PUBLISHED: 13:41 26 January 2016 | UPDATED: 12:42 30 August 2017

It’s a new year – and whether you are a foodie, a surfer, a walker or a lover of music, books and drama - Cornwall has a packed programme of festivals, events, activities and carnivals. Here’s our pick of the best


Dip for Clic

? 1 January 12 noon

Daredevils take the plunge into the Atlantic Ocean on New Year’s Day for Newquay CLIC Sargent at Newquay Harbour. Entry £5 per and prizes for the best fancy dress costume.

Info: newquayclicsargent@gmail.com


St Ives Feast & Hurling the Silver Ball

? 9 February

The St Ives Feast is an ancient tradition that celebrates the anniversary of the consecration of the Parish Church of St Eia in 1434 and offers a rare chance to watch the game of Hurling the Silver Ball, a centuries old form of rugby.


March marks the day of Cornwall’s patron saint St Piran on 5 March and there will be a host of events happening throughout the county (and far beyond!) to celebrate the giant’s arrival in Cornwall where he taught the locals how to mine for tin.

Falmouth St Piran’s Day Parade (10am): a Furry Dance by local school children and musicians and procession.

Bodmin St Piran’s Day Parade (11am-12noon): celebrations commence with a parade down through the town to the Mount followed by singing and dancing.

Redruth St Piran’s Day Festival (11am-3pm) First held in 2011 the festival celebrates the history of the town’s importance in the tin industry and to showcase Cornish culture.

Perranporth, St Piran’s Play The play produced by the St Piran Trust, takes place in Perranporth, where according to legend the revered saint was washed up on millstone from Ireland in the 5th century. Crossing the dunes to St Piran’s Cross, hundreds of people gather, generally dressed in black, white and gold, the colours of Cornwall, carrying the Cornish Flag.

Falmouth Spring Festival

? 10-28 March

Celebrate Falmouth’s beautiful open and green spaces with guided walks and talks, garden spring clean events, Gardeners’ Question Time and a Spring Fair.

Info: falmouth.co.uk

World Pasty Championships

? date to be confirmed

Known as the Olympics of the Oggy – the championships celebrate the traditional Cornish pasty recipe, as well as some more unusual varieties.

Info: edenproject.com

The Truro Festival

? 21 March–3 April

A programme of art, music, theatre, film, literature, dance, comedy and more fills the city during this 10-day festival. Expect intimate theatre performances, live music and art exhibitions. The festival village’ on Lemon Quay, will offer workshops, talks and performances.

Info: enjoytruro.co.uk

Fal Oyster Gathering and Cornish Native Produce Festival

? 25–27 March

The first gathering’ in Cornwall’s food festival calendar celebrates the end of the Fal Oyster fishing season. As well as oysters on the menu there will be a Cornish Bar, with many top ales and stouts from local brewers and vineyards.

Info: faloyster.co.uk

st endellion easter music festival

? 26 march–3 april

English language performances of the Bach Passions whose intensity in the church’s intimate setting is a musical experience not to be missed.

Info: endellionfestivals.org.uk


Cornwall Spring

Flower Show

? 2-3 April

This two-day event takes place in the magnificent grounds of the 18th century Boconnoc House and features show gardens, horticultural trade stands and competitive classes. The theme for 2016 will be Celebrating Cornish Excellence with a line-up showcasing Cornish talent, Cornish gardens and Cornish produce.

Info: cornwallgardensociety.



Food Festival

? 16 April

This popular annual festival attracts around 18,000 people to the historic port for all-day cooking demonstrations and almost 100 food and craft stalls around the harbour. There is live music and lots of shopping.

Info: porthlevenfoodfestival.com

Trevithick Day

? 23 April

Recognising Cornwall’s engineering genius and inventor Richard Trevithick (1771-1833). Expect Lots of spluttering steam engines, singing, dancing and parades – including the fantastic Parade of Steam Engines. Richard Trevithick was prolific inventor and among his many triumphs at the dawn of the industrial revolution was the Puffing Devil’, built in 1801 and the first ever steam driven vehicle which terrified local people on the streets of Camborne.

Info: trevithick-day.org.uk

Surfing Championships

? 30 April–2 May

The UK’s top surfers gather at Watergate Bay for The English National Surfing Championships to discover a new generation of top surfers.

