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Our top reasons to visit the Padstow Christmas Festival

Running from 05 to 08 December, the Padstow Christmas Festival is a wonderfully festive event. Now in its 12th year the festival has grown to become a weekend full of live music, chef demonstrations and Cornwall's finest food and drink. Here we count down our top reasons to visit.

Padstow harbour in North Cornwall

The shopping

From the boutiques that line the harbour to the impressive festival marquee that houses a huge range of producers, the Padstow Christmas Festival is the perfect opportunity for Christmas shopping. Mingle with local companies such as Atlantic Blankets, Coast and Country Art and the Cornish Seaweed Bath Company (to name just a few) to find locally produced, unique Christmas gifts for your loved ones. 

Padstow shops during Padstow Christmas Festival
Food at Padstow Christmas Festival
Padstow shops

The chef demonstrations

From Rick Stein and Jack Stein to Nathan Outlaw and Paul Ainsworth, the chef's theatre is the place to be if you want to catch all your favourite celebrity chef's as they demonstrate their delicious recipes. Gather round, take a seat and pick up some top tips from the professionals.

Chef demos at Padstow Christmas Festival Photo courtesy of the Padstow Christmas Festival
Rick Stein at Padstow Christmas Festival Photo courtesy of the Padstow Christmas Festival

The lantern parade

Taking place on the Friday evening at 5.45pm, the lantern parade is a magical event. Watch as children march along the narrow streets with their homemade lanterns of all shapes and sizes bobbing and swaying as they go.

Lantern parade at Padstow Christmas Festival
Lantern parade at Padstow Christmas Festival
Lantern parade at Padstow Christmas Festival

The fireworks

Soak up the atmosphere of the crowds during the spectacular firework show taking place on Friday evening at 8.30pm. The whole family will enjoy watching as the fireworks soar up in to the air and light up the winter night's sky as the colours reflect off the water. 

Fireworks at Padstow Christmas Festival
Fireworks at Padstow Christmas Festival
Fireworks at Padstow Christmas Festival

The food and drink

Make sure you head to the Padstow Christmas Festival on an empty stomach as there is a wide variety of delicious food and drink on offer. Amble your way around the marquee sampling and nibbling as you go. It's a great opportunity to meet the producers and learn about the fabulous local products. This year we recommend visiting the Cornish Sea Salt stand to pick up some Christmas gifts and heading to Freda's Peanut Butter to sample their delicious range.

Food at Padstow Christmas Festival
Food at Padstow Christmas Festival
Food at Padstow Christmas Festival Photo courtesy of the Padstow Christmas Festival

The Santa run

On Saturday the Santa fun run makes for entertaining viewing. Watch as a sea of red Santa's weave their way around the narrow streets of Padstow. There is also a Santa cycle taking in the scenic 8km Camel Trail route that runs from Wadebridge to Padstow. Both events are in aid of Cornwall Hospice Care. Visit the website to find out how to enter.

Santa run at Padstow Christmas Festival Photo courtesy of Cornwall Hospice Care
Santa cycle at Padstow Christmas Festival Photo courtesy of Cornwall Hospice Care

The music

Head to the band stand to enjoy an eclectic mix of music to get everybody up, dancing and in the party spirit. For a more traditional set, be sure to catch the carol service at St Petroc's Church at 6.00pm on Sunday, which is sure to get you feeling festive. 

Music at the bandstand at Padstow Christmas Festival

The Big Cornish Breakfast

Here some of the country's top chefs team up to host a Christmas breakfast. Featuring a menu of locally-produced food and drink prepared by culinary A-listers such as Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth, the Big Cornish Breakfast takes place at 9.30am on Sunday 08 December. Find out more here.

Photo courtesy of the Padstow Christmas Festival

Take a look at the digital postcard from the Padstow Christmas Festival video to get a taste of what's in store.


Visit the Padstow Christmas Festival's website to view the full timetable. Whether you are planning a last-minute break this year or planning your holiday to coincide with next year's festival, we have a range of properties across the water from the festival in Rock. From here you can catch the Water Taxi across the estuary which makes the day even more special.

Browse our Rock properties
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