TRURO Cornwall TR3 6LQ
While many villages, towns and cities around the country will have long been illuminated with the glow of Christmas lights, one village in Cornwall saves this special moment for when the festive season is well underway. Mousehole, a village and fishing port near Penzance, offers one of the most impressive light displays in the county. Making the most of the waterside location, many of the Mousehole Christmas lights float in the water, illuminating the harbour with an impressive display of light. Now in their 56th year of incredible festive lighting, we share all the details you need to enjoy the Christmas glow this holiday season.
Christmas doesn’t truly start in Cornwall until the switch-on of this stunning light show. This year, the lights will be turned on during an evening of entertainment on the 14th of December 2019. The light switch-on night on Saturday 14th will include an open-air Carolaire service, including singing and music from the Carolaire Choir and Pendeen Silver Band. The choir comprises of the union of many local choirs, including the Mousehole Male Voice Choir, Mousehole Methodist Church, and community singers. The switch-on event is free, as is viewing the lights throughout the month until they are taken down following the 4th of January. If the weather is poor on the 14th of December, then the Carolaire service will be held in the Mousehole Methodist Church instead of on the North Quay.
After the lights are switched on, they will be turned on each evening between 5pm and 11pm until the 4th. On the 19th December, the lights will be dimmed between 8-9pm, so avoid visiting at this time if you would like to see the lights in all their glory!
As well as the Harbour being full of light, the village itself will also be aglow with festive decorations and illuminations. Lanterns lead you down the winding passages and streets of the village, and you’ll be able to spot an assortment of quaint local shops, cafes and houses.
You’ll also be able to spot the Celtic Cross light that stands proud on St Clements Island, 500m off the coast from Mousehole. The lights that illuminate the cross are powered by solar energy, making part of the display more environmentally friendly.
The Christmas lights have been a part of Mouseholes’ festive calendar since 1963, when a local artist, Joan Gillchrest added strings of lights along the harbour to brighten the area and bring in some festive cheer. Since then, the displays have only gotten bigger and brighter, with the largest piece which reads ‘Merry Christmas Happy New Year’ containing around 1000 lightbulbs!
While you’re in Mousehole, why not celebrate the magic of the area with a visit to the theatre to see a performance of ‘The Mousehole Cat’. Antonia Barber’s classic children’s story is brought to life in this live action and puppet production. Based on a Cornish legend, the heartwarming story involves a local Mousehole fisherman, Tom Bawcock and his loyal cat, Mowzer, who brave a storm to catch fish for the village.
For those planning on visiting on the lights switch-on date, be sure to check for road closure details, as some roads are set to shut prior to the lights switch on. Parking may also be harder to find on this night, as it is quite a popular event, so parking outside of the village or getting the park and ride bus may be a better transport option for this night. Following the switch on night, from the 15th December to 4th January, all roads are set to be open as usual, making visiting Mousehole a little easier if you just want to see the lights!
If you’re planning on visiting Cornwall this Christmas, then there is plenty for you to do to feel festive. Check out our Christmas What’s On Guide or our Christmas Itinerary for suggestions on how to have festive fun! If you need a place to stay while you enjoy the Christmas cheer, our luxury cottages are perfect for last-minute Cornwall short breaks!