Info: facebook.com/englishnation


Art8 Newquay

? tbc

Bursting at the seams with events, exhibits and workshops involving film, craft, spoken word, dance, photography, theatre, music, literature and more. This community festival has something for everyone - young and old, residents and visitors alike - with all activities free or low-cost.

Info: art8newquay.co.uk

St Agnes Bolster


? 2–3 May

A celebration of Cornish music and art featuring life size puppets, a drum band and a 28ft giant effigy re-enacting the famous Cornish legend of the giant called Bolster, who terrorised the north coast and ate their children until his defeat.

Info: bolsterfestival.wordpress.com

Fowey Festival of

Words and Music

? 7–14 May

The county’s flagship literary festival is organised by the du Maurier Festival Society and staged in Fowey, which was home to Daphne du Maurier and celebrated authors Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch and Kenneth Grahame. The programme includes events, talks and interviews with some of the world’s best selling authors plus creative and practical workshops, exhibitions, presentations, theatre, musical concerts, art and garden trails, guided walks and river cruises.

Info: foweyfestival.com

World Pilot Gig


? to be confirmed

The Isles of Scilly hosts a colourful, energetic and friendly World Pilot Gig Championships where crews compete to become World Champions.

Info: worldgigs.co.uk

St Ives Literature


? 14–21 May

Internationally famous for its artistic connections, St Ives takes full advantage as it hosts a full programme of literary events featuring writers and poets who descend on the town to share their love of words with locals and visitors alike. Expect eight days of book launches, poetry readings, workshops and open air events.

Info: stiveslitfest.co.uk

Lostfest in Lostwithiel

? 15 May

The ancient town of Lostwithiel gives itself over to an eclectic mix of events, arts, crafts and food stalls and demonstrations throughout the town.

Info: lostfest.co.uk

Tunes in the Dunes

? to be confirmed

Perranporth beach hosts the Tunes in the Dunes festival on the May Bank Holiday. Last year saw international rock act Status Quo headlining on the Saturday night.

Info: tunesinthedunes.co.uk

Fal River Festival

? to be confirmed

This festival embraces the places, people, history, culture and industry connected to this Cornish river. With its diverse mix of events taking place at dozens of locations around the water, the festival gives a real chance to engage with life on the river and discover some of its fascinating history.

Info: falriver.co.uk

Open Studios Cornwall

? 28 May-5 June

Open Studios Cornwall is the county’s largest free art event bringing together almost 200 established and up-and-coming artists who open their studio doors and offers a rare opportunity to explore behind the scenes of the world of art.

Info: openstudioscornwall.tumblr.com

Also this month:

St Ives May Day (2 May) celebrates the end of winter and the coming of spring with parades, traditional Cornish dancing and music to entertain all the family.

Penryn Arts Festival (20-22 May) is a community arts festival which annually presents an engaging programme of cultural events

ThunderCat Racing National Championships (6-8 May) sees the fastest surf powerboat catamarans race across Watergate Bay in circuit races, fighting the incoming surf.

Helston Flora Day (7 May) is believed to be pre-Christian and at one time during the Victorian era was banned as being a drunken revelry’.

The Port Eliot Dog Festival (7 May) will features shows and an array of stalls, cream teas and activities for kids.


Charles Causley Festival

? 3-5 June

The Charles Causley Festival celebrates the very best in the fields of literature and the performing arts in the poet’s home town of Launceston. There are guided town walks, poetry tents, readings, book signings, music and workshops.

Info: charlescausleyfestival.co.uk

Royal Cornwall Show

? 9–11 June

For three days each year the dedicated showground at Wadebridge is transformed into a living town, bustling with life, energy, agriculture, entertainment and trade. It is a significant event on the Cornish calendar with around 130,000 people attending. First held back in 1793, the show gives a fascinating glimpse into rural life in the county. There is also a full programme of entertainment and demonstrations in the countryside area, alongside Cornish heritage and Cornish wrestling. You’ll find busy marquees dedicated to goats and rare breeds, cage birds and poultry, bees and rabbits, there’s a major dog show, a traditional steam fair, the Cornwall Festival of Dance, forestry and much more.

Info: royalcornwallshow.org

Falmouth International

Sea Shanty Festival

? 17–19 June

The Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival keeps alive the history of Tall Ships and the days of sail by performing sea shanties, songs of the sea and Cornish songs.

