When a Cornishman asks you “What’s on?” it is as much a hello how are you? as it is a question about what’s actually happening. Not a particularly useful nugget of information and seeing as in this context we are actually asking “What is on?”, some might say completely redundant, but it makes for an interesting title so I’m sticking with it!
At Stivescarbisbay we love to see our guests getting out and about. Yes we are a seaside town and the beach is probably going to be the main focus of any Summer holiday but when the sunburn gets too much and you fancy doing something different, Cornwall chock is full of things to see and do.
Being based in St Ives you are ideally placed to explore both the North and South Coasts of Cornwall. If you don’t mind a little drive there is nothing you can’t reach within an hour or so. Cornwall’s capital city, Truro, is only a 25 minute drive away and as you would expect has all the main ingredients for a short session of retail therapy… If you would like to get stuck into some local wares there is a Farmer’s Market on Lemon Quay every Wednesday and Saturday. Truro also puts on seasonal events such as the City of Lights parade which coincides with the Christmas light switch on in November – www.enjoytruro.co.uk and www.visittruro.org.uk are both great sources of What’s On information.
Moving a little further up the county and just outside St Austell you’ll find the Eden Project built in a disused china clay quarry, it is Cornwall’s largest tourist destination; both in area and visitor numbers. The Biomes alone are worth a look even if there is nothing else going on and there is easily a whole days’ worth of discovering and crafting to do even for the most demanding visitor. From one of the longest zip wire rides in the UK to live music in the natural amphitheatre. The Eden Sessions are a must do fixture on many UK touring band’s calendars now and run through June to August. During the winter months when the weather isn’t clement enough for live music outside, the area is filled with Cornwall’s largest ice skating rink. www.edenproject.com is the place to go to find out What’s On there…
Every town in Cornwall has annual events where the locals take great pride in keeping traditions alive, the Padstow ObbyOss day takes place in early May. A tradition with Cleltic and Pagan roots, the locals dress up and follow the ObbyOss around the streets of Padstow dancing to traditional Cornish drum and accordion music – join in by all means but be careful, it is thought that any maiden who gets caught under the dress of the ObbyOss will fall pregnant before next ObbyOss day. Check out http://www.padstowlive.com/ for another What’s On guide…
Sticking with the May Day celebrations and moving to Helston, a Market town near the South Coast, has Flora Day. The townsfolk all dress up in traditional costume and dance around the streets. The non-dancing folk enjoy a vast selection of locally brewed speciality ales, ciders and hog roasts, needless to say everyone is dancing by the end of the day and no one goes to bed early! www.helstonfloraday.org.uk
As well as Flora Day, Helston is home to RNAS Culdrose, the Royal Navy’s main operating base in the South West. Every July the base opens its gates to the public who can get up close and personal with a whole host of flying machines both past and present. The aircraft all take part in flying demonstrations the highlight of which has to be the Red Arrows on their summer tour. http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/ or https://www.facebook.com/RnasCuldroseAirDay/ for times, dates and costs.
Just over the other side of the Lizard Peninsular is the world famous Harbour Town of Falmouth, home to the National Maritime Museum, Falmouth University and more Nautical and visual goodness than should fit in a town of this size! Every August they hold Falmouth week. A weeklong celebration of everything sailing – src.falmouthweek.co.uk – followed up with the Oyster Festival to mark the beginning of the oyster dredging season from mid-October. More information and What’s On loveliness to be found at www.falmouth.co.uk.
Closer to home, back into summer and another Celtic festival – June rounds out with Penzance and the Golowan Festival, 10 days of markets, music and dancing all culminating in Mazey Day, a huge street party that takes over the whole of the town. This one is not for the faint hearted; you’ll see some sights that’s for sure! www.golowan.org for dates and event info.
Still on the South Side and a decent stones throw around Mounts Bay you get to Newlyn, famous for fish and being the point at which sea level is measured from! As you would expect it’s all about the fish and the cunningly titled Newlyn Fish Festival held in Mid-August is basically the Newlyn folk doing what they do best – fishing and eating fish. www.newlynfishfestival.org.uk is where to get the info –
It would be wrong to write an article about things going on in Cornwall and not mention one of our most famous sons, Richard Trevithick, and the annual event to celebrate his life and contributions to the world. Trevithick Day held each April in Camborne is a celebration of all things steam powered. www.trevithick-day.org.uk is the place to go for information dates and to find out What’s On.
Perhaps the largest single event in Cornwall is the Royal Cornwall Show, a 3 day event held just outside Wadebridge on the first Thursday, Friday and Saturday in June, you can read a little about this year’s show earlier in this Blog and on their website – royalcornwallshow.org, suffice to say it is big bright and well worth a visit. The other Agricultural show in Cornwall is the Stithians show, a one day show, usually held on the second Monday in July. You know the drill – www.stithiansshow.org.uk for more information. Both the Royal Cornwall Show Ground and the Stithians Show Ground host a variety of other events throughout the rest of the year from weekly carboots to one off festivals, you will find all the information on their afore mentioned websites.
And finally back to St Ives, a good bit of research on the Stivestic.co.uk or stives.co.uk should furnish you with enough information to enable you to plan your trip to happily coincide with one of our many events… The September Festival has grown over the last few years into the towns flagship event, but throughout the year there are a number of smaller events around the town, Harbour day, Feast Day and Guy Fawkes on the Beach are all great fun and the biggest party of the year – New Years Eve – is the biggest fancy dress party you’ll ever see, the whole town come out to celebrate the changing of the year and whatever the weather you are guaranteed a great party…