Things to do in Cornwall during winter

Many people only associate Cornwall as a summer destination, where children can enjoy building sandcastles on beaches, and avid surfers can spend their days bathing in the Cornish waters.

But the county has much more to offer in winter than people first think. Local businesses work hard to host out of season events, and with the towns and villages being a lot quieter in these winter months - it is often one of the best times of year to explore.

Attractions & activities

The Eden Project

The biomes at The Eden Project are a must-see for all visitors to Cornwall at any time of the year. But each winter, between mid-October and the end of February, they host Cornwall’s only indoor ice rink which becomes an attraction on its own. Transforming into a tropical winter wonderland over the Christmas period, it has to be one of the most unique places to see Santa and his Grotto.

Foraging

If you want to try foraging for your own food, this time of year is the best for collecting shellfish, seaweeds, and winter fungi (velvet shank mushrooms for instance, but be careful to identify the fungi correctly). Cornish ingredients such as rock samphire, wild leek and various kinds of wild garlic are also plentiful to harvest.

Carnglaze Caverns

An ideal all-weather attraction for the whole family, the three stunning underground caverns were previously a slate mine. It is also where the Royal Navy used to store their rum. Carnglaze Caverns are both a beautiful and educational day out. The caverns are kept to a constant temperature of ten degrees, but a jumper and sensible footwear are recommended.

Farmers Markets

For some of the best local and seasonal produce Cornwall has to offer, we highly recommend a visit to one of the county’s many farmers markets. Our favourites include St Ives and Sennen which both have weekly markets; Pendeen which runs twice a month; and a monthly market in Helston on the first Saturday of every month.

Events

Cornwall Film Festival
First established in 2002, The Cornwall Film Festival takes place in November. With the main focus to support the media industry in Cornwall, promoting enjoyment through film and celebrating excellence, there’s always lots to see and do for all ages.

Celtic Beer Festival

Billed as the biggest party of the year, this ale (and lager) extravaganza is held in the ancient cellars of St Austell Brewery, with live bands all day and night. Held in late November, all profits from the event go straight to St Austell Brewery’s Charitable Trust, raising money for charities and worthy causes across the south west. 

Looe Literary Festival

Inspired by it’s Cornish heritage and nautical surroundings, Looe has always appealed to authors, poets and creatives of all kinds. This four-day festival provokes thought, debate and creativity, whilst being an overall celebration of Cornish literature.

Lowender Peran

A festival of Cornwall’s unique Celtic heritage, immerse yourself in music, dance, storytelling and culture, whilst enjoying the array of Cornish food and drink on offer.

St Austell Torchlight Carnival

A wonderful community event full of lights, music, song and dance, with a colourful procession filling the streets of St Austell. This annual event takes place in mid-November, and is a fantastic family-friendly event for all ages.

For a winter escape in Cornwall, see our selection of hand-picked holiday properties available throughout the year.

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