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 oh so 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.
It was almost impossible to pick out our favourite Christmas markets, but we dug deep and have chosen a handful of festivities 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…
Wednesdays to Sundays between the 29th of November and 24th of December 2023
Lemon Quay, Truro TR1 2LW
Organised by Truro Farmers’ Market and Truro BID, 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 freshly baked treats, while picking out gifts and stocking fillers for friends and family - and with over 100 traders, there will be plenty of choice!
Once you’ve had your fill of Christmas cheer, there are lots 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.
Healeys Christmas Market
Every weekend from the 11th of November through to the 17th of December 2023
Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm, Penhallow, Truro TR4 9LW
This Christmas market is definitely not to be missed. Now in its sixth 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 cyder and tasty food, Healeys 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 pre-book 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.
8th to 10th of December 2023
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.
Heartlands ‘Nadelik’ Christmas Market
2nd and 3rd of December 2023, from 10am until 4pm
Heartlands, Robinson's Shaft, Dudnance Lane, Pool, Redruth TR15 3QY
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 so you can let him know what you want for Christmas nice and early, and a snow machine will be turning Heartlands into a true winter wonderland.
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.
Bedruthan Christmas Fayre
18th to 19th of November 2023
Bedruthan Hotel, Mawgan Porth 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 50 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 biscuit decorating session so you can flex your creative muscles while making some festive treats, ignoring anyone who tries to tell you that November is far too early to be cracking open the Christmas biscuit tins.
Once you’ve explored the many stalls and picked out some festive treats, 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.
Jubilee Wharf Christmas Fair
16th and 17th of December 2023
Jubilee Wharf, Commercial Road, Penryn TR10 8FG
The Jubilee Wharf Christmas Fair in Penryn has been running for 13 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, 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. 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.
22nd and 23rd of November 2023
Eden Project, Bodelva, Par PL24 2SG
The Eden Project has always been a magical destination for Christmas tidings whether you’re a fan of ice skating rinks or jaw-dropping displays of light across the iconic biomes, but with the addition of the Cornwall Christmas Fair, this pillar of festive joy turns into a huge shopping spree of epic proportions. A boggling number of gift and clothing stalls fill the Eden Kitchen, providing endless opportunities to fill stockings and get your Christmas gift list ticked off. Jewellery, skincare, and homeware and decorations sprawl across the tables and make it very difficult to leave empty handed.
Over at the food and drink stalls you’ll find a merry mix of treats you can enjoy there and then or throughout the holiday season… You might even find some quirky gifts for that special foodie in your life. Entrance into the Eden Project is free across the two days and food and drink (lunch and a glass of wine for day ticket holders and supper and two glasses of wine for the evening) are included in your Christmas fair ticket – no shopping hungry here!
The biomes will be lit up to maximum effect in the evening while the day provides a lovely opportunity to shop and explore the incredible gardens and biomes, so whichever ticket you go for, you’ll be in for the most enchanting of Christmas treats.
Padstow Christmas Festival
7th to 10th of December 2023
Riverside, Padstow PL28 8BY
One of the biggest Christmas celebrations in Cornwall, the Padstow Christmas Festival turns the peaceful harbourside town of Padstow into a hustle and bustle of festive activity. Alongside the usual throng of marvellous stalls and tantalising food stands, your culinary knowledge will be sharpened and sparked by a variety of cooking demonstrations led by some of the county’s very best chefs and restaurateurs - Nathan Outlaw, Rick Stein, and Paul Ainsworth to name a few.
Fudgy brownies, Cornish gins, and decadent sausage rolls offer spoils aplenty as you browse the artisan stalls looking for that something special, with a superb range of arts and crafts producers providing endless choice. Beautiful coastal paintings, cosy Cornish blankets, and luxury natural skincare… there will be plenty to catch your eye and loosen the purse strings. Entry to the market will be free this year, and you can purchase Sharp's Chefs Theatre tickets online.
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.
Check out complete guide to Christmas in Cornwall and really get in the festive spirit during your stay.
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. For an utterly enchanting winter getaway, browse our warm and welcoming holiday cottages in Cornwall and sample your way through the county’s fabulous festivities.