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Cornwall 365’s May Top Picks

Hurray for May! Plan your month with our top picks of the best events, activities and things to do in Cornwall

Spring is truly in full swing, and Cornwall is embracing the sunshine and longer days with an action-packed events calendar. Get May off to a great start by celebrating the early Bank Holiday, sipping gin in a sub-tropical garden, partying on a clifftop, finding fantastic art or making the most of Cornwall’s great outdoors.  Here’s our guide to the best events, parties, pop-ups and things to do in Cornwall for an a-may-zing month. We’ll see you out there!

1. The Dancing Frog – Kneehigh Theatre Special Preview at The Old Bakery

Wed 2nd May, 2018
Old Bakery Studios, Truro

Ahead of its summer run at The Asylum, Kneehigh perform a special preview of their brand new family show.

Poor Gertrude thinks she’ll never laugh or love again. But then she has a lucky encounter on a lily pad. With a frog. Called George. Suddenly, things are looking bright again! For George isn’t just any frog. He’s a dancing frog. And when Gertrude thrusts this web-footed wonder into the spotlight he becomes an overnight sensation the likes of which the world has never seen!

2. Tildon Krautz at No8 Cafe

Thu 3rd May, 2018
No8 Cafe, Launceston

Head to No8 Cafe for summery, jazzy Americana with eclectic musicians from Brooklyn, New York and France. Make an evening of it and book a table for dinner before the band!

3. Spring Favourites Feast and Wine Quiz at Knightor Winery

Fri 4th May, 2018
Knightor Winery, St Austell

Knightor Winery are celebrating the lighter nights and brighter days with a Spring Feast of delicious Cornish produce from the land, earth and sea. Enjoy fantastic seasonal ingredients such as lamb and asparagus at their very finest and put a spring in your step with an evening of great food in the threshing barn or al fresco in the courtyard.

During the feast there will also be a call my bluff wine quiz with 3 glasses of wine paired to each dish on the menu. Guess the correct wine for all 3 courses and you could win a prize!

4. Setting Sail - The Joyful Singers at St Endellion Church

Sat 5th May, 2018
St Endellion Church, Port Isaac

One of Europe’s most prominent chamber choirs, the Joyful Company of Singers promise a wonderful musical voyage of discovery exploring choral settings from Britain, Germany and the Baltic region, with works by Brahms, Parry, Stanford, Bingham, Ešenvalds, Mäntyjärvi, and Miškinis.

5. Tintagel Fairy Fayre & Ball

Sat 5th May, 2018
King Arthur’s Great Halls, Tintagel

Steeped in myth, magic and legend, Tintagel is a truly magical location to celebrate Beltane (Gaelic May Day) with an Arthurian twist! In the day time you’ll find the free fairy fayre, and the evening sees a ticketed Arthurian Fairy Ball with music from Wilde Roses and more.

6. Cornwall in a Day Cookery Course at Philleigh Way Cookery School

Sat 5th May, 2018
Philleigh Way Cookery School, St Mawes

On this Cornwall inspired course, Philleigh Way’s very own Cornish chef George Pascoe will take you through an exciting cookery experience of all things truly Cornish, from dressing a crab to making the quintessential Cornish pasty (to granny’s own recipe). After completing the Cornwall in a Day course you will be truly equipped to recreate some “proper” Cornish delicacies for friends and family in your own home.

7. Andy Holden - Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape at AMATA

Sat 5th May, 2018
AMATA, Penryn

Through close observation of the adventures and mishaps of Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner and Bugs Bunny, Andy Holden has analysed the conventions that operate in the virtual realm of the animated cartoon, to come up with ten non-Newtonian Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape.

Part of the Groundwork opening weekend, this special live performance sees Holden transported into the cartoon world via green-screen technology, offering a dazzling journey through the history of animation, critical theory, physics and art, before arriving at contemporary politics and Trump Tower – ultimate proof that the world has now come to resemble a cartoon.

8. Panta Rei Danseteater - Promise of Departure at Wadebridge Town Hall

Thu 10th May, 2018
Wadebridge Town Hall, Wadebridge

Some of Norway’s best dancers are coming to Cornwall with a new dance theatre production that explores identity, vulnerability and strength. Expect high paced, intricate choreography with energy, expression and power.

