The Railholiday Events Page
All dates below are correct as of September 2023, but sometimes things change, so do check first. If you have an event you’d like us to include, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be plenty going on that is not detailed.
We've tried to pick out our favourite events in and around St Germans and Hayle. Plymouth has a plethora of mini festivals, so it is worth visiting the Visit Plymouth site before you come. For further comprehensive listings of events happening in and around Cornwall we recommend the following links:
Carn to Cove - Our rural touring events organisation.
Visit Plymouth - A search engine to find all the latest about what's going on in Plymouth, which is a twenty minute train ride from the carriages in St Germans.
Visit Cornwall - A search engine to find all the latest on what's going on in Cornwall.
Pirate FMs What's On Guide - A guide to charity events throughout Cornwall.
Cornwall 365 - More countywide events.
101 things to do in Cornwall on a rainy day - lists of museums etc, just in case there is a little precipitation...
In Cornwall and Devon you are never far from a festival. The links above will give you county wide events, but we'd like to focus here on our favourite local ones. These can all be reached by public transport, unless otherwise indicated. Event listings for St Germans are at the top of the page, scroll down to find events near Hayle
What’s on near St Germans - blue, Hayle - green
Pubs that have regular music
There are lots of places that have live music in the South East Cornwall and Hayle area. Here is our round up of our favourite music pubs, many of which are traditional, drinking pubs
Our local pub, The Eliot Arms, has an open mic every other Wednesday evening, and live music from 5 til 7pm on Sundays.
The Halfway House, Polbathic, live music Sundays from 4pm til 6pm. Friendly pub only a mile walk from the carriages. Food all week. Children and dogs welcome.
The Copley Arms, Hessenford - Building a reputation as a live music venue, the Copley has live music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Rod and Line, Tideford, tel:01752 851323 - live music most Fridays and Saturdays. Mike’s reputation for food is legendary, and this extrardinary spit and sawdust pub attracts people for miles for its scallops, game stew and chilli crab claws. Mike is also very discerning when it comes to music, and as a regular stall holder at Glastonbury festival has built up a very good network of highly respected musicians from all over the country. Children and dogs welcome.
The Union Inn Saltash - Tel: 01752 844770, Live music, friendly atmosphere and great selection of ales - just down the road from the train station, this pub does not serve food, but there are plenty of choices of places to eat on Fore Street and the proprieters are happy for takeaways to be taken into the pub. Jazz night on Tuesdays, rock and roll on Saturday and music most Thursdays.
The Minerva Inn, Plymouth, tel:01752 223 047 - a friendly traditional pub, serving real ales (no food). Traditionally a music pub, there has been a very slow return to normal post Covid, with live music every Sunday at 3pm.
Salt Bar, tel;01736.755862 - a modern continental style bar offering freshly cooked food and live music.
The Union Hotel, Penzance, tel: 01736 362319 - live music at weekends.
Theatres, Cinemas and Venues
Plymouth is excellently provided for with theatrical venues - the Theatre Royal Tel: 01752 267222, is the largest and best attended regional producing theatre in the UK and the leading promoter of theatre in the South West. It often catches shows before they hit London and is on the touring circuit for Rambert, Glynbourne, Kneehigh, the RSC and many other fine companies. It has two theatres - the largest showing mainstream shows and musicals, the smaller, the Drum, is an arts venue showcasing the cutting edge of theatre. Check your showtime end times, as the last train leaves Plymouth at 10.35pm on Monday to Friday (earlier at weekends). It is about a fifteen minute walk to the station, but it is easy to catch a taxi from the theatre.
The Barbican Theatre Tel:(01752) 267131 - this small theatre showcases the talents of young people through dance and theatre. Some performance gems. "We seek to challenge what traditional notions of theatre and dance are and liberate the imagination of young people to create fresh and exciting work that comes from new and unusual voices.
Plymouth Arts Center - a small cinema in the Arts University, offering an interesting programme of more unusual films.
Plymouth Pavillions - big name bands.
The Vue Cinema Tel:08712 240 240 - massive chain cinema with lots of screens. About half an hour’s walk from the station. You'll get all the latest films in a rather impersonal, efficient and clean venue. More reasonably priced than it used to be as it now has to complete with the new iMax cinema in the town centre.
