Where to Meet Father Christmas in Cornwall

November 11th, 2019

Cornwall is a brilliant place to be for the festive period, with exciting winter wonderlands and cosy Christmas grottos found across the county! In this blog, we take a look at where you can find Santa this Christmas.

Father Christmas Experience at the Eden Project

Meet Father Christmas and his Elves while they stay at the Eden Project and catch a glimpse of what life is like for Santa behind the scenes! You’ll be able to take a peep at where the elves sleep each night, as well as where all the letters that children from around the world send get stored! Settle down in front of the open fire and enjoy a magical tale read by Santa himself! The experience runs several times a day from Saturday 30th November and will run on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from this date until the 18th of December. Booking is recommended, and tickets cost £10 for one adult and one child, with additional children at £6. To access the grotto, you will also need an admission ticket or pass to the Eden Project.

Father Christmas in Cornwall

Bedruthan’s Sugar and Spice Grotto

Bedruthan Hotel is known for going all out on their grottos and this year is certainly no exception! Walk into a winter wonderland as snow falls around you, settling on the twinkling Christmas trees. A magical grotto awaits, but first, you must journey through the labyrinth of ice caves, where you can make snow angels and throw a snowball or two! The helpful elves along the way also like getting creative, giving you the chance to craft some lovely decorations or gifts. Once you’ve finally reached the Sugar and Spice Grotto, you can help Father Christmas, and Mrs Christmas gather up the gifts for the sleigh – there may even be one in there for you! Finally, make a magical Christmas wish to Mawgan the magic wishing tree!

Open every day from the 30th of November to the 23rd of December, this is one of the most popular Grottos in Cornwall, with some dates already sold out, meaning that booking is essential. Tickets cost £15 for one adult and one child, and £5 for an additional adult.

Santa by Steam

A popular Christmas activity run by Bodmin & Wenford Railway; Santa climbs on board this magical steam train and embarks on an incredible journey for an hour. Bringing his elves along for the journey too, his helpers will lead little ones to the magical grotto where you will meet the man in red himself! As well as getting an early Christmas present, and a photo with Santa, you can also enjoy a tasty mince pie while you wait! Booking is essential, and the train will be running on Saturday’s and Sunday’s from the 30th of November to the 22nd of December, as well as Monday the 23rd and Tuesday the 24th.

Present from Santa

Father Christmas at Trebah

Building their magical factory in the gardens, Father Christmas and his elves have created a wonderful place to create amazing gifts. Watch the elves handcraft unique presents before collecting your own gift from Santa himself! Father Christmas has a very busy schedule this year, so will only be visiting Trebah Garden on the 14th of December and the 15th 2019. Tickets cost £9 for children and £5 per adult and booking is essential.

Redruth Public Library Christmas Grotto

Father Christmas will be making an appearance at his special Christmas Grotto at the Redruth Public Library on Saturday 7th, 14th, and 21st of December. Santa and his elves can be found at the cosy reading corner from 10 am until 2 pm for this free event.

Letter to Santa

Father Christmas Visits Lost Gardens of Heligan

Father Christmas and his elves are warmly welcomed back to the Lost Gardens of Heligan this year. From the 14th to 24th of December, visitors to the Gardens will be able to follow the magic Christmas Trail and discover Father Christmas’ cosy home, where good children will receive a small gift. To be sure he brings the present you want on Christmas Day, you can also write a letter to Santa and pop it into the magical post box underneath the twinkly Christmas lights. Tickets cost £7 per child, and £2 per adult on top of the admission fee for Heligan and advanced booking is recommended.

Santa’s Grotto at Paradise Park

After spotting the delightful collection of creatures that find their home at Paradise Park and playing in the Jungle Barn indoor play area, get into the Christmas spirit by paying a visit to Santa at his grotto. From the 30th of November, Father Christmas will be visiting his grotto from 12 pm to 2 pm on weekends and then every day from the 18th to 24th December! Tickets cost £5.45 per child in addition to entry to the park and can be bought on the day.

Here at The Valley, we offer family-friendly holidays in Cornwall that are perfect for children and adults alike who cannot wait to experience the excitement and magic of this festive time of year. To continue with the festivities, discover the Christmas markets that are taking place near our luxury holiday cottages.

Christmas Markets Near Truro 2019

October 11th, 2019

As we reach the run-up to Christmas, our festive feelings begin to grow, and we spend each day on the lookout for the ideal gift for family and friends. Luckily, there are many opportunities to find the perfect present in Cornwall this year, with a wide variety of festive fairs and markets taking place throughout November and December. Head to some of these Christmas markets to discover the wonderful local produce and creations on offer!


