Mousehole Lights

Kernow is no stranger to festivals.  We have beer festivals, fish festivals, film festivals and food festivals.We have the Kneedeep festival, and music festivals galore. We have surf festivals and Volkswagen festivals, rock festivals and bike festivals. And those sort of festivals that everyone just calls a festival. You know the ones… 

Port Eliot Festival

But some festivals are stranger than others. Many are baffled by the creative wonder, yoga and fashion that surrounds the Port Eliot Festival under the St.Germans viaduct. As the organisers put it – festivals are not just about location – but Port Eliot’s hidden corner of Cornwall makes it a holiday like no other. The festival is the new-school version of the now legendary Elephant Fayre, which was held in the same spot in the 1980s. For cottages near Port Eliot… here.

Stranger still is the festival of the ‘Obby ‘Oss (hobby horse) in Padstow, held on May Day weekend. Although its origins aren’t clear, it probably stems from an ancient fertility rite, perhaps the Celtic festival of Beltane. The red and the blue ‘osses (actually men dressed in large black drum-like costumes with vestigial horse’s heads) prance through the town, followed by all and sundry, whisking young maidens under their skirts for, um, good luck. See below…

The red Obby Oss in Padstow on May Day

Obby Oss

Falmouth Oyster Festival

Falmouth Oyster Festival

Now coming right up, Falmouth Oyster Festival, 13-16th October 2016. (TBC) A self-proclaimed festival of Cornish seafood, but much more besides – cookery demonstrations by leading local chefs, oysters, seafood, wine and local ale, children’s shell painting, sea shanties, a town parade, and live music, an oyster shucking competition, a Falmouth Working Boat race and marquees brimming with Cornish produce. The festival is a must for all oyster, seafood and maritime heritage enthusiasts! For cottages near Falmouth, click here!

Mousehole Lights

Christmas is much celebrated in Cornwall, as it is around the globe, but the spectacle of fishing boats in the harbours festooned in lights is perhaps a little more romantic than an illuminated Santa’s sleigh grinding the ridge-tiles of a mock-Georgian semi! Mousehole (pronounced Mow-zel) is perhaps the most famous place in all Kernow for its lights. For cottages near Mousehole, click here…

For utter weirdness though, look no further than Hallowe’en at the end of October. This once pagan festival, now hijacked by the trick or treaters, is also much celebrated throughout Cornwall, and nowhere so much as the smaller ports and villages. Polperro and Looe both take advantage of a plethora of purported paranormal activity, haunted houses and ghostly gatherings to add to the atmosphere, but for the maddest of all why not drop into Calstock for Halloween night, where pubs full of cobwebs await you, as do ghoulishly attired locals (seriously, everyone dresses up) and very often a cross-dressing rock-band!

Maybe there’s just something about viaducts, eh? For cottages near Calstock, or Looe and Polperro… click links!


Hallowe’en… photo © John Muttitt

There are heaps of great cottages available through Cornish Traditional Cottages at any time of year, and you can click here to see the latest special offers!

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