Winter in Cornwall is pretty good. It’s a quieter time of year to enjoy all this part of the world has to offer: sun, sea, sand, scallops and Santa! Here are some of our recommendations, in no particular order…
Eden is a flurry of activity and fun at anytime of year. The winter festival is a particularly magical time of year to go on a festive day trip. There is far too much to mention everything that goes on, and it obviously goes without saying that the plant life is pretty awesome (!), but here are some highlights. The after-dark enchanted rainforest experience with live performances looks like a must see at twilight. The daily storytelling at 12pm and 2pm in the Mediterranean Biome sounds intriguing. Father Christmas will be there of course with his Reindeer and Elves in a beautiful grotto (+£4pp). There are a variety of ice skating and sledging rink sessions in this unique setting, to include everyone from toddlers to wheelchairs to pros (+£6pp). Other attractions include the bee exhibit, England’s longest zip wire, choirs, crafts and a chance to buy those more unusual pressies from the Eden shop. Wow, sounds like an amazing day out.
Padstow Christmas Festival and Lights 4-7th Dec
With 40,000 visitors in 2013 and even more expected this year, The Padstow festival is not to be missed. With cookery demonstrations from famous chefs, a Christmas market with unique stalls (with produce and gifts) from more than a hundred local producers, a variety of live music and carols, a fireworks display and lantern parade there is something for everyone. Santa will arrive once on a horse drawn Victorian bus, and also arrive by bike along the Camel Trail. If that’s not enough Cornwall’s best breweries will be supplying ales and ciders to keep you warm if needed. Well it is nearly Christmas after all!
Lanhydrock House – National Trust
Open at the weekends the mansion is set up for a Victorian Christmas, explore selected rooms (some are closed for conservation in December) and discover the festive season from the eyes of Victorian Children. Take a trip back in time and visit the nursery rooms all decked out for Christmas and see some of the toys and games the children might have received as presents. Follow a family trail around the rooms, with some crafts and activities along the way. Outside are the magical Christmas tree lights and the gardens and cycle trails remain open, or or those that fancy a bit of a relax, the cafe and shop are pretty tempting.
Santa by Steam, Bodmin and Wenford Railway – 6-24 December
Ride with Father Christmas aboard his steam hauled train on a one hour journey. Whilst on board Father Christmas’s Elves will invite you to visit Santa in his magical grotto, where all children will receive their own present. There’s plenty of time for a photograph with the main man. The trip includes a one hour return trip through Cornwall’s beautiful countryside on this famous steam powered train, a mince pie and seasonal drink for adults, and presents for the kids. A truly special memory for the whole family.
Escape from it all, stop hibernating and get a breath of fresh sea air. Walking is the best way of exploring the beautiful North Cornish coast, and you get to see the most amazing clifftop views that those in cars miss. Starting at St Materiana’s Church at Tintagel, it’s a moderately difficult walk along the coast path heading south for approximately a mile and a half to Trebarwith Strand beach and village. When you get to the steep stone steps in the rock descending onto the beach you’ll know you have made it. Nestling up in the cliffs across the road is a pub with one of the most striking views we’ve ever come across. In all weathers it’s amazing to see what the seas are up to from the Port William, at Trebarwith. Put your feet up and enjoy a well earned drink. Choose from a huge choice of dining options or just have a hot chocolate. Sit by the fire, in the glass viewing area, or outside. Dogs welcome in the bar. Happy December from all of us, enjoy any and all festivities you choose to indulge in!