Oh how we long for a bit of normality! The days of having a diary full of fun events and possibilities seem a long time ago, but the good news is that festivals, performances and sporting events are now being planned with a bit more certainty – although some still sadly fall at the final hurdle.
We’ve rounded up these treats for you, scheduled to take place in West and South Cornwall this summer. Sailing, cycling, art exhibitions, food and music festivals – there’s plenty to plan for in Cornwall’s most beautiful spots this season.
Sailing and Cycling
Falmouth Classics Regatta, 11th – 13th June 2021
Although the 2021 Falmouth Classics Regatta will be a little different from recent years, it is being planned for the waters around Falmouth this June. Falmouth is recognised as having some of the best sailing conditions in the world, and there’s some brilliant vantage points from which to view this spectacular sailing event.
Tall Ships: Falmouth, 17th – 19th August 2021
The spectacular Tall Ships are setting off from Falmouth again this summer, launching their race to A Coruna in Spain from Cornish waters. Up to 30 tall ships from around the world will arrive for three days of festivities, including a Parade of Sail before the race starts. This truly fantastic spectacle can be viewed from a number of coastal vantage points in and around the town.
Tour of Britain: Penzance – Bodmin starting 5th September 2021
Cornwall will host the modern Tour of Britain for the first time ever in September 2021, following the postponement of the 2020 race. The Grand Depart will see riders travel 170 kilometres through the Cornish countryside, starting in Penzance and ending in Bodmin.Plan your viewing point along the route here.
Arts and Literature
Tate St. Ives: Haegue Yang Strange Attractors, on until 26th September 2021
Haegue Yang is renowned for creating immersive environments – in this case in response to the Cornish landscape and its ancient archaeological heritage. Her sculptures and installations often use industrially made objects, interwoven with labour-intensive and craft-based processes. Visit the Tate gallery in St. Ives to see her exhibition, which is on until late September.
Penzance Arts Festival: Penzance 4th – 20th June 2021
To celebrate Penzance as one of the most vibrant and innovative artistic towns in the country, this festival gathers up to 1,000 of its local artists and creative organisations to stage exhibitions, workshops, pop up galleries, talks and lectures. This is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the art and beauty of this historic coastal town.
Penzance LitFest: Penzance 7th – 10th July 2021
No details have been announced for this annual festival yet. However, a small-scale event is planned to go ahead including talks, workshops and more from writers and authors from Cornwall and beyond.Look out for more details appearing here – https://www.pzlitfest.co.uk/
Porthleven Arts Festival: Porthleven 25th September – 3rd October2021
Held over 10 days in 10 venues, the inaugural Porthleven Arts Festival will be a celebration of art from dance and drama to painting and film. There will be a film festival, including a floating screen in the harbour with evening screenings showcasing local films. A mermaid day will celebrate sea swimming with mermaid myth, magic and art, whilst a series of literary talks, poetry and classical music concerts will celebrate Porthleven’s heritage.
Ordinalia Cycle at Plen an Gwari: St Just 4th – 18th September 2021
This September, all three plays in the historic Ordinalia Cycle will be performed over two weeks in St Just in Penwith’s Plen an Gwari (Playing Place). As the oldest surviving trilogy of medieval Cornish Plays, Origo Mundi (The Creation of the World), The Passion & The Resurrection, these powerful, open-air performances will be part of a wider two-week festival in St Just celebrating Cornish culture and heritage.
The Great Steam Engine Rally, Stithians Showground: 20th – 22nd August 2021
This family-friendly weekend at Stithians will celebrate the 66th anniversary of the West of England Steam Engine Society. The event includes Steam Engines and plenty of vintage vehicles, plus fairground and rural animals including shire horses and a dog show.
Enys Garden Food Jam, Penryn: 10th – 11th July 2021
This celebration of world cuisine brings some of Cornwall’s best street food chefs back to Enys Food Jam on the weekend 10th and 11th of July. Explore a wide range of international street foods, sample local ales and enjoy live music in one of Cornwall’s oldest gardens. Enys, situated a few miles to the East of Penryn, is surrounded by tranquil woodlands, peaceful ponds and colourful gardens.
Great Estate Festival, Scorrier House, Redruth: 27th – 29th August 2021
The Great Estate Festival is bursting at the seams with live music and quality entertainment. The rambunctious garden fete took a year out in 2020, but that has only allowed more time to improve and build upon a much-loved festival. This year, the event will include major headliners Razorlight and Dutty Moonshine, a secret gin garden and a silent disco. We can’t wait for this one!
St. Ives Food and Drink Festival: 17th – 19th September 2021
Taking place on Porthminster Beach, the St Ives Food and Drink Festival promises culinary experts, activities and a wide variety of local beverages and food to sample over three days. A fantastic range of talks and experiences, music and entertainment will offer plenty of fun for all the family. A large selection of fantastic street food will be on offer, plus plenty of traders with delicious produce for sale in the Artisan Village.
Looking for more events in Cornwall? Check out our summer events in North and East Cornwall here.