Events and Festivals in Cornwall

Events and Festivals in Cornwall

The sea-kissed county of Cornwall is renowned for its wide array of events and festivals. Taking place throughout the year, these dream-worthy celebrations encompass everything from heritage days to foodie feasts to music festivals and more. Held in beautiful locations across historic estates, rural idylls and miles-long beaches, they promise the most magical moments and offer something for all generations. And, many are dog-friendly too.

If you are seeking unique experiences during your visit and can’t wait to pair the perfect occasion with your heavenly retreat in 2024, we have crafted a comprehensive guide to some of the best annual events and festivals in Cornwall for you to look forward to.

January and February

Looe Beach in Cornwall with the town's pier in the foreground and houses in the background

January and February in Cornwall are hugely atmospheric months where the cosy nights of winter begin their gradual release and the promise of new adventures resides on the horizon. Beginning the year in style, a series of New Year’s dips take place on 1st January each year, usually from Newquay Harbour and Harlyn Bay in North Cornwall and Gyllyngvase Beach, Readymoney Cove and Looe Beach in South Cornwall. Uniting local communities over the exhilarating rush of cold-water swimming, this annual pastime in Cornwall affords an unforgettable way to start the new year.

Carrying on ancient customs, Cornwall’s annual Wassail events occur on the Twelfth Night (6th January 2024) in Bodmin, Boscastle and parts of East Cornwall. An Anglo-Saxon tradition, wassailing features the blessing of apple orchards to encourage a fruitful harvest for the year ahead. For an enchanting experience, The Eden Project’s glittering ice rink remains open from December to February each year and promises magical moments for all generations. Meanwhile, during St Ives Feast Day on 5th February 2024, and on 13th and 24th February 2024) in St Columb is the Hurling of the Ball festival. A centuries-old event, this yearly occurrence sees a sterling silver ball chased through the streets by swift-footed locals in a gripping flurry of activity.


A Cornish pasty with a coastal background of turquoise seas

One of the most famous events and festivals in Cornwall takes place in March each year: St Piran’s Day. Held on 5th March every year, St Piran’s Day is known as the National Day of Cornwall and celebrates the county’s Patron Saint of tin miners. A beloved observance, this annual festivity is embraced by towns and villages across the county, with parades, parties and pasties all on the agenda. Pencil this date into your diary for a memorable celebration of all things Cornish this year. Eagerly awaited, a St Piran’s Day Parade is set to take place in Falmouth this year on 5th March, winding along the main street and salt-washed pier.

Later in the month, Falmouth Spring Flower Show runs across the weekend of 23rd and 24th March 2024. In its 114th year, this adored flower show heralds the start of spring and presents pretty florals of all colours, shapes and sizes around the town’s Princess Pavilion and Gyllyngdune Gardens. On the final weekend, West Cornwall’s Kite Fest takes flight on Saturday 30th March in the spellbinding seaside hub of St Ives. In its third decade, the event was originally started by the former Kneehigh Theatre and sees rainbow-hued kites dance on playful sea breezes high above the town.


Launching the county’s food festival season, April is an exciting time of year in Cornwall. Beginning gourmet festivities with a delicious invitation is Bude’s Spring Food Festival on 1st April. Serving up an Artisan Food Market alongside a selection of street food pop-ups, this day-long festival beckons for a flavoursome introduction to Cornish produce. On 19th and 20th April 2024, RattlerFest at Healey’s Cyder Farm promises two days of live music, après ski bars, celebrity DJs and ice-cold pints of fruit-filled cider. Meanwhile, from 26th to 28th April this year, Porthleven Food Festival tempts with all manner of culinary and musical delights. One of the most famous in Cornwall, this renowned food festival hosts an unmissable line-up of chef demonstrations, workshops, feast nights and more.

A beautiful sunset painting the sky over Lusty Glaze beach in Newquay

Away from the foodie scene, Cornwall Spring Flower Show takes over the Royal Cornwall Showground between 1st and 2nd April 2024 with dramatic floral displays. Head over to drink in the heady aromas of beautiful blooms and peruse exquisite exhibits during this ‘Chelsea of the South West’. To discover hidden gems and artistic hubs, save the date for a weekend in Falmouth from 12th to 13th April for Wanderfal. A two-day takeover of the town, this music and arts festival parades the best of colour and sound in curated creativity. Later, to share in joyful celebrations, head over to Lusty Glaze’s Mardi Gras carnival by the sea on 20th April or Falmouth Pride on 27th April 2024.