Info: falmouthseashanty.co.uk

Golowan Festival

? to be confirmed

One of the most colourful community festivals in the South West, bringing the past and present together in a community celebration of the traditional midsummer Feast of St John. Expect a packed programme of music, performing arts and theatre. Events include a fireworks display on the prom, Mazey Day, spectacular parades and a host of street entertainment.

Info: golowan.org

Polperro Music Festival

? 18–26 June

Based on a much older tradition dating back centuries which celebrates the coming of summer, this week-long free festival includes live music, arts and comedy, a solstice bonfire, a carnival and a unique mock mayor choosing ceremony with the winner wheeled through the town, stopping at each inn before finally being dunked in the sea.

Info: polperrofestival.co.uk

St Austell Feast Week

? to be confirmed

This is a revival of the traditional week of feasten activities surrounding the celebration of the Feast of Saint Austol and runs alongside the Bread Riots Community Play based on the 1847 Bread Riots.

Info: staustellfeast.btck

Saltash Regatta and Festival

? to be confirmed

The regatta includes Cornish Pilot Gig rowing with more than 150 crews competing, the England and Back fancy dress race and Five Towns amateur rowing events. On land the regatta has live bands, a vibrant street market, craft stalls and a new Children’s World with entertainers and rides.

Info: saltashregatta.co.uk

Looe Food Festival

? to be confirmed

Sample a true taste of Cornwall with South East Cornwall’s annual major food festival showcasing the diverse local produce and local suppliers.

Info: looefoodfestival.com

Mevagissey Feast Week

? to be confirmed

This week-long event features exhibitions, demonstrations, live music and lots of fish to eat. Expect choirs and bands, flora dances, children’s entertainment and competitions, colourful parades, boat and raft races, a fete and fireworks.

Info: mevagisseyfeastweek.org.uk

Also this month:

Murdoch Day (11) Redruth’s annual celebration of its most famous citizen, inventor William Murdoch.

Falmouth Classics Regatta (17–19) Look our for the Parade of Sail and Power, as competitors parade out to Falmouth Bay.


Penzance Literary Festival

? to be confirmed

Once a minor gathering on the fringes of a craft fair, this major four-day festival attracts big-name authors.

Info: penzance-literary-festival.org.uk

Liskeard Agricultural Show

? 9 July

Featuring animal displays competing for that all important best in show’.

Info: liskeardshow.org

Truro Carnival

? to be confirmed

The streets of Truro come alive with the sights and sounds of a street festival to celebrate all the people, businesses and organisations that make the city such a great place to live and visit.

Info: trurocarnival.org

Stithians Agricultural Show

? 11 July

Cornwall’s biggest one-day agricultural show held annually since the early 1800s on the Feast Day of St Stythians Church.

Info: stithiansshow.org.uk

Rock Oyster Festival

? 15-16 July

A midsummer celebration of food, music and art, visitors eat their way through thousands of Cornish oysters. As well as the ever-present crustaceans, there is live music, circus acts, endless kids’ entertainment and shopping.

Info: rockoysterfestival.co.uk

Lafrowda Festival

? 16–30 July

Lafrowda is the ancient name for the church lands where the village of St Just in Penwith stands today. More recently, it has come to stand for community co-operation, a celebration of local heritage, and a showcase for artistic, theatrical and musical talent in the area.

Info: lafrowda-festival.co.uk

National Marine Week

? 23 July–6 August

Join Cornwall Wildlife Trust and delight in our dolphins and amazing sea life. Take a cliff-top walk, watch sea birds soar and see what else you might spot as you soak up the sounds of the lapping seas.

Info: cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk

Looe Carnival Week

? 24 July –1 August

This week of events is designed to appeal to all.

Info: looelions.co.uk

St Endellion Summer

Music Festival

? 26 July–5 August

The festival began life when a musical priest, Roger Gaunt, invited a group of college friends down to help him renovate St Endellion’s derelict rectory. The festival has grown to include an orchestra and a chorus.

Info: endellionfestivals.org.uk

Gunnislake Festival

? to be confirmed

Village walks, live bands, barbecues, film screenings and local pubs put on a variety of events. A community jamboree rounds off the week.

Info: gunnislakefestival.co.uk

Port Eliot Festival

? 28–31 July

Held each summer in the woodland gardens and park of an ancient stately home and mediaeval monastery in south east Cornwall, Port Eliot Festival remains a rare original event.

