December 13 2018 Latest news:

Truro Cathedral Choir

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Christmas around Cornwall

Cornwall is fabulous whatever the time of year but in the run-up to Christmas it's especially magical. Here is our December issue's festive guide.

Truro

Truro means many things to many people but at Christmas time it's late-night shopping, carols in the Cathedral, the annual pantomime, street markets and the fabulous Christmas lights that draw the crowds. The Christmas lights were illuminated on 19 November, followed by the City of Lights parade of beautiful lanterns made by local schoolchildren. The parade finished at the Lemon Quay with a spectacular fireworks display.

Santa's helpers and a team of real live reindeer from Lapland arrive this year to launch the city's Christmas shopping experience. They all stop for a rest in Victoria Square before setting off with Santa and his sleigh through the city streets to their stables in Mallets Home Hardware.

As well as the indoor Pannier Market and the Lemon Street market with its art gallery and cafés, Truro will also host several food and craft fairs on Lemon Quay throughout the festive season, with street markets held every Wednesday and Saturday. Late-night shopping will start on 26 November and continue on Wednesday 3, 10 and 17 December, when the streets will be alive with festive musicians and entertainers.

On 3 December, Lemon Quay also hosts the Christmas Prime Stock Show - a favourite with farmers and families. Throughout the day the heart of the city is filled with the very best of Cornish-bred and reared cattle and sheep. Judging takes place in the morning, there's an auction in the afternoon and entry is free to everyone. From 10-14 December, the Lemon Quay is also home to the annual Victorian Market and on 31 December the 'Last Chance' Christmas market will be held there. Check out this month's 'What's On', but dates for your diary for the Hall for Cornwall are 6 December for Elkie Brooks and from 12 December onwards it's time to take the family to the pantomime for a healthy dose of Cinderella.

Truro's car parks fill up quickly at this time of year so, once again, the city's Park and Ride will be running, this year from the New County Hall car park. Starting on 22 November, the buses will run on Wednesday evening and all day on Saturday.

What's On

2 December

Hofesh Shechter Company

Hotly tipped as dance's next big thing, this exciting dance company will keep you enthralled with their gritty physicality and hauntingly beautiful music.

Hall for Cornwall

(01872 262466

3 December

Truro Christmas

Primestock Show

Farm animals right in the town centre. Free entry to the public.

Lemon Quay

(01872 274555

3 December

Levellers

From folk melodies to classic punk, and after 20 years of music making, the original line-up still play with a passion and pride that many young pretenders find hard to match.

Hall for Cornwall

(01872 262466

Throughout December

Christmas at Trelissick

Come to Trelissick for a traditional Christmas atmosphere. Working blacksmith, roasting chestnuts, carol-singing, live nativity and inspirational fun for all the family.

Trelissick, Feock, near Truro (01872 862090

4 December

Viennese Strauss

Christmas Gala

A wonderful evening of music and Christmas from Vienna.

Hall for Cornwall

(01872 262466

3, 10 and 17 December

Late-night shopping in Truro

Special children's area in Victoria Square, with gifts, entertainers and music.

(01872 274555

6 December

Elkie Brooks

Performing some of her classic hits and perhaps a song or two from her forthcoming album.

Hall for Cornwall

(01872 262466

7 December

Tree Dressing Day

Dress a live tree and make your own decorations to take away.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Allet (01872 273939

10-14 December

Victorian Market

on Lemon Quay

(01872 274555

12 December -

4 January 2009

Cinderella

Join Cinderella, Buttons, the Ugly Sisters and a handsome Prince for a night of fun, frolics and laughter.

Hall for Cornwall

(01872 262466

31 December at Midnight

New Year's Celebrations

See out the old and welcome in the new with a grand fireworks display in the heart of Truro.

Lemon Quay (01872 274555

Christmas at Truro Cathedral

Those living in Cornwall will certainly know it, those visiting are likely to know it and just about everyone who has stepped inside its doors and gazed along the nave to the high altar loves it. Christmas time is one of the best times of the year to visit Truro Cathedral.

This year's Christmas programme starts on 26 November with late-night shopping, mince pies and musical entertainment and will end some 22 services and concerts later with carols around the crib on 28 December.

