed weekend of festive fun. The event opens on the Friday evening and features a lantern parade through the town and, of course, an appearance from Father Christmas. Throughout the weekend, visitors can sample some local produce, enjoy a festive drink and browse more than 80 stalls run by regional traders, all under the backdrop of street performers and live music to really get you in the Yuletide mood.
Once you’ve meandered through the town and experienced some of Cornwall’s finest, you’ll be spoilt for choice deciding where to head for a spot of lunch and a hot chocolate. This beautiful Cornish town really does come alive throughout this celebratory event and, if you ask us, it’s absolutely not to be missed. From vintage gifts through to handmade ornaments, Fowey Christmas Market has your Christmas gifts all wrapped up. Although you’ll probably still need to wrap them…
Dates: Selected dates in December 2021
Location: Royal Cornwall Events centre, PL27 7JE
Running on several dates throughout December, this much-loved event is located at the Royal Cornwall Events centre in Wadebridge and usually gets booked up, so get your tickets sooner rather than later if you want to experience this wintry wonderland for yourself. Offering a Christmas market with local produce, handmade gifts and plenty of entertainment, The Enchanted Christmas Market also features a 20-metre ice rink but you’ll need to book your tickets separately if you’re tempted to throw on the skates.
Children can meet the reindeer between Thursdays and Sundays each week as well as three-metre-tall giant polar bears as they stroll through the venue. There’s also a pop-up Christmas photo studio where you can get some festive family snaps and download after the event for free. If you time your visit right, you may well stumble upon ‘An audience with Santa’ which promises to give young children a truly magical experience through storytelling, singing and photo opportunities with Santa. Offering free parking, access to more than 100 traders, a food court with a licensed bar and acres of food and drink stalls, this event is everything you need to get yourself feeling well and truly festive.
Dates: 4th and 5th December 2021, from 10am until 4pm
Location: Heartlands, TR15 3QY
Offering free entry and acres of parking on site, Heartlands is the perfect place to visit with the family to soak up some Yuletide spirit. Heartlands’ Christmas Market features a variety of stalls offering locally made arts and crafts and a host of seasonal food and drink, as well as live entertainment throughout the day. Santa will also be paying a visit to Heartlands this year and, although you don’t need to book tickets for the main event, you’ll need to pre-book a meeting with Santa in advance. Set in what’s known as ‘Cornwall’s cultural playground’, children will especially enjoy visiting this unique venue and learning about the history of Cornish mining and the impact that it had on the globe. And, speaking of playgrounds, once the kids have had their fill of festivities, there’s a large adventure playground on site, offering subterranean tunnels, shipwrecked boats and The Giant’s Trap, a custom-made wooden structure. Feeling peckish? The on-site Red River Café offers a varied menu of homemade food with local Cornish ingredients and promises to hit the spot.
Dates: 19th to 21st November 2021
Location: Bedruthan Hotel, TR8 4BU
Perched on the cliffs overlooking the spectacularly beautiful beach at Mawgan Porth, a trip to the Bedruthan Hotel is impossible to resist at any time of the year, and the annual Christmas Craft Fayre is back and promises to be even bigger and better than ever. Offering more than 55 stalls featuring work from some of the region’s most talented creatives, this event is the perfect spot to browse Christmas goodies and pick out truly unique and special gifts for loved ones. Or for yourself: your call.
There are also craft workshops on offer including a wreath-making session and Christmas decorations so you can flex your creative muscle and make your home feel ultra festive, ignoring anyone who tries to tell you that November is far too early to be cracking open the decorations.
Once you’ve explored the many stalls and picked out some festive goodies, head on over to the hotel’s restaurant for a hearty afternoon tea.
While there is parking on site, it is reserved for residents so, if you want to visit the fayre this year, the hotel has organised a complimentary shuttle bus to take visitors to and from the beach car park at Mawgan Porth.
Dates: 11th and 12th December 2021
Location: Jubilee Wharf, TR10 8FG
The Jubilee Wharf Christmas Fair in Penryn has been running for twelve years and has become a popular event for local creatives to showcase their work. Featuring both indoor and outdoor stalls, this Christmas fair is perfect for anyone looking to pick out special gifts for loved ones. Offering handmade jewellery, skincare gifts, unique textiles and beautifully made ceramics, the Jubilee Wharf Christmas fair is free to enter and you can easily spend a few hours here and still leave wanting more. Foodies will also enjoy a trip to Muddy Beach Café which is located nearby. Serving food and drink all day, Muddy Beach Café is the ideal place to relax and unwind. Although booking a table isn’t essential, it can get quite busy so you might want to plan ahead and book a table to coincide with your trip to the Christmas fair.
Whether you’re staying in north Cornwall, heading down to the Lizard or venturing up towards the Devon border, chances are there’ll be a Christmas market near you. In addition to the above, there are lots of other local markets happening throughout Cornwall so it’s worth keeping an eye on local advertising to see what’s happening near you. And, while it’s not a Christmas market, lots of towns and villages host an annual Christmas lights switch on which also offers a truly magical experience for anyone looking to get in the festive spirit.
All in all, this year’s lineup of Christmas markets looks set to be better than ever. However, it would be remiss of us not to mention the other ‘C’ word in the current climate. While all events mentioned are set to go ahead as planned, please do keep an eye out on their social media pages for updates as some may be affected by government restrictions.
Without a doubt, Cornwall absolutely comes alive at Christmas and visiting the region at this time of year offers an entirely different but equally magical experience. Browse our range of cottages in Cornwall with availability in December, make your booking and visit one of Cornwall’s Christmas markets. Or all of them: there’s no such thing as too much festive fun.