It’s that time of year when, the heating goes on, the woolly gloves come out and your winter clothes are retrieved from the depths of the wardrobe. Despite a nip in the Cornish air though, there are still plenty of reasons to get out and enjoy the rugged drama of a Cornish winter - whether you’re wrapping up warm to tackle the coast path or snuggling down with a hot chocolate to enjoy the raging storms outside.
See a performance under the stars
With its dramatic clifftop position overlooking Porthcurno Bay, Cornwall's iconic open-air Minack Theatre is not just for summer. Wrap up warm and watch a play while sipping hot chocolate as the waves crash behind the performers below. December sees a host of festive events at the Minack, including brass band performances, theatre skills workshops and interactive storytelling.
If high cliffs aren’t really your thing though, head into the woods for Rogue Theatre’s immersive dramatic experience. Throughout December, Tehidy Country Park plays host to the “Winter Wood” - a festive family show in ‘walk’ form where the Faerie Folk lead visitors down a candlelit path to Old Man Winter's Travelling Theatre Tent, telling stories and singing songs along the way.
Experience Mousehole's twinkling harbour lights
The small fishing village of Mousehole, in south-west Cornwall, have a spectacular lights display every Christmas, which is well worth a visit. The tradition was started in 1963 by Mousehole-based artist, Joan Gillchrest, who simply strung coloured bulbs along both quays to make the village a bit brighter. This is now an incredible illuminations exhibition (running from 17 December to 7 January), with more than 7,000 twinkling lights reflected in the water – all free to enjoy.
Top storm watching spots
There’s simply no better place to witness nature at its most tempestuous than on the Cornish coast! Combine storm and seal watching at Lizard Point’s Polpeor Café (open seven days a week) while enjoying a Cornish cream tea, a crab sandwich or a fresh fish dinner. Afterwards, brave the elements and take a walk to look at the lighthouse that has been guiding ships safely home through the treacherous waters around Lizard Point for over 260 years.
For one of the best storm-watching spots around brave the wind-swept sands and make your way to the UK’s only bar on the beach for a well-earned pint. The Watering Hole, nestled between the sand dunes and sea on Perranporth’s two-mile beach is well worth enduring the elements for. Once inside, there’s an open fire to warm your fingertips as the sea roars and the wind howls whilst colossal waves crash onto the beach just meters away.
Discover culinary Cornwall
Cornwall is bursting with incredible culinary adventures for you to discover, with a variety of experiences to sample, but no foodie would leave Cornwall without tasting some of our fresh local seafood. From Penzance to Padstow there is a long tradition of local fishing heritage.
Get a bit of hands-on experience and learn some fishy tricks to take home to impress your friends with Rick Stein’s renowned cookery school in Padstow where they’ll teach you all there is to know about preparing and cooking the fresh seafood landed on the quay right outside. Considered one of the best cookery schools in the UK, even the kids can get stuck into some serious gastronomic tuition on a special half-day course.
Join the UK’s third-largest fancy dress party at New Year in St Ives
New Year’s Eve in St Ives is, for want of a better word, eye-popping! What started out as a locals’ event is now a well-renowned date on the party calendar; thought to be the country’s third-largest fancy dress party, after London and Edinburgh.
The streets are packed full of revellers dressed up in all manner of costumes and it is not unusual to see a table full of laughing zombies enjoying a bite to eat with Kermit the frog, or even a deeply serious conversation between Batman and a sheep. The evening culminates with a spectacular firework display in the harbour at midnight creating a beautiful spectacle as the vibrant colours reflect off the water.
So come on down!
Whatever your persuasion there’s something for everyone to enjoy this winter in Cornwall! From parties to pub-nights and coastal walks to fishing ports, there are so many things to see, do and experience, you may never want to leave…