Bunting lining the streets and crowds gathering for Helston's annual Flora Day festivities in May

May is one of the most significant months in Cornwall’s cultural calendar. Upholding hundreds-of-years-old local traditions, Padstow’s Obby Oss Day commences at midnight on 30th April and continues across 1st May and features two processions through the town, starring an eponymous hobby horse. St Agnes’ Bolster Day occurs on Sunday 5th May 2024 to reenact the famous tale of Bolster the giant, followed by St Ives’ May Day on 6th May with local choirs and ceremonies throughout the day. On 8th May, expect Helston’s Flora Day to transform the historic market town with colourful pageants and parades, all thrummed by the beat of a big bass drum and marching band.

A beautiful areal view of Fowey with boats on the water and houses climbing the cliffs

For lovers of literature, Fowey Festival promises a wondrous world of words from 10th to 18th May 2024. Inspired by authoress Daphne du Maurier who spent many years in the town, the festival hosts a world-class cast of writers, speakers, and musicians. For the dreamiest days of oceanside revelry, The Wateringhole’s Tunes in the Dunes festival in Perranporth beckons from 17th to 19th May 2024. One of the leading seaside festivals, it proffers live gigs from the industry’s leading artists and bands, as well as beach lounges, silent discos and starlit after-parties. LostFest on 19th May in Lostwithiel is a free, one-day music festival perfect for families, while from 25th May to 2nd June, Open Studios Cornwall sees artists open their studio doors and showcase their works in a region-wide festival of art.


With the arrival of summer, the events and festivals in Cornwall pick up pace in a gorgeous curation of talent. For the greatest tastes, the Hidden Huts’ esteemed feast nights return in June, launching a new collection of one-off events for the summer season from the venue’s seaside perch above Portscatho Beach. For further repasts, you can also anticipate the week-long Mevagissey Feast Week which runs from 22nd to 29th June and entices with sublime flavour sensations in one of the most picturesque corners of the UK. To pair your food with anthemic tunes, secure tickets for Scorrier’s Great Estate festival between 31st May and 2nd June. Or, to take your pick of unmissable live concerts, experience world-class music and sing along to your favourite artists during the esteemed Eden Sessions beginning in June.

One of the most well-known annual events in Cornwall, the Royal Cornwall Show invites you to uncover the county’s best in show. First established in 1793, this historic event comprises a packed programme of live entertainment, competitions, agricultural displays and wonderful shopping opportunities for finding artisan treasures. In the middle of the month, Falmouth Classics coincides with Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival from 14th to 16th June 2024 and beckons with prestigious regatta racing alongside soul-stirring songs. While, in a tradition that dates back centuries, Penzance’s Golowan Festival spans ten days between 21st and 30th June. Encompassing Mazey Day on Saturday 29th June 2024, it proposes an unmissable agenda of culture and arts, performances and parades.


Should you be seeking an immersion in sound this July, then Cornwall’s summer line-up should pique your interest. A heavenly month for music and melodies, it steals the stage with a wide array of events in 2024. For dedicated music weekends, PandaFest in rural Bodmin from 5th to 6th July and Tropical Pressure in coastal Porthtowan from 12th to 14th July offer feel-good tunes and jaw-dropping backdrops. Or, for one-off nights and lasting memories, uncover the bill of July gigs at The Eden Project in St Blazey, The Wyldes in Bude, and Sky Bar in St Agnes, Watergate Bay and Polzeath. At the end of the month, Rock Oyster Festival runs from 25th to 28th July and highlights some of the world’s leading musical and culinary talent from Dinham House in St Minver near Wadebridge.

Hands raised in the air, swaying to music at a sunset festival

To find inspiration through art, Penzance Literary Festival from 2nd to 6th July 2024 takes over the streets and venues of Penzance. Or, seek comedy performances and cultural happenings at The Falmouth Cringe from 4th to 7th July. For draughts and drafts, the adored Sea Salts & Sail festival drops anchor between 5th and 7th July in Mousehole and sets the scene for spectacular boat shows, sailing races, live music, and lots of food and drink. On 15th July 2024, the annual Stithians Show boasts Cornwall’s largest one-day agricultural show, while on 20th July, Truro Cathedral lures with the sublime Gin, Rum and Vodka Festival. For lovers of exploration, The Armchair Adventure Festival in Mount Edgcumbe calls for all things outdoors between 25th and 28th July 2024, surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty.


August in Cornwall is a gorgeous month painted with golden sunshine over the inky ocean and verdant countryside. For those looking for days infused with magic, it offers plenty to see and do. To settle into the rhythm this August, relish the captivating variety of music festivals, starting with Boardmasters in Newquay from 7th to 11th August – one of the most famous surf and music festivals in the world where waves and wonder expel the ordinary. From 22nd to 26th May, two music festivals vie for attention, including Tunes in the Park at Port Eliot Estate in St Germans and Cornwall Folk Festival in Wadebridge. Providing the encore, Bude Jazz Festival plays between 27th and 30th August 2024 and welcomes jazz artists and admirers from near and far.

