Guide to Newquay and Cornwall

Cornwall Event Guide – Things to Do in Cornwall

picture-3Summer 2009

If you are partial to the odd festival or two, then Cornwall is definitely the destination for you. From traditional fairs to all out rock fests, there is something to amuse everyone here, all set in some of the UK´s most memorable and stunning landscapes. No matter where you live, getting here is a cinch with regular flights landing at Newquay Airport and no more then an hour´s drive to most destinations with in the county. Cheap flights to Newquay are available from the majority of main airports including Bristol Airport, Cardiff Airport, Edinburgh Airport, Gatwick Airport, Manchester Airport and Leeds Airport to name but a few.

While transportation in Cornwall is fairly good, it is advisable to organise car hire at Newquay Airport as there is so much to see that is off the beaten track. The two Newquay Airport car hire companies situated just outside the terminal are Europcar and Hertz. Alternative means of getting to accommodation include Newquay Airport transfers, where a driver meets you in Newquay Airport arrivals, the Newquay Airport taxis or buses, which run roughly ever half an hour and take about 25 minutes to get to Newquay town centre.

Unsurprisingly, many of the biggest events in the region revolve around the sun, sea and sand. This starts in May with the now legendary Run to the Sun which provides revellers with a manic way to enjoy the Cornish waters. The festival for VW enthusiasts and general party lovers is based at the Trevelgue Holiday Park. People come not only for the chance to exhibit their prize vehicles in the show´n´shine but to enjoy a host of live music, wild retro discos, famous DJs and comedic performances, in between sunbathing on the beach, Newquay weather permitting.

For something more down tempo, there is the Daphne du Maurier Festival in Fowey, 26 miles from Newquay. Despite the title, the 10 days in mid-May cover a wide range of plays, performances and talks, as well as guided walks, flower sales and art exhibitions. This year comedians Jo Brand and Arabella Weir and politician Tony Benn are attending. Come June and the more traditional-type events really get under way. At the beginning of the month are the Looe Festival by the Sea and the Royal Cornwall Show. The first is a 2 day extravaganza of all things fish. Based in Looe, 36 miles from Newquay, activities include a tour of local fishing boats and trawlers, as well as demonstrations of locally caught, fresh fish being cooked and lifeboat rescue displays. This is complimented by a host of food and wine-tasting opportunities and musical performances.

Located in Wadebridge, 16 miles from Newquay, The Royal Cornwall Show is a huge event which attracted 129,000 last year. At its heart is an agricultural show, where farmers and breeders come to show off their stock. Around it though are a wealth of other attractions from arts and craft and local produce stalls to a steam fair, dance and music concerts and vintage vehicle displays. This year there is even a human canonball spectacle (first seen in the 2007 show) by Dave 'The Bullet' Smith.

Smaller scale events include the Polperro Festival and the Mevagissey Feast Week, although for a celebration that´s a little more out there, there is always The 3 Wishes Faery Festival. This 3 day event encourages people to dress up as sprites and nymphs and revel in the plethora of fairy-inspired performers, musicians and artists that come out to play. There´s even an enchanting (or enchanted) fashion show.

relentless_boardmasters_2009-1-235-233-85-nocropAugust has got to be one the most exciting months when it comes to fiestas in Cornwall. Relentless Boardmasters, this year in association with Vans, is a 5 day showcase of some of the coolest lifestyle sports from surfing through to skateboarding and BMX riding, pulling in 12,500 people. Some of the world´s top surfers compete to win $100,000 in the 5 star WQS International at Fistral Beach, while over $30,000 dollars is available to skate and BMX contestants. The event is complimented by daily music performances in the form of The Beach Sessions held in the Fistral Beach Bar and evening concerts staged at Watergate Bay where The Streets will be headlining this year. Plus examples of more radical versions of the sports are always on offer to keep the bloody pumping thick and fast

In the third week of August, the Fowey Regatta hits town. This family sailing event in Fowey, 30 miles from Newquay, also includes gig racing, firework displays, a carnival and a show from the Red Arrows. Then for a complete change of pace, the Bude Jazz Festival lands. For 8 days, the area around Newquay comes alive with the sounds of over 200 different jazz events and is considered to be one of the best in the country.

Michelle Elkins is a regular contributor to the UK Airport Guide, which provides information on everything from the best rates for Newquay Airport car hire to Newquay weather.

What other Cornish events do you like? Tell us about them in the comments section below...

3 Responses »

  1. To celebrate their 20th Anniversary, The Tamar Valley Donkey Park near Gunnislake will be hosting a weekend of celebrations on June 27 and 28th. It will be a family-friendly event that will include not only the usual donkeys and other animals, but also face-painting, a bouncy castle, donkey rides, a chance to help the farrier, and a birthday party for Treacle the Donkey! On Sunday local television presenter Alexis Bowater will also be present to sign autographs. Doors open 10am – 4pm. Call 01822 834072 for more information.

  2. A few more specific dates would be useful, rather than a list of activities with just a few dates included, if you are trying to attract visitors, particularly as the official tourist site is down and being updated.

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