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What to Do in Cornwall in July
There's a lot going on in Cornwall, as the season's move from the cooler months of the year, to the heat of the English summer and the full peak season months of July and August. It's a time for wondering which events in Cornwall to choose, rather than wondering what to do in Cornwall at all!
From the traditional Cornish festivals, many of which started centuries before tourism was started, through to events targetted at today's modern visitors, if you're wondering what to do in Cornwall in July, read on to choose your favourites.
The list below is intended as a quick "heads up" on what's going on.
The National Trust has a number of properties and gardens open, as well as hosting some special events. Check their website to find out what's happening this July.
National Trust properties in Cornwall
A lot of the National Trust in Cornwall is the South West Footpath, headlands and beaches, but the buildings owned, maintained and available to visit include: Trerice, an Elizabethan manor -- East Pool Mine -- Levant Mine and Beam Engine -- St Michael's Mount -- Godolphin, a magnificent 17th century abandoned house -- Antony House, still the home of the Carew Pole family -- Cotehele Mill and Cotehele House with medieval beginnings -- Lanhydrock House, a country house and estate -- Lawrence House, local museum -- Tintagel Old Post Office;
Things to do in Falmouth:
- Things to Do In Falmouth Cornwall
Great beaches, boat trips on the estuary and at sea, museums, galleries and gardens - there are many things to do in Falmouth, whatever the weather
The National Maritime Museum in Falmouth have a range of new exhibitions in July. There's a lot more things to do in Falmouth too if you're looking to make a full day or weekend, or even week of it!
Liskeard Agricultural Show
Held in the middle of July each year, Liskeard holds its annual Agricultural Show, which is one of the largest in the South West. Turnout is usually in the range of 5,000-10,000 people.
The Liskeard Agricultural Show includes a wide variety of animal displays competing for a range of prizes. There are also many equestrian events, shopping areas and a range of entertainment including performances by the Jez Avery Stunt Show. Local Cornish produce is also available from stallholders. Free car parking and a free bus service from Liskeard. Adults £10, Kids £3, Under 5s free.
- 2016 Dates: Saturday 28 July 2016, doors open 8am
- Website: http://www.liskeardshow.org/
- Location: PL17 7PB
Padstow Vintage Rally
There's always a 3-day Vintage Rally and Country Fair held at Padstow, with sideshows, events, demonstrations, displays and market stalls. Farm animals, rare breeds and a pets corner. Padstow Vintage Rally and Country Fair is a full day out spent exploring an expanding range of vintage vehicles as well as a food hall serving local produce - there's also a beer festival. Gates open 10am daily.
- 2016 Dates: 1-3 July 2016
- Prices: Adult £7.50 Child £4.50, OAP £7, Family (2+3) £26
- Website: http://www.padstow-rally.co.uk/
- Location: PL28 8RL
Padstow Harbour Day:
Padstow Harbour Day
The annual Padstow RNLI Day is held in early July each year, Open 10am to 6pm. There are a variety of displays and rescues put on - and the chance to meet the crew on the lifeboat at South Quay, usually between 1-2pm.
There's plenty more to do in Padstow to fill your time too. Enjoy Rick Stein's fish and chips, or a pasty from The Chough bakery (as seen on TV), or take a stroll up to Prideaux Place. The camel trail starts at Padstow, so why not hire a bike, or walk, the Trail through to Bodmin and beyond!
- 2013 Dates: Harbour Day Thursday 4 July 2013. 10-6pm lifeboat in quay 1.30pm
- Website: http://www.padstow-lifeboat.org.uk/
- Location: PL28 8BU
- Rick Stein Restaurants in Padstow
Why not visit one of Rick Stein's shops while you are in Padstow.
Penzance Literary Festival
The annual Penzance Literary Festival has been held since 2010, growing since its launch major literary event, popular with locals and visitors alike.
With nearly 80 individual events, including talks, workshops, debates and performances, the Literary Festival takes place at a variety of venues around the town.
Also in or Near Padstow:
- Penlee House Art Gallery, Penzance
The Newlyn School and artists colony, 1880-1940, created thousands of paintings depicting local scenes. Penlee House Gallery is the only Cornish art gallery that specialises in the Newlyn School as well as early Cornish artists.
- St Michael's Mount, Marazion
St Michael's Mount is a striking and imposing castle, perched high on an island just off the coast of Marazion in Cornwall. At low tide it's possible to walk across a stone causeway to the harbour and castle beyond.
Penzance Lafrowda Festival
Held at the village of St just in Penwith, this two week arts festival started in 1996 and has grown year on year
Events include music, comedy, drama, dance and entertainment. Lots of free musical entertainment of every genre. There are also quizzes, themed workshops, a talent show, dance competitions and live theatre as well as performances by local brass bands, groups and choirs and an open mike night for comics and singers in the local pub.
Lafrowda Day is the 3rd Saturday in July and all the roads in town are closed for one day so the town can be decorated. Each year there's a different theme.
