Christmas 2022 Comes Early in Cornwall

We love Christmas in Cornwall! Especially because the Christmas activities, festive shows, craft markets and all things Christmas start happening from November onwards. So for those who just can’t wait for December 25th, a pre-Christmas holiday stay in Cornwall in November or early December is your perfect festive fix.

Snow at Pengelly Retreat – admittedly this doesn’t happen very often!

There’s a lot of Christmas festivities and fun to choose from in Cornwall so here are some of our Pengelly Retreat top picks for November and December 2022.

Christmas Markets in Cornwall 2022

There’s nothing better than getting all your Christmas shopping done and dusted way before the 24th December panic shop doom. Smug, us? Actually I never achieve this, but for those who like to find the perfect gift for all and in good time too, here’s our run down of the best Christmas markets in Cornwall in 2022.

Warm up with a bubble bath in the lakeside yurt, Pengelly Retreat (photo by @frankiethomas of Meet Me By the Sea)

Porthleven Christmas Market 2022 – held on Fri 2, Sat 3 and Sun 4 December 2022 with indoor and outdoor stalls around the quay and harbour area of Porthleven. Browse from a range of artwork, craft, jewellery, clothes, vintage, homewares, bathroom treats and artisan foods. Something for everyone! Porthleven is an easy 10-15 drive from Pengelly Retreat and also one of our favourites for a stroll around the picturesque Cornish harbour and a tasty meal at one of the waterfront restaurants and cafes.

Truro Christmas Markets 2022 – Truro is the main town in Cornwall and a really nice place to head for a day’s shopping at any time of the year – and an easy 35 minutes’ drive from Pengelly Retreat. At Christmas it really pulls out the festive stops with a calendar packed with markets and other events. On 25 & 26 November there’s the Made in Cornwall Christmas Fair in the evocative surroundings of Truro Cathedral. While on numerous dates throughout December (up till Christmas eve) you’ll find the large undercover festive gifts, crafts and foods market with over 100 traders on the Lemon Quay Piazza in the centre of town. The Lemon Quay Christmas market runs Fri-Sun through December and most Weds and Thurs too. Phew. Enjoy the Christmas lights of Truro while you’re there, those go on from 18 November 2022, or Festive Friday as it’s otherwise known.

St Ives Christmas Markets 2022 – most of our Pengelly Retreat guests love to visit St Ives and yes, we do too, particularly in the winter when you can enjoy the beauty without the crowds. It’s only 20 minutes from Pengelly Retreat, so easy to get to while staying here. The popular annual Christmas Market is held in the Guildhall and has a really good quality selection of stalls selling festive fare – expect to find funky jewellery, cute kids clothes, tempting handbags, yummy food produce and all manner of other treats. This year’s Christmas markets take place on Sat 19 & Sun 20 November and then on Fri 2 Dec, Sat 3 Dec and Sun 4 Dec 2022.

Makers Cornwall Christmas Fair, Penryn 2022 – this really is an excellent Christmas market and I defy anyone to go here and not end up purchasing all sorts (including some gifts for yourself too). The market is held on the Penryn university campus, just outside Falmouth and around 30 minutes drive from Pengelly Retreat. This year it’s taking place 4-6 November 2022 so you’ll have to get here early!

Gorgeous winter skies over the lake at Pengelly Retreat

Christmas Shows in Cornwall 2022

Everyone likes a Christmassy show at this time of year don’t they? Oh no they don’t, oh yes they do! Cornwall is home to some brilliant and very creative theatre companies who always put on an excellent festive show, here’s our picks for Christmas 2022.

Sleeping Beauty, Miracle Theatre – Miracle Theatre are one of Cornwall’s best loved theatre companies and this year they’ve come up with a new take on the old Sleeping Beauty fairytale. Expect the unexpected at their shows with surprises, quirks and whole heap of humour that appeals to adults and kids alike. The shows are on this year in St Ives and in Falmouth.

