What's On in Cornwall over Christmas
From independent markets to big brands, Cornwall has everything you need for a bumper Christmas shopping spree.
Whether you are looking for handmade crafts, local foods, surf equipment or high street fashion you will find it here.
The county is also hosting an array of special seasonal shopping events to put you in the festive spirit.
These include the fabulous Fowey Christmas Market which features more than 160 stalls and the Made In Cornwall event at Truro’s Lemon Quay, where all products are guaranteed to come from this corner of the country.
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If you are looking for somewhere that combines first-class shopping with an eclectic programme of live entertainment then don’t miss the Padstow Christmas Festival.
Offering everything from carol singing to celebrity cooking demonstrations and market stalls to Santa fun runs, it offers an unrivalled atmosphere.
Housed in a heated marquee the market is at the very heart of the festival offering a wide range of local foods and gifts. And this year is set to be the biggest and best yet.
Event organiser Tina Evans said: “We have managed to get 10 more stalls in this year so we have an even greater range of things to choose from.
“The products are all from Devon and Cornwall and the idea is to keep it so that people can buy things that aren’t in the shops. We try to make it as diverse as possible so there won’t be six jewellery stalls for example, there will just be one. We also try to make sure we don’t cut across the shops in Padstow as the whole idea of the festival is to bring people to the town an encourage them to spend their money.”
With celebrity chefs including Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw and Angela Hartnett giving live cooking demonstrations during the festival, it is no surprise that there is a big focus on food.
And Tina said this also extends to the market which offers a truly multi-sensory experience.
She said: “One of the things that really hits you when you walk into the tent is all the wonderful smells. There are things cooking on stalls, there is mulled wine and you also get the smells from the cookery theatre where the chefs are giving their demonstrations. It all helps to create a fantastic atmosphere.”
“Going by the feedback from last year people loved that fact that you could taste, touch and smell the products which isn’t something you can normally do. I don’t think Tesco would be too happy if you went in and started taking lids off jars and things out of packets!
“The stall holders are also happy to talk about their products and it all adds to the fun factor.”
For more on the Padstow Christmas Festival and our pick of some of the top places to pick up presents in Cornwall, check out our list below:
1. Fowey Christmas Market, Town Quay and Leisure Centre, Fowey.
Type: Open air markets
What’s for sale? Food, drink, crafts and gifts.
Open: December 1,10am-5pm and December 2, 10am-4pm.
Now split over two sites and featuring 160 different traders, the 2012 Fowey Christmas Market is the biggest and best yet.
Located at Town Quay and the leisure centre the market offers an exciting shopping experience far removed from the hustle and bustle of the high street.
From locally produced food and drink to original artwork, there are a wealth of gifts to choose from. Popular items to look out for include slate clocks, driftwood Christmas trees and local watercolour prints.
Many of the town’s shops are also offering special discounts over the weekend and there is a packed programme of live music and entertainment.
2. Trereife Christmas Fair, Trereife House, Near Newlyn, Penzance,TR20 8TJ, 01736 362750.
Type: Covered market.
What’s for sale? Local food, designer crafts and gifts.
Open: November 23-25.
For a relaxed and enjoyable Christmas shopping experience visit Trereife.
From November 23-25 the grounds of the historic manor house will be home to heated marquees filled with a fantastic range of potential presents.
Whether you are looking for local produce to tickle your guests’ tastebuds or designer crafts you will find it here.
Live music and mulled wine will add to the festive atmosphere.
3. Marks and Spencer, West Cornwall Retail Park, Marsh Lane, Hayle, TR27 5LX, 01736 759 376.
What’s for sale? Food, clothes and homeware.
Open: Monday to Thursday and Saturday 9am-7pm, Friday 9am-8pm and Sunday 11am-5pm.
For hassle free out-of-town shopping this Christmas drop into the Marks and Spencer outlet near Hayle.
Located on the A30 it is easy to reach, with plenty of on-site parking and offers everything you would expect from the popular chain.
From high-end food to fashion and homeware, there is plenty here to help you make a productive start to this year’s seasonal spree.
4. Tyto Boutique, Tidemill House, Discovery Quay, Falmouth, TR11 3XP, 01326 313260.
Type: Clothes boutique.
