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August Top Picks

Overrun with family activities this summer? Want some ideas for date night? Here are 18 events you can enjoy child-free this August.

Summer isn’t all about family entertainment and neither is Cornwall 365. Here are some hand-picked theatre, film, culinary events, festivals, classic concerts and dance parties that you can enjoy with friends or a special someone this summer. Why not relax with a glass of gin, experience cinema in style or treat your ears to the scores of Verdi, Elgar and Mozart? Or, for the more party animals, kick up your heels to a traditional Cornish gig or sing along with your favourite artists at Watergate Bay.

Whether you want a bit of peace or to party, read on for our stress-relieving summer selection.

1. Colwith Farm Distillery Tours

Sat 28th July – Sat 29th Sep, 2018
Colwith Farm Distillery, Fowey

Colwith Farm Distillery is delighted to offer a first for Cornwall – a guided plough to bottle gin and vodka distillery tour, followed by sampling in the bar.

Tours take approximately one hour and offer a fun and enlightening insight into how premium spirits – Stafford’s Gin, Fowey River Gin and Aval Dor Vodka – are produced, the plough to bottle way. Your guide will walk you through everything from preparing the mash, cooking, fermenting, distilling, bottling and of course sampling.

Located at Lanlivery near Fowey, the new state-of-the-art facility includes the main production area – where King Edward potatoes, grown on the family farm, are mashed, fermented and distilled to create vodka and then gin – and a bar so visitors can sample the spirits. Overseen by fifth-generation farmer, Steve Dustow, this is the first distillery in Cornwall to bring the whole process under one roof.

2. Sundowner Sessions

Weds 1st – Thurs 30th Aug, 2018
Lusty Glaze Beach, Newquay

Lusty Glaze Beach has been awarded the No.1 spot by The Times for ‘Most picturesque live music venues in the UK’. Over the years, Lusty Glaze have worked hard to build a reputation as one of the most unique and beautiful spots to enjoy live music.

Summer is all about endless evenings, relaxation and music, and the Sundowner Sessions in Newquay capture the essence of this within a picturesque oceanfront setting. Weekly music sessions are held in the bar and restaurant year round.

See event listings

3. Pasties and Cream Course

Weds 1st & Weds 15th Aug, 2018
Philleigh Way Cookery School, St Mawes

Cornish chef, George Pascoe will teach you how to make a ‘proper’ Cornish Pasty (to Granny’s Spears own secret recipe!) and Cornish clotted cream.

The course kicks off with a pasty making demonstration that also covers the history and culture of the Cornish pasty. Have a go at making your own pasty with guidance – especially during the all-important crimping! Whilst the pasties are baking in the oven enjoy a demonstration of how to make clotted cream from raw milk, then sit down to enjoy a classic Cornish tea with jam, scones and home-made clotted cream before heading home with your freshly baked pasty.

See event listings

4. First Class Evening Dining on the Cornish Belle

Weds 1st, 15th & 29th Aug, 2018
Bodmin & Wenford Railway, Bodmin

For an evening meal with a difference, whether for a special event, anniversary or just a night out, why not try the Cornish Belle, the First Class Luxury Dining Train…?
Excellent food and drink, together with a superb, first-class dining service on a steam-hauled train provide a unique and memorable experience. Relax and enjoy your meal whilst the Cornish countryside slips gently by.

See event listings

Cornish Summertime & Steam
Fri 17th Aug, 2018

Bodmin & Wenford Railway are hosting an alternative evening of food and entertainment celebrating Cornish summertime with heritage steam travel and home grown produce and talent! Food for the evening will be provided by Ben and Rory from The Kitchen, Falmouth and the team from Atlantic will be on hand with a fully stocked bar and the chance to sample their full array of delicious tipples. With musical entertainment from The Grenaways, this Feast of Bodmin event is all about shared dining experiences, enjoying good food, exploring unusual spaces and meeting new people. It is a celebration of local produce and exotic flavours, of the food we love and the food we’ve never tried.

