Have a happy new year with our guide to Cornwall in 2022
- Credit: PICTURE: DAVID BARNICOAT
Plan your 2022 in Cornwall with Su Carroll's guide to cultural life
Ends January 2
At Cotehele in South East Cornwall, the highlight for many winter visitors over the last 60 years is the Christmas garland that hangs in the Great Hall. It’s a year-round effort to sow, grow and dry the 30,000 flowers needed, but this year has been difficult. So, as the 75th anniversary of Cotehele being given to the National Trust is in 2022, they have decided to recreate how the garland looked in the 1980s – a more modest design inspired by decorative greenery and kissing boughs that the Tudors brought into their homes in the winter.
For more information go to nationaltrust.org.uk.
Ongoing SEEING THE INVISIBLE
The Eden Project near St Austell is one of 12 gardens across the globe taking part in an unprecedented augmented reality exhibition of contemporary artworks. Seeing the Invisible features works by 13 international artists such as Ai Weiwei, Refik Anadol, Sigalit Landau, Pamela Rosenkranz, and Mel O’Callaghan, some of them working in AR for the first time. Visitors to Eden can download an app to access the work which is shared with other gardens in the USA, Australia, Israel, South Africa, Canada and Scotland.
Organisers say outdoor experiences and Nature have taken on a new meaning in the pandemic and this exhibition represents a fresh way for people to engage with art and Nature simultaneously. For information go to edenproject.com.
- 1 How to spend a day out in magical St Albans
- 2 The best place to view stormy skies in Derbyshire and the Peak District
- 3 Where to find the best ice creams in Kent
- 4 Rob and Dave Nicholson - the TV farmers from Barnsley
- 5 Win the Cobra MX3440V Cordless Lawnmower
- 6 Win a luxury 2-night Lake District getaway to the Skiddaw Hotel worth £500
- 7 9 of the best afternoon teas in Norfolk
- 8 Cheshire walk - Anderton Boat Lift and Nature Park
- 9 Win a luxury break at the Raithwaite Sandsend Hotel
- 10 20 of the best places to eat out in St Ives
ED BYRNE – IF I’M HONEST….
It’s been 18 months since Ed Byrne has toured with a stand-up comedy show and he has been itching to get back on the road properly. In If I’m Honest…, he takes a long hard look at himself and tries to decide if he has any traits that are worth passing on to his children.
The star of Live At The Apollo, Mock The Week and QI, says there’s something satisfying about identifying with his audience. “You see comics who are my age and older but are still retaining a level of ‘cool’ and drawing a young crowd and I can’t deny that I’m quite envious of that. But there’s also something very satisfying about your audience growing old with you.
“I like to make a point or get something off my chest, or perhaps I’m talking about something that’s been on my mind, but the majority of stuff is just to get laughs.” comicalentertainment.com.
WORLD PASTY CHAMPIONSHIPS
The 10th anniversary of this event at the Eden Project takes place this year, appropriately enough, on St Piran’s Day. Competitors come from all over the world to try and lift the trophy with their pasties which range from the traditional to the more experimental. The championship is the culmination of Cornish Pasty Week. edenproject.com.
Bushcraft expert Ray is on tour with his new show, We Are Nature – An Invitation to Reconnect with the Natural World. He will take the audience on a journey that will explain how to get the most out of our surroundings by developing and more fully using our extraordinary natural senses of sight, sound, smell, and taste, at the same time as raising awareness of the vast richness of the natural world.
“I’ve done tours before and it’s great fun talking to real people,” he says. “This tour is all about that rediscovery of our senses that have evolved over two-and-a-half million years. It’s less than one per cent of that time in which we have ceased to be hunter-gatherers. It’s our biological heritage and I want to enhance our understanding and experience of Nature.”
Ray Mears is at the Hall for Cornwall. Book online at hallforcornwall.co.uk.
CORNWALL GARDEN SOCIETY SPRING SHOW
Described by The Telegraph as the “Chelsea of the West,” the CGS annual Spring Flower Show is the highlight of the Cornish horticultural year, never more so than in 2022 after two years of cancellations.
The show at the Royal Cornwall Showground in Wadebridge will be packed with gardening inspiration and the Schedule of Competitive Classes has been refined for 2022 with a separate section for Novice Classes to encourage more first-time exhibitors to participate.
BUDE FOOD FESTIVAL
Last year’s August festival proved so popular that a second, earlier event has been added this year on Easter Monday. Held in the grounds of Bude Castle, it combines an artisan food market with delicious street food stalls and family entertainment as well as being dog friendly.
On the menu will be everything from sausages made from locally reared meat, freshly baked bread and cakes to delicious jams, preserves and sauces. Drink also features with flavoured artisan gins and local beer or cider. budefoodfestival.co.uk. The summer event is on August 21.
