5 things to do in Cornwall over the early May Bank Holiday

April 28th, 2015

Here at The Valley, our 5 star family friendly accommodation in Cornwall, we’re welcoming in the spring with primroses, bluebells and all kinds of flora and fauna (not forgetting the crow who took a fancy to the Reception window this afternoon). In the spirit of spring, here are 5 things to do while visiting for the Spring Bank Holiday weekend!

  •  Take a trip to Newquay for Art8, the arts and culture festival being staged to demonstrate that Newquay is not just a surfing destination. Newquay’s Arts and Culture festival will last 4 days over the bank holiday and boasts of having something for everyone, old or young with all of the activities offered being either low cost or free. Take your pick from arts and crafts, film, spoken word, dance, photography and theatre.
  •  Hop on a day trip to the Scilly Isles, sailing from Penzance on the Scillonian III or flying from Lands End or Newquay to see the World Pilot Gig Championships. Every year, a huge number of Pilot Gigs assemble to take part in the Championships in the beautiful Scilly Isles and you can go along to watch and explore beautiful St Mary’s.
  • Back in Newquay, the English National Surfing Championships are taking place, ironically at the same time as the arts and culture festival! Along at Watergate Bay, the next generation of star surfers will be trying to barrel their way into the top spots. Watergate bay is also a top dining spot with Jamie Olivers’ Fifteen, the Beach Hut and Zacry’s hitting high ratings on the tourist go-to TripAdvisor.
  • Padstow Oss. For the un-initiated, this is the May Day celebration in Padstow which starts at midnight on April 30th with revellers singing to the Landlord of the Golden Lion, followed on May Day with the two Obby Oss’ (Hobby Horses – a Morris Dancer dressed in a horse costume) starting at different points in the town and leading a merry dance around the streets with their accompanying dancers singing songs of the May as the Oss tries to catch members of the crowd – mostly young ladies so we’re told! Padstow is also foodie heaven with multiple Rick Stein restaurants, fantastic pasty shops and many other great places to eat, drink and be merry.
  • May Day celebrations in St Ives create a very festive atmosphere, why not leave the car at St Erth or Lelant Saltings and take the train along the scenic coastline. Outside the Guildhall at Midday, the Mayor and Grand Bard choose the May Queen and King as well as their attendant Prince and Princess in a ceremony bizarrely dubbed the “pee whip”. The St Ives Guisers in their black and white mock formal appear and at 1pm there is a parade to the harbour where you can watch May Pole dances, traditional Cornish dancing and music.