Cornwall isn’t just a summer destination. It’s also a wonderful place to venture in the winter months. We can particularly recommend spending Christmas in Cornwall. This is my guide to what’s on in Cornwall this Christmas.
Know of an event or experience not included? Get in touch! I’m adding and updating listings all the time based on the information I spot online and receive.
The best places to visit in Cornwall this Christmas
From Santa’s grottos to illuminations and markets, here’s where to keep an eye out for festive events happening in Cornwall in 2022.
Christmas events in Cornwall 2022
Here’s where to head for festive spirit and maybe even a mulled Cornish cyder!
Night Gardens at the Lost Gardens of Heligan
Enter the Heligan Night Gardens and enjoy an enchanting lantern experience set amidst the atmospheric Lost Gardens, on selected dates between November 18th until 2nd January.
Explore the Gardens as they are beautifully lit by a variety of traditional paraffin lanterns and discover a breath-taking display of flora and fauna lanterns, illuminated within Heligan’s much-loved and iconic locations.
Journey through the magical garden trail, exploring woodlands and gardens beautifully lit with installations and lanterns. Discover breath-taking displays of fauna and flora, to celebrate the characters of the garden community, all illuminated within Heligan’s much-loved and iconic locations.
Heligan Night Gardens, St Austell, selected dates from 18 November 2022 to 2 January 2023.
Trebah Garden of Light
This Christmas season join a magical lantern procession on an intimate journey through Trebah to firelit festivities on the beach.
Experience the garden at night; navigate the sub-tropical pathways by the warm glow of your own handcrafted lantern and watch mesmerising flames and reflections on the shoreline.
There will be tunnels of twinkling lights to find local artist-created lantern installations, including lantern specialists Tony Crosby (Truro City of Lights) and Laura Francis Martin (Illuminate Festival).
You can also make your own lanterns to guide your family to the beach. Pre-booking these workshops is essential.
Trebah Garden of Light, Falmouth, dates TBC.
Christmas at the Eden Project
Find plenty of Christmas cheer at Eden Project this winter with illuminations in the The Med Biome and 18-piece Christmas Band in the Citrus Grove (selected dates), an ice rink and Santas Grotto.
Tickets for Santa and ice skating most be booked separately to your admission ticket.
There’s also the Cornwall Christmas Fair at Eden on 23 and 24 November 2022.
Christmas at the Eden Project, St Austell, events take place on selected dates TBC.
Christmas at Dairyland Farm Park
Come Meet Santa, his elves and singing reindeer at Dairyland Farm Park this Christmas.
Walk around the park and see the Christmas lights and visit the indoor and outdoor play areas.
For an extra treat book tickets in advance for a chance to have breakfast with Santa and visit his grotto.
Dairyland Farm Park, Newquay, selected dates from 4 to 24 December 2021. Book online.
Meet Santa at Newquay Zoo
Most of the animals at Newquay Zoo are on the Nice List this year, which means Santa will be taking time out from his busy Christmas schedule to take up residence in his magical grotto here.
Children can meet Santa and receive a gift for £9.50 per child. This is in addition to normal admission prices and must be booked in advance.
Not only are there more dates to meet Santa than ever before, you can also make reindeer food at the elf workshop to sprinkle on your lawn before bedtime. This activity is free and can be enjoyed by everyone visiting Newquay Zoo.
Newquay Zoo, Newquay, dates TBC.
Christmas at Camel Creek
Christmas fun returns to Camel Creek in 2021. Meet Father Christmas in his Grotto, join Santa’s Elves in their workshop for festive arts and crafts, and enjoy tasty mulled wine and hot chocolate on a walk through an enchanted Christmas Tree Forest.
Families can also stop by the Chocolate Factory for crafts, winter treats, or the Snack Shack complete with ice cones and festively flavoured hot chocolates and coffee.
Christmas adds extra twinkle for little ones (and grown-ups too!) and they will be delighted to see the Swampy and Dina Land transformed into Christmas Land.
This is all on top of the Park’s usual fun and excitement, including the indoor play area at Creeky’s Playhouse, the Carousel and Wave Rider swings. Animal lovers have the chance to explore The Stables, Reptile House and the Meerkat Enclosure.
Camel Creek, Wadebridge, selected dates TBC 2022. Special admission prices apply.
Christmas at Paradise Park
There will be a penguin quiz to complete during your visit to the park this December and January.
Paradise Park, from dates TBC in 2022.
Christmas at National Trust places in Cornwall
Here’s what’s on at National Trust properties in Cornwall this Christmas:
Christmas at Cotehele
See Cotehele’s famous Christmas garland decorating the hall of this Tudor house. The garland has been created using fresh foliage and flowers for the past 60 years.
This year you can also see Cotehele Mill decorated for a family Christmas and head out on a frosty walk around the estate.
Please be aware that only the hall in the house will be open.
Cotehele, near Saltash, 19 November 2022 to 6 January 2023 excluding 25 and 26 December 2022.