Info: porteliotfestival.com

Also on this month:

Camborne Show (16)


ZestiFAL (23–27) A celebration of Falmouth’s healthy outlook and lifestyle. falmouth.co.uk

RNAS Culdrose Air Day (TBC) Experience the sights, sounds and smells of a working military Naval Air Station.

Boconnoc Steam Fair Lostwithiel (29–31) Showcases vintage vehicles including full size and miniature steam engines.



Regatta Week

? 30 July–5 August

Charlestown’s magnificent Georgian harbour which has been the backdrop to many films and TV series. The week-long event includes fun triathlon, raft races, donkey derby, live music and a colourful carnival.

Info: charlestownregatta.co.uk

Boardmasters Festival

? 10–14 August

The UK’s biggest surf and music festival set on the beautiful Cornish coastline. 2016 features Bastille, Clean Bandit, De La Soul, Duke Dumont, Nick Mulvey, Lower Than Atlantis, Reef, Sunset Sons, DJ EZ and The Darkness.

Info: boardmasters.co.uk

Falmouth Week

? 5–14 August

The largest sailing regatta in the south west will see more than 450 yachts racing over eight days and a lively programme of shore-side events. Expect six days of match racing for keelboats, traditional craft and dinghies in the waters off Falmouth Bay, the Carrick Roads and the harbour.

Info: falmouthweek.co.uk

Fowey Regatta and Carnival Week

? to be confirmed

One of Britain’s premier sailing events is also a fun-filled week for all the family – sailors and landlubbers alike. One of the highlights is an amazing display over the harbour by the Red Arrows who have been making an annual appearance at the regatta for more than 30 years. The carnival features a colourful parade of floats, walkers in fancy dress and marching bands, a firework display over the river, live music and racing on the water every day.

Info: foweyroyalregatta.co.uk

Bude Carnival

? 20 August

The Bude Carnival is now held on the third Saturday of August. Money collected on the day, after expenses, is donated to local charities and organisations.

Info: budecarnival.org.uk

Cornwall Folk Festival

? 26-29

A star-studded cast perform alongside numerous Cornish musicians with afternoon and evening concerts in the Town Hall. There’s a folk club and musicians doing floor spots’.

Info: cornwallfolkfestival.com

Portscatho Regatta

? to be confirmed

A traditional regatta with a full programme of sailing over Gerrans Bay. There’s also an array of live music, stalls, games, a barbecue and teas.

Info: pofsa.co.uk

Newlyn Fish Festival

? to be confirmed

Celebrate all things fishy in Britain’s premier fishing port where you can satisfy your appetite with the best and help to raise money for the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. Watch cookery demos by top local chefs and the Cornish Fishmonger of the Year competition. There are three music stages, boats and the Fish Tales Tent with local story-tellers and the ever-popular Fishy Trail.

Info: newlynfishfestival.org.uk

Bude Jazz 2016

? 30 August –2 September

A Festival of Traditional and New Orleans Jazz with live gigs, street parades and a jazz picnic featuring around 77 gigs at various venues.

Info: jazzfestivalbude.co.uk

Also on:

Garden Truro (TBC) Garden marquee featuring seed trays, exhibitions, workshops, and storytelling. Show gardens provide great colour and vibrant activity and a chance to talk to the city’s Parks Team. enjoytruro.co.uk

Camel River Festival (13) celebrates the River Camel with water sports, live music, food and drink and children’s activities. camelriverfestival.co.uk

Cornish Country Fair Stithians (27– 28) cornishcountryfair.cornwallyfc.co.uk


The Esedhvos Festival

? to be confirmed

This moving festival celebrates Cornwall’s distinctive identity and Celtic heritage. The host town for 2016 is to be confirmed and will include the annual Bardic ceremony.

Info: gorsethkernow.org.uk

World Bellyboard


? to be confirmed

A simple, back-to-basics competition with no wetsuits, no leashes and no swim fins. Many competitors arrive in glorious vintage bathing costumes and will compete in several categories scored on length of ride, wave speed and glide, innovative and progressive manoeuvres, style, finesse and enjoyment.

Info: bellyboarding.co.uk

Eden’s Festival of Food

? to be confirmed

A galaxy of star chefs, which last year included Jean-Christophe Novelli,, Ken Hom and Phil Vickery will be giving unmissable cooking demos.

Info: edenproject.com

GWR Polo On The Beach

? 9–11 September

Expect delicious food and drink and live music alongside polo matches with international players and spectacular stunt displays.

