Cornwall at Christmas
Cornwall is a great place to spend Christmas - everyone makes a real effort and there are so many sparkly and magical places to get into the Christmas spirit. Whether it be the lights of Mousehole or Padstow, the Christmas markets of Truro and Falmouth or the fabulous ice-rink at Eden, there are so many places to feel a little Christmas magic.
Christmas at Eden is one of the highlights of the festive season...make a day of it or head over in the evening to enjoy storytelling and Christmas crafts, listen to a traditional Cornish choir, go ice skating on their glittering ice-rink, meet Father Christmas and as night falls experience a spectacular display of light and sound. Their festive menu is guaranteed to warm you up and you can select a few beautiful and unusual gifts from around the world in their lovely gift shop.
If shopping is your thing, head for the Christmas markets of Truro, Falmouth or Padstow, where you can enjoy the best of Cornish crafts, produce and artisan foods. The Victorian Christmas Market in Truro houses a food hall full of Christmas treats, and an arts, crafts and gifts hall where you are bound to find the perfect gift for that difficult to buy for friend or family member. In Falmouth, the beautifully decorated marquee is home to some of the best designer makers and artisan food producers in Cornwall and has the typically bohemian vibe that Falmouth is known for. The Padstow Christmas festival also offers a fantastic market on the quayside, a lantern parade, fabulous Christmas lights and a spectacular firework display over the harbour to end the evening with a bang.
There are many places to go to soak up the atmosphere and marvel at spectacular light displays. Perhaps the most famous is the fishing village of Mousehole, which every year lights up its lovely little harbour with a beautiful display of Christmas lights. The City of Lights, Truro's midwinter lantern festival, is a spectacular display of music, dance and light, with lanterns made by professional artists, local school children and youth groups, and is a fabulous way to kick off the festive season.
If you prefer something a bit more tranquil, there are many gardens and breathtaking walks to enjoy. Take a boat ride from Truro to the beautiful Trelissick Gardens for beautiful scenery, gorgeously decorated historic buildings, lovely cafe and gift shop and Christmas crafts, or head to the Lost Gardens of Heligan for lantern lit gardens, Christmas fair and a traditional Christmas lunch beside a roaring log burner. Take a refreshing stroll on a deserted beach - try the Beach Hut at Watergate Bay, the Watering Hole at Perranporth or the Godrevy Beach cafe at beautiful Gwithian Beach for a delicious hot chocolate or tea and cake to warm you up afterwards. Or for something really special, have lunch at the stylish and elegant Headland Hotel with its delicious menus made with local ingredients and spectacular location overlooking the bay at Fistral Beach in Newquay.
These are some of the best places we know in Cornwall for a great Christmas vibe - add your own below if you know of somewhere special we haven't mentioned!
Photo credit: Bruce Munro