What’s on at Cornwall’s top tourist attractions for Christmas 2021

Wrap up warm and get ready to enjoy the magic of a Cornish Christmas at some of the most well-known attractions across the region.

Harbours, towns and villages will be illuminated with twinkling lights, there is a host of Christmas markets to choose from and many of our top visitor attractions will be hosting events that will really make you feel festive.

Made collaboratively with Cornwall Association of Tourists Attractions, this round up should be your guide to the ultimate feel-good Christmas season.

Read more: Rating the best roast dinner in all of Cornwall

Santa Special Trains return to Bodmin & Wenford Railway

Bodmin & Wenford Railway’s popular Christmas trains have made a return to the heritage steam railway, Cornwall’s only full-sized railway still operated by steam locomotives.

The Santa Special Trains operate each year from the Bodmin & Wenford Railway and offers a unique steam train experience where families can travel with the elves to meet Santa in his grotto.

Once back at the main station the kids can take part in some Christmas-themed activities before they go and visit Santa in his unique Victorian coach.

Each child will receive a gift and the opportunity to have their photo taken with Santa, so make sure they’re on the nice list this year.

The grotto experience still has select availability from December 17 to 24 and should be booked in advance via their website.

Experience the Magic of Christmas at the Eden Project

Don’t miss the magic of Christmas at Eden. Discover their twinkling Med Biome and fill up on festive cheer with a Big Band playing all your seasonal favourites.

Wander round the enchanting Rainforest which will be awash in colorful lighting and marvel at their beautiful, illuminated waterfall.

Timed entry tickets for Christmas and beyond (until January 31) are now on sale. Plus, their glittering ice rink is available to book timed sessions from October 2021 to February 2022.

Find out more here.



The ice rink is back at the Eden Project ready for winter
The ice rink is back at the Eden Project ready for winter

Father Christmas visits The Lost Gardens of Heligan

The Heligan team are welcoming back Father Christmas and his team of Elves to The Lost Gardens.

The Lost Gardens provide the most magical and perfect setting for a Christmas experience, especially for the annual visit to meet Father Christmas.

You and your family will then be welcomed with music, Christmas crackers, festive crafts and a complimentary marshmallows to toast over the warming fire before you visit the man in red himself.

Each child will be gifted a small traditional children’s present to remember their visit to Father Christmas by.

Tickets to visit Father Christmas available from 10am-3.30pm, December 18 – 24

Find out more here.

Heligan Night Garden

Heligan will also be hosting their annual light show, Heligan Night Garden.

Enjoy an enchanting lantern experience set amidst the atmospheric Lost Gardens.

After last year’s event sold out, Heligan have extended the experience to include additional dates for 2021/22. Explore the gardens as they are beautifully lit by a variety of traditional paraffin lanterns and discover a breath-taking display of flora and fauna lanterns, illuminated within Heligan’s much-loved and iconic locations.

The experience will last until January 3 (excluding Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.)

Find out more here.

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Lanterns and Lights at National Maritime Museum Cornwall

From beautifully lit vessels to merry Makes and Takes and starry trails, Christmas at the Museum in Falmouth takes on the theme of Lanterns and Lights with a magical nautical twist.

Decked in festive lights and sparkly stars, traditional wooden boats carry Christmas cheer. Using the Flying Flotilla, hung high from the Museum’s ceiling, the boats are lit with subtle ocean-coloured hues and set amongst glistening star bursts.

Magical Make and Takes happening December 18 – January 2, 12pm – 3.30pm.

Find out more here.

Feeling festive with the National Trust in Cornwall:

Father Christmas in the stables at Trelissick

Join Father Christmas as he returns to Trelissick to entertain families with his festive tales of 12 days of Christmas.

This year, the group family experience will involve Santa sharing yuletide stories, inside the beautifully decorated stables.

Once he’s finished, all the children will be able to collect a small gift.

Child ticket £6, Adult ticket £2. Normal admission charges apply, free to National Trust members.

Pre-booking is essential for December 18 and 19, 10.15am – 4.15pm (bookable time slots throughout the day). Visit the website here to book.

Percy the Park Keeper’s winter wander trail at Trelissick

This winter, treat your little ones to a world of adventures at Trelissick on the Percy the Park Keeper’s winter wander trail. Join in the fun with Percy and his animal friends and give nature a helping hand.

£2 per trail. Normal admission charges apply, free to National Trust members.

December 4 – January 3 (excluding Christmas Day and Boxing Day), 10am – 3:30pm

Christmas at Trerice

Warm yourself by the fire and embrace the festive spirit in the house decorated for Christmas. In the hayloft, help us decorate the Christmas tree by writing your wish for Christmas and the New Year on a paper star and then hang it among the branches and lights.

Enjoy hot drinks, delicious bakes, and festive treats in the barn tea-room. The shop has plenty of gifts on offer as well as a range of Christmas decorations and treats.

Similar to Trelissick there is also a Percy the Park Keeper’s winter wander trail at Trerice.

December opening times, December 11 – December 23, 11am – 4pm

Tunnel of Lights: Arctic Adventure at the Shipwreck Treasure Museum

Join an immersive frozen adventure through the Shipwreck Treasure Museum’s underground tunnels as it is transformed into a sparkling wonderland of ice.

Follow the footsteps of Polar Explorers as you discover glittering waterfalls, giant icebergs, and frozen shipwrecks.

Building on the success of the hugely popular Tunnel of Lights in 2020, the event returns for the Winter season with thousands of lights, atmospheric Arctic soundscapes and a magical journey through a polar world.

Running from December 1–January 9.

Find out more here.



Trebah Garden of Lights

This Christmas season join a magical lantern procession on an intimate journey through Trebah to firelit festivities on the beach.

Experience the garden at night; navigate the sub-tropical pathways by the warm glow of your own handcrafted lantern and watch mesmerizing flames and reflections on the shoreline.

Running from December 4-11.

Find out more here.

Wheal Martyn Reindeer Trail and Community Christmas Trees

Explore Wheal Martyn’s historic grounds and woodland trails to spot our woodland crafted reindeer, and inside, discover and vote for the best dressed Community Christmas Tree in our Discovery Centre.

This experience is included with normal Museum Entry/Annual Pass and will be available from now until December 23, 10am to 4pm.

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