April 28-May 2
CORNWALL INTERNATIONAL MALE CHORAL FESTIVAL
Five international choirs from the Ivory Coast and Iceland, Germany and Switzerland will join 23 choirs from Cornwall and 24 from across the UK for the first “in person” Cornwall International Male Choral Festival since 2019. The 2021 biennial event took place virtually due to the global pandemic.
The festival will celebrate the re-opening of the Hall for Cornwall with events on the Sunday and Monday evenings, while Truro Cathedral will host the Opening Gala and competitions involving a record number of 26 competing choirs. Special acts will include UK performers Voices 8 and Only Men Aloud from The X Factor.
More than 2,000 singers will be entertaining around 45,000 people right across Cornwall over the long weekend. cimcf.uk.
PORTHLEVEN FOOD FESTIVAL
The small but perfectly formed harbour port of Porthleven welcomes more than 40,000 people every spring for the three-day food festival. It attracts national and international chefs for demonstrations in the food theatre and there’s street food plus music day and night and entertainment for all.
The festival is organised by a non-profit community organisation of volunteers who aims to stimulate the local economy in a sustainable way. porthlevenfoodfestival.com.
If there’s one thing we love in Cornwall, it’s keeping an ancient tradition alive. The Padstow Obby Oss is an ancient May Day celebration with its origins steeped in mystery. On the May Day Bank Holiday tens of thousands of people flock to Padstow to watch the Old Oss and Blue Ribbon Oss roam around the streets. There’s music and lots of entertainment for all the family. visitcornwall.com.
HELSTON FLORA DAY
Celebrating the end of winter and the arrival of spring has been a tradition for centuries with the whole of Helston coming alive with a day of music, dancing and entertainment. Around 80 chosen couples with the men in top hats and tails and the women elegantly dressed, progress through the streets, weaving in and out of buildings as the Helston Town Band play The Flora Dance. This is followed by a Mummers’ Play, the children’s dance with over a thousand youngsters all dressed in white, and the Ancient Furry Dance which is by invitation only. helstonfloraday.org.uk.
May 25-October 1
WALTER LANGLEY RETROSPECTIVE
Penlee House Gallery and Museum in Penzance will be staging a major retrospective of the artist Walter Langley this summer to mark the centenary of his death. Langley, who grew up in Birmingham, was one of the earliest artists to settle in Newlyn, moving to Cornwall permanently in 1882 and dubbed a pioneer of the Newlyn School.
Although Langley was an accomplished painter in oils, he mainly painted in watercolour, often on a large scale. Using this demanding and difficult medium, he portrayed scenes of everyday life in a small fishing village, highlighting the hardships and tragedies that were commonplace during that period. This exhibition will bring together 50-60 paintings, including large scale watercolours, oils and charcoals from both public and private collections.
For information go to penleehouse.org.uk.
May 28-June 5
OPEN STUDIOS CORNWALL
Cornwall has a rich seam of artists running through it and over the extended late May Bank Holiday weekend you can visit many of their studios and see them at work. Meet painters, potters, printmakers, sculptors, jewellery designers and illustrators. Search online for participating artists and create your own art trail. openstudioscornwall.co.uk.
PENZANCE FESTIVAL OF ART
Last summer saw the inaugural festival when more than a thousand artists and creative organisations in Penzance got together to stage exhibitions, workshops, pop up galleries, talks and lectures, offering a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the art and beauty of this historic coastal town.
Participants included Penzance Studios, Penlee House, The Exchange, Newlyn School of Art, Newlyn Art Gallery and the Arts Society West Cornwall. penzanceartfestival.co.uk.
ROYAL CORNWALL SHOW
For more than two centuries, the Royal Cornwall Show has been at the heart of the county’s calendar, offering something for everyone. Alongside the animals and activities there’s entertainment, food and drink, a top flower show and competition classes. Families love the traditional steam fair.
Local food and drink is available on stalls and in the cafes and restaurants. royalcornwallshow.org
OPEN FARM SUNDAY
First held in 2006, now more than two million people a year take the opportunity to get closer to rural life on Open Farm Sunday, managed by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming). It is a fantastic chance for everyone, young and old, to discover at first hand what it means to be a farmer and the work they do producing our food, enhancing the countryside and all the goods and services farmers provide.
Each event is unique based around the farm’s individual story. Activities during the day may include a farm walk, Nature trail, tractor and trailer rides, demonstrations, pond dipping, activities for children, a mini farmers market or farm shop.
Find a farm near you farmsunday.org.
Despite all the challenges, the 34th Falmouth Classics last summer was a great success with a fleet of 153 heritage and classic vessels and their 500 crew on the water. One hundred boats took part in the racing on the Carrick Roads on Friday and Saturday and the spectacular parade on Sunday illustrated Falmouth’s rich maritime history with participating boats dating from 1881 to 2018.
The organisers were overwhelmed with the response by many loyal and new participants, exceeding their expectations and hopes are high for a similar for this year’s event. falmouthclassics.org.uk.