9. The Foundry Group - The Ministry of Biscuits at North Hill Village Hall

Fri 11th May, 2018
North Hill Village Hall, Launceston

Stop! Think before you eat that biscuit! Is it in any way fancy? If so, then you are a criminal!

In Post-War London, The Ministry of Biscuits casts its sinister shadow over every tea-time and elevenses in the land. Established to “control biscuits, and to control the idea of biscuits,” it prohibits decadent sweetmeats, such as the Gypsy Cream. But when Cedric Hobson, a junior designer, falls in love and designs a biscuit to “shake confectionery to its very foundations,” his world – and the Ministry – is turned upside down.

10. Truro Cathedral Choir and the BBC Concert Orchestra at Truro Cathedral

Fri 11th May, 2018
Truro Cathedral, Truro

This special concert is a rare opportunity to hear the BBC Concert Orchestra in the magical cathedral acoustic, with the full cathedral choir, lots of gifted students from local schools, and music written especially for the occasion by leading contemporary composer, Dobrinka Tabakova. The spectacular line-up will be further enhanced by world acclaimed cellist, Natalie Clein, who will join the orchestra for the evening. The BBC Radio 3 team will also be present and recording the entire concert for later broadcast.

11. St Ives Food and Drink Festival

Fri 11th May, 2018 — Sun 13th May, 2018
Porthminster Beach, St Ives

The hugely popular St Ives Food and Drink Festival is back with thousands of people expected to head to the golden sands of Porthminster Beach for the delicious event. You’ll find a mouthwatering mix of food and drink, musical entertainment and cookery demonstrations by talented Cornish chefs – alongside culinary household names.

12. Fowey Festival of Arts & Literature

Fri 11th May, 2018 — Sat 19th May, 2018

A nine-day literary festival based in Daphne du Maurier’s beautiful hometown of Fowey, featuring a wide range of guest speakers with talks, panel debates, workshops and concerts.

13. Teddy Bear Weekend in Bodmin

Sat 12th May, 2018 — Sun 13th May, 2018
Cornwall’s Regimental Museum, Bodmin

In partnership with Bodmin and Wenford Railway, Cornwall’s Regimental Museum is holding a weekend of bear-filled fun!

As part of the special Paddington event at Bodmin & Wenford Railway on the 12th & 13th May, Cornwall’s Regimental Museum will be holding family activities inspired by WW1 pocket bears, little mascots sent from home to keep the soldiers safe. During the weekend visitors will be able to make their own pocket bear to take home, as well as following the special bear trail around Bodmin Keep.

14. Roger McGough - As Far as I Know at The Acorn

Sat 12th May, 2018
Acorn Penzance, Penzance

Hilarious and surreal, Roger McGough’s new show features a fine selection of vintage, classic and surprising poems. A gala gig that’s making waves!

15. Roots Culture Summer Market at Mount Pleasant Eco Park

Sun 13th May, 2018
Mount Pleasant Ecological Park, St Agnes

Kick off Summer by satisfying all your senses with an explosion of music and food! You’ll find an array of stalls with local makers, artists and creators selling local and ethically produced goods, from jewellery and clothing to crafts, plants, books and so much more.

16. Silk bundle dying workshop at Potager Garden

Sun 13th May, 2018
Potager Garden Glass house, Falmouth

Explore natural colour and find out which plants in Potager Garden produce natural dyes before using petals, leaves and leftovers from the kitchen to make your very own silk scarf to take home.

17. Seaweed Foraging & Cookery with Fat Hen

Tue 15th May, 2018
Fat Hen – The Wild Cookery School, Penzance

Get a dose of Vitamin Sea and take a guided trip to the beach to forage for up to ten different seaweed species before heading to Fat Hen for an afternoon of seaweed cookery and eating – think crab mousse set with carragheen seaweed, Japanese dashi broth with seaweeds, seaweed foccacia and laver seaweed cakes with a mussel and wild garlic or fennel sauce.

18. Balletboyz present Fourteen Days at Hall for Cornwall

Wed 16th May, 2018
Hall For Cornwall, Truro

Celebrated across the world for their stunning live performances, films and TV appearances, BalletBoyz® are back with four brand new works and the return of an audience favourite!

For the new works, choreographers Javier de Frutos, Craig Revel Horwood, Iván Pérez and Christopher Wheeldon were teamed with composers Scott Walker, Joby Talbot, Charlotte Harding and Keaton Henson and each given just fourteen days to create their pieces. Playing with the concept of balance and imbalance, the result is an exciting and varied programme of dance and music.

