From relaxing in a sun-kissed cove to hitting up a surfing hotspot, we all know Cornwall is a Summer paradise. But what about Cornwall in Winter? Believe it or not, the reasons to visit Cornwall don’t run out when the warmer months end.
We’re not just talking about all the beaches and roads offering a quieter, and arguably more pleasant, experience, but all the fantastic things to do in the Winter that shows there’s plenty of life in the county all year round.
Wrap up for a Winter walk
When you think of walking in Cornwall, you’re probably thinking of donning your shorts, shades and suncream, and marvelling at the turquoise sea from your clifftop walk. But taking to the Cornish stretch of the South West Coast Path isn’t only for the Summer months, and if you’re looking for things to do in Cornwall in Winter, there’s nothing better than bundling up in your cosiest Winter coat and seeing the county like a local.
One of the best walks for showing off Cornwall’s Winter beauty is the loop from Kynance Cove to Lizard Village, which takes in the stunning cliffs, coves and heath along Britain’s most southerly point. The sea breeze will blow away the cobwebs and come the end, you’ll feel refreshed (and possibly ready for a hot drink).
In the Winter months, the once tranquil seas of the Summer transform into dramatic spectacles. Watch as the waves crash onto the shore or collide with the cliffs – just remember to keep at a safe distance.
There’s enjoying a fresh breeze walk and then there’s battling against the elements of Cornwall in Winter. On windier days, head inland for a walk sheltered from the wind. Cardinham Woods on the edge of Bodmin Moor or near Tintagel are both perfect spots to explore for a Winter walk in Cornwall. St Nectans Glen’s dramatic waterfall delights year-round, and the myths surrounding the area really complement the Wintery feel of these stunning woodlands.
See out the year with a Winter solstice festival
There’s never a dull day in our end of the country, and Cornwall in Winter is no exception. And as the year draws to a close, it’s the perfect opportunity for local towns and communities to put on a celebration.
One of Cornwall’s largest Winter events is Penzance’s Montol Festival, a six-day arts and community celebration leading up to the Winter solstice on 21st December. The festivities include lantern and mask-making workshops around the town, as well as strolling bands, storytelling and theatre events, carol services and late night shopping.
On the 21st itself, the solstice celebrations start with a sundown procession while beacons are lit throughout the town to ward off the incoming darkness. That leads up to the MidWinter Fire and the burning of the Cornish Yule log, before Guise dancers, complete with masks and disguises, showcase their talent.
The festival started in 2007, but it’s based on traditional Cornish Winter customs and Montol is a Cornish word for either balance or the Winter solstice itself. The disguises worn in the procession are also inspired by tradition, with everything from mock-formal top hats and bow ties to ribbons and animal masks. Everyone is encouraged to join in the celebrations. Nothing warms the Winter soul like the feeling of community, and there’s plenty of share and experience in Cornwall in Winter.
Discover Cornwall’s history with a museum trip
Part of the beauty of Cornwall in Winter is that there’s always something to do, even if – or rather when – the weather turns. With some of Britain’s most important historic trading ports and a reputation as an artists’ haven, Cornwall has plenty of local and national museums to explore this Winter.
Discover the history of ocean trade and adventure at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth. The museum is home to 15 galleries of nautical artefacts, a flotilla of historic small boats, as well as the Monsters of the Deep exhibition. It even has its own festive lights and lanterns celebration, which runs from 17th December to 1st January.
In Truro, the Royal Cornwall Museum celebrates Cornwall’s cultural and scientific heritage through its extensive geology, art and photography collections. It also has a permanent exhibition of ancient Roman, Greek and Egyptian treasures from the British Museum to give some perspective to Cornwall’s place in world history.
If you’re looking for interactive things to do in Cornwall in Winter, the Royal Cornwall Museum is holding In the Dead of Winter, an ongoing murder mystery event between December and February.
Take a walk around the Roseland Peninsula
The Roseland Peninsula is a beautiful area of Cornwall that offers plenty of fantastic walking routes for you this Winter. From clifftop pathways and coastal trails to woodland and farmland tracks, the area has something for everyone.
The coastal path is one of the most popular routes and takes in some spectacular views of the area.
The Trelissick Estate is a great place to explore and has a number of trails to follow. The Creekside Trail is an easy walk that takes you through woodland and meadows, with lovely views over the estuary. The St Mawes Coastal Path is another great option and takes you along the cliffs to the village of St Mawes.
The Portscatho to St Anthony Coastal Path is one of the longest routes in the area and takes you along the stunning south coast. The Roseland Heritage Coast is also a great place to take a walk, with plenty of wildlife to spot along the way.
Warm your soul in seaside comfort
Whether you’re seeking out Winter wonderland walks, celebrating the festive season or discovering the county’s rich history, you’ll want a cosy hub to warm up and rest as you explore Cornwall in Winter.
Driftwood has all the boutique comfort you need to make your Cornwall stay unforgettable, with stunning ocean views and an open fire to warm you body and soul after a bracing walk, it’s everything you need for exploring Cornwall in Winter.
There are plenty of beautiful Winter walks to explore during your Driftwood stay thanks to the stunning South West Coast Path on our doorstep, and, of course, you have to venture down to our own hidden beach – although a Winter dip is probably off the cards.
Come the end of the day, recharge with a 3-course delight, freshly crafted by our expert chefs. Come morning, prepare for the day with a full Cornish breakfast. Whether you’re heading out on Winter adventures or keeping warm in our sitting room with a book, Driftwood is the perfect Cornwall escape for your Winter getaway.