After the crowded bustle of summer, autumn in Cornwall is simply beautiful. There’s still plenty of sunshine for enjoying walks and wildlife in quiet woods and forests. Bodmin Moor takes on new colour as the seasons change and deserted beaches mean yours are the only footprints in the sand. The pace of life slows down giving visitors and residents alike the chance to appreciate Cornwall’s beauty, history and heritage.
Oysters, seafood & honey at Cornwall’s Autumn Food Festivals
Food festivals celebrate some of Cornwall’s top culinary offerings with chef demonstrations, tastings and informative talks. Why not plan to attend the Newquay Fish Festival, Falmouth Beer Festival, or sample a Honey Cream Tea at the Callington Honey Fair in October?
Other food-themed stalls and activities can be enjoyed at the Boscastle Food Festival and the Falmouth Oyster Festival, where you can still see local oystermen using sail-powered dredgers to preserve the ancient oyster beds before sampling the local delicacy for yourself.
Celebrate Cornish culture and language
Perhaps the most cultural festival in Cornwall is Perranporth’s Lowender Peran Festival, which is Cornish for “Festival of Celts”. Join in lively music and dancing at the ceilidh and get a rare chance to hear the Cornish language spoken. The November Cornwall Film Festival, often referred to as “Oggywood”, celebrates films with a Cornish connection along with a selection of 90-second films in the Cornish language.
Redruth Mining and Pasty Festival is another event steeped in Cornish culture. It includes a re-enactment of local mining history, explains how pasties were invented for miners’ lunches and includes a guided walk around Redruth’s historic mining landmarks.
Speaking of walks, South East Cornwall Walking Festival and the Fal River Autumn Walking Festival around Helford offer some wonderful walks with local guides. Whether you are a scenic rambler or a serious long-distance walker there’s something for everyone to participate in. If you prefer to exercise on water, the British Stand Up Paddle Championships held in October at Newquay might be more your thing.
Music lovers will find plenty to sing about with the SPLASH Falmouth Arts Festival, St Ives September Festival, Looe Music Festival, Roseland Festival and the Calstock Jazz and Blues Festival. They all take their turn to entertain music-lovers throughout the autumn months.
Arrive at the waterside community of Calstock by boat, car or train and participate in the fantastic Jazz and Blues Festival which takes over this small community on the banks of the River Tamar.
Halloween and Bonfire Night in Cornwall
After local Halloween events, Bonfire Night in Cornwall is celebrated across the length and breadth of the county. Some of the best fireworks displays can be found at the Mermaid Inn on Newquay’s Porth Beach; around Polperro harbour; lighting up Gwithian Beach and at the popular Heartlands attraction near Redruth.
As winter approaches, the Eden Project opens its seasonal undercover ice skating rink and Truro City of Lights Festival Carnival Parade culminates with the Christmas Lights Switch-on in this charming city centre. Another torchlit parade worth attending in early November is the St Austell Torchlight Carnival. This winter parade has colourful floats, musical bands and is lit by children carrying handmade lanterns.
Thinking ahead to Christmas, Fowey Christmas Market is a great place to begin your gift shopping at a leisurely pace. Trereife Manor House in Penzance has one of the earliest Christmas Fairs in a historic estate setting, along with delightful Pencarrow Christmas Fair.
Whether you enjoy walking, eating out, shopping or live music, Cornwall is THE place to find plenty going on in autumn, right around the corner from your cosy holiday cottage in Cornwall.
We’ve covered dozens of events taking place in Cornwall, but we know there are plenty more. Feel free to add your own favourite autumn festival or event to our comments box and let everyone know what a lively county this is!