Many agree that the pinnacle of the cathedral's Christmas celebrations is the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. First sung in Truro Cathedral over 125 years ago, the festival was adapted by King's College Cambridge in the 1930s and is now broadcast annually around the world. But it was Truro that started the ball rolling and the Festival has been sung in our cathedral more times than anywhere else. This year the festival will be sung on both 23 and 24 December, when a 2,000-strong congregation is expected to fill the aisles and raise the roof with its carol-singing.

The Cathedral's shop and restaurant also step up a gear when Christmas looms. The restaurant often serves up to 600 meals a day and as all the food, including the turkey and all the trimmings, is prepared and cooked on the premises, there's no time to take it easy. The same goes for the shop with its ample choice of festive goodies for visitors.

An evocative part of the cathedral's Christmas experience is during late-night shopping when the cathedral is open for hot mince pies and hot drinks. With candles glowing, the tree and crib spreading their messages of peace and hope, and the choir singing carols in the background, it is a great atmosphere.

Cathedral Christmas Services and Events

26 November and 3, 10 & 17 December

Late-night Shopping

In the cathedral shop, with mince pies and musical entertainment. 7-9pm

4 December

RSCM Carols Around the Crib. 7.30pm

7 December

From Darkness to Light

A special Advent service to mark the beginning of the build-up to Christmas. 6pm

8 December

Love Cornwall Carol Service

Get into the festive spirit. 7.30pm

9 December

BBC Radio Cornwall Concert. 7pm

11 December

Mothers' Union

Advent Carol Service

Advent carols. 2pm

11 December

Richard Lander School Carol Service. 7.30pm

12 December

Cornwall Youth Choir Christmas Concert

The Youth Choir in

festive voice. 7pm

13 December

Three Spires Singers present Handel's Messiah

Some classical music.

7.30pm

14 December

St John Ambulance Carol Service. 2pm

15 December

Joint Police and Fire Brigade Carol Service

Festive songs from the services. 7.30pm

18 December

Polwhele House School Carol Service. 6pm

19 December

Young Farmers' Carol Service

Festive cheer from the Young Famers. 7.30pm

20 December

Truro Cathedral Choir Christmas Concert

Hear the cathedral's own choir. 7.30pm

21 December

Messiaen's Anniversary Recital Series. 5.15pm

23 December

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. 7pm

24 December

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. 7pm

24 December

Midnight Mass. 11.30pm

25 December

Christmas Day Service

A traditional service. 10am

28 December

Children and Pets' Carol Service

A traditional service. 2pm

28 December

Sunday Evensong and Carols

around the Crib

For all the family. 4pm

Wadebridge

Situated on the famous Camel Trail, where else would you go if you wanted to buy, or give, a bike for Christmas? There are several shops in Wadebridge where you can get just the right bicycle and then, when you've eaten too much Christmas pudding or mince pies, you can burn off all those calories with a ride along the trail. This town successfully mixes the old with the new; little arcades sit happily alongside modern piazzas and traditional shops are neighbours with large retail outlets. Thanks to a bypass, Wadebridge is almost traffic free, which is a bonus during the festive season, with people ambling slowly along the streets to window shop or admire the lights.

Padstow

Padstow comes alive early in the festive season with its Christmas Festival from 4-7 December, which will certainly get the town in the Christmas spirit, with stalls, live music, markets, carols, Santa and late-night shopping too. This is also the time when the Padstow Christmas Lights are switched on. The display seems to get bigger and better every year, especially around the harbour. Everyone wants to be involved; the little cottages are festooned with multi-coloured lights, and the boats bobbing in the harbour are similarly decorated. Look out for the 'Passport to Padstow', a book full of discount vouchers, which are only valid during the winter months. It may help you find the perfect gift for that special someone.

Bodmin

Originally the county town of Cornwall, Bodmin is the only Cornish town to be recorded in the Domesday Book. Bodmin Jail was built in 1778 and during the First World War the Crown Jewels and Domesday Book were stored here. Just outside the town there are plenty of beautiful walks: Bodmin Moor, of course, or lovely Cardinham Woods, and Lanhydrock House is set in 450 acres of wooded parkland. The garden, shop and café are open throughout the month, except on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

What's On

Throughout December

Trelawney Garden Centre

Trelawney Garden Centre is open for decorations and gifts, or for "A Taste of the Past" in Carriages Restaurant.

