Six Christmas Breaks in Cornwall: Festive Markets & More!

Are you looking for Christmas breaks in Cornwall?

This blog post features picture-perfect villages out of the tourist season with plenty of places to try Cornish food, settlements with incredible festive decorations and spa breaks that are the epitome of relaxation. 

Whether you want to have a festive break as a couple, a trip away with friends, a trip with families (from kids to grandparents!) or a solo trip, there’s something on this festive breaks list for you. 

Mousehole: The Cosiest Christmas Break in Cornwall

Aerial view of the village of Mousehole. From the vantage point, you can see the sea and harbour, with the village spreading out and fields behind.

One of the most gorgeous villages on the South Coast of Cornwall, Mousehole is an adorable cluster of cottages that looks out onto the bright blue ocean.

Enjoy rustic buildings and cobbled streets, with boats gently bobbing in the harbour. 

In the summer months, Mousehole is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the county.

However, this can mean that it’s absolutely packed – which can lead to overtourism and a lesser pleasant experience on the Cornish coast! 

But the winter months are a magical time to visit Mousehole. The Mousehole Christmas Lights may not be world-renowned, but they are quite famous within Cornwall – it’s one of the best places to take in festive cheer!

Famous Christmas Lights in the Cornish Village of Mousehole.

If you’re visiting Mousehole for Christmas itself, make sure to head to The Ship Inn pub for a Stargazy Pie on 23rd December. This is a traditional dish from the village, consisting of a pie with pilchard heads poking out of the pastry.

For many (my vegetarian self included!), it’s not the most appealing, but 23rd December is the only time it’s sold commercially and trying it here is definitely a local experience! 

Other things to do in Mousehole in winter include wintery walks in the surrounding area, exploring the museums of Penzance and seeing St Michael’s Mount and storm watching from Lands End. 

Plus, rent out a cosy cottage and enjoy rustic fireplaces and homecooked meals, with all of the main attractions of the villages just a short walk away. 

Where to stay in Mousehole

Twilight at Mousehole fishing village, where boats bob on the harbour, enjoy the twinkling lights

Cobbles Loft is one of Mousehole’s best holiday cottages. It’s an airy space that’ll seem bright even on the dullest of winter days, with two bedrooms, one with a double bed and one with bunk beds. There’s a full kitchen and a nautical theme throughout the property. Click here to read more about it.

Another gorgeous place to stay in Mousehole is Honeysuckle Cottage by the Sea. Perfect for couples, this one-bedroom cottage boasts rustic decorations and a cosy atmosphere. Plus, it’s right in the heart of the village! Click here to read about it.

Padstow: A Gastronomical Christmas Break

The harbour of Padstow with dark storm clouds hanging over it. You can see the water in the harbour and historical buildings of the town.

If you’re into gastronomy, there’s nowhere better than Padstow! One of the best things to do in Padstow is to eat, with lots of high-end restaurants, some with Michelin stars. 

There are also plenty of festive events in Padstow, including the Padstow Christmas Festival. This runs from 1st to 4th December and is one of the largest in the UK. 

Visit the Harbour Hotel for a festive afternoon tea, stroll around a harbour or walk down the Camel Estuary. 

There’s also the Lobster Hatchery which is right in town, the Padstow Museum and the Tarquin Gin Distillery, which offers incredible gin tasting classes!

Where to stay in Padstow

The best place to stay in town is Padstow Harbour Hotel. Situated right in the heart of town, this hotel boasts incredible vistas over the Camel Estuary, with rooms decorated in a boutique style.

There’s a bar and restaurant on-site too!

Click here to read more or see all of the best places to stay in Padstow here.

Bedruthan Hotel: A Relaxing Cornwall Festive Vacation

Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps is a stretch of coastline located on the north Cornish coast between Padstow and Newquay, in Cornwall, South West England, United Kingdom

If you want to have a winter’s break on the rugged coast of Cornwall with seemingly not another person in sight, then check out Bedruthan Hotel. 

Bedruthan Steps are one of the most famous rock formations on the North Coast of Cornwall. 

Rooms are decorated with plush furnishings, with comfortable beds and crisp sheets. Each spacious room boasts floor-to-ceiling windows with vistas over the sea, cliffs and golden sands.

The spa treatments at Bedruthan Hotel are perfect for a festive break. There’s an indoor and outdoor spa, with a pool, sauna and steam room, plus plenty of treatments. 

Striking Bedruthan Steps near Newquay

When you’re fully relaxed, take a walk along the coastal path and enjoy some of the epic beaches nearby, or visit towns like Watergate Bay and Newquay

You can read more about the Bedruthan spa hotel here.

Alternatively, click here for more places to stay in Newquay!

St Ives: Cornish Winter Breaks out of High Season

A view of a bright yellow sandy beach with background of a lovely beautiful house.

