Winter in Cornwall is a special time to enjoy this county's ancient traditions. Where better to visit in preparation for Christmas with food fairs, craft shows, carols and lights along with the Montol Festival, Tom Bawcock's Eve and Santa by Steam.

After Christmas the pace doesn't let up. Read on to discover more ways to enjoy a winter break in Cornwall with wassailing, Nordic walking, castles and racing!

Winter in Cornwall seems to take on a magical atmosphere with sparkling frost-tinged grass and gorse on high ground, a breathtaking stormy coastline and everywhere the sense of excitement as Christmas comes and goes.

Many villages decorate their streets with lights and decorations for the winter season and restaurants, pubs and gourmet food shops pull out all the stops with seasonal local produce.

Perhaps some of these popular events will convince you that winter is a great season to visit Cornwall and join in the fun.

Cornwall's pre-Christmas winter events

Christmas is the focal point for many activities in early winter. Visitors can get into the spirit of the season by attending the Liskeard Lights Up Festival, the living nativity at Godolphin at Christmas or the Padstow Christmas Festival with its emphasis of food and drink. Youngsters can combine a visit to Santa with an exciting steam train ride at Santa by Steam event while adults can enjoy another trip down memory lane at the Truro Victorian Christmas Market.

Some winter events that are unique to Cornwall include the ancient Montol Festival, Rivers of Fire Procession and the burning of a Cornish Yule Log in Penzance. Neighbouring Mousehole celebrates in its own way by serving Stargazy Pie on Tom Bawcock's Eve, but you'll have to read the full article to find out why!

Walking, wassailing and hurling in Cornwall

After fireworks and celebrations across the county for New Year's Eve, the The Lost Gardens of Heligan Open Day starts the New Year with a free open day. You can also join the New Year Walk at Sennen Cove with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust or perhaps try your hand at Nordic Walking Taster Day at Trelissick Garden.

This National Trust garden remains open throughout the winter and is pretty busy as it also organizes a traditional wassail in the orchards complete with procession, music and Cornish storytelling.

Another nod to Cornwall's ancient history can be found at the St Ives Feast Day and Hurling the Silver Ball. This fun street event dates back to 1434.

For those interested in natural healing and alternative therapies which Cornwall is known for, the The Healing Light Festival is a well-attended event near Redruth.

Things to do in Cornwall for February Half Term

As winter begins to give way to longer days and early spring flowers, celebrate Valentine's Day with a special dinner in the restored Barn Restaurant at Trelissick Gardens or one of the other top restaurants in the area.

If you're renting a cottage in Cornwall for February half-term, families will find plenty to see and do. As well as the usual coastal walks and beach fun, several attractions host special half term activities. Look out for the Pendennis Castle Half Term Trail and join the hunt to identify a range of photographs at Lanhydrock Close Up.

Finally, the Point to Point Meeting organized by the East Cornwall Hunt is sure to put some colour in your cheeks with a day of country pursuits.

What is your impression of Cornwall in winter? Is it bracing winter walks, deserted roads and mulled wine beside an open fire? We'd love to hear what you get up to in winter in Cornwall!