Near Wadebridge

(01208 893030

Throughout December

Winter Walk

Walk through the woodland estate and find hidden trails. Children can take part in the Hidden Nature Garden Trail with a lucky-dip surprise at the end.

10am-4pm. Lanhydrock House, Bodmin

(01208 265950

Every Sunday before Christmas Carol singing

Sing some seasonal songs in Padstow.

Contact the Tourist Information Centre

(01841 533449

5 December

Seasonal Food

Seasonal food demonstrations at the Seafood School

Seafood School, Padstow (01841 532700

6 December

Book Signing

Rick Stein will be signing copies of his latest book at Stein's Deli.

South Quay, Padstow

6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 23-24 December

Santa Specials

Santa Specials on the Bodmin and Wenford Railway comprising a one-hour train journey and a visit to Santa in his grotto on the train.

Bodmin and Wenford Railway (0845 125 9678, www.bodminandwenfordrailway.co.uk

6-7, 13-14, 20-21 December

Christmas is Coming

Storytelling and Christmas crafts at Lanhydrock House.

11am-4pm. Lanhydrock House, Bodmin

(01208 265950

7, 13-14, 20-21 December

Christmas Lunch

Dining Train

Enjoy a three-course Christmas lunch in the first-class carriages. Booking required.

(0845 125 9678, www.bodminandwenfordrailway.co.uk

27 December

'Experts Exclusive' at Lanhydrock House

Join National Trust experts for a behind-the-scenes day in the house, gardens and estate. £30, includes lunch and afternoon tea.

10am-4pm.

Lanhydrock House, Bodmin Booking essential

(01208 265950

St Ives

St Ives' narrow streets and alleys seem to come alive at Christmas, with lights and trees and decorations everywhere. It feels quite Victorian, with cobbled streets and tiny shop fronts, and no one would be surprised to see a lady in a crinoline or a horse and carriage pass by. There's no better place to be than sitting in the window of a harbourside café or restaurant, watching the world go by. And when the sun shines, even in December, there will be people on the beach and surfers in the sea. There's plenty of entertainment in the run-up to Christmas, from music and dance from the Kidz R Us theatre company, to bands and choirs in churches and halls, even to traditional carol-singing at the Tate.

Christmas in St Ives may be good, but New Year is the best time of all when the town is flooded with thousands of people, all in fancy dress, determined to have a good time. There is no pre-planning of this exciting annual party, no leaflets or organisation, and events seem to happen depending on the weather and the will of the good-natured crowd. There may be bonfires or fireworks on the beach, or the sight of people in all manner of amazing costumes, running from building to building, trying to keep warm in the cold weather.

Newquay

This year there are two festivals in Newquay before Christmas: a one-day fundraising affair in Cliff Road, with money going to Newquay Hospital X-Ray Fund, and a three-day festival in Fore Street. Both festivals are for all the family. The first has a giant Christmas Tree and Santa Claus, while at the second there will be music, face painting and shell decorating, plenty of real ales, even cookery demonstrations for those in need of last-minute inspiration. As one of the most popular holiday destinations in Cornwall, it's not surprising that Newquay is busy throughout December, and as the surfing capital of the UK, it's only to be expected to see people in wetsuits in the sea whenever the waves are right. But you don't need to go in the water to enjoy the beautiful beaches and a walk along Fistral Bay or Lusty Glaze is sure to blow away the cobwebs. The animals at Newquay Zoo need feeding every day, of course, and probably the best day to go is on Boxing Day when most people are still at home and you can have the place almost to yourself. The keepers are always happy to chat to you about the animals, especially when the zoo is quiet.

What's On

6-7, 12-14, 19-21 December

Festive Fun

Seasonal entertainment, Christmas shopping and festive treats.

11am-3.30pm. Trerice, Kestle Mill, Newquay (01637 875404

7, 14, 21 December

Visit Santa

Come and see Santa in his grotto at Newquay Zoo.

Newquay Zoo

(01637 873342

14 December

Carol-singing

Carols around a giant Christmas tree, Santa Claus, mulled wine and chestnuts.

6.30pm. Cliff Road, Newquay

15 December

Starlight Christmas

A festive trail around the Zoo.