Plymouth iMax - large cinema in the centre of town near the famous bombed-out church at Charles Cross roundabout.
The Liskerrett, Liskeard, Tel:01579 340 307 - a super community run venue with the best Vegetarian/Vegan cafe that we know of (open Monday-Fri 9.30am-4.30pm). The Liskerrett runs regular events, from film nights to bands, and during the summer has lunchtime music in the garden every other Wednesday. The last train runs from Liskeard at about 9.45 on weekdays, or a taxi will cost about £15.
Sterts Theatre - the theatre on the moor, it really is impossible to access Sterts theatre by public transport. However if you have access to a car then an evening’s performance in their semi-outdoor arena is worth a look. Sterts’ youth theatre productions are truly exceptional.
The cinema by the sea, Looe is a friendly film society offering films once a month on Wednesday, and occassional other events on different days.
Hall for Cornwall - Cornwall’s largest entertainment venue in Truro.
The Acorn, Penzance - Tel:01736 363545, Parade Street, Penzance, Cornwall TR18 4BU - the far west’s premier arts venue, offering live music, theatre and cinema.
The Minack Theatre - Porthcurno, Penzance, Cornwall, TR19 6JU, Box Office; +44(0)1736 810181 - a legendary open air theatre that is stupendous in its views and atmosphere. You can catch a bus from Penzance station, but will probably need a taxi back to Hayle if you see an evening show. The nearby Porthcurno Telegraph Museum is well worth a visit.
Royal Cinema, St Ives - Chapel Street, Royal Square, St Ives - 01736 796843
Savoy Cinema, Penzance - Causewayhead, Penzance - 01736 363330
Redruth Regal Cinema - 6 Fore St, Redruth, Cornwall TR15 2AZ 01209 216278
Museums and Art Gallerys
The Box - Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery The Box is a superb place to visit - great exhibitions, cafe, family and wheelchair friendly and only ten minutes walk from Plymouth station.
Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro, River St, Truro, Cornwall TR1 2SJ 01872 272205 - excellent museum with very interesting geological displays.
The Tate, St Ives - fine displays of modern art, with a focus on the St Ives School.
Barbara Hepworth Museum and Garden - lovely place to visit, with a garden filled with sculptures.
Festivals and one off events. St Germans area events are marked blue, events near Hayle are green and events between are in brown. Events are accessible by public transport unless otherwise indicated.
Jan - April - Late Winter/Spring
We love this time of year - the bulbs are pushing up and by february the gardens are filled with crocuses, anemones, daffodils and hellebores. It’s a great time to visit windswept beaches and go for refreshing walks. The Luggage Van especially has a magical spring garden, bordered with camellias and covered in crocuses. Mount Edgecumbe, home to the national camellia collection, is at its most glorious and Cothele House holds regular daffodil walks and spring events. Ice skating at the Eden Project is on until the beginning of March.
Jan 25th - Burn’s night celebrations at various locations around the county.
St Ives Feast Day - the hurling of the silver ball traditional hurling celebration usually held on the first Monday after February 3rd.
14th Feb - Valentine’s Day will be marked by all the finest restaurants in the area. Please visit our Eating Out page for ideas.
Feb Half term fun at Cothele House - put on the wellies and get creative.
5th March - St Piran’s Day celebrations take place all around Cornwall, one of the best being St Piran's Day at Perranporth Tel: 01872 572121 - Cornwall's patrton saint is said to have landed on the beach at Perranporth, after being cast out of Ireland. On St Piran's Day, hundreds of people trak across the sands to visit the oratory he built, and to watch the St Piran play.
March 5th - St Piran’s night celebrations at the Rod and Line Tideford. A truly Cornish affair with a pasty tasting competition (usually judged by your hosts, considered experts on account of the weekly staff Friday pasty meal) and charity auction.
