Padstow Christmas Festival 2016

The newest member of The Cornish Concierge, Immy, gives us her thoughts on her first experience of the now legendary Padstow Christmas Festival. Now in its 9th year, this winter wonderland set amongst the atmospheric surrounds of Padstow on Cornwall’s north coast is the perfect pre-cursor to Christmas. With celebrity chef demos, delicious local food and wine and a fantastic array of craft stalls (perfect for filling those stockings), make the 2017 festival one for your diaries. Immy tells us all about it…


img_7617Padstow at Christmas is a magical place to be. The streets strung with fairy lights and carols ringing out from the bandstand, the town is enchanting and full of festive cheer. Padstow Christmas Festival was at the centre of the festivities with a marquee packed full of local producers selling a gorgeous array of gifts and produce.

The cookery demonstration theatres set around Padstow harbour were bursting at the seams with audience members eager to greet some of the country’s finest chefs that were taking to the stage. With shows such as ‘An Audience with the Chefs’, audience members get the opportunity to ask questions and chat to award winning chefs whilst learning how to cook food using some of Cornwall’s finest produce.

Whilst the main festival tent was undoubtedly the main draw of the weekend, the whole town was awash with festival spirit, with plenty of other festivities going on around the harbour, from the famous Santa run and the atmospheric lantern parade, to the quintessentially Christmassy carols at BinTwo on the Drang and culminating in the fireworks on Saturday night.

I loved my first experience of the Festival and can’t wait for next year – it made me feel so festive and helped get me in the Christmas spirit! If you are planning a visit next year, here are my top tips for making the most of the festivities:

  • Don’t even try and make it in to Padstow itself by car, park at the top of the town in the Park and Ride field, and hop on the regular bus service right down to the festival site.
  • For a more scenic arrival, park in Rock and hop on the ferry across the estuary.
  • Tickets for the Chefs’ Theatre are released and hour prior to the demonstration – so be sure to queue up in good time to catch your favourites.
  • The first day of the Festival (Thursday) was the quietest and we made the most of the shopping and delicious food stalls before the queues began!
  • If visiting with children, try and avoid buggies and pushchairs if you can – using carriers or the good old ‘Dad’s shoulders’ technique when legs get tired.
  • The Carols at BinTwo on the Friday night were magical – definitely one of our highlights.
  • The local school children make beautiful paper lanterns and light up the town with a beautiful procession on the Friday night.
  • For something different, buy tickets for the firework cruise on the Jubilee Queen, to enjoy the pyrotechnics from the sea.
  • Try and catch the Santa Fun Run on the Saturday lunch time – great fun for adults and kids alike!

img_7622The Padstow Christmas Festival 2017 runs from the 7th-10th December. Contact The Cornish Concierge for an tailor-made escape to North Cornwall to enjoy the festivities next year on or via the enquiry form on our website.