December Top Picks

So it’s here! The month in which we can unashamedly start to celebrate all that is Christmas. We avoided the word in the last blog, but it’s impossible to avoid in December. ‘CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS!!!’

Right, now that’s out of my system, I’d like to draw your attention to just the tip of the Christmas pudding holly prickle, the point of the star on the end of the Christmas Tree Fairy’s wand: There is so much going on and whilst there is a fairly common theme, there is also a relaxing diversion with the International Musician’s Seminar performing in various venues at the start of the month.

Christmas in Cornwall isn’t all about prawn rings and frantic shopping. We enjoy the traditions the rest of the country do, but we also have some pretty unique, old fashioned customs, some of which are being resurrected and others are well & truly established. Have you tried Wassailing? This isn’t about apples. Most towns have Christmas late night shopping and there is always tantalisingly scrummy smells of street food beckoning you in. Carols under the Christmas light displays on the old harbours and streets, National Trust properties turning back their clocks to Tudor style celebrations, visits from the future by the WildWork’s Yule Tide Ark-ivists at Eden, reindeers, crafts, the obligatory but hugely entertaining  pantos. We have it all and there is something for everyone. Even the most Bah humbug of you. For further events and activities:

Padstow Christmas Festival

3rd-6th December

Padstow Christmas Festival

Returning for its 8th year, there will be more than 100 craft stalls and producers. Don’t miss out on the live demonstrations from some of the 45 chefs over the 4 days.  There will be plenty of music and entertainment and lots more festive activities to fil you with Christmas cheer, as well as fireworks to finish off the weekend.

Visit the Padstow Christmas Festival Website 


Tudor Christmas at Trerice

Trerice House, nr Newquay

12th & 13th, 19th & 20th December

Tudor Christmas at Trerice

Discover traditions old and new to delight the whole family. Get creative with Christmas craft activities, enjoy festive food in the Barn restaurant, listen to local choirs, shop for gifts. Have a look at our website for details of all the events in the run up to Christmas.

Visit the Trerice Website 


Let’s Wassail at Cotehele

Cotehele House & Quay

19th December

Cotehele Wassailing

Come along to this pagan festival to scare away the evil spirits from the orchard and to ensure we have a successful crop in 2016. Why not come along in fancy dress? You can also visit the house and see the annual, spectacular Christmas garland and decorated hall.

Visit the Cotehele Website 




Lostwithiel Dickensian Evening

10th December


On a cold, dark Thursday evening in mid-December, Lostwithiel lights up with its Dickensian Evening. The ever popular festive event has been running for over 10 years. The streets are filled with crowds who come to enjoy the old fashioned traditional Christmas experience and kicks off with a lantern parade led by the Lostwithiel Town Band.

Visit the Lostwithiel Dickensian Evening Website




Mousehole Christmas Harbour Lights Switch On

12th December, 7pm

Mousehole Christmas Lights

Now in its 56th year , Mousehole gears up for its beloved winter tradition , the Mousehole lights switch on which will be accompanied by an open-air choir service. The service will be made up of Mousehole Methodist Church, the Mousehole Male Voice Choir and joined by the Pendeen Silver Band. THIs is a spectacular sight so if you can’t make the switch-on, make sure you go and visit in December.

Visit the Mousehole Lights Website 



Dick Wittington & His Mousehole Cat!

Hall for Cornwall, Truro

6th December 2015-3rd January 2016

Dick Whittington and his Mousehole Cat

Once upon a time, a young lad called Dick Whittington set off from Cornwall to follow his dreams of fame and riches. But times are hard, and before long our hero hasn’t got a penny to his name and nobody but his faithful cat for company. He turns for home….

Will Dick find his fortune after all? Or will his hopes be thwarted by the menacing King Rat and his minions? With Cornwall’s very own, ‘Kernow King’ and Harry Potter actor, Granville Saxton.

Visit the Hall for Cornwall Website


Rogue Theatre’s ‘Winter Wood’

Tehidy Woods, nr Portreath

11th-16th, 18th-24th, 26th-30th December

Winter Wood A5 No Text 2015

Follow the twisting woodland path and let the faeries and sprites entrance you with their wondrous songs and stories. Find Old Man Winter who will tell you tales of the path you follow. Accompanied by hot chocolate and face painting, this is an enchanting festive adventure that will stay with you long after Christmas is over.

Photo credit Rogue Theatre /Catherine Frowd Photography

Visit the Rogue Theatre Website




Squashbox Theatre’s ‘The Christmassy Christmas Show of Christmassy Christmasses’

5th December-Mylor Theatre Cornwall College, 11:30am

11th December-The Poly Falmouth, 6:30pm

12th December-St. Ives Guildhall, 2:30pm


The Christmassy show of Christmasy Christmasses is a celebration of all things Christmas (if you hadn’t already guessed).  Learn about Yuletide traditions , meet a snowman who lives in a fridge and endure the  obligatory annual  sprouts!

