Padstow Christmas Festival 2023

Carol singers at the Padstow Christmas Festival. Image by James Ram, courtesy of the Padstow Christmas Festival team

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In Brief

Name: Padstow Christmas Festival 2023
Date: Thursday 7-Sunday 10 December 2023
Type: Multi-day Christmas celebration with festive food, an exclusive market and cookery demonstrations at its heart
Suitable for: Foodies! And people wanting to browse festive stalls and enjoy live music too
Location: All across the Padstow waterfront, including on South Quay and Riverside
Price: FREE! The Sharps Chefs Theatre is £5 a day, however. Read below


All we want for Christmas is a pan-full of famous chefs cooking up Christmas treats in a big tent in a north Cornwall coastal town. That’s not too much to ask for, is it?

Well, dreams can come true in Cornwall… because every year (except pandemic years, of course), in the run-up to the big festive day, food experts and chefs from far and wide take part in a special seasonal fest. Padstow Christmas Festival 2023 takes place between Thursday 7 and Sunday 10 December 2023. Expect festive food galore at this ultra-popular seasonal extravaganza.

A few days of festive fun in Padstow with gourmet grub at its heart. That’s the headline here. This fest takes place all along the town’s waterfront, particularly on Riverside and South Quay, and there will be tons of cooking demonstrations with top chefs over the weekend.

And what’s more? It’s FREE! Well, entry into the big Sharp’s Chefs Theatre is ticketed at £5 a day but the rest, including the market, is free to enter, explore and enjoy.

Big names appearing this year in that theatre include, of course, Rick Stein, Jack and Charlie Stein, as well as Paul Ainsworth, Michael Caines, Jose Pizarro, Valentine Warner, Nigel Haworth and Cornwall restaurant queen Emily Scott. That’s really just a flavour as there are plenty of other culinary stars on the menu too.

Rick Stein, Paul Ainsworth and other culinary heroes sit on a panel at the Padstow Christmas Festival. They are all laughing as they address the crowd in the cooking demonstration tent. Scenes like this will be at the Padstow Christmas Festival 2023
Rick Stein, Paul Ainsworth and other culinary heroes at the Padstow Christmas Festival. Image by Toby Butler, courtesy of the Padstow Christmas Festival team

Also look forward to the fab Padstow Christmas Market 2023. A dizzying array of artisans and traders from far and wide are heading to the market to sell their seasonal wares. Browse ‘a tempting selection of food’, including Christmas chocolates, artisan breads, locally produced beers, gins and rums, meats, cheeses, preserves and pickles.

Head out for late night shopping on Friday 7 December 2023 from 5pm at the market as part of the 2023 Padstow Christmas Festival fun. ‘A range of community stalls’ will also be out in force during the evening for those who like a festive wander to kickstart the weekend.

Father Christmas will be there on that late Friday and there will be a ‘wonderful Lantern Parade’ created by local school children alongside a ‘dramatic firework display’ at the end of the evening on the quayside.

Producers to look out for at the 2023 Padstow Christmas Market include The Cornish Larder, 8 Track Rum, Furniss of Cornwall, the Cornish Gouda Company, The Butcher’s Bakehouse and Knightor Wines. Also look out for the arts, fashion and crafts stalls from the likes of Gemma Lessinger Art and Dart studios. 

Padstow's Christmas Lights for the Padstow Christmas Festival 2023. The harbour looks beautiful at dusk
Padstow’s harbour looks beautiful when lit up at the Padstow Christmas Festival 2023. Image courtesy of the Padstow Christmas Festival team

A ton of events happen across the town while the market, chef demos and eating is going on. The best advice is to just get there and wander across the waterfront and beyond to discover the events, stalls and happenings. Also keep an eye on the official website for the map and any news that’s announced across the weekend. Keep your eyes peeled for live music performances too.

This is the 16th Padstow Christmas Festival and this year, it’s in partnership with The Prince’s Trust charity that supports young people to ‘build confidence, get a job or launch a business’.

So yeah, get on down to Padstow and enjoy a festive multi-day feast of fun like no other in the run-up to Christmas in Cornwall 2023. Make sure you’re hungry, though. You won’t be leaving with an empty stomach…