Lots of Easter themed events take place in late March and April. Most National Trust properties in the area host family friendly events. Last week in June - Mevagissey Feast Week - This wonderful festival thought to be the longest surviving in Cornwall, owes its success to the blend of traditional and contemporary events which brings the whole community together and welcomes hundreds of visitors to share in its unique celebrations. Catch a bus from St Austell station. First week in August Hayle Carnival - bi-annual week of celebrations and events, with a procession on the first Saturday of the month. Not sure whether its on this year as have been unable to find details... Garland making at Cothele House - takes place throughout the month of November, as the thousands of flowers picked and dried over the summer months are made into a giant garland to decorate the great Hall.
Our favourites for St Germans include the Easter Egg hunt at Antony House, tel:01752 812191 home of Alice the Wonderland (spring events planned through the week leading up to Easter), and Mount Edgecumbe Tel: 01752 822236.
For Easter celebrations at National Trust Houses near Hayle we recommend St Michael’s Mount and Trengwainton Garden, both of which are just a short bus ride from Penzance station.
Also always popular are the Easter activities and wonderful bulb displays at The Eden Project
Last Saturday in April - Catch a train to Camborne for the county famous Trevithick Day when the streets of Camborne come alive with a spectacular day of free Steam, entertainment and much more.
May - August - Summer
Cornwall is a holiday place in the summer - it's hard not to relax with so many people on holiday, and there's always lots to see and do. The highlight in St Germans is undoubtedly Port Eliot Festival, but there are also plenty of carnivals and galas to enjoy. St Germans has its own regatta - date tba.
Late April/ early May St Agnes Bolster Festival - a celebration of Cornish music and art featuring life size puppets, a drum band and a 28ft giant effigy re-enacting the famous Cornish legend of the giant called Bolster. A great day out for all the family. Catch a bus to St Agnes from Redruth station.
1st May bank holiday Saturday - Saltash May Fair - the streets of Saltash are lined with stalls and live music.
May - the South East Cornwall Bach festival - based in the acoustically and visually stunning St Germans church. Find out more on the East Cornwall Bach Choir website.
1st May - St Ives May Day - fun and excitement for all the family
Early May - Helston Flora Day - one of the big events of the Cornish calendar, see the famous dance through the streets of Helston. Catch a bus from Redruth station. The event is held every year on May 8th unless that day falls on a Sunday or Monday, when it is held on the preceding Saturday.
Mid May St Ives Literature Festival - a full programme of literary events featuring writers and poets who descend on the town to share their love of words with locals and visitors alike.
Last weekend in May - St Germans May Tree Fair - a weekend of partying, with the election of a mock mayor on the Saturday and street procession, bands, stalls and live music all Sunday from mid-day until late into the evening.
June Early June - Looe Festival of the Sea - showcasing all that is great about the sea.
Early June - The Royal Cornwall Show - a traditional county show with livestock, horses, fairground rides and music. Catch a bus to the showground from Bodmin Parkway.
Mid June - Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival - providing a platform where the heritage of storytelling through song comes alive with live performances by dozens of groups from all over Cornwall, the UK, Holland and France.
Mid June - Murdoch Day - Each year Redruth celebrates its most famous citizen, inventor William Murdoch (1754-1839) when the town is packed with events and entertainment throughout the day for the whole family.
2nd week in June - Polperro Music Festival - plenty of live music, an arts and crafts fair, a comedy night, the lighting of the solstice bonfire, the colourful village carnival and a unique mock mayor choosing ceremony with the winner being wheeled through the town, stopping at each inn before finally being dunked in the sea!
Mid June - Saltash Regatta and Waterside Festival - just at the bottom of the hill from the station, two fun days filled with boat races, stalls and live music.
Mid June - Falmouth Classic Boats Regatta - the best of the classic boats come to Falmouth.
Close to the solstice in June - Golowan Maritime Festival - A traditional boat festival, running in tandem with the well-established and much loved Golowan Festival.
1st fortnight in July - Lafrowada Festival - traditional festival based in the village of St Just. Catch a bus from Penzance station
Early July - Liskeard Agricultural Show - a proper old fashioned show, with entertainment, stalls and animals.
Early July - Penzance Literary Festival - an all inclusive festival celebrating the joy of words for all ages and walks of life.