Elf Jr, Kidzrus, St Ives – this local theatre group always put on a fabulous festive show and their year they’re tackling on festive favourite Elf in their own particular style. Expect lots of songs, dancing, brilliant costumes and general silliness.

The Mousehole Cat, Mousehole – we absolutely love this show and have been a few times to see it over the years. Brilliant puppetry and the moving tale of a fisherman and his cat who set out to save the village one stormy Christmastime. And while you’re there, enjoy the fantastic Christmas lights around the pretty harbour of Mousehole, one of the best light displays in Cornwall. Shows from 13-31 Dec 2022.

Rogue Theatre, Winter Show, Tehidy Woods – Rogue Theatre are a local institution round here and their immersive shows set in the atmospheric Tehidy Woods are a winner for kids and adults alike. Opt for one of the evening performances for a more grown-up vibe and enter the woods if you dare!

Fairy lights in the lakeside yurt, Pengelly Retreat

Festive Days Out and Activities in Cornwall 2022

There’s so many fascinating places to visit and great days out in Cornwall, that really we’re spoilt for choice here. And with Pengelly Retreat’s central location in Cornwall it’s easy peasy to get around and visit all the best highlights. These are just a few of our favourite festive days out and places to visit in Cornwall.

Lost Gardens of Heligan – Night Garden, A Magical Winter Experience – we absolutely love the Lost Gardens of Heligan and feel that the gardens here at Pengelly Retreat reflect that wild beauty too. One of our favourite winter days out is a trip to see the Night Garden lantern trail around the gardens on selected dates throughout November, December and January. The gardens are lit up and enchanting with all sorts of fabulous and fantastic lantern creatures interspersed with handy pit stops for hot chocolate and toasting marshmallows.

The Eden Project, nr St Austell – one of Cornwall’s must-see attractions, the tropical and Mediterranean biomes are spectacular and also ideal for a warm up on a chilly winter’s day! This winter you’ll also find all manner of festive fun including the excellent ice skating rink from mid-October, an Xmas Market 23 & 24 Nov and festive light shows through December. Make sure to book your tickets in advance.

The National Trust Properties – ok so I’m cheating slightly with this one as this encompasses all of the brilliant NT properties in Cornwall. They all put on Christmas themed activities and attractions. One of our favourite for a festive visit is Trelissick, near Truro, with regular visits from Santa and his reindeer, a brilliant NT shop (ideal for xmas gifts), a craft market on 3 & 4 December and choirs a-singing on weekends throughout December. Or how about a winter wreath-making workshop at Godolphin, just 5 minutes’ drive from Pengelly Retreat, dates bookable throughout December online. Godolphin is also perfect for a winter welly walk around the woodlands, the mysterious Godolphin Hill and the walled gardens. Followed of course by a hot cup of tea and LARGE scone in the aptly named Piggery Cafe.

The fabulous Christmas lantern walk at Lost Gardens of Heligan

But what if I want to escape the Christmas rush??

Yes I hear you! Sometimes Christmas and the build up to it can be all a bit much. So if that’s where you’re at, then a stay at Pengelly Retreat doesn’t have to be all about gallivanting around the Christmas attractions. It can also be a soothing escape from all the rush around. Surrounded by nature and by the peaceful waters of the wild swimming lake, you could be a million miles away from it all. Even though you’re only actually an easy drive away :).

Peace at last! The lakeside yurt at Pengelly Retreat

Stay 3 nights, Pay for 2 at Pengelly Retreat this Winter

We have an absolute bargain of a winter stay offer running this year, valid on stays from 1 November 2022 through till end Feb 2023 (excluding 20 Dec-3 Jan). Enter the code PENGELLY3FOR2 when booking your pre or post Chrimbo stay and you’ll receive 3 nights for the price of 2, or 33% off longer stays. Christmas really has come early with that lovely saving.

Cosy and romantic at the lakeside cabin, Pengelly Retreat