Made in Cornwall Christmas Fair

27th November – 1st December 2019

If you’re after a truly Cornish gift, then head to the Made in Cornwall fair on Lemon Quay in Truro. Everything on sale at the fair is certified by Cornwall Council as being ‘Made in Cornwall’, so you can be sure that all produce and gifts will have been locally made and crafted. There will be over 80 stalls at the fair, ranging from pottery to clothing and from handmade chocolates to local ales! You are sure to find some incredible gifts amongst the beautiful selection of artisanal foods and impressive artworks from craftspeople around Cornwall.


Etsy Made Local Christmas Fair

15th – 17th November 2019

Featuring 70 talented crafters, illustrators and designers, the Etsy Made Local Fair is coming to Penryn Campus Sports Centre. Stalls lined with unique handmade treasures await, accompanied by local street food and live music performances. The Etsy fair was previously held in St Ives, but a growing demand for this fair has seen the event double in size, moving to the larger venue at Penryn. Cornwall is full of incredible artists and designers, and many will be present at this event, and will be happy to chat about their works. The fair is open from 6pm-9pm on Friday 15th, 10am-5pm on Saturday 16th and 10am-4pm on Sunday 17th.  


Flambards Christmas Fayre

30th November – 1st December 2019

Flambard’s Christmas Fayre is back again this year, offering a shopping experience filled with festive family fun. Over 80 local traders will be set up throughout the park, with some stalls even found within the Victorian Village and Britain in the Blitz exhibits, making for a truly unique Christmas shopping experience. With a selection of gorgeous gifts and delicious local produce on offer, you’ll be tempted to keep everything you find as a treat for yourself! The Helston Town Band will be there to get you into the festive spirit with their live performances, and the little ones will love meeting Santa and his elves in his grotto! Entrance to the fayre costs £1 per person and includes parking, as well as entry into the exhibits.



Primestock Christmas Craft Fair

6th December – 8th December 2019

Following the annual Primestock Show in Cornwall, Lemon Quay will be filled with local produce, gifts and crafts at the Primestock Christmas Craft Fair. Featuring stunning hand-crafted items from local artists and craftspeople, you will discover a range of soaps, candles, ceramics, jewellery and other wonderful giftware. Alongside the arts and crafts, there will be a number of food stalls, with Christmas hampers brimming with local delicacies. With Father Christmas in his Grotto at the fair, little ones are bound to be good as you browse the stalls in the hopes that they don’t make it on the naughty list before Christmas!


Boscawen Street Market

Wednesdays & Saturdays (27th Nov, 30th Nov, 4th, 7th, 11th, 14th, 18th and 22nd December 2019)

Boscawen Street in Truro will be lined with market stalls every Wednesday and Saturday from the end of November and throughout December. In Truro, Wednesday is late night shopping night during the Christmas period. With the market running until 9pm, you can take a look at the festive treats on offer at the stalls as you browse the high street shops. As well as an assortment of local craft and food products on gift stalls, there will be a range of street food on offer to fuel your shopping experience!


Cathedral City Market

15th-17th November 2019

The Cathedral City Market is a regular market that runs throughout the year in Truro on the Lemon Quay Piazza. The last Cathedral City Market of the year will be held on the 15th, 16th and 17th of November, so you’re sure to find some festive offerings from the local artists and food stands set up here.


The Winter Gift Fayre

11th – 19th December 2019

Another fair to be hosted on the Piazza on Lemon Quay, The Winter Gift Fayre will welcome producers from across the South West to display their beautiful gifts and festive decorations. The magic of winter is the key theme of this fair, so if you need to find some Christmas spirit, this is certainly the place to go! Decorated with warm twinkling lights, you’ll be in a winter wonderland as you browse the incredible stalls filled with jewellery, art, food and more!


Christmas Craft Fair at the Museum

7th December 2019

The Royal Cornwall Museum is getting into the Christmas spirit again this year, with their craft fair offering a variety of goods from local producers, ranging from works of art to tasty treats. Find a truly one of a kind gift at the Museum, as you shop in style. With Father Christmas paying a visit for a storytelling session, little ones will be on their best behaviour as you browse the stalls. Entry to the fair is free, seeing Father Christmas will cost £5.50 and requires advance booking.


Take the stress out of Christmas shopping by combining your present finding with a relaxing Cornish getaway! Our luxury Cornish cottages are the perfect place to go for a festive break, and being located close to Truro means you’ll be in the ideal place to visit all of these wonderful winter fairs!  

Mousehole Christmas Lights Switch On 2018

December 06th, 2018

UPDATE FOR 2019: Mousehole Light Switch on 2019 

Christmas doesn’t truly start in Cornwall until the impressive lights surrounding Mousehole harbour are switched on each year. One of the most stunning light displays in the county, the event is turned into an evening of festive entertainment, with performances from various local choirs.