15th July - Camborne Show - This annual agricultural show features a Horse Show, Heavy Horses, Cattle, a Dog Show, Goats, Cage Birds, Domestic and Horticultural Section, Alpacas, Pigeons, and Poultry. Trade stands, gun dog demonstration, refreshment stalls, side shows, and children's activities. Plus a full programme of entertainment including the likes of the Camborne Youth Band and the Cornish Wurzels
22nd-28th - Charlestown Regatta Week - The weeklong event in the picturesque Charlestown includes events such as the fun triathlon, raft races, donkey derby, live music and colourful carnival. Catch a bus from St Austell station to Charlestown.
Mid August Cornish Steam and Country Fair, Truro - a fabulous day out at Stithians showground. Catch a bus from Truro Lemon Quay.
Mid August - British Firework Championship Finals - Six top teams compete over two nights to provide the most spectacular firework displays over Plymouth Sound. The Hoe is the prime viewing spot, which also hosts entertainment, a funfair, stalls and refreshments, although we prefer to go to Mount Edgecumbe and view from a distance. The best vista is from a boat, so it may be worth searching the internet to see what is available.
Mid August - Fowey Royal Regatta - There are regular buses from St Austell station to Fowey (but a Cornwall bus and train rover ticket for the best value fares)and we'd recommend you spent the day enjoying Fowey. The highlight of the week is the Red Arrow's display, usually on the Thursday, which can also be enjoyed from Boddinick - catch a ferry from the harbour.
August Bank Holiday Tunes in the Park - Rock and pop festival held in the magnificent grounds of Port Eliot, an easy walk from our carriages in St Germans.
August Bank Holiday Monday - Newlyn Fish Festival - takes place each August bank holiday monday. Celebrating all things fishy in Britain’s premier fishing port where you can satisfy your appetite with the best seafood you’re likely to find anywhere and help to raise money for the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen. Catch a bus or walk from Penzance station.
Mid September - St Ives September Festival - for two weeks in September St Ives comes alive with live music, poetry music and theatre.
October- December -Autumn/ Winter
Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness... and in Cornwall the time for pre Christmas markets and harvest festivals.
Early October - Callington Honey Fair - always takes place on the first Wednesday in October and is one of the largest street fairs in Cornwall, with hundreds of people visiting the town to enjoy the one day event. Buses leave half hourly from Saltash to Callington, the journey time is about 25 minutes.
2nd Wednesday in October - Tavistock Goose Fair - This annual event on the second Wednesday of October dates back to 1105, when abbey tenants paid their tithes in geese. The town centre is filled with all manner of stalls and amusements. Half hourly buses leave from Gunnislake station to Tavistock
Early November - Cornwall Film Festival - the Festival takes place at the Lighthouse Cinema in Newquay in November and will include Screen Actions young person's film festival.
In late November there is a Christmas market in St Germans priory. December
Various Christmas events take place in December, but the best is in Cothele House where there is live music and stalls most days and the hall is beautifully decorated. Also worth looking out for, dates tba, are the latern parades in Liskeard and Downderry.
Mid December - 6th January - Mousehole Lights - these iconic lights are well worth the visit to Cornwall, particularly as Newlyn is also following suit, so the whole of the waterfront from Penzance to Mousehole is a spectacular display.Catch the train or bus to Penzance from Hayle and a bus goes directly to Mousehole
Lots of Easter themed events take place in late March and April. Most National Trust properties in the area host family friendly events. Last week in June - Mevagissey Feast Week - This wonderful festival thought to be the longest surviving in Cornwall, owes its success to the blend of traditional and contemporary events which brings the whole community together and welcomes hundreds of visitors to share in its unique celebrations. Catch a bus from St Austell station.
Last week in June - Mevagissey Feast Week - This wonderful festival thought to be the longest surviving in Cornwall, owes its success to the blend of traditional and contemporary events which brings the whole community together and welcomes hundreds of visitors to share in its unique celebrations. Catch a bus from St Austell station.
First week in August Hayle Carnival - bi-annual week of celebrations and events, with a procession on the first Saturday of the month. Not sure whether its on this year as have been unable to find details...
Garland making at Cothele House - takes place throughout the month of November, as the thousands of flowers picked and dried over the summer months are made into a giant garland to decorate the great Hall.