The best Christmas markets in Cornwall this winter
There’s nothing like the sparkling sights, exciting sounds and incredible smells of a Christmas market to get you feeling festive.
From artisan food festivals lining Cornwall’s quaint harbour towns, to independent craft fairs and beautiful festive gardens, the South West has plenty on offer this winter. Whether you’re searching for the perfect Christmas gift or hoping to get inspired for a spectacular festive menu of your own, our complete guide has plenty of inspiration on the best Christmas markets to visit in the South West.
Padstow Christmas Festival
Take to the glittering Padstow harbour from 6th – 9th December 2018 to become completely wrapped up in the spirit of Christmas. Sample a selection of award-winning Cornish produce from the county’s finest artisan producers, including hearty handmade pies from Wessex Pantry, delicate jams and jellies from Cornish Meadow Preserves and the freshest pastries from Da Bara Bakery.
From artisan gins and Cornish ciders to the finest, freshest fruit juice, visitors of all tastes and ages will be well looked after, with a fantastic selection of local drinks producers offering tutored tastings in the brand new Wine Theatre. Join the experts from Camel Valley and Fifteen Cornwall for bespoke pairings perfectly suited to the fantastic array of artisan cheeses and fresh seafood supplied by stallholders from the market.
Five of the country’s favourite chefs, including Paul Ainsworth, Angela Hartnett and Padstow local Rick Stein, will be serving breakfast on the final day of the festival from 9am, and will be on hand to chat with the public over a fantastic seasonal menu, with tickets priced at £35.
Fowey Christmas Market
One of Cornwall’s most popular Christmas events, Fowey’s Christmas Market attracts thousands of visitors to enjoy locally produced food and drink, handmade crafts and charming festive gifts. Showcasing an extensive collection of everything from Cornish clotted cream and award-winning cheddar, to handmade jewellery and festive flower crowns, Fowey’s streets come alive with almost 200 traders each year, with this year’s event taking place from 30th November – 2nd December.
Pick up unique, handcrafted glassware from Jo Downs and find the perfect delicate decoration to add to this year’s tree, or head to the Pink Lemons boutique for a beautiful range of clothing, accessories and homeware. Fowey also enjoys a bustling array of great local coffee shops, pubs and restaurants laden with festivities – the perfect opportunity to escape the cold for a winter warmer.
Just a short trip around the coast, Looe is the perfect base for exploring the Fowey Christmas market. With limited availability this Christmas and New Year, Oceans Edge and Ilha View enjoy a sublime seafront location in West Looe, with chic coastal interiors, bubbling hot tubs and endless ocean views.
Bedruthan Christmas Fair
Encouraging visitors to get handmade and hand spun this Christmas, Bedruthan’s Christmas Fair is taking place over the weekend of Saturday 24th November, with over 50 stalls of contemporary craft, handmade gifts and tempting food and drink on offer throughout the two day event. The fair is the perfect opportunity to shop for gifts, meet talented local artisans and enjoy refreshments from the sea view restaurant and café, while joining a seasonal drop-in workshop will have you feeling Christmassy in no time.
The Create Art Gallery is a great place to browse collections of fantastic local artwork, and with a food and drink marketplace showcasing the finest regional produce, as well as face painting sessions and children’s activities, there’s plenty for all ages to enjoy. 2018’s exhibitor line-up includes eco-friendly clothing brand The Happy Fox, unique Cornish sculptures from Driftwood and Clay and a handmade bath and body range crafted by Hogwash Soap.
Truro Made in Cornwall Christmas Fair
From 28th November to 2nd December 2018, an impressive display of products made by some of the best artists, craftspeople and food and drink producers in Cornwall will return to Truro’s Lemon Quay for the Made in Cornwall Christmas Fair. From handcrafted jigsaw puzzles to local ales and treasure trails to keep the little ones entertained, each product on sale is guaranteed to have been made in Cornwall, giving each one a little bit of extra sparkle.
Enjoy a festive array of food and drink from the hundred strong artisan producers, including local preserves and handmade chocolates, before wandering Truro’s streets to browse the selection of Cornish crafts stalls, selling everything from candles to clothing.
Heligan Christmas Fair
Venture into The Lost Gardens of Heligan in South Cornwall for a magical Christmas fair from Saturday 8th – Sunday 9th December. Gather family and friends together to explore the gardens and discover some of the best food and most unique art, jewellery, ceramics and more, across 100 fantastic stalls. Heligan’s largest event yet, the Christmas Fair features a delicious seasonal menu in the Heligan Kitchen and Bakery, where mulled wine awaits to help soak up the Christmas atmosphere in style. A visit to the award-winning Lobbs Farm shop to pick up a selection of produce fresh from the Cornish countryside is a must before heading home.
In nearby Gorran Haven, Beachcombers is a cosy beachside cottage that enjoys spectacular ocean views and an enviable position right on the South West Coast Path, with last minute December availability for a spontaneous winter break.
Etsy Made Local Christmas Fair
Part of the nationwide Etsy Made Local initiative, the St Ives Christmas Fair will be celebrating the work of 40 talented Etsy sellers, who will be showcasing their high quality products and gifts from 30th November until 2nd December this year. Kicking off on Friday evening at the Guildhall in St Ives, the fair will begin with live music and cocktails, before a festive pop up café appears over the weekend to welcome visitors with a selection of Christmassy treats.
A whole host of local makers will be selling their wares across the weekend, with vibrant jewellery from Sea Pink Studio, indulgent creations from Cornwall’s Chocolate Cove, gorgeous prints from HumbleCottage and nature-inspired homewares from Particle Press. With a plastic-free eco theme as well as free entry to the event for all, the Etsy Made Local Fair is sure to bring an extra splash of colour to this year’s celebrations.
Just a half hour drive from St Ives, and with a toasty wood burner, spacious lounge and a quaint harbour location perfect for watching the waves roll in over Mousehole, The Mouse House is ideally located to take advantage of Cornwall’s thriving museums and galleries.