For those who haven’t seen the Mousehole Christmas lights before, you may be wondering what the big deal is. Unlike many other towns, Mousehole truly makes the most of its waterside location, illuminating their harbour with an incredible floating display of lights.

The big switch on will be taking place on Saturday 15th December this year at 6.30pm, and the lights will remain on each day from 5pm to 11pm until the 4th January, giving you plenty of time to pop down and see them! As part of the switch on, there will be a community singing performance, led by the Mousehole Male Voice Choir and the Mousehole Methodist Church Choir.

Mousehole Christmas

The village itself will also be aglow with colour, with decorations displayed on every street and lanterns leading you down the winding passages. Here you will find an assortment of quaint local gift shops and cafes.

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!

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, 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 16th 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 are thinking of visiting Mousehole this Christmas, then be sure to check out their charming performance of The Mousehole Cat, a live-action adaptation of the classic children’s book by Antonia Barber. A perfect play for families, the performance lasts for an hour and tickets cost £11 each. Two or three performances are running each day between the 15th December and the 31st December 2018.

Planning on visiting Cornwall this Christmas? There’s plenty to see and do this year, including Christmas activitiesand Christmas markets! If you’re looking for a place to stay then you certainly can’t beat our 5-star cottages in Cornwall!

Truro City of Lights 2018

November 12th, 2018

Christmas commences in Cornwall on Wednesday 21st November, when the annual City of Lights festival hits the streets of Truro. The epic lantern parade and lights switch-on celebration is a staple part of the festive season in Truro, having been enjoyed by the community for the past 22 years! Now drawing in an incredible 30,000 people each year, the City of Lights is one of the biggest events on the calendar in Cornwall at Christmas time.



What is the Truro City of Lights?

A Christmas lights switch-on like no other, the City of Lights sees a procession of around 600 intricately-designed lanterns, which have been beautifully created by community groups, local artists and school children. Made using withy and paper, the lanterns are paraded aglow throughout the city; with artists carrying their larger constructs, such as horses, dancers and elephants, while the children carry smaller hand-crafted lanterns. Welcoming in the festive season, as the parade travels down each street, the lights and decorations for the city come to life, lighting up and making the whole city glow with Christmas cheer! Each year, the parade is given a theme of which lanterns and performances are based; the theme for 2018 is ‘Remembrance’.


As well as the lanterns and lights, the parade also includes around 100 street performers, adding some extra vibrancy to the night with their music and dance. You’ll certainly get into the spirit of the parade hearing the pipes, drums and brass band, as well as spotting the samba dancers!


The City of Lights is a free event, although donations are welcomed throughout the evening to help cover the high running costs.


Truro City of Lights

Where is the City of Lights Parade?

The parade travels through many streets in Truro, giving you the chance to spot it as it goes past from many areas. Setting off from the Richard Lander Monument at around 7pm, the parade is set to travel through Lemon Street and onto Boscawen Street, before looping round through River Street, Little Castle Street and Kenwyn Street before heading through Victoria Square to return through Boscawen Street. The parade then goes via Princes Street and Green Street to reach Lemon Quay, where the festivities continue. While Boscawen Steet can offer you the best views of the procession, as they will parade through twice, it does get very busy and noisy there!


The City of Lights is sure to get you into the festive spirit, so if you’re planning a luxury family Christmas holidays in Cornwall, then be sure to check it out! Truro City of Lights will be held on Wednesday 21st November 2018, from 7pm to 9pm. There are also plenty of other Christmas events in Cornwall this year, including Christmas markets near Truro.

Festival of Light and Sound

November 29th, 2017

The Eden Project is an incredible place to visit at any time of the year, but you can make your Cornwall Christmas holidays even more special by taking a trip to the indoor rainforest during the Festival of Light and Sound. The Festival will entail a display of music, light and colour, featuring light projections and dramatic soundscapes.

Experiencing the Eden Project Rainforest and Mediterranean Biomes after-dark is a thrilling event in itself, but viewing them from above, on the 50-metre high lookout as choreographed performances of light and sound occur around you is certainly something else! Last year, the event reached the top of The Guardian’s list of top Christmas spectaculars, and it is set to be just as incredible this year.

The Festival of Light and Sound is a collaboration between the Eden Project, their creative partners, EdenLAB, and Chris Levine, an artist renowned for working with lights. Levine is the artist responsible for creating the laser light tribute to David Bowie at Glastonbury festival last year, so his work is innovative and highly commended. Working alongside them are a number of songwriters, spatial audio artists and designers to form the magically entrancing sounds that will accompany the light show. Marco Perry, Bjork’s spatial sound designer, forms part of this team too, making this one captivating experience you will not want to miss.

The Mediterranean Biome will also be playing host to a bar, where you can treat yourself to a nice bottle of bubbly or a warming mug of mulled wine and tasty nibbles. Here, local choirs, singers and performers will be entertaining visitors.

