Best Cornwall Events December 2023

Santa's helpers spread Christmas cheer and bubbles for Falmouth's Festive Weekend 2023. Image courtesy of Falmouth Town Council


IIIIIIT’S CHRISTMAS! Well, actually, it isn’t just yet. But you can feel it in the air as we head into December in Cornwall. The smell of roasting chestnuts is beginning to waft across the Duchy as kids far and wide look forward to meeting Santa in a grotto (see here for our story on the best Santa grottos Cornwall 2023) and on the big day itself.

So, as we are nearing Chrimbo, our selections for the best events in Cornwall in December 2023 are decidedly Yuletide-flavoured. Christmas markets, festive light installations at major attractions, winter festivals and unique Santa’s grotto experiences dominate the below list. But these Christmas things to do in Cornwall 2023 are certainly more than worth mentioning as they often take over a village, town or attraction to give visitors incredible festive experiences.

Got the winter blues? No worries as the Looe Blues Rhythm and Rock Festival 2023 is on this month. Love Archbishops and poetry? Join Dr Rowan Williams in St Endellion this month for a poetry day. Love bright costumes, masks and Cornish tradition? The famous Montol Festival 2023 in Penzance is for you then just before Christmas. And then there’s a New Year’s Eve party like no other to explore. Find out about that by scrolling through our events below…

Proper Cornwall is proud to bring you this list so you can check out all the happenings and events across the Duchy throughout the month, including the best Cornwall festivals in December 2023. So, if you’re looking for December 2023 events in Cornwall, get scrolling now. And don’t forget to click on those yellow ‘Read More’ buttons wherever they appear so you can get that event’s full details.

Enjoy these December 2023 Cornwall event recommendations from Proper Cornwall. We wish you a happy December, a merry Christmas and a happy Cornish-style New Year…

The Lost Gardens of Heligan’s Christmas Lights 2023

Date: Throughout December 2023 (closes Tuesday 2 January 2024)
Type: Beautiful Christmas experience in the gardens. Click on the ‘Read More’ button below for details on the lights and activities…
Suitable for: Families with kids (there are lantern-making workshops!) and romantic couples who love festive lights in the dark
Location: The Lost Gardens of Heligan, off the B3273, Pentewan, near Mevagissey and St Austell

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Tunnel of Lights 2023 at the Shipwreck Treasure Museum

Date: Throughout December 2023 (except Christmas and Boxing Days) until Sunday 31 December 2023
Type: A winter wonderland of tunnels with fairy lights, snow and hidden treasures at the famous Charlestown museum
Suitable for: Children and families who want to explore ‘immersive twinkling tunnels’ and a giant snow globe
Location: Shipwreck Treasure Museum, Quay Road, Charlestown, near St Austell

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Truro Christmas Market 2023

Date: Throughout December 2023 until Christmas Eve, Sunday 24 December 2023
Type: Countless cracking Christmas stalls and offers at Cornwall’s most loved free farmers market
Suitable for: Bargain hunters and people who just love festive markets, carol singing by choirs and late night shopping on Wednesdays
Location: Lemon Quay (and surrounding areas), Truro

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Looe Blues Rhythm and Rock Festival 2023

Date: Friday 1, Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December 2023
Type: Probably the best winter blues music and rock festival in Cornwall. Click on the yellow button below for the lineup…
Suitable for: People who want to beat the winter blues with, well… the blues!
Location: Tencreek Holiday Park, Polperro Road, Looe

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Poetry Day with Dr Rowan Williams 2023 @ St Endellion Hall

Date: Saturday 2 December 2023 (10am-3pm)
Type: A chance to hear from the former Archbishop of Canterbury as he discusses and recites poetry
Suitable for: Lovers of the ode and poets from all walks of life (plus those who want to see a former Archbishop!)
Location: St Endellion Hall, near the Collegiate Church of St Endellion, St Endellion, Port Isaac

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Padstow Christmas Festival 2023

Date: Thursday 7-Sunday 10 December 2023
Type: One of Cornwall’s best-loved Christmas extravaganzas, including a big market, loads of seasonal food and cookery demos
Suitable for: Festive types, particularly those who love good, warm grub in the cool night air. Click on the ‘Read More’ button for details…
Location: South Quay, Riverside and all across Padstow‘s waterfront

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Fowey Christmas Market 2023

Dates: Friday 8-Sunday 10 December 2023
Type: A Cornish Christmas market with a lot of arts, crafts and festive products on sale
Suitable for: Well, anyone who loves an excellent Chrimbo market!
Location: Stalls lie across Fowey, particularly on Albert Quay and at Fowey Town Quay

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Falmouth Festive Weekend 2023

Date: Saturday 9 & Sunday 10 December 2023 (11am-5pm each day)
Type: A town-wide winter experience like no other. Falmouth comes alive with an ice rink, a giant snow globe and ‘snowy streets’
Suitable for: Who wouldn’t enjoy this event? Excepting Scrooge or the Grinch, this is for all ages!
Location: Across Falmouth, including The Moor off Killigrew Street and the fantastic Events Square off Bar Road

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Santa comes to Charlestown 2023

Date: Friday 15-Sunday 24 December 2023 (between 10am and 6.30pm each day)
Type: A chance to meet Santa in Charlestown. Click the yellow button below for all the details…
Suitable for: Those heading into the Shipwreck Treasure Museum who want to give the kids a treat
Location: Grotto is at the entrance to the Shipwreck Treasure Museum in Quay Road, Charlestown, near St Austell

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Enys House Santa’s Grotto 2023 in Penryn

Date: Saturday 16-Saturday 23 December 2023 (between 10am and 2pm each day)
Type: A magical woodland-themed Santa’s Grotto experience in a mansion house. Each experience lasts around 45 minutes
Suitable for: Santa, his friends, magical woodland creatures… oh and your family! Especially kids who like storytelling
Location: Enys House and Gardens, off the A39 between Penryn and Mylor Bridge, near Falmouth

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Montol Festival 2023 in Penzance

Date: Thursday 21 December 2023 (processions from 4pm)
Type: A midwinter festival in Penzance that comes with incredible costumes, traditional activities and a buzzing atmosphere
Suitable for: Families and kids before dark but it’s more for the adults after nightfall. Click on the ‘Read More’ button for the full rundown…
Location: Across Penzance, including Causewayhead in the centre of town

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Tom Bawcock’s Eve 2023 in Mousehole

Date: Saturday 23 December 2023
Type: A celebration of Cornish bravery in Mousehole. This festival focuses on tradition with a lantern procession and ‘stargazey pie’
Suitable for: Stargazey pie gourmands, for starters. See those fish heads poking out of the crust, above…
Locations: Mousehole waterfront and across the village. Look out for the Ship Inn’s stargazey offerings on South Cliff (hopefully!)

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Truro Cathedral Pets’ Christmas Carol Service 2023

Date: Saturday 30 December 2023 (2.30pm-4pm)
Type: A Christmas carol service for pets and their owners, including giving thanks to our furry best friends
Suitable for: Dogs, cats, hamsters, donkeys, rabbits, goldfish and any other pet you may have. Snakes? Don’t see why not…
Location: Truro Cathedral, St Mary’s Street, Truro

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The Cathedral Masquerade 2023 at Truro Cathedral

Date: Sunday 31 December 2023 (until 1.30am on Monday 1 January 2024)
Type: Truro Cathedral once again but this is another unique event so needs a mention! An epic New Year’s Eve party in a cathedral
Suitable for: Fun-lovers who like their NYE party to be both holy and action-packed with top DJs
Location: Truro Cathedral, St Mary’s Street, Truro

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