Newquay Zoo

(01637 873342

16 December

'Late at Tate Christmas'

See the Tate St Ives art gallery after hours, with a bar, gallery shopping and carols from St Ives Combined Chapels Choir.

4pm-9.30pm. The Tate St Ives (01736 796226

18 December

A Service of Nine Lessons and Carols

Get into the real spirit of Christmas at this traditional Christmas service.

7.30pm. All Saints' Church, St Ives

19 December

Charity Christmas Concert

With the RAF Wyton Band.

7.30pm. St Ives Free Church

21-23 December

Newquay Christmas Festival

With music, real ale, children's entertainment and carol-singing. From 11am daily.

Fore Street, Newquay

Launceston

Proud to be known as the 'Gateway to Cornwall', Launceston lies just one mile from the Cornwall/Devon border and the River Tamar. The town is full of history, once being the only walled town in the county. The parish church of St Thomas is next to the ruins of Launceston Priory, which was founded in 1126. The fine motte and bailey 11th-century castle, which was built by the first Norman Earl of Cornwall, still looks down over the town. Pick up a Town Trail from the Tourist Information Centre and enjoy the two-hour stroll around the town: the Trail is mainly on pavements and is reasonably flat, and you will learn all about Launceston's fascinating history en route.

Liskeard

Situated between Bodmin Moor and the coastal resorts of Looe and Polperro, Liskeard is an ancient stannary and market town, and boasts many original Victorian shopfronts and buildings. Easily reached by road and rail - it is near to the A38 between Bodmin and Plymouth and on the Paddington/Penzance rail line - it is a convenient stop-off point for those wishing to visit the surrounding coast or countryside. There's always something going on at Sterts Theatre and Carnglaze Caverns, even in the middle of winter, and plenty of walks in the gardens surrounding Cotehele House. This beautiful Tudor mansion, just a few miles from Liskeard, takes Christmas very seriously and there are open log fires and traditional garlands to get you in the festive mood.

Lostwithiel

Yet another town with a castle, this time a 12th-century one called Restormel, Lostwithiel lies in the Fowey River valley and is often described as Cornwall's hidden treasure. Surrounded by beautiful countryside and with the river meandering gently through the middle of the town, it is a lovely place to explore. There are plenty of antique shops as well as regular fairs and auctions. Lots of little alleyways hide a multitude of shops and tearooms. The Duchy of Cornwall Nursery is situated in an old slate quarry, just across the valley from Restormel Castle, and is open throughout the year. Lostwithiel Local Produce Market has been running now for ten years and can be found in the Community Centre every other Friday. You can be sure that all your Christmas food, from poultry to cheese, chutney to bread, was made within a 35-mile radius of the town. Over recent years, Lostwithiel has won several awards for promoting Cornish food.

What's On

1-23 December

The Christmas Garland

Come and warm yourself beside the log fire at Cotehele House and see the hall decorated for Christmas.

11am-4pm. Cotehele House, St Dominick

(01579 351346

2 December

Festive Flowers

As part of Launceston Floral Art Group, Angela Turner demonstrates how to create 'A Funky Christmas' with flowers.

7pm. Eagle House Hotel, Launceston

6 December

Mixed Market

Mixed Market at Launceston Butter Market.

Town Square, Launceston (01566 772643

6 December

The Uninvited

A tale for dark nights, performed by Cube Theatre.

7.30pm. Sterts Theatre, Liskeard (01579 362382

6-7 December

The Alternative Christmas Present Show

Be inspired by this show to buy some great Christmas gifts.

10am-5pm. Carnglaze Caverns, Liskeard

(01579 320251

13 December

Family Christmas Celebrations

Festive fun for all the family.

From 6pm. Sterts Theatre, Liskeard (01579 362382

19 December

Joey the Lips

A performance from this ten-piece soul band.

8pm. £15. Carnglaze Caverns (01579 320251

19 December

Sterts Christmas Party

A Christmas cracker of entertainment in Sterts café/bar.

8pm. Sterts Theatre, Liskeard (01579 362382

20 December

Christmas Carols

Lostwithiel Town Band and Polperro Fishermen's Choir perform Christmas melodies and carols.