The red arrows flying overhead with red, white and blue trails

Widely anticipated, Falmouth Week takes place from Friday 9th to Saturday 17th August this year and awaits with all manner of activities and attractions. Attracting locals and visitors alike, this maritime festival’s roots date back to the early nineteenth century and provides an opportunity for families, loved-up couples, and solo adventurers to enjoy the setting and atmosphere of this seaside town. On 24th August, Portscatho’s annual regatta sets sail on the gorgeous Roseland Peninsula, while across the same weekend, Lusty Glaze’s stunning beach transforms into a sandy pitch once again for its family-friendly Tag Rugby Tournament.


Winding down the summer, the halcyon month of September brings with it an assortment of events and festivals in Cornwall. Spoiling with choice, the weekend of 13th to 15th September 2024 sets to enchant with the Little Orchard Cider & Music Festival at Healey’s Cyder Farm, as well as the Land’s End 100 2024 Cycle Race. Also beginning on 14th September and running until 28th September is St Ives September Festival. A fortnight-long affair within the town, this yearly festival reveals an unparalleled insight into the creative heart of St Ives and showcases exhibitions, workshops and displays at a plethora of venues.

A beautiful areal view of Port Isaac harbour in North Cornwall with brilliant turquoise seas

Located in South East Cornwall, Looe is beloved for its picture-perfect aesthetics that capture the heart and mind. Making it even more appealing this September is Looe Weekender. Held from 20th to 22nd September 2024, this music festival is rooted in rhythm and features more than eighty sets from local and far-flung artists across ten different venues and pop-up stages. Providing even more inspiration, the North Cornwall Book Festival is set for 27th to 29th September 2024 in the winsome, oceanside village of Port Isaac. In its tenth edition, this festival beckons to book lovers with fascinating author talks, workshops and, of course, book-buying opportunities.


Should you wish to entwine your staycation of daydreams with some of the best events and festivals in Cornwall this year, October is hard to resist. Especially popular, it hails the start of autumn with the vibrant colours and soul-moving sounds of Falmouth Reggae Festival between 4th and 5th October 2024. Also in this sea-lapped pocket is the far-famed Falmouth Oyster Festival. With dates to be announced this year, this is one of the South West’s biggest specialist food events and celebrates the richness and diversity of Cornish seafood – notably the Fal Oyster. For even more seaside celebrations, Mevagissey Sea Shanty Festival runs from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th October 2024 and sets the stage for more than four hundred performers across the village.

Amongst some of the most famous pastimes in not just the South West but the UK, Halloween festivities pepper the month of October in Cornwall and draw with bewitching adventure. Slip into the spirit and enjoy the revelry as merrymakers of all ages take part in Halloween events. One of the most popular, Halloweden is an annual event in Cornwall organised by The Eden Project. Luring with mythical tales and mystical escapades, this family-friendly attraction encompasses a medley of gripping delights within the illuminated gardens and giant biomes.

November and December

Fireworks bursting in the night sky during Bonfire Night

A wonderful time of year as the final, copper-coloured leaves of autumn fall from the trees and the seasons give way to winter, November and December in Cornwall are truly mesmerising. During the beginning of November, Bonfire Night events take place across the county on the 5th November with bonfires and fireworks displays. Meanwhile, the start of Cornwall’s Christmas markets in November imbues a sense of excitement and cheer in all generations. Especially well-known are Truro, Padstow, Fowey and Falmouth’s Christmas Markets. The Cornish Winter Fair at The Royal Cornwall Showground is also a great place to partake in some early Christmas shopping, spanning the weekend of 18th and 19th November 2024.

Beautiful Christmas lights illuminating the harbour and oceanfront streets of Mousehole in West Cornwall at night

To make the most of the seasonal magic, head over to Mousehole Christmas Lights at the beginning of December to discover a world of illumination reflected in the mirror-topped harbour. Or, disappear to Heligan’s Night Garden, which takes place annually from November to January, and experience a whole new side to the spectacular gardens. For traditional celebrations, experience Penzance’s Montol Festival on 21st December 2024 (Winter Solstice), or venture to Mousehole on 23rd December for Tom Bawcock's Eve and the town’s beautiful lantern parade. Of course, there’s no better way to round off the New Year’s in style than with a Cornish celebration, such as St Ives’ famous fireworks or Lostwithiel’s New Year’s Eve Giants Parade, and a divine Boutique Retreat.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Cornwall.


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