Christmas at Porthleven Holiday Cottages
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Insiders guide to Christmas in Cornwall

The traditional Cornish name for Christmas is Nadelik and with tradition in mind we’ve pulled together a list of our favourite things to do around Cornwall at Christmas time. It’s a magical place to be – the weather can be dramatic and changeable with incoming storms or you could find a pleasantly mild sunny day with sparkling seas on your cliff top walk. We’ve even been known to BBQ on Christmas day! Both extremes are equally as beautiful. Cornwall is the perfect place to get away from the busy time that Christmas has become. A holiday in Porthleven is an ideal location to unwind with family and friends before the start of the new year. So, if you are heading to Cornwall this Christmas, add these to your activities list:

Traditional events and festivals

Christmas Swim

Around the coast of Cornwall, people in towns and villages gather on beaches and harbours on Christmas day, no matter what the weather, and take a dip in the sea. And Porthleven is no exception. If you head down to the harbour at high tide you will find an intrepid bunch diving in and swimming the width of the harbour. Luckily The Ship Inn, Porthleven, opens early for a post swim brandy!

Montol Festival, Penzance, December

This traditional celebration of Christmas and mid-Winter is a 6 day festival which includes arts and community events culminating in Montol Eve on the 21st December. A must if you are interested in Cornish tradition.

Mousehole Christmas Lights

Christmas lights at Mousehole paint a wonderful picture reflected off the waters of the inner harbour. People come from far and wide every year to see the display. Be warned, it does get busy. But it is worth it!

Trebah Garden Santa Trails, Mawnan Smith

Santa visits Trebah Gardens before Christmas in December. Follow the seasonal trail to the Elves Village, enjoy the Christmas craft workshop and get your face painted before meeting Father Christmas in the grotto. Enjoy lunch in the cafe. Tickets are valid for 7 days.

Visit Falmouth Christmas Festival

Late night shopping, Christmas lantern making, choirs, a Father Christmas fun run and lots of Christmas cheer. Check out the list activities here 

Montol Festival, Penzance
Rogue Theatre, Winter Wood


Hall for Cornwall – Chrismas Pantomine

Hall for Cornwall put on the best pantomimes in Cornwall! Engaging and entertaining for the whole family and a tradition not to be missed.

Winter Wood, Rogue Theatre

This is adventurous theatre at its best. Be drawn into Tehidy Woods on a fanciful experience of theatre and art, down to the main stage (covered!) and experience the Winter Wood Christmas show. A feast for the eyes and the senses. Wellies and raincoats essential! Check dates here

Local markets and shopping

Porthleven’s local galleries and shops

Porthleven’s independent shops have many locally made craft for those last minute Christmas gifts. Take a look here to find a list of where to shop in Porthleven.


A Country House Christmas – Trevince House

The house has been in the same family since the 12th Century and now is open to the public for certain dates in November and December. Set in farmland and woodland the owners create a unique Christmas experience with beautiful gifts created by local artisans and sourced from across Europe. Buy gifts and home decor and enjoy the cosy cafe too.

Christmas Fairs, Truro

Lemon Quay in Truro has a full schedule or Christmas fairs and markets to ensure your table is full of delights and your tree has a bounty of gifts placed beneath its branches. Events include a reindeer procession, Made In Cornwall Fair, Street Markets and The Winter Gift Fayre. Take a look a the website for full listing:

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