From foodie feasts to flora days: Cornwall’s best springtime festivals
Our pick of the county’s finest
There’s nothing quite like taking a wander through the delightful sights, sounds and smells of a Cornish festival under the springtime sun. From annual events that draw in the crowds year round to fabulous foodie displays and weird and wonderful garden parties, the county’s festival calendar comes alive at this time of year. To help you get the most out of your next visit to Cornwall, we’ve rounded up our top 10 festivals to enjoy this spring.
Porthleven Food Festival
One of Cornwall’s most hotly-anticipated events, the Porthleven Food Festival returns from 26th – 28th April, bringing with it three days of fantastic food, drink and music. Kicking off on Friday night with a party by the water, this year’s line-up is set to celebrate all things sixties, with Motown performances and themed parties bringing some soul to the South West. Graze your way through the site sampling delicious street food from the best local suppliers, pop into the Chef’s Theatre for live cookery workshops or head to a Shipyard Session on Sunday night to see Cornwall’s talented locals take to the stage.
Making the most of its prime location in the sweeping South Cornwall peninsula and featuring everything from wine tasting and pottery workshops to boat trips and live Brazilian jazz, this year’s Roseland Festival takes place from 23rd April – 4th May, and really does offer something for everyone. Meet local distillers and sample Cornwall’s finest artisan gin at the St Mawes Hotel, enjoy performances from local and long-established choirs at the St Just Parish Church or set off from the quay for a tranquil cruise along the Fal River.
Padstow May Day
The biggest event in Padstow’s calendar, May Day’s ancient celebrations will continue for another year on 1st May in Cornwall’s thriving harbour town. With the streets decorated in flags and flowers, the maypole will twirl its way through the crowds as traditional drumming and dance celebrate the arrival of spring. With the festivities starting at 10am, arrive early and join the procession as the iconic red and blue osses emerge from their stables, before celebrating long into the night in true Cornish style.
Wolf Rock, Lizard and Longships sit less than 10 minutes away from Padstow’s celebrations, with sleek and sociable kitchens and cosy first floor living spaces creating a trio of holiday havens perfect for family retreats.
Great Estate Festival
Describing itself as the county’s most rambunctious garden fête, Great Estate Festival is coming to Cornwall from 31st May – 2nd June, set within the beautiful grounds of Scorrier Estate near Redruth. Keep an eye out for a vintage fairground, find your way to the secret gin garden or start the party early at the woodland silent disco. This weird and wonderful event will also feature a playground for entertaining little ones, The Sanctuary for some afternoon meditation, and a brand new stage on the green to showcase its biggest headline acts. With spring and summertime tickets selling out fast, Great Estate is already proving popular, so book ahead to avoid missing out.
St Ives Food and Drink Festival
Featuring more culinary experts than ever and showcasing a great variety of local produce, 2019’s St Ives Food and Drink Festival runs from Friday 10th – Sunday 12th May. With the beautiful Porthminster Beach providing an idyllic seaside setting for this spring’s event, there’s plenty to look forward to, from evening music sessions to artisan markets, chef demonstrations and art galleries. The perfect accompaniment for a day in the sun, this fantastic free event is a key date in Cornwall’s culinary calendar and is not to be missed.
Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature
Showcasing a diverse range of authors, speakers, musicians and artists, Fowey’s Festival of Arts and Literature is set in one of Cornwall’s prettiest riverside locations. The festival runs from the 11th – 18th May, and is set to be a lovely day out for book lovers and budding artists alike. Organised by the du Maurier Festival Society, expect a sparkling seven days of concerts, talks, drama, guided walks, art trails and secret gardens, plus the perfect opportunity to explore the historic village that’s proved a rich resource for a myriad of writers over the years.
Each sleeping eight guests or up to 16 when booked together, Oceans Edge and Ilha View are located just along the coast in West Looe. Perfectly placed for exploring the local area, enjoy tranquil boat trips out to Looe Island or enjoy a dog-friendly day out at Hannafore Beach, moments from the front door.
Fal River Festival
The perfect opportunity to embrace the places, people and culture of Cornwall, the Fal River Festival takes place from 24th May – 2nd June and combines music and drama with swimming, gig racing, walking and lots more. The 10 day event launches with the iconic Beer Fleet, where a flotilla of boats will sail in from Truro, before festival goers enjoy free entry, fantastic local food and live music set against Falmouth Harbour.
St Agnes Bolster
Incorporating one of the county’s oldest legends and with plenty to entertain visitors of all ages, St Agnes Bolster takes place on weekends from Saturday 13th April to Sunday 5th May. Expect a drum band parading the streets, a lantern procession gathering around the bonfire and dance performances flowing onto Chapel Porth beach. Life size puppets and a 28ft effigy of the local giant known as Bolster marry traditional Cornish tales with a great day out for all the family.
With availability for a short break this spring, Tamarisk is ideal for families, situated in nearby Mawgan Porth with its fantastic surf and string of foodie hotspots.
Helston Flora Day
Start your morning with a dance and take to the streets of Helston to celebrate Flora Day on the 8th May. With the town decked out in bluebells and gorse from the neighbouring countryside and locals dressed in magnificent ball gowns and characteristic Flora Day hats, this traditional festival promises a vibrant carnival atmosphere from dawn til dusk. With plenty of dances and plays to enjoy, from the Morning Dance at 7am to the Hal-An-Taw and Children’s Dance, round off the day by the boating lake and browse the stalls of Cornish craft and cuisine, or while away an hour in the fairground.
Bude and Stratton Folk Festival
Spend your bank holiday weekend in Bude and enjoy days out on the north Cornish coast from Friday 24th – Monday 27th May. The 13th Bude and Stratton Folk Festival features a real cultural mix of workshops, concerts and themed events held in and around the coastal town, and with a programme of storytelling, song and dance for all ages, it’s set to be popular event for families. Confirmed acts for this year include Geoff Lakeman, Granny’s Attic and Si Barron, with more to be announced.
Sitting by the beach in nearby Widemouth Bay, The Retreat is a beautiful beach house with on-trend interiors and a pretty two tier garden.
To get inspired for a dreamy staycation on the Cornish coast, browse our holiday homes or call 01208 814781 and we’ll find the perfect beach house for you.