Top things to do in May

    Welcome to May in Cornwall, where spring reaches its peak and the county bursts into a spectacle of colours and celebrations. As the weather warms, Cornwall becomes the perfect getaway for both nature lovers and culture enthusiasts. From the enchanting bluebell woods that are unfurling into full bloom to the lively festivals that capture the spirit of Cornish heritage and creativity, May is a month brimming with opportunities to explore and enjoy.

    May also marks the season when many of Cornwall's unique attractions come into full swing, offering a wealth of activities that cater to every interest. Whether you're drawn to the tranquil gardens, historic estates, or the dynamic arts and culinary scenes, there's no shortage of ways to make the most of this month. Dive into our curated list of the top things to do in May and discover the series of events that make Cornwall a standout destination this spring.

    Embrace Bluebell Season

    May is widely known as Bluebell season, with Bluebells flowering throughout Cornwall’s gardens, parks and even along the roadside. It’s the perfect time of year to set out for a walk to find woodland floor transforming into dazzling carpets of blue. We recommend taking a trip to Enys Gardens, where you can wander through one of the oldest grounds in Cornwall, home to fields of bluebells alongside the impressive Manor House where regular events and exhibitions take place. From 4th – 12th May, Enys Gardens will host their annual Bluebell Festival celebrating this vibrant time of year coupled with an Art Exhibition to keep you occupied from sunrise to sunset.

    Or visit one of Cornwall’s many gardens and woodlands which will sure be carpeted with dazzling blues. Visit Godolphin where you can take a stroll through their magical bluebell woods before exploring their historical house or wandering through their medieval garden. Nearly every inch of Lanhydrock’s woodland floor turns blue at this time of year. As does Tehidy Country Park, offering an elevated woodland walk.

    Click below to find the best place to see blue near you.

    Fowey Festival or Arts and Literature

    10th-18th May 2024

    Attend Fowey Festival, a week-long festival featuring an impressive line-up of authors, speakers, musicians, and art exhibitions to celebrate arts and literature.

    Inspired by the famous author Daphne du Maurier, who spent a large part of her life in the waterside town of Fowey, Fowey Festival began as a way to celebrate the life and works of Du Maurier. Now it has widened to include a wide range of art and literary events including workshops, guided walks and even an Art Trail and Secret Gardens guide.

    In 2024, the Fowey Festival will celebrate its 25th anniversary, having flourished despite the challenges of the Covid years when the festival was unable to take place. Now it continues to draw thousands, both from afar and some even just down the road, all eager to celebrate arts and literature in Cornwall.

    Join the Cornwall Pride celebrations

    Pride celebrations continue throughout Cornwall with marches in Camborne, Redruth, and St Austell this month. No matter which town you choose to visit, you’ll find superb performances, enjoy local food and drink and find live entertainment bringing joy as we come together to support the LGBTQ+ community in Cornwall and beyond.

    Splash into summer at the Jubilee Pool

    After their winter closure, Jubilee Pool in Penzance will reopen on Saturday 4th May – the perfect way to kick off summer waterside fun. Jubilee Pool is the largest sea water pool in the UK offering swimmers the benefits of cold-water swimming, alongside a geothermal pool for those who prefer a warmer dip.

    Padstow Obby Oss

    1st May 2024

    Celebrate the arrival of spring with the Padstow Obby Oss Festival, an enchanting May Day tradition steeped in centuries of mystery and local lore. Every 1st of May, the picturesque town of Padstow bursts into life with flowers and flags decorating the fishing village and celebrated hobby horses, Old Oss and Blue Ribbon Oss are released to roam the streets. This unique festival, deeply rooted in the town's heritage, is a spectacle of music and dance with a procession of locals dressed in white, adorned with vibrant ribbons, cowslips and bluebells led by the Old Oss and Blue Ribbon Oss through the charming lanes of Padstow.

    They parade to the beat of drums and traditional May Day songs, celebrating both the renewal of life and the transition from spring to summer. Traditionally, the festival not only marks the beginning of the warmer months but also commemorates a new cycle in the town’s livestock cycle.

    Only those whose families have lived for at least two generations in Padstow are able to take part in the procession, but you can still enjoy the festivities experience a day where local folklore comes alive, dancing through the charming lanes of Padstow.

    Helston Flora Day

    8th May 2024

    On 8th May, celebrate the vibrant Helston Flora Day, a tradition that spans back hundreds of years, marking the end of winter with a burst of life and celebration. Visit for the festivities and you’ll find the streets of Helston come alive with houses and shops throughout the town decorated with vivid greenery and blooms, commemorating the spirit of renewal.

    The day begins with a unique tradition where couples dance through the town starting from seven in the morning, entering houses and shops in a symbolic act to sweep away winter’s gloom and fill the space with spring’s light. Dances continue throughout the day alongside music, theatrical performances, and the chance to shop from Helston’s independent business at their market.

    Don't miss the Hal-an-Tow, a spirited outdoor play that weaves through the town’s history with characters recounting tales of epic battles and legendary heroes like the English patron saint, St George, the challenge of the Spanish Armada and the fight between St Michael and the devil.

    Things to do

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