This joyous festival, which includes Mazey Day and Quay Fair Day, is a vibrant community-led affair which takes over the town of Penzance with music, theatre, dance, street processions and entertainment for all. It has ancient origins around the celebrations of Midsummer and was revived in 1991.
Mazey Day is at the heart of the festival when artists, schools and other community groups fill the streets with music and giant sculptures and Market Jew Street becomes a huge market for the day. golowanfestival.org.
Organisers of the regatta, centred around the historic Georgian harbour, will be pushing out the boat to celebrate its 50th anniversary, postponed from last year.
Charlestown’s Regatta Week brings together the local community and visitors with plenty of live music and entertainment in the village including raft races, water sports, pasty demonstrations and favourite events such as the fun triathlon, children’s sports, the grand carnival and flora dance procession and the musical finale, Regatta Rocks. charlestownregatta.org.
ROCK OYSTER FESTIVAL
Great Cornish produce is at the centre of this weekend festival at Dinham House, overlooking the Camel Estuary. It attracts some top names in the food world – Michael Caines, Valentine Warner, Ping Coombes, Romy Gill and Porthleven chef Jude Kereama have all participated. Jude says Cornwall has the best larder in the UK by a long shot. “There’s great farming, really incredible seafood, just brilliant lamb and venison – it’s all here. Everything we produce is marvellous – even the pasties and ice cream!”
There’s also music with an eagerly anticipated programme of around 100 acts. There’s entertainment for all the family including stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, archery, a forest school, circus skills and storytelling at dusk. rockoysterfestival.co.uk.
Some big music names have already been unveiled for this summer’s Boardmasters festival at Watergate Bay and Fistral Beach. Headliners include George Ezra, Bastille and Kings of Leon with lots more acts to be announced. On the water, the five-day event is part of the World Surf League qualifying series and it’s the most high-profile surfing event in the UK. boardmasters.com
FOWEY ROYAL REGATTA
The beautiful town of Fowey is the perfect backdrop for this popular regatta which has a long history (it was once attended by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert). There’s a week of sailing events including races for the locally built Troys and Falmouth working boats. On land there is a carnival procession, fireworks, music, the giant pasty ceremony and crab catching competitions. foweyregatta.co.uk.
HERITAGE OPEN DAYS
For nearly 30 years, Heritage Open Days has given people the chance to celebrate heritage, community and history for free. England’s largest festival of history and culture involves more than 2,000 local people and organisations, and thousands of volunteers. Every September there’s an opportunity to visit historic properties and interesting local buildings, some of which are rarely open to the public. heritageopendays.org.uk.
NORTH CORNWALL BOOK FESTIVAL
Make a note in your diary as booking opens for this festival on July 1 and the St Endellion-based event is very popular – even when online during the pandemic. Meet writers and hear about their work alongside workshops if you want to take your own writing further. The festival book club will meet regularly during the year to discuss books by the authors speaking in September. ncornbookfest.org.
FALMOUTH OYSTER FESTIVAL
This popular foodie festival returns bigger and better than before. The Falmouth Oyster Festival began in 1996 and celebrates the diversity of Cornish seafood and the start of the oyster season, which runs from October to March. It has become a must for all oyster, seafood, and maritime heritage enthusiasts with lots of excellent Cornish food and drink on offer. falmouthoysterfestival.co.uk.
ST IVES FARMERS MARKET
Autumn is the time to celebrate the rich harvest of the land. St Ives Guildhall is home to this market on Thursdays throughout the year, operated by not-for-profit community group GULP (Great-tasting Unbeatable Local Produce). The market has been running since 2008 and is held in The Guildhall in Street-an-Pol where you will find a wide range of food and drink including fish, meat, vegetables, baked goods, plants and artisan crafts. stivesguildhall.co.uk.
MONSTERS OF THE DEEP
Don’t miss the chance to see this stunning exhibition at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall before it finally comes to a close in December. Discover the answer to such questions as: Are there krakens with tentacles two miles long and giant sharks as big as skyscrapers?
Explore the centuries-old myths and legends at the museum in Falmouth, when chance sightings and odd appearances led to tall tales of deep sea creatures. Learn how, even today, these stories continue to capture imaginations, fuelled by fake news and conspiracy theories.
You can become a 19th century pioneer scientist aboard HMS Challenger, handle real objects, try out the microscopes and understand what it felt like to be an explorer aboard a floating laboratory. nmmc.co.uk.
PADSTOW CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL
The first festival was held in the Seaman’s Mission and Padstow Institute with just one or two cookery demonstrations. Fast forward 13 years and it encompasses two enormous marquees on the quayside and demonstrations by some of the top chefs from across the country generating millions for the local economy. Festival favourites have included Angela Hartnett, Atul Kochhar, Matt Tebbutt and local heroes Rick Stein, Paul Ainsworth and Nathan Outlaw.
It’s turned into a bit of a Christmas party with lots of food and drink stalls, entertainment, fireworks and a Santa fun run for charity.