7.30pm. St Bartholomew's Church, Lostwithiel

St Austell

Made famous by the discovery of kaolin, or china clay, St Austell is renowned for its mountainous spoils from nearby clay pits, which today are called 'The Cornish Alps'. During recent years, several of these mountains have been landscaped and flattened, so they blend in better with the surrounding area. It is here that you will find the world-famous Eden Project, the most popular single tourist attraction in Cornwall. It turns into a magical winter wonderland during the month, with Father Christmas, Cornish choirs, shopping, and an ice rink surrounded by fir trees, silver birches laden with snow, and hundreds of twinkling lights. St Austell Cornish Market World at Stadium Retail Park, on the outskirts of the town, is a must for Christmas shopping. Open every Saturday and Sunday, with a café and good disabled access, the 70,000 square feet of undercover stalls offers all the usual market-ware, plus the local and unusual.

Mevagissey

Just five miles from St Austell, Mevagissey is a typical Cornish fishing village, with a pretty harbour, narrow alleyways hiding a wealth of specialist shops and galleries, and a lively history of boat building and smuggling. Train- and model-lovers should visit The Mevagissey Model Railway Shop in Meadow Street for unusual gifts. The nearby Lost Gardens of Heligan are open throughout December, except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. There is a shop which includes garden items, such as seeds, traditional flowers, vegetables and herbs, bulbs, and exotic plants that originally came from countries such as New Zealand or Italy, as well as a popular tearoom.

What's On

1 December

Photographic Exhibition

Exhibition of hand-printed toned black-and-white photos using plant materials gathered from Eden's biomes, by Trevor Ashby.

The Eden Project, St Austell (01726 811911

2, 4, 9, 11, 16, 18, 23 December

Seasonal Roast Lunches

Seasonal roasts at Heligan Tearooms. Choose from Heligan-reared lamb, locally reared beef, or a vegetarian option.

12 noon-2.30pm. Heligan Gardens (01726 845100

Throughout December

Ice Skating

Ice skating at the Eden Project's skating rink with skating lessons and an ice disco available.

The Eden Project, St Austell (01726 811911

6-7, 13-14, 20-21 December

Railway Exhibition

Mevagissey Model Railway Shop and Exhibition.

10am-4pm. Mevagissey Model Railway Shop (01726 842457

16 December

Not Just Any

Christmas Concert

With the Restormel Concert Band.

7.30pm. Keay Theatre,

St Austell (01726 226777

17-18 December

Winter Lights

A performance by Cornwall College St Austell Performing Arts.

7.30pm. Keay Theatre,

St Austell

(01726 226777

Bude

Much of the coastal area around Bude is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and so there are plenty of lovely walks to be had, whatever the season. The Bude Canal was built to transport sea sand to farms in North Cornwall and West Devon. Today it is lined with towpaths that are a magnet for walkers and cyclists, and birdwatchers who can spend many a happy hour looking for wildlife along the bankside marshes and wetland. The Sustrans Cycle Route also passes through the area. Enjoy a walk along some of the beautiful beaches: Bude has some of the best beaches in the county and there are masses of rockpools and exciting cliffs to explore. Main shopping streets in the town are joined by interconnecting alleyways, making for enjoyable Christmas shopping. With a wide range of locally owned shops and restaurants, as well as national chains, you are sure to find the perfect present.

Stratton

In the early 1800's Bude and Stratton were one parish. Today, the village of Stratton lies just one mile from Bude and is proud of its separate entity, although it is still tied in many ways to its larger neighbour. Stratton has a long and exciting history, dating from the times of King Alfred when it was called Stratone. By 1200 it was an important market town with 12 public houses and a variety of trades from corn merchants to cabinetmakers. It was a stronghold for the Royalists and King Charles in the English Civil War and was the site of the Battle of Stratton in 1643. Stratton is now often described as one of the prettiest villages in Cornwall, with whitewashed cottages, a village square and a 12th-century church in the centre. A lovely and peaceful place to explore after the December hustle and bustle of larger towns.

What's On

4 December

Bude Art Society

Christmas Workshop

Get crafty for Christmas.

1.30pm.

Parkhouse Centre, Bude (01409 253062

5 December

Bude Jazz Club

Christmas Party

At the Falcon Hotel in Bude with Bob Reynolds New Society Jazz Band.