- 2013 Dates: 5-20 July 2013
- Website: http://www.lafrowda-festival.co.uk/
- Location: St Just in Penwith, Penzance, TR19 7HU
Minack Theatre, Porthcurno
Now's the perfect time to check out what the Minack Theatre have on their programme. This open-air amphitheatre, overlooking the Ocean, puts on 6-7 different shows during the month.
Between 1931-1983 the Minack Theatre was planned, built and financed by one determined woman - Rowena Cade. She'd first arrived in 1920 with her mother; they rented a house at Lamorna and Rowena discovered the Minack headland, which she bought for £100 (which is under £10k in today's money). There she built a house for herself and her mother using granite from a St. Levan quarry.
Address: The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, Penzance, Cornwall, TR19 6JU
Tickets cost £8 for the upper terraces, £9.50 for the lower terraces.
- Website: http://www.minack.com/
- Location: TR19 6JU
St Endellion Music Festival
In late July, St Endellion puts on the second of their two Music Festivals, held in the Collegiate Church of St Endelienta. St Endellion Music Festivals bring together a wide range of exciting musicians from all over the world. St Endellion is near to Port Isaac on the North Cornish Coast, which is where Doc Martin is filmed in Port Isaac, so why not use the opportunity to visit well-known scenes from this popular TV series.
- 2013 Dates: 30 July - 9 August 2013
- Website: http://www.endellionfestivals.org.uk
- Location: PL29 3TP
Eden Sessions in July:
St Austell Eden Sessions
In July the Eden Project, just outside of St Austell has a variety of different events put on. New exhibitions and activities, as well as the ever-popular "Eden Sessions", with live bands playing on the stage outside into the evening. There is also an indoor stage.
Starting in 2002, the Eden Sessions have a strong record of showcasing top artists from the UK and around the world inside a specially-constructed outdoor stage in the grounds of the Eden Project. Special buses are run to access the site so concert-goers can enjoy a drink or two safely.
These sessions sell out early.
2013, acts include:
- 2 July: The xx. UK indie trio who topped the UK album charts in 2012. (Tickets £40 inc booking fee)
- 13 and 14 July: Jessie J. Singer/songwriter and coach on TV programme The Voice. (SOLD OUT)
Location: Bodelva, PL24 2SG
Stithians Agricultural Show
The Stithians Agricultural Show has been held annually for over 200 years. Originally a local festival, it's grown to be Cornwall's largest one-day agricultural show, held in a purpose-built showground between Truro and Helston.
The event is always held on the Monday closest fo 10 July each year.
As well as local Cornish produce, there is musical entertainment, food courts, craft stalls, a fairground. The dog show and dog agility competitions are always popular as well as well-attended craft and cookery competitions. There are flower arrangements and displays of a national standard.
There are over 60 equestrian events, farm animals, rare breeds and domestic/pets for the children to enjoy.
Among the many demonstrations, you can watch local craftsmen such as blacksmiths, weavers and beekeepers using their traditional skills.
Musical entertainment includes accordion bands, school jazz orchestras, local choirs and line dancing.
This is a major show that is featured live on BBC Radio each year.
- 2013 Dates: Monday 15 July 2013
- Website: http://www.stithiansshow.org.uk/
- Location: TR3 7DP
The Gunnislake Festival has been running since 2001 and features village walks, live bands, barbeques, film screenings and concerts. Local pubs put on a variety of events each evening with the main festival day ending off the week in a community jamboree.
There is a fancy dress parade on the Saturday. There’s also a falconry display, along with a Punch and Judy show plus a variety of stalls, a children’s corner and plenty of live music providing enjoyment for the whole family all afternoon. Throughout the festival there is a art exhibition in the church hall where you can see work by local artists.
This is a small, mostly locals-centric festival, but is worth visiting if even just to see the scarecrows which are dotted around the town, sitting on walls, leaning against walls, as if they're living residents.
The Gunnislake festival is known for its scarecrows - as many residents as possible build scarecrows, which are to be seen throughout the town. There is a Scarecrow Map each year directing visitors to each one.
- 2013 Dates: Wednedday 31 July to Saturday 3 August 2013
- Website: http://www.gunnislakefestival.co.uk/
- Location: Gunnislake, PL18
Penryn Circus Camp
A Circus Camp at Chyan Farm in Penryn, Cornwall with a big top, outdoor high wire rig, swinging trapeze rig and indoor training spaces.
Professional tutors from the UK and abroad offer a packed program of training from beginner to master class level.
The circus camp includes; camping and all meals and entertainment. Tickets from £200, or £250 including 2 meals per day and camping. Day visitors, without meals, £55.
- 2013 Dates: 31 July - 4 August 2013
- Website: http://www.swampcircus.com/
- Location: TR10 9BT
Always Check Before You Travel
Always check before you travel to any event as there are many reasons why an event might not go ahead as planned.
The information here is provided with good intentions, but it is up to you to make your own enquiries if you are planning a major trip around any single event.