With empty beaches, mild weather, roaring pub fires and festive lights, we think that Cornwall in winter is extra special. The only winter blues you’ll experience here are the sea and sky. Here are five reasons why you should switch up your summer seaside escape and spend winter in Cornwall this year.
The weather is actually mild
Cornwall is one of the UK’s warmest counties, thanks to its location on the edge of the Gulf Stream. The Cornwall weather in winter is similar to Nice in France – it’s rare for temperatures to drop below freezing and it hardly ever snows. The sun sits low on the horizon and the beaches are aglow with the soft winter light. This mild winter weather is excellent news for flowers; daffodils begin to bloom in December and, come February, the county’s subtropical gardens – like the magical Lost Gardens of Heligan – are already thriving. For more detailed Cornwall winter weather, download the Vacay Weather app.
It’s so much quieter
Don’t underestimate the feeling of walking along a Cornish beach with nobody else around. With over 250 miles of coast and more than 300 beaches, there’s plenty to go around for winter visitors. Plus, instead of jostling with the summer crowds that spill out of the charming pubs and onto the beach, you should have no problem finding a table for two and cosying up by a roaring log fire with a pie and a pint.
It’s beautifully wild
From the waves to the wildlife, Cornwall’s nature comes alive in winter. It’s a great time for wildlife watching: keep your eyes peeled for dolphins that come to feed on the huge shoals of whitebait, as well as the sea birds that flock to Cornwall to enjoy the milder climate. Winter is also seal pup rescue season, so it’s a great time to visit the brilliant Cornish Seal Sanctuary. Then there are the crisp winter walks. Don your wellies and breathe in the fresh air along the South West Coastal Path, knowing that a piping hot pasty and hot chocolate (or scrumpy) awaits in whichever village you end up in. If the weather is wild, watching the crashing waves is quite a sight. The cooler climate means that you’ll appreciate your accommodation more, too – especially if there’s a log burner to curl up by or a plush bathtub to soak in.
The beaches are dog-friendly
If bringing your pet pooch on holiday to Cornwall is a must, it’s worth noting that some beaches are off-limits to dogs – some impose the dog ban during July and August, and others from May to September. Visit Cornwall has a list of beaches with dates that dogs are restricted. Apart from a handful of beaches that are protected wildlife reserves, Cornwall’s beaches open up to dogs in winter so there are miles of deserted sands for you and your four-legged friend to explore.
There are winter wonderland experiences
Cornwall’s attractions don’t shut up shop when the summer crowds have gone. The Eden Project might be best known for its tropical rainforest and Mediterranean biomes, but visit in winter and you’ll find a huge glittering ice rink for festive family fun. Cornwall’s Christmas lights game is also strong. The small village of Mousehole might just be the most Chrimassy place in the south-west – the Mousehole Harbour Lights is a dazzling display of floating lights and lanterns. While the light show won’t be going ahead for 2020, it will return in full glory in 2021 with an additional display that will recognise the efforts of the NHS and key workers. Cornwall’s Christmas fayres are another big draw in winter – the Mount Edgcumbe Christmas Fayre in Rame and the Winter Gift Fayre in Truro are two of our favourites. Christmas isn’t the only winter festival that’s celebrated in Cornwall; the Montol Festival in Penzance celebrates the midwinter solstice and Cornish traditions with storytelling, dancing and lantern-making.
Have we tempted you to visit Cornwall in winter? There's still plenty of availability for a cool Cornwall escape this winter.