See event listing

5. Kneehigh Asylum

Thurs 2nd Aug – Sat 22nd Sep, 2018
The Lost Gardens of Heligan, St Austell

The Asylum is back in a new site at The Lost Gardens of Heligan and plans are afoot to create the ultimate night out! This year it’s all about breaking the rules with style, with pop-up shows, surprise acts and spontaneous events invigorating a season of world-class theatre and epic live music.

UBU Karaoke

We all know an Ubu. Impossibly greedy, unstoppably crude, inexorably hell-bent on making our country great again! Sound familiar?

Inspired by Alfred Jarry’s riot-inducing masterpiece, Kneehigh will wind-up and let rip their own version of theatre’s most anarchic creation – KING UBU. Expect world-class buffoonery from Kneehigh stalwarts in this deliriously unhinged improvised promenade musical (surely the first of its kind)! Featuring some of the most iconic rock & pop anthems of all time, given a fresh run for their money by a belting Kneehigh band plus an extraordinary choir of extras – you! – we guarantee this will be a rocking, rollicking riot of ridiculousness you won’t forget!

FUP: A Modern Fable

The Santee family are unconventional, to say the least. One hundred year old Grandaddy Jake and his enormous grandson Tiny live life on the fringes, drinking whiskey, building fences, boasting of immortality. But then, Fup arrives – an ass-kicking, web-footed, feathery sonofagun. See, Fup is a duck. A very big duck. A very big duck indeed… And she is going to change their world forever.

FUP is a big-hearted, uproarious modern fable about family, love and nature set in a weird and wild Cornwall not so different from this one. Featuring live, foot-stomping music, quacking puppetry and Kneehigh’s infamous eccentricity and charm, FUP is a story like no other.

6. Nos Lowen

Fri 3rd Aug, 2018
Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro

Neil Davey and Jen Dyer are two of the leading proponents of Cornish traditional Celtic music. They are members of, the internationally acclaimed band, Dalla. They play bouzouki, fiddle and viola, and the repertoire of Cornish Celtic music, both new and old, ranges from stonking Celtic jigs, reels and polkas, to the exotic almost Balkan sound of some of the Cornish five-steps, as well as some heart-meltingly beautiful and hypnotic slower pieces.

Join Neil and Jen on August 3rd for a couple of hours of tunes with lots of friends!

7. Tarquins Gin Feast

Fri 3rd Aug, 2018
Knightor Winery, St Austell

Are you an adventurous foodie with a fondness for Cornish gin..? If so, this is the feast for you! Knightor Winery have teamed up with Tarquins Gin for the ultimate summer feast; a unique evening of gin inspired recipes and fresh, local produce.

After carefully sampling a varied collection of Tarquins Gins and exploring different matches (what a chore!), the chefs at Knightor’s Winery have crafted a special seasonal menu designed with a gin pairing in mind, to compliment and tease the many flavours it holds.

From the classic flavours of gin to the fruity punch of limited edition blends, this is a truly summer menu full of seasonal, home-cooked ingredients and delicious flavours like no other.

8. St Mawes Hidden Cinema

Fri 3rd – Fri 31st Aug, 2018
St Mawes Hotel, St Mawes

With 25 luxury reclining leather seats, a 160 inch screen with Barco HD projection and powerful Dolby Atmos 3D audio sound system this is the ultimate private cinema experience.

3rd August – Hot Fuzz

Top London cop, PC Nicholas Angel is good. Too good. And to stop the rest of his team looking bad, he is reassigned to the quiet town of Sandford where all is not what it seems.

10th August  – McLaren

The Story of Bruce McLaren, the New Zealander who founded the McLaren Motor Racing team. A man who showed the world that a man of humble beginnings could take on the elite of the motor racing and win.

17th August –  Darkest Hour

Within days of becoming Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or continuing the war.

24th August –  Mamma Mia

The Story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father, told using hit songs by the popular 1970s group ABBA.

August 31st –  The Post

A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country’s first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between the press and the government. Starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.

Visit Website

9. The Summer Island Disco

Sat 4th Aug, 2018
The Island, St Ives

Every year, on the first Saturday of August; The island is alive with the sound of music, the smell of the best local food, a variety of thirst quenching bars and the happy buzz of the whole community- young and old- appreciating this incredible summer setting surrounded by the sea.