Info: watergatebay.co.uk/polo

Redruth Pasty &

Mining Festival

? 9–11 September

This three-day event celebrates the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Redruth; through pasties, mining and music.

Info: visitredruth.co.uk

Bude for Food

? to be confirmed

Celebrate the rich culinary heritage in the iconic Bude Castle grounds with a menu of tasty events including an artisan food market, chef demonstrations and foodie masterclasses.

Info: budeforfood.co.uk

Looe Music Festival

? 23-25 September

Looe Music Festival 2016 promises another superb line-up, and a family-friendly weekend. Expect an eclectic line-up of local, national and international bands and solo artists, music workshops, and live music on every corner.

Info: looemusic.co.uk

Great Cornish

Food Festival

? 23–25 September

Cornwall’s biggest food festival takes over Truro’s Lemon Quay for three days of eating, drinking, shopping and entertainment as the festival celebrates the food revolution that has taken place in Cornwall. Enjoy street-food style pop-ups Cornwall’s top restaurants and exciting newcomers, an array of artisan producers sampling and selling their wares.

Info: greatcornishfood.co.uk

Also on:

Newquay Ladies’ Open County Pilot Gig Championships (TBC) featuring a series of races over two days in Newquay Harbour.

St Ives – September Festival (10-24) is two weeks of varied arts and entertainment at the popular harbour town in a wide range of venues.

Info: stivesseptemberfestival.co.uk


Boscastle Festival

? to be confirmed

A highlight in the Cornish foodie calendar which brings together top chefs and locally sourced producers along with contemporary Cornish creativity and crafts stalls.

Info: boscastlefestival.co.uk

Falmouth Oyster Festival

? to be confirmed

Celebrate the start of the oyster dredging season, the diversity and quality of Cornish seafood and the last remaining traditional oyster fishery in Europe still dredging by sail and hand punt with this foodie festival packed with cookery demonstrations by leading local chefs, tasting of local produce with live music, arts and crafts, real ale and wine bars, oyster and seafood bars.

Info: falmouthoysterfestival.co.uk

Stand Up Paddle Surfing National Championships

? to be confirmed

Stand up paddle surfing is one of the fastest-growing watersports in the UK and this two-day tournament will crown the British champions.

Info: bsupa.co.uk

Falmouth Beer Festival

? to be confirmed

Work your way though 200 or more real ales and 60+ real ciders.

Info: cornwall.camra.org.uk

Also this month:

Callington Honey Fair (TBC) Callington Honey Fair is held on the first Wednesday in October and each year has a unique theme. callingtonlions.org.uk


Cornwall Film Festival

? To be confirmed

Featuring local and national premieres, professional development workshops, lectures and parties, the festival provides the opportunity to network with the UK’s leading industry professionals. Alongside British and international feature films, there are Q&As, documentaries, more than 100 short films, including competition screenings in six genres, plus workshops, talks and parties.

Info: cornwallfilmfestival.com

St Austell Torchlight Carnival

? to be confirmed

Mark the beginning of winter with this one-day celebration in St Austell, the china clay capital of Cornwall. Enjoy live bands, stalls and dance as well as the Torchlight Carnival parades.

Info: staustellcarnival.co.uk

St Austell Brewery

Celtic Beer Festival

? to be confirmed

Held in the unique surroundings of the old wine cellars and vaults beneath the Victorian brewery, the festival offers more than 150 beers and live bands.

Info: staustellbrewery.co.uk

Truro – City of Lights

? to be confirmed

Held in mid-November each year, the event sees a dazzling procession of withy and tissue lanterns float through the streets, handmade and carried by artists, children and local groups.

Info: cityoflights.org.uk


Padstow Christmas Festival

? to be confirmed

Embrace the festive season with a trip to Padstow’s annual Christmas Festival and see this Cornish fishing village come alive with celebrity chefs, culinary delights and festive fun.

Info: Padstowchristmasfetival.co.uk

Fowey Christmas Market

? to be confirmed

Fowey hosts a weekend of festive entertainment, food and drink along with plenty of opportunities to pick up some great Christmas gifts.

Info: foweychristmasmarket.co.uk

Mousehole Christmas Lights

? to be confirmed

The Christmas lights in Mousehole draw many thousands of visitors each year. A truly stunning sight, with floating displays of lights in the harbour and around streets filled with the aroma of mulled wine and festive food.

Info: mouseholelights.org.uk

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