The event will be running on a number of dates, starting from the weekend of the 1st-3rd December, and the following dates; 8-10, 15-23, 27-30 December, from 5pm until 8pm. It is free to attend with a standard admission to the Eden Project, and no pre-booking will be required.

While you are at the Eden Project, join in with the other festive fun on offer there, such as ice skating, meeting Father Christmas and getting creative with some seasonal crafts!

Family Friendly Christmas Markets and Fairs in Falmouth and Truro

November 17th, 2017

Each year, Christmas markets hit the streets of Truro and Falmouth, all boasting an impressive range of local produce and crafts. But which ones should you visit? We’re here with a guide to the best family-friendly Christmas markets for you to visit this holiday season. It’ll be hard not to find a few gifts here!


Made in Cornwall Market

The Marquee, Lemon Quay, Truro

One of the biggest events this Christmas in Cornwall is the Made in Cornwall Market in Truro. Over ninety traders from the local area will gather to put their handmade gifts and produce on offer. The Made in Cornwall status means that the products on sale are authentic to the area, ensuring that you are getting an original gift, made with love. Stock up on some scrumptious nibbles and pick up some unique presents, all of which can’t be found elsewhere in the country.

Wednesday 29 November to Sunday 3 December 2017

Opening Hours:

10 am – 9 pm Wednesday

10 am – 5 pm Thursday to Saturday

10.30 am – 4.30 pm Sunday


The Winter Gift Fayre

Lemon Quay, Truro

New to Truro this year, the Winter Gift Fayre is bringing some Christmassy treats to Lemon Quay. With over seventy stalls of quality products, there will be something for everyone. If you’re visiting with kids, Father Christmas will be making an appearance on Wednesday 13th at the Pannier Market to greet children. On the 15th, visit the Cathedral for a carol singing experience at 7.30pm.

Tuesday 12 December to Sunday 17 December

Opening Hours:

9 am – 5 pm Tuesday to Saturday

9 am – 9 pm Wednesday

10 am – 4 pm Sunday


The Poly Christmas Market

The Poly, 24 Church St, Falmouth

If you’re looking for some truly original handmade Christmas gifts, The Poly is certainly the place to visit. Featuring designs from local craftspeople, there are plenty of unique and innovative gifts to discover here. Refreshments will also be available here to keep you warm and fuelled up for the late night shopping events.

Monday 27 November to Sunday 24 December

Opening Hours:

10 am – 7 pm every day

10 am – 8 pm late night shopping, Thursday 30th November and Thursday 21st December


Truro Primestock Show

The Marquee, Lemon Quay, Truro

The Primestock Show brings the country to the city again this Christmas. The Truro show is actually the only primestock show in Britain to take to the streets, and this year marks its 115th year of doing so. During the day, the show will take place, exhibiting and judging local produce, cattle and sheep. Farm produce and preserves will also be on offer at stalls throughout the day. In the evening, family entertainment will be put on, including exhibitions of pigs, ducks and chickens for the children to enjoy. The Wednesday night will end with a charity auction. On the Friday and Saturday following the show, the Christmas Craft and Food Fair will be put on by the Primestock Society, with around 40 stands filled with arts, craft and photography.

Wednesday 6th December – Primestock Show

Open to the Public from 9.30 am

Evening Activities from 6.30 pm

Friday 8th to Saturday 9th December – Primestock Christmas Craft and Food Fair


Flambards Christmas Craft Fair

Flambards Theme Park, Helston

A trip to Flambards Theme Park makes the perfect family day out any day of the year, but it’s even more amazing at Christmas once the fair arrives. Local craft and business stalls will be open throughout the day selling gifts, ideal to take home to your loved ones for Christmas. Your day will be packed with entertainment, with all that’s on offer at the theme park. Wander around the Victorian Village exhibitions, and if you’ve been good this year, you may get a chance to meet Santa. If you want to just sit back and relax, you can enjoy a warming drink as the Helston Town Band entertains you with festive hits.

Saturday 2nd December to Sunday 3rd December

Stalls open 10 am to 4 pm

Entrance £1 per person


Heartlands Christmas Market Weekend

Chi an Bobel Hall, Heartlands

Have festive fun at Heartlands, as the Christmas Market Weekend returns. The free family-friendly event will see your bags filled with jewellery, local art and tasty treats. As well as finding your perfect presents, the local choirs and brass bands will be entertaining you with Christmassy tunes that are sure to get you into the festive spirit. While you’re there, take a stroll around the beautiful gardens, explore the adventure playground and experience the art galleries, amongst other exciting things to do at Heartlands.

Saturday 16th December to Sunday 17th December

Opening Hours:

11 am to 4 pm


If you are planning on Cornwall Christmas holidays this year, will you be visiting any of these markets? Let us know which ones you visit on social media.