St Ives is a beautiful town on the north coast of West Cornwall. In the summertime, the town centre is heaving – but visit during winter, and you’ll feel like you have the place to yourself! 

There are plenty of things to do in St Ives at Christmas, including cosying up and walking along the South West Coast Path, enjoying the town’s many museums, Christmas shopping at the boutique stores and enjoying hearty food in the town’s many charismatic pubs. 

While the weather can be chilly in winter, it’s milder than many other UK destinations, and snow is rare. However, the sea can be quite wild at this time of year – if you fancy a Christmas break storm watching, then this town is not to be missed!

The Lighthouse at Gwithian, in Cornwall during one of the many storms during the winter of 2013-14. You can see the waves crashing over the island and the lighthouse.

Where to stay in St Ives

There are so many incredible places to stay in St Ives, from charming rental opportunities to fantastic four and five-star hotels. Or, if you’re solo travelling, there are hostels in St Ives too! 

If you want a luxurious place to stay in St Ives, Carbis Bay Hotel and Spa has incredible facilities. It’s right by the beach, which is perfect for a crisp winter’s day, and the spa is the perfect place to shelter if the weather isn’t so kind. There’s also a great restaurant and bar on-site, and the rooms are the epitome of luxury. Click here to read more about it.

If you want somewhere self-catered, Lamorna is an excellent option. Sleeping up to four people in a double and twin room, this modern accommodation has all the conveniences you ned to feel at home away from home. Click here for more information.

A creepy Christmas stay at Jamaica Inn

Outside of Jamaica Inn, the sign and stone pub is in the shot. The sunset is in the background and there's a cobblestone courtyard.

While Jamaica Inn isn’t one of the obvious places to stay at to enjoy the festive season, this Bodmin Moor smuggling inn is a must-visit for any lovers of the weird and wonderful. 

It’s not really the place to visit on a bright summer’s day, but it’s ideal in the cooler months, with mist rolling in off the moor and crackling open fires illuminating the darkened pub. 

Jamaica Inn was a historic smuggling inn in the 18th century, and it was made famous thanks to Daphne Du Maurier’s book Jamaica Inn.

Nowadays, it’s home to Cornwall’s smuggling museum and the world’s only Daphne Du Maurier Museum!

Pie at Jamaica Inn, Cornwall

The pub at Jamaica Inn is one of the most atmospheric places in the Duchy, with authentic features and plenty of hearty local food and drink available (with plenty of veggie and some vegan options). 

Of course, you can just visit Jamaica Inn for a few hours, enjoying one of their traditionally Cornish afternoon teas or their own-brand whiskey. But I’d recommend spending a few days here for a truly relaxing break.

Jamaica Inn Sign, with clouds in the background and the fence of the inn in the foreground

The bedrooms merge old and new with traditional features and mod cons, with four poster beds and luxury teas and coffees. You can either stay in one of the traditional bedrooms that have been refurbished, or select a room in the modern wing. 

Click here to read more about Jamaica Inn.

Falmouth: Foodie Christmas Breaks

Photo of Custom House Quay in Falmouth was an important location on the south coast of England for ther packet ships bringing news from overseas

Are you a foodie? Falmouth is one of the largest settlements in Cornwall and it’s the ideal foodie destination.

If your perfect Christmas break includes eating lots of fantastic food and trying delicious local drinks, then there’s nowhere better than Falmouth!

It’s a busy town, so there are plenty of Christmas displays in the stores; and the town also hosts Falmouth’s Festive Weekend, with an ice rink and plenty of stalls to go festive shopping. Or, visit the Moor (Falmouth’s shopping centre), for a Christmas market!

There are plenty of other things to do in Falmouth too. Pendennis Castle usually has Christmas events that are especially perfect for families, and the National Maritime Museum is the perfect break from the cold. 

If you have a brisk winter’s day, you could explore the beaches of the nearby Lizard Peninsula (you could visit Kynance Cove with no crowds!), or even take a wintery walk around Helford.

Walking from Lizard Point to Kynance Cove

Where to stay in Falmouth

Stay in a luxury cottage like Polmaro, which is located in nearby St Mawes (a boat ride from Falmouth) and has gorgeous views over the estuary. Click here to read more about it.

Alternatively, there are plenty of lovely hotels in Falmouth, some of which come alive in the festive period. Greenbank Hotel is a classy establishment with opulent bedrooms with plush bedlinen and an atmospheric restaurant. Click here to read more about it.

Best Cornwall Christmas breaks

Whether you’d like to spend the festive period on the enigmatic Bodmin Moor or on either coastline, these destinations for the Christmas holidays in Cornwall are perfect for friends, couples, families or solo travellers.

So many of these accommodation options are atmospheric in their own right, and there are lots of festive activities to enjoy in the local area as well. If you’re interested in spending Christmas in Cornwall, save this post and check out the listed accommodation options!

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