Visit the Squash Box Theatre Website





Truro Late Night Christmas Shopping

2nd, 9th, 16th & 23rd December, 5-9pm


With the smell of street food & Christmas food to tantalise you and plenty of stalls with something for even the most discerning receiver of gifts, late night shopping in Truro will set you up to feel festive.  This year there is an extra evening which will be a Winter Street Party where it will definitely be snowing and you can even hurl a soft snowball or two.

Visit the Enjoy Truro Website



Truro’s Big Christmas Sing

Truro Cathedral

11th December, 7:30pm


Come and join an evening of festive cheer to warm you up. Truro Cathedral hosts its ‘Big Sing’ for Christian Aid. This year’s line-up includes Stithian Ladies’ choir, Connor Downs Primary School Choir and the Grenaways.

Visit the Truro Cathedral Website




Boilerhouse singers with Anna Murphy and Pauline Sheppard ‘Christmas Puddin!

The Acorn, Penzance

4th December, 8pm


A feast of Cornish Carols lost and found with a stockingful of festive tales

Visit the Booking Website for Christmas Puddin’!






Nadelik – A Cornish Christmas

Pendennis Castle, Falmouth

5th & 6th December


Enjoy a weekend of cosy tales by the fire, traditional Cornish dancing, mulled wine and mince pies. This fabulously festive celebration will be accompanied by Christmas carol singers.

Visit the Nadelik Website 




Scary Little Girls – Duffy Beats the Devil

The Acorn, Penzance

11th-12th, 16th-23rd, 28th-30th December


Scary Little Girls present their brand new, very Cornish panto. Based on the Cornish version of Rumpelstiltskin, you can expect to see some hilarious and colourful characters.

Visit the Scary Little Girls Website





Montol Festival


21st December


The Montol Festival is a six day arts and community festival celebrating the midwinter solstice and Cornish traditions of the past, culminating in the main event, Montol Eve on December 21.

Visit the Montol Festival Website





Take Five – International Musician’s Seminar

2nd Dec – The Centre, Newlyn, 7:30pm

3rd Dec – Church of St Mary & St Julian, Maker, 7:30pm

4th Dec – Calstock Arts Old Chapel, 8pm

5th Dec – St Ives Guildhall, 7:30pm

IMS Prussia Cove - OCM Quartet (c) Miles Essex

Take Five brings together five top class professional musicians from the International Musician’s Seminar at Prussia Cove to perform a varied programme of music for violin, viola cello and double bass, presented in an accessible, informative and compelling way the players introduce a variety of music for different combinations of instruments, leading to a performance of Dvorak’s youthful Quintet for string quartet and double bass.

Visit the Carn to Cove Website



WildWorks Theatre and the Yule Tide Arkive at Eden

Eden Project, St Austell

27th November – 30th December

Yuletide arkive Eden

The crew of the Yule-Tide Ark-Ive were so successful last year in collecting Christmas memories from Eden visitors that this time they have decided to make a scheduled stop in order to add to their festive archive. In the future, where the crew comes from, they celebrate Christmas, but aren’t quite sure why. It has all become a bit jumbled over the years, yet, out of habit, they carry on celebrating. They don’t understand what the meaning is anymore or what makes Christmas so special…

Can you help them? They need your favourite Christmas memories and rituals: anything from getting the tree decorations out from the loft, to your Dad’s beloved woolly hat which he wears year in, year out. Your memories are treasure, and the crew would love to hear them.

Visit the WildWorks Website

Christmas at Eden

Eden Project, St Austell

28th November – 4th January 2016

Christmas at Eden

Celebrate Christmas with Eden at their annual winter festival. Explore the Enchanted Rainforest at twilight with WildWorks Theatre’s ‘Yule Tide Arkive’, meet Father Christmas and his reindeer, go ice skating, buy (and later recycle) your Christmas Tree  and more.

Visit the Eden Project Website



Cornish Christmas Nights at the Lost Gardens of Heligan

Pentewan, St Austell

7th & 14th December, 5.30pm – 9.30pm

Candle lit Italian garden WS portrait at night (2)

This 200 acre garden, rediscovered in 1990, is opening late on two nights in the run up to Christmas. Cornish Christmas Nights feature lantern-lit gardens, music from a dulcimer and local choirs, a 10% discount in the shop and mulled wine in the tearoom.

Visit the Christmas at Heligan Website




Naomi Frears

Picture Room, Newlyn Art Gallery

7th December – 9th January 2016

0512_Newlyn Gallery_09

New, smaller works on paper and linen,  that are often a combination of drawing, printmaking and painting on the same image.

Visit the Newlyn Art Gallery Website

Creative Kernow, based at Krowji, is the umbrella organisation for the following nine projects. Together we support the production, promotion and distribution of work by creative practitioners in Cornwall because we believe in creativity's transformative power and want more people to benefit from it.
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