Cornwall LivingIssue #92

Winter wonderland

Embrace the Christmas spirit this year with a visit to Penzance.

Featuring a wide selection of festive entertainment and activities, from a living snow globe and lantern parades to a Christmas market and live music, there are plenty of fun things to do in Penzance in the run up to Christmas. For the past few festive seasons the town has focussed more and more on capturing the fun of Christmas and with a town centre that boasts an enviable amount of independent shops, cafés and restaurants, it’s easy to see why Penzance is such a great place to find presents and soak up the festive atmosphere. So, what’s happening this year?

“you’ll find street entertainers alongside a living snow globe, plus a huge Christmas market, choirs and bands”

Throughout November, in the build-up to the Humphry Davy Lantern Parade on 14th December, PZ Exchange will be hosting a series of artist-led workshops. Taking place on Saturday 4th, 11th, 18th and 24th, from 1pm to 4pm, everybody is welcome to take part and make their own willow lantern. Entry is free and all materials are provided, but please be sure to book your place at Eventbrite!

On Saturday 30th November, from 2pm to 6pm, you’ll find street entertainers alongside a living snow globe, plus a huge Christmas market, choirs and bands. Penzance Exchange will also host its Makers Market and then at 5.30pm, it’s time for the Christmas Lights Switch On – make sure you arrive early enough to see everything and enjoy the show!

On Saturday 14th December from 4.30pm, it’s time for the Humphry Davy Lantern Parade, celebrating the world-famous Cornish scientist and inventor of the miner’s safety ‘Davy’ lamp. Throughout the day you can enjoy the Christmas market, tucking into festive treats and perusing artisan crafts. The markets are open from 2pm until 6pm, and families can meet Father Christmas in his Grotto. Expect plenty of live music and entertainment throughout the town, plus a large Christmas market with up to 45 stalls along Market Jew Street with Christmas treats, artisan crafts and festoon lighting creating a wonderful atmosphere.

Did you know that this year marks the 150th anniversary of the Periodic Table? To celebrate this and Penzance’s famous patron, Humphry Davy, on 14th December there will also be mad science events taking place across the town, with experiments and games from the wonderful world of science – perfect for getting heads old and new working. Later on, head along the coast and catch the lights being turned on at Mousehole to complete the day!

Next up, on Saturday 21st December, is Montol Festival. Celebrating the mid-winter solstice, if you’ve never experienced the spectacle that is Montol, it’s definitely one to etch into your diary. Masked revellers line the streets to enjoy and take part in processions of dance, music and fire. Parades are held throughout the town from 4pm until late, accompanied by a Christmas market, revelry
and mayhem!

Finally, for those yet to tick off their Christmas lists and hoping to squeeze in some last-minute shopping before the big day, on Sunday 22nd December you can make the most of Penzance’s diverse range of independent shops, cafés and bars, soaking up the entertainment across the town and easing into the festive mood.

Throughout the whole of December families can follow the Christmas Window Trail. With a theme this year of ‘Winter Wonderland’, we’re expecting to see some exceptional window displays this year from Penzance’s independent shops and establishments! You can vote for your favourite window in the shop and school categories and be in with a chance to win £100! The winning school gets a £250 prize and gets to have the winner’s shield for a year – a real bonus for any local school.

If you’ve yet to fill your festive diary, Penzance has a superb line-up of events that are sure to get you and yours into the Cornish Christmas spirit, so be sure to pencil in a visit.


Discover More

Meet Father Christmas in his grotto from 11am to 4pm on 14th, 15th and 21st December.



"you’ll find street entertainers alongside a living snow globe, plus a huge Christmas market, choirs and bands"