Set up in 2017 by Tassy Swallow of SurfHouse St.Ives, The Summer Island Disco’s main mission is to get together a selection of the finest food and drink vendors, artists, musicians, businesses with Pop-Up stalls and quirky activities- all local- taking place in an otherwise relatively unappreciated part of the town during the summer months. A part of the town very close to most locals’ hearts – meaning the most important part that we’ll never forget, as the sun sets and it’s all over for another year – not a trace of island discoing is left behind on that green green grass!

10. St Endellion Summer Concert

Mon 6th Aug, 2018
Truro Cathedral, Truro

Following last year’s sell-out performance of Verdi’s magnificent Requiem, this year’s concert by the St Endellion Summer Festival in its 60th year sees the return of conductor Ryan Wigglesworth, who continues the Verdi theme with a performance of the Te Deum from Verdi’s Four Sacred Pieces, in a programme that also includes Elgar’s mesmerising cello concerto performed by the festival orchestra and soloist Timothy Gill. The concert also features Mozart’s Requiem – one of classical music’s supreme masterpieces – with soloists Sophie Bevan, Frances Bourne, James Way, David Stout and the St Endellion Festival Chorus. All three works form an unmissable concert.

11. Boardmasters

Weds 8th – Sun 12th Aug, 2018
Watergate Bay & Fistral Beach, Newquay

From the first wave to the last beat, Boardmasters brings like-minded souls together for a unique festival experience. With parties that run late into the night, and beautiful beaches on which to recuperate during the day, you’re invited to become part of the story…

Boardmasters is situated across two iconic locations in Newquay. Watergate Bay plays host to no less than twelve curated stages, with a collection of acts ranging from local acoustic talent, to mind-bending visual performers, to international headliners. You can also find peace and quiet in the wellbeing area, relax in the eco spa, dine in The Wild Oyster restaurant and enjoy one of the many fabulous food stalls.

In the town of Newquay, you will find the legendary surf mecca of Fistral Beach. Surfing, skating, BMX, live music, the Surf Village and much more can be found here at the home of UK surfing. The pro surf competitions have been at the heart of the festival for over two decades and the festival are thrilled to host the international surf league events.

See you at the beach!

12. Falmouth Gin Festival

Sat 11th Aug, 2018
The Greenbank Hotel, Falmouth

Experience the first ever Falmouth Gin Festival at The Greenbank in August for a celebration of all things gin.The event will be held in The Riverbank Suite overlooking Falmouth harbour from 5pm until 10pm, with your ticket including a G&T on arrival, samples from all the distilleries, and a keepsake branded gin glass to hold all your favourite future tipples.

Sample award-winning products from the likes of Curio, Tarquin’s, Agnes Arber and Salcombe Gin, then kick back whilst listening to gin demonstrations and masterclasses that will run throughout the evening. Lounge around sipping gin cocktails served in our bar, share a tasting board of nibbles with your friends, then dance the night away to your best-loved tunes.

To gin or not to gin? Silly question really. So gather your crew and celebrate our ‘Falmouth Gin Festival’ this summer!

13. Secret Gin Garden

Fri 17th Aug, 2018
Scorrier House, Redruth

From the creators of The Great Estate Festival comes a decadent one-night soirée of tantalising beverages, live music, burlesque, DJs and fire dancing. Nestled in a leafy corner of the 240-year-old walled gardens of Scorrier House, this intimate experience immerses all those involved into a secluded world of enchanting performance and whimsical plenty.

Starting the evening in style, Wine Wild Club will be on hand to serve a three-course meal and delicious gin infused cocktails. The gastronomic adventure will showcase Cornwall’s finest local produce and explore a variety of exotic gins from across the country. Enjoy a unique dining experience within the four walls of a derelict horse shed by a roaring open fire as onsite chefs cook up a feast in preparation for the intimate, candle lit, long table banquet. As you wander along winding pathways, stumble across hidden openings and relax amongst blossom-filled borders, the evening will showcase a variety of musical talent including, Electric Swing Circus, a fusion of saucy 20’s swing and stomping electro beats and Bristol-based B-boys The Allergies. Otherwise known as DJ Moneyshot and Rackabeat, the duo is fast becoming ones to watch with their party-starting DJ sets.