Christmas at Trelissick
On weekends in December Father Christmas will be back telling his festive tale of the 12 days of Christmas, the café will be serving spiced apple juice, mulled wine and other seasonal treats.
Visits to Santa are in groups, not individually. Pre-booking is essential due to limited availability.
You can also follow Percy the Park Keeper’s winter trail in the gardens every day, excluding 25 and 26 December 2022.
Be aware that the house is closed this Christmas.
Read more about our last visit to Trelissick.
Trelissick, near Truro, Santa weekends dates TBC for 2022.
Christmas at Trerice
Explore the Elizabethan manor house which will be decorated for Christmas and follow Percy the Park Keeper’s winter trail in the gardens.
Trerice, near Newquay, open weekends dates TBC for 2022.
Santa trains in Cornwall
Want to ride a Christmas train? Here’s where to find them in Cornwall in 2022:
Santa Specials at Bodmin & Wenford Railway
Take a special journey with the railway elves to visit Santa’s grotto.
Arrive at Bodmin General Station for the chance to see Santa in his special Victorian coach and have your photo taken with him.
Each child will also receive a gift.
Take a look at our visit to Bodmin & Wenford Railway.
Bodmin & Wenford Railway, Bodmin, selected dates from 3 to 24 December 2022.
Christmas at Lappa Valley
Meet Santa in his grotto and take a festive steam train ride through Lappa Valley at this fun Christmas event in 2022.
There will also be a present for every child, music and balloon modelling. Book early to avoid disappointment.
Lappa Valley, Newquay, selected dates 3 to 24 December in 2022.
Santa’s grottos in Cornwall 2022
Here’s where to Meet Santa in Cornwall this Christmas:
Meet Santa at the Lost Gardens of Heligan
This Christmas Heligan will be hosting a very special guest – Santa himself!
Meet him beside his fireplace and share your stories, hopes and wishes with him.
Explore the Gardens on your way to your fireside visit. Don’t forget to stop in The Melon Yard on there way to write your letter.
You and your family will then be welcomed to the exclusive Festive Reserve Yard within The Gardens, where you will start to prepare for your special visit. There will be music, Christmas crackers and festive crafts before your chance to Meet Santa.
Each child will be given a small traditional present to remember their visit.
Tickets to Santa must be booked alongside Night Garden Tickets for the Lots Gardens (see above).
Lost Gardens of Heligan, St Austell, selected dates from 2 – 23 December 2022. Book online.
Canon Downs Garden Centre Santa’s Grotto
Meet Santa in his garden centre grotto each weekend in the run up to Christmas.
Tickets cost £7.50 per child. Check with the garden centre for more information.
Canon Downs Garden Centre, between Truro and Falmouth, dates TBC for 2022.
Ice skating in Cornwall
Here’s where to find ice rinks in Cornwall this Christmas:
Ice skating at the Eden Project in 2022
The Eden Project’s annual ice rink returns in 2022.
Book your session in advance and in addition to your entrance ticket to The Eden Project. Family skating sessions take place each morning with skating aids.
Ice skating at the Eden Project, St Austell, 15 October 2022 to 19 February 2023.
Read about what you can expect when visiting the Eden Project.
Christmas markets in Cornwall
Want to pick up a unique Christmas gift or sample some delicious Cornish mulled cider? Here’s where to find Christmas markets in Cornwall this year:
Fowey Christmas Market
Visit this Cornish coastal town to experience a very West Country Christmas with 200 stalls packed with locally produced food and drink, and festive gifts.
Fowey Christmas Market is one of the top things to do in Cornwall this Christmas.
Over the course of three days it takes over the town with traders spread across picturesque Fowey Town Quay, Albert Quay, Webb Street and Town Hall.
Fowey Christmas Market, Fowey, Cornwall, 2 to 4 December 2022.
Heartlands Christmas Market
Visit the festive market at Heartlands for locally made crafts, seasonal treats and entertainment. Entry is free and there’s no need to book.
Santa is also expected to visit. Audiences with the man in red must be booked in advance. Tickets cost £7 and can be booked on the Heartlands website.
Heartlands Cornwall Christmas market, Redruth, Dates TBC for 2022.
The Enchanted Christmas Market
Book a ticket to The Enchanted Christmas Market at the Royal Cornwall Events Centre in Wadebridge.
There will be two halls full of traders offering socially-distanced late night shopping. While there you can also grab something festive to eat in the food court and enjoy seasonal entertainment.
The Enchanted Christmas Market, Wadebridge, selected dates for 2022 TBC.
Christmas markets at Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm
Come and see Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm showcase stalls of tasty local produce alongside Cornish art and crafts every weekend in the run up to Christmas.
Every admission ticket is upgraded to a Healeys annual membership free of charge, which gives you unlimited access to the farm for a whole year, including during seasonal events that we may host.
Find more days out in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in my big round up of 101 UK attractions for families.
More things to do in Cornwall
Or why not read our guide to family holidays in Cornwall.
If you know of something happening that isn’t listed already then let me know. I’m adding listings all the time based on the information I spot online and receive.