skip to Main Content

Christmas lights, lanterns and illuminations in Cornwall

What better way to get into the joyful Christmas spirit than to take a trip to enjoy some of the de-light-ful Yuletide light displays; or better still why not immerse yourself in one of the wonderful and unusual festive events that take place at this time of year too. So to get you in the mood for some proper Christmas cheer, here’s our guide to some of the best for Christmas 2022!

Angarrack Christmas Lights

So many of our towns and village have excellent light displays but there are some that are just one step above the rest! Don’t miss the surprisingly spectacular Christmas lights in this tiny village, which have become a Christmas tradition for so many local families.

From the 3rd December until 5th January Angarrack is a blaze of colour! The main display includes giant illuminations representing the twelve days of Christmas, complete with lords leading, ladies dancing, swans swimming and so on. Some of the displays are 20m high and cleverly arranged lights give them movement too. You will also spot Santa and his reindeer as well as snowmen and nativity scenes dotted about the village gardens.

The lights go on between 5.30pm and 9.30pm and donations are always welcome.

Charlestown Tunnel of Lights

Step into Christmas this December as you explore the Shipwreck Treasure Museum’s Tunnel of Lights. Immerse yourself in their multi-sensory underground world and join in on a sensational polar expedition complete with gigantic icebergs and frozen shipwrecks!

Walk through an entire world of beautifully wrapped glittering presents, wander through Candy Land or explore the shipwreck as snow falls all around you and take a pit stop at our very own mini German Christmas Market. Finally, you can follow Santa’s footsteps to a glittering North Pole on a walk amongst hundreds and thousands of twinkling lights in the UK’s longest tunnel of indoor festive lights! And this year there is even a Giant Snow Globe, the perfect opportunity for a family Yuletide photo!


This unusual annual celebration is held each year in Penzance on the 21st December, marking the Winter Solstice. It is an enthusiastic revival of an ancient tradition that was once held in the town. Expect carol singing, fire eaters, seasonal story-telling, mask making workshops and Mummers plays, the Montol festivities then culminate in a grand light parade through the streets of Penzance.

This parade is a spectacle in itself as those taking part wear extravagant costumes and traditional, often quite frightening, masks. Finally several huge beacons are lit around the town to celebrate the turning of the seasons and the return of the light.

The Mousehole Lights

Started in 1963 these Christmas lights are perhaps the most famous in Cornwall and for very good reason! There are more than 60 displays, from a giant Christmas Pudding to Nessie, using some 7000 light bulbs around the harbour and some in the water too. It is a truly magical scene which draws hundreds of visitors from miles around.

The lights go on on the 2nd weekend in December and will be on every night until early January, with the exception of the 19th December when all lights are turned off as a mark of respect for the Penlee Lifeboat disaster.

Tom Bawcock’s Eve

This festival is also held in Mousehole every year on the 23rd December but it much less well known. Tom Bawcock’s Eve is traditionally held to remember the heroism of a 16th century fisherman who supposedly saved the village from starvation. After weeks of winter storms, during which no fishing boats had been able to launch, the local people were running very low on food. It is said that the brave Tom Bawcock risked his life by going out in those fearsome seas to bring in a catch for the villagers.

Each year since then that act of bravery and kindness has been remembered with the baking of a Stargazy Pie, the singing of shanties and a lantern parade around the harbour. There is also often carol singing on the beach too.


Other Articles