One of our favourite things to do over the festive season in Cornwall is visit one of the Christmas lights displays. There are some spectacular displays in towns and villages across the county, but these are our favourites.
Mousehole’s famous Christmas lights attract thousands of visitors each year. Wander the winding streets down to the harbour, where you’ll see a host of illuminations inspired by Cornwall’s maritime heritage, including sea serpents, sailing ships and whales, all beautifully reflected in the water.
The lights will be switched on between 5pm and 6pmon 11th December then will then be on each evening between 5pm and 10pm from 11th December 2023 until 6th January 2024 (except 19th December, when the lights will be turned off from 8pm until the next day in memory of the lost of the RNLI Solomen Browne).
The tiny village of Angarrack is transformed each year with a spectacular display of Christmas lights. The main lights are designed and made in Angarrack, and funded by donations and fundraising events in the village. Many of the lights are animated, and you can have fun spotting all ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ as you walk around the village.
The lights are on from 5pm – 10.30pm every day from the beginning of December until early January.
Our top tip – book tickets for Rogue Theatre’s Winter Wood, then head down to Angarrack for the lights afterwards. Read Nanny Pat’s blog to find out more.
One of our favourite places to visit at any time of the year is Cadgwith, a tiny fishing village on the Lizard. Fishing boats still go out from Cadgwith every day, and you can usually buy delicious fresh fish straight off the boat if you go at the right time of day.
Wander down from the car park in the evening at this time of year (don’t forget a torch!), and you’ll be met with a cheerful string of coloured lights and tantalising glimpses of the illuminations. As you reach the village, you’ll see the lights on higher ground either side of the harbour first. Then, as you wander down the hill, there are lights on house and shop fronts, and even strung across the sea.
Cadgwith’s display combines a mix of seasonally-inspired lights, including Christmas trees, angels and reindeer, and others that draw on the village’s heritage and take their inspiration from the sea – think ships and sea creatures.
If you fancy combining dinner out with a trip to see the lights, we recommend the Cadgwith Cove Inn for its food, atmosphere and super-friendly staff.
Colin Marshall’s Christmas lights, St Austell
If you’re staying at Bosinver in the run up to Christmas, make sure you pop down Colin Marshall’s house in St Austell. Colin and his wife spend weeks getting the house ready for Christmas, and is really is something to behold!
Planning a trip to Cornwall for the festive season this year? See our blog for more inspiration about family-friendly activities over the festive season.