What’s for sale? Clothes and gifts.
Open: Tuesday to Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 12pm-4pm.
For stylish presents you won’t find elsewhere drop into Falmouth’s Tyto Boutique.
The shop offers clothing for men and women as well as desirable gifts, beautiful shoes and hand-picked vintage treasures.
Tyto is committed to finding exciting new products and provides a platform for local designers, artists and craftspeople to sell their work.
5. The Cornish Food Box Company, 2 Charles Street, Truro, 01872 470313.
What’s for sale? Locally sourced fruit, veg, meat, fish and other food.
Open: Monday to Saturday 10am-6pm
If you want to give your guests a true taste of Cornwall this Christmas then make sure you drop into the Cornish Food Box Company’s Truro HQ.
The firm offers a range of seasonal veg, fruit, meat and fish boxes full to the brim with delicious, locally-sourced produce.
Every item comes from the very best producers in Cornwall whether it is free range chicken, chocolate, freshly caught mackerel or mead.
There are a number of set boxes available or you can choose your own bespoke package. Deliveries are free within the Truro area and go up depending on where you are in the county.
6. Driftwood Gifts, Keast Mews, Fore Street, Saltash, PL12 6AR, 01752 849723.
Type: Gift shop.
What’s for sale? Jewellery, soaps, collectables and driftwood crafts.
Open: Monday to Saturday 9am-5pm.
As the name suggests Driftwood Gifts is a great place to pick up original Christmas presents and stocking fillers.
The shop has a wide variety of products including handmade, jewellery, bags and paintings from local artists.
Other gifts include soaps and fragrances and a range of items made from driftwood including mirrors and picture frames.
7. Made in Cornwall Christmas Fair, Lemon Quay, Truro.
What’s for sale? Food, jewellery, crafts and gifts.
Open: November 28 to December 1.
Kicking off the Christmas season in style, the Made in Cornwall Christmas Fair offers any number of solutions to your present-buying problems.
The market promises something for everyone from food hampers filled with gourmet delights to beautiful handmade jewellery.
The event offers the chance for members of the public to meetlocal artisans and find out more about the origins of the products on show.
And you can also be sure of doing your bit for the local economy as every single item has been approved by the county council as being ‘Made in Cornwall’.
8. Roskillys, Tregellast Barton, St. Keverne, Helston, TR 12 6NX, 01326 280479.
What’s for sale? Ice cream, fudge, preserves, marinades and Christmas hampers.
Open: Weekdays 11am-3pm, weekends 11am-5pm.
For a fun, stress free shopping trip, pay a visit to Roskillys.
The 200 acre farm on the Lizard Peninsula is a world away from the Christmas crush, combining great gifts with a family day out.
A tub or two of Roskillys ice cream is the perfect way to finish your festive feast and there are also a number of other delicious foodie stocking fillers.
These include fudge, and a range of jams, chutneys, marmalades and mustards.
9. Zuma Jay, 20 Belle Vue Lane, Bude, EX23 8BR, 01288 354956.
Type: Surf shop.
What’s for sale? Surfing equipment, clothing and gifts.
Open: Ring for opening times.
If your loved-one’s passion is surfing, then Zuma Jay is the perfect place to pick up a Christmas present.
A founding member of the 'F.S.S.S (Federation of Surfers Surf Shops) the staff have in depth knowledge of the equipment on offer which includes brands like Xcel, C-Skins, Animal, Protest and Reef.
As well as custom boards and wetsuits the store has a wide range of Christmas gifts including t-shirts, mugs and novelty items.
10. Padstow Christmas Festival, North Quay Parade, Padstow.
What’s for sale? Wooden toys, jewellery, crafts, clothes and food.
Open: December 7, 10am-8pm, December 8, 10am-6.30pm, December 9, 10am-5pm.
With a marvellous market and an array of live entertainment, a visit to Padstow between December 7and 9 is guaranteed to get you in the festive spirit.
The annual Christmas Festival promises to be a very special event with cookery demonstrations from a whole host of top chefs, carol concerts and a Santa fun run all taking place during the three day event.
The market offers a great chance to get a head-start on your seasonal shopping with plenty of local crafts and foods to choose from.
Other items include children’s clothes, wooden toys and jewellery.