Festivals and events in Cornwall 2022

Man dressed up as Neptune amongst crowds at Rock Oyster Festival, Cornwall, Forever Cornwall Unique Retreats

After a disappointing couple of years, it looks like 2022 is set to be a bumper year for festivals in Cornwall. Throughout the county, events celebrating the county’s maritime heritage, fantastic food culture, lively music and arts scene — plus many events that are unique to Cornwall — will showcase the very best of the Duchy. Whenever you’re planning your next trip, we’re sure you’ll find something here to get involved in.

St Piran’s Day — 5 March

Can there be a better way to mark Cornwall’s national day than a competition celebrating the Duchy’s favourite food? That’s right — this St Piran’s Day will see pasty makers from across the world compete in the World Pasty Championships. Previous entries have included a globe-shaped pasty, 70cm in diametre, a fish and chip pasty and a lasange-filled pasty. And not only that — it’s going take place in one of Cornwall’s most iconic venues, the Eden Project, about six miles from the lively town of Fowey.

CGS Spring Flower Show — 2-3 April

Flowers on display at Cornwall Garden Society Spring Flower Show, Cornwall, Forever Cornwall Unique Retreats

The west’s answer to Chelsea, the Spring Flower Show is hosted by the Cornwall Garden Society and is must for gardening fans. Held in Boconnoc, a beautiful Georgian country estate near Lostwithiel, not far from the sleepy fishing village of Mevagissey, the event is packed with inspiration and competitions, as well as lectures and workshops, floral art and photography, and local food and drink.

Porthleven Food Festival — 22-24 April

For one weekend in April, around 40,000 people descend on this harbour town on the beautiful Lizard Peninsula for the Portheleven Food Festival, which celebrates Cornwall’s culinary heritage and the very best local food producers. Visitors can see top chefs at work in the Chef’s Theatre, sample street food from rows of stalls lining the harbour and enjoy live music and buskers, who play into the wee hours. Children will be entertained in the Family Field where they can learn circus skills, join cookery sessions and get busy with arts and crafts.

Helston Flora Day — 7 May

An annual celebration (and the most important date in Helston’s social calendar for hundreds of years), the Helston Flora Day marks the passing of winter and the arrival of spring and sees the vibrant town on the wild and wonderful Lizard Peninsula bedecked in flowers and greenery. Dancers, bands and throngs of visitors revel in the town’s streets from dawn until dusk. Locals turn out in all their finery — tops halls and tails and brightly-coloured gowns — wearing the traditional flower of Helston, the lily of the valley, to dance the traditional ‘Furry Dance’ through the streets.

Royal Cornwall Show — 9-11 June

Crowds at Royal Cornwall Show, Cornwall, Forever Cornwall Unique Retreats

One of the UK’s biggest agricultural shows, the Royal Cornwall Show has been showcasing the very best of rural life in Cornwall since 1793. The bumper three-day event is packed with livestock shows, traditional country dancing, food stalls, fabulous displays in the flower tent, live music and over 1000 trade stands to browse across the 95-acre site. Held near Wadebridge, within striking distance of the rugged north Cornwall coast, the event also features a traditional Victorian fun fair and trails for children as well as a craft area and steam fair.

Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival — 17-19 June

This celebration of the sea shanty — a traditional, rhythmical folk song originally sung by sailors to help them synchronise themselves as they worked together on commercial ships — will see music tents and stages spring up across the maritime town of Falmouth for the International Sea Shanty Festival. Held over one weekend in June, the festival brings together almost 70 sea shanty groups from countries across the world, including Canada, the Netherlands and Ireland. 

Mousehole Sea, Salts and Sail Festival — 1-3 July

Over three days in July, a fleet of historic and classic vessels will fill Mousehole harbour in a festival celebrating its maritime history and transporting Mousehole, on Cornwall’s south coast, back to its heyday as a major fishing port on south Cornwall’s coast. There will be live music, food and drinks tents, marquees selling locally crafted goods, boat trips, seashore foraging, cooking demos, poetry, storytelling, and a chance for would-be mini mariners to craft their own models and race them in the harbour.

Tropical Pressure Festival — 15-17 July

Band on stage at Tropical Pressure Festival, Cornwall, Forever Cornwall Unique Retreats

This small, family-friendly festival has a global theme, celebrating the rich music, dance and culinary heritage of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Overlooking the north coast near the lively little seaside town of Porthtowan, this year’s festival will host an incredible line up of music, brilliant workshops and amazing food, plus a kids creative area for the under-10s. 

Rock Oyster Festival — 29-31 July

Chef at Rock Oyster Festival, Padstow, Cornwall, Forever Cornwall Unique Retreats

Hosted by a different chef each year, the Rock Oyster Festival 2022 will see Jack Stein take the reins — a name synonymous with the very best food in Cornwall. The ‘Chef’s Tipis’ will be buzzing with demos and masterclasses, pop up restaurants and banquets. On the banks of the Camel estuary, the festival site is short hop from the popular twin villages of Port Isaac and Port Gaverne. Expect family-friendly entertainment by day (forest school, circus tent, foraging, SUPing on the estuary), and live music (this year’s acts include the Happy Mondays and Laura Mvula), campfires, and feasts by night — oh, and plenty of freshly shucked oysters, whatever the hour.

Boardmasters — 10-14 August

Festival goers relaxing in field overlooking beach at Boardmasters Festival, Newquay, Cornwall, Forever Cornwall Unique Retreats

With one of the best festival views in the country, north Cornwall’s biggest annual event is a mecca for surf and music fans. The festival takes place across two sites in the popular seaside town of Newquay — Watergate Bay, where you’ll find the main arena, music stages, bars and food outlets, and Fistral, where pro surfers battle it out on the waves. Eleven stages play host to dozens of brilliant acts — this year’s headliners include George Ezra and Kings of Leon.

Fowey Regatta and Carnival Week — 10-14 August

One of the UK’s best known sailing events, the Fowey Regatta and Carnival Week attracts thousands of visitors over one weekend in August and is fun for sailors and landlubbers alike. The nautical town of Fowey hosts a bumper programme of races for a variety of boats, including Troys — a class of sailing boat built only in Fowey. The family-friendly festival features carnivals, fireworks, crab catching and swimming competitions, and a giant pasty ceremony, where the eight-foot-long pasty is transported to Fowey by boat, accompanied by the Town Fowey Band, before being carved up and handed out to all the children.