£21.50 (members), £24.50 (visitors). Send an SAE to Arthur Ives, 17 St Piran Close, Bodmin PL31 1QL.

6 December

Bude Town Band

Christmas Fayre

Listen to some festive tunes.

2.30pm.

The Bandhall, Lynstone Road, Bude

6 December

Bude Canal and Castle Celebration Event

Fun and festivities.

2pm-6pm. Crescent Car Park

(01288 350907

16 December

Carols Around the Tree

7pm. Kilkhampton, Bude

17 December

Christmas Concert with Bude Choral Society.

Central Methodist Church, Bude (01288 341104

Falmouth

There's certainly no shortage of things to do and places to see in this lovely riverside town. Discover the many shops and galleries, along winding cobbled streets or down tiny alleys, where you are sure to find an unusual gift. And then, when you are completely shopped-out, pause for refreshments in one of the delightful new café's or restaurants. If the weather's good, you can sit outside too, all the better to watch the boats as they come and go along the Fal.

Fowey

Made famous by novelist Daphne Du Maurier, Fowey is almost unspoilt, with plenty of medieval and Tudor cottages along steep, winding streets and cobbled walkways, most of which seem to lead down to the river. There are plenty of shops selling all manner of items, from antiques and collectables, to nautical ware and local food. Fowey Christmas Market was conceived in 2005, with the aim of encouraging people to do their Christmas shopping in the town. This year, over 60 stalls selling all manner of goods are expected, and as usual Father Christmas will be coming over on the ferry from Polruan.

Looe

Once two towns on opposite sides of the River Looe, but now joined together by a sturdy bridge, most people think of it as one town. In East Looe you will find the fishing harbour and the main shopping centre. There are plenty of interesting shops and little alleyways leading through this history-laden town. West Looe is quieter, although it also has shops and hotels, and has fine views over to Looe Island. New Year's Eve is an exciting time with fancy dress, partying and fireworks at midnight. Not to be missed!

Polperro

To visit Polperro is to step back in history. Tiny fishermen's cottages along narrow, twisting streets, a river running through the village and a working harbour that tells stories of smuggling and contraband. Polperro is lit up during the festive season with hundreds of lights along the main roads, making this lovely village appear even more magical.

What's On

Until 4 January 2009

Our Footprint Below

This is a photographic celebration of Falmouth's marine environment.

National Maritime Museum, Falmouth

(01326 313388

6th December

Christmas Lights

Switching-on of the Christmas lights at Polperro.

6-7 December

Christmas Tales

Get into the festive spirit.

11am-4pm.

Pendennis Castle, Falmouth

6-7 December

Fowey Christmas Market

Sample some festive goodies.

10am-4pm. Town Quay and Hall, Fowey

(01726 808126

14 December

Community Carol Concert

With the Salvation Army.

Princess Pavilion, Falmouth (01326 211222

21 December

Grazing on the Quay

A Christmas Fayre and festive 'grazing' with guests, The St Piran's Singers.

East Looe

27 December 2008 -

2 January 2009

'Polperro - Artists in Cornwall'

An art exhibition at Polperro Village Hall.

Polperro (01503 272887

31st December

New Year's Eve Celebrations

With plenty of fun and fireworks.

Looe

Penzance

Penzance celebrates the season with Montol, a festival that includes music, masks, Cornish carols and mummers plays. It takes place all over the town, culminating in a torchlight procession through the town centre. The main shopping streets are decorated with lights and banners, and the Wharfside Shopping Centre plays host to a wide variety of musical entertainment, especially during late-night shopping on the three Thursdays before Christmas. A window-dressing competition is organised by the Chamber of Commerce.

Newlyn

Though not as famous as the Mousehole lights, Newlyn is well lit over the festive period, especially in the area around the harbour, where boats are outlined in lights and adverts for the various fish-related businesses are highlighted on buildings. Home to one of the largest fishing fleets in the UK, and with over 40 acres of harbour, all sorts of fishing boats can be seen every day. An evening stroll around the harbour and the surrounding lanes, which are lined with fishermen's cottages, is a delight during December - then go and warm up in one of the pubs or restaurants and enjoy a fish supper.