14. Rogue Theatre: Firebird

Fri 17th Aug – Sun 2nd Sep, 2018
Tehidy Woods, Redruth

Firebird is a stirring, spellbinding, heart pounding, majestic and riotous feast for the senses combining vivid imagery, wild theatre that takes place all around you, incredible live music , breath taking dance, immersive battles, supernatural visions and a beautiful tale.

Following the fearless footsteps of Rogue’s King Arthur,Firebirdis an immersive theatre adventure into the spell-casting shadows of Tehidy Woods North Cliffs. Follow the flames to a fantastical bewitchment, a blazing show in the heart of the wild.

15. Slinky Minsky's Caberlesque

Sat 18th Aug, 2018
Penlee Park Open Air Theatre, Penzance

Cabaret and Burlesque are art forms where everyone is embraced, accepted and celebrated and these women truly live for this. Your hostess with the mostest, the beautiful Babalicious, and her gorgeous girls invite you to take a walk on the wild side with wild routines, wild costumes and delicious wild cocktails! Plus Woodman’s Wild Ale. Enjoy a Middle Eastern style meal* with a wild twist.

*Pre-order food with your ticket (all food is vegan) for just £5.

16. Cornwall Folk Festival 2018

Thurs 23rd – Mon 27th Aug, 2018
Wadebridge Town

This year the Cornwall Folk Festival line-up will feature Eddi Reader and her band with the amazing Ninebarrow on Saturday; a night of cajun and blue grass with Penzance’s Flats and Sharps and Joli Blon; a family affair with Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, joined by Katriona Gilmore and Kathryn’s brother Jamie Roberts; closing out with the amazing voice of Sam Kelly and his Lost Boys, plus the festival’s Breton friends Zonj.

Festival patrons, Wizz Jones and Geoff Lakeman will be around to play at sessions and impromptu opportunities, and there will be a ‘head-to-head’ with Geoff interviewing Wizz!

Elsewhere, you will find back-to-back live regional music on the FAR Stage, sessions in pubs and cafes, workshops for musicians and songwriters and the streets lined with musicians and dancers. It will be one, amazing party, the perfect last blast of summer!

17. Sunset Tap Takeover

Thurs 30th Aug, 2018
The Tate, St Ives

This summer the Tate St Ives will be celebrating local Cornish craft beer. Kicking off on Thursday 28th June with an evening of beer, BBQ and beats, the first Tate St Ives sunset Tap Takeover in collaboration with Harbour Brewing Co. will be hosted on the Café Terrace with exceptional views over Porthmeor Beach.

Tate Tap takeovers provide a fun and informal space for beer makers and beer lovers alike to come together and enjoy the best of the UK’s brews with tastings, talks and activities. Tate are very much looking forward to opening this up to Cornwall beer enthusiasts and showcasing the best of the West Country craft breweries.

While the sun sets over Porthmeor beach, ice cold Harbour Pilsner will be in full flow for guests to enjoy whilst soaking up smooth tunes provided by a local DJ. Foodwise, Tate will be working the tongs alongside Cornish BBQ extraordinaire Mac’s BBQ to deliver a meaty menu to compliment the beers. Watch out for his secret BBQ sauce over a pulled pork burger or some glazed pork ribs!

18. Skillywidden

Fri 31st Aug, 2018
Penlee Park Open Air Theatre, Penzance

Come and soak up the sound of Cornish traditional music at its best. The line-up includes members of internationally acclaimed Cornish traditional music band Dalla on bouzouki, fiddle, clarinets, viola and percussion, with the addition of guest musicians drawn from the cream of Cornwall’s talent in other genres.

Holly Gambles

Holly joined the Cornwall 365 team in May 2018 as a Communications and Events Co-ordinator, after completing her management degree at Falmouth University.