19. Gin and Jazz at Trebah

Fri 18th May, 2018
Amphitheatre at Trebah, Falmouth

Join Trebah for a summer evening of cocktail demonstrations, delicious food and the very best of Cornish Jazz, featuring the soulful sounds of Swingology and Licence to Swing.

20. Art8 – Newquay Arts and Culture Festival

Fri 18th May, 2018 — Sun 20th May, 2018
Steam Bar, Newquay

Celebrating all things artistic in Newquay, at this year’s Art8 you’ll find photography, theatre, pottery, film, puppetry, dance, poetry and craft – and everything in between!

21. The Healing Light Festival at Heartlands

Sat 19th May, 2018 — Sun 20th May, 2018
Heartlands, Redruth

This showcase of Cornwall based complementary therapists includes stalls, free workshops, and holistic therapies including healing, reiki, herbal medicine, no-hands massage and more – all to nourish the mind, body and spirit.

22. Open Studios Cornwall

Sat 19th May, 2018 — Mon 28th May, 2018
Across Cornwall

Open Studios Cornwall 2018 promises the richest mix yet as more than 320 artists, designers and makers – the county’s creative movers and shakers – invite us into curious spaces and beautiful places to experience their artistic practice.


Sun 20th May, 2018
Various venues around Lostwithiel

Lostwithiel’s quirky (and free!) festival is a very eclectic mix – there will be music and dance all over town to keep everyone entertained, stalls selling arts, crafts, antiques and food to browse, plus live demonstrations and workshops to watch. LostFest will be chock-a-block with stalls selling arts, crafts, antiques and lots of other goodies – including food from all over the world. Kids will have plenty to keep them entertained with face painting, balloon sculpture, and an inflatable assault course and soft play areas. The festivities continue with music and dancing into the night.

24. Bude & Stratton Folk Festival

Fri 25th May, 2018 — Mon 28th May, 2018
Multiple locations in Bude

This super friendly festival features concerts, sing-arounds, sessions, a folk club, a barn dance, open-mics, fringe events, storytelling, a folk service and workshops. The impressive guest list includes Against the Grain, Capella, Didjan, Gadarene, Georgia Lewis Trio, Hannah Cumming, Jackie Oates & Tristan Seume, Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith, Kitty Macfarlane, Reg Meuross, Sam Kelly Trio, and Thorn and Roses.

25. Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival 2018

Fri 25th May, 2018 — Sun 27th May, 2018
Sterts Theatre, Bodmin

Back in its seventh year, The Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival returns to Sterts Theatre with poetry readings, workshops, walking, yoga, food and drink, music, dance, visual arts. There will even be a special appearance from the voice of Zachy Martin from Poldark (aka actor Tristan Sturrock), who will be reading  a long poem ‘The Nightfishing’ to accompany a solo dance piece by Luke Antysz. The piece has been specially commissioned for the festival to celebrate the centenary of the poem’s author, Scottish poet W.S Graham, who lived for much of his life in Cornwall.

26. The Masked Ball

Fri 25th May, 2018 — Sun 27th May, 2018
Beacon Crag, Porthleven

The legendary Masked Ball returns to the clifftops of Porthleven – a myriad of rooms, dance floors, dens, hidden bars, unpredictable nano-venues, eccentric humour and epic raves with a soundtrack of New York disco, primal chants, cosmic guitar licks and terrifying techno. A weekend like no other.

27. Hedgerow Headdress workshop at The Exchange

Wed 30th May, 2018
The Exchange Penzance, Penzance

Let a bee buzz in your bonnet and a mouse nest in your hair. Create a beautiful hedgerow inspired headdress as Golowan goes wild about creatures great and small!

28. St Petroc’s Sessions: Fairport Convention

Thu 31st May, 2018
St Petroc’s Church, Bodmin

The legendary folk rock band play the unique setting of this 15th century church as part of their 50th anniversary tour. You can expect to hear all the hits, such as Who Knows Where the Time Goes? and Meet on the Ledge, alongside new songs from the Golden Anniversary album 50:50@50.

Imogen Weatherly

Imogen can usually be found in a village community cinema, exploring Cornwall’s great outdoors, at foodie events, or watching live theatre. When she’s not getting stuck into all the lovely cultural stuff in Cornwall, you can find her on the beach.