Mousehole

Mousehole Christmas lights attract people from all over the world. They are lit from 5pm to 11pm every evening, except for between 8pm and 9pm on 19 December, when they will be switched off in memory of those who lost their lives on the Solomon Browne that stormy night in 1981. It is very difficult to park in Mousehole during December, so it's best to park outside the town or get a bus. The Ship Inn hosts a party - Tom Bowcock's Eve - on 23 December, when stargazy pies are made and distributed to patrons. This pie is filled with fish and bacon, and has pilchard heads poking out of the crust.

What's On

15 December

Ghost Stories

Candlelit, ghost story evening.

The Admiral Benbow, Penzance (01736 363448

20 December

Montol Festival

Street entertainment from 10.30am, with the Rivers of Fire procession starting at 6.15pm.

Penzance

21 December

Christmas Concert

Christmas Concert with the Newlyn Male Voice Choir and local school choirs.

7.30pm. Newlyn Centre

22 December

Annual Christmas Concert with Mousehole Male Voice Choir.

Paul Church, Mousehole

22-23 December

An Unorderly Christmas Spectacular

Song and entertainment from the Acorn Choir and Friends.

8pm. Acorn Theatre, Penzance

(01736 365520

23 December

Tom Bowcock's Eve Party

Come and celebrate and try the stargazy pie!

The Ship Inn, Mousehole (01736 731234

Camborne

They say that if you look down any mine in the world, you'll find a Cornishman at the bottom. One of the most industrious towns in the 19th century, because of tin mining in the area, Camborne School of Mines still trains students in all aspects of mining and, although the School itself recently moved to Penryn, it still kept the name that served it so well for nearly 200 years. The main shopping area is centred on Trelowarren Street, which is well decorated for Christmas, where there are many small branches of national chain stores, as well as individual shops. Not far from Camborne is the historic and atmospheric Tudor/Stuart Godolphin House. The estate contains more than 400 recorded archaeological features and mine ruins and, although the house is closed for the winter, it opens for a couple of days over the festive season for celebrations.

Redruth

Redruth dates from the 12th century and its name is thought to come from the stream that ran along the bottom of Fore Street, which was so discoloured from tin-mining activities that it ran red with iron-oxide deposits. There are plenty of shops in Redruth, and great deals at various nearby industrial estates, and even a flourishing farmers' market which meets every Friday under the clock tower. Pool Market, between Camborne and Redruth, has a busy indoor and outdoor market and car boot sale, which takes place every Saturday and Sunday and where you will be able to buy virtually everything on your Christmas list.

Hayle

Situated on the River Hayle directly opposite the village of Lelant, Hayle is famous for its three miles of golden sand and excellent bird-watching. The beaches begin at Hayle Towans, after which there is Gwithian and finally Godrevy, where the famous Godrevy Lighthouse stands on an island out to sea. The shops mostly run either side of the road between the two districts of Foundry and Copperhouse. A Winter Carnival brings everyone onto the streets, where they enjoy floats, music and plenty of entertainment.

What's On

29 November

Christmas starts in Redruth

Free fairground rides in Market Strand, a local produce market, a lantern procession led by Father Christmas and the Christmas lights switched on.

Redruth (01209 213534

6 December

Christmas Lights Switch-on

Switch-on of Camborne's Christmas Lights by 14-year-old Olympic diver Tom Daly.

5pm. Camborne

6 December

Hayle Winter Carnival

Enjoy music, floats and other entertainment.

7pm. Hayle (01736 752597

6-7 December

Storytelling from Captain Christmas

Tales of Christmas in Tudor Times under the Christmas Tree at Godolphin House.

Godolphin House, Helston (01736 763194

6-7 December

Carols in the King's Room

Seasonal song with mulled wine and mince pies.

Godolphin House, Helston (01736 763194

7 December

Concert

Hayle Town Band performs at the Tree of Lights.

4pm. St Julia's Hospice, Hayle

13 December

Visit Father Christmas

Father Christmas will be in his grotto at 90 Fore Street.

10.30am-4pm. Redruth

(01209 213534

18 December

Carols

Carols with Camborne Youth Band at Tesco Extra, Pool.

Pool

20 December

Nativity play

In Fore Street.

Redruth (01209 213534

21-24 December

Carols

Carols with Camborne Youth Band at Tesco, Camborne.

Camborne

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