What’s On in May 2018: Cornwall’s Diary

May brings with it mellow sunshine, bank holidays, and happenings by the bucket load. Discover our diary round-up here for the best events, activities and things to do in Cornwall – from art, dancing and dining to literature, tipples on tap and one of our favourite Falmouth festivals.


Where: 10 minute drive or 50 minute walk from us
Visit Enys Garden near Penryn to see their famous bluebell meadow – a sure sign that spring is finally here! Tuck into a tasty cream tea in the garden cafe, explore the history room, then stroll the ponds and woodland areas. The gardens are open from 11am to 5pm every day throughout the month and from 5th – 13th their Bluebell Festival will be held.


1st May: May Day, padstow

Where: an hour from The Greenbank

It’s not unusual to see many Padstonians from all over the world return to the quaint seaside town of Padstow for its May Day parade. Locals spend the night before decorating the town’s street with flags, flowers and greenery complete with a maypole. Crowds parade dressed in white with their costumes decorated with ribbons and wildflowers, dancing their way down the town to the sound of musicians and drummers. It is said this May Day is a celebration of its roots in pagan times, and welcomes in the summer days.


5th – 6th May: Bolster Festival, st agnes

Where: 30 minutes from us

Join the St Agnes Bolster Festival for a celebration of Cornish music and art featuring life-sized puppets, a drum band and the 28 foot re-enactment of the famous Cornish legend of the giant called Bolster. Starting with a lantern procession, bonfire and barbeque, follow the drummers parading the streets in search of Bolster, where it will end in a dramatic confrontation on the cliffs above the beautiful Chapel Porth beach. One for all the family, this festival incorporates one of the county’s oldest legends with plenty to entertain old and young alike.


5th – 6th May: Cornwall Home & Lifestyle Show, wadebridge

Where: 1 hour from the hotel

An exhibition like no other, this show brings together the best of Cornwall’s home related services. From interiors and architecture, to gardens and renewable energy suppliers, along with lifestyle products and even letting agents, this is the perfect exhibition for first time home-owners as well as those that simply love homeware.


5th – 7th May: Groundwork, various locations

Where: 25 minutes from The Greenbank

Groundwork presents a season of exceptional international contemporary art in locations across West Cornwall. With a focus on place and an emphasis on moving image, sound and performance, the Groundwork programme presents new commissions made in Cornwall, together with existing works by internationally acclaimed artists including Francis Alÿs, Manon de Boer, Janet Cardiff, Adam Chodzko, Tacita Dean, Steve McQueen, Simon Starling and Laureana Toledo.


8th May: Flora Day, helston

Where: 25 minutes from The Greenbank

Connected to ancient spring festivals that take place all over Europe, Helston Flora Day is a celebration of ushering in a prosperous harvest for the summer with a colour celebration that involves the entire town. Decked out with bluebells, gorse and laurel leaves, dancing begins at 7am and continues with the children of the town dancing down the streets at 10am wearing flowers and white attire. The formal dance is at midday with men wearing fine morning dress and women wearing their beautiful ball gowns and hats that would be the envy of Ascot. Expect many stalls full of local souvenirs, Cornish crafts and food, as well as a big fairground towards for everyone to enjoy.


11th – 13th May: St Ives Food & Drink Festival

Where: 50 minutes from us

Taking place on the iconic Porthminster Beach, the St Ives Food and Drink Festival promises culinary experts, attractions and a wide variety of local beverages and food. From wine, beer and cider producers, to chocolate and cheese makers, and fruit and vegetable growers thrown in for good measure, the food market is sure to delight all taste buds!


11th – 19th May: Fowey Festival of Art & Literature

Where: 1 hour 10 minutes from the hotel

Taking place in various locations in Fowey, this literary festival will feature a diverse range of speakers, musicians, authors and artists. Staged in the beautiful riverside town, which was once home to Daphne du Maurier and Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, the event promises an impressive line-up of literary and musical talent. It is a must do with something for everyone, not just book lovers.


19th – 28th May: Open Studios Cornwall

Where: all over Cornwall

Now in its 14th year, artists, craftsmen and designers will open their studios and workshops to the public for nine days. Grab a guide, create your very own art trail, discover hidden corners of the county and explore unusual studio spaces from remote cottages and chapels to beachside galleries and historic buildings. The Open Studios is the perfect opportunity to meet the creators behind the masterpieces including sculpture, glasswork, ceramic, painting and textiles.


24th May: The Water’s Edge Gin Club with Tarquin’s Gin

Where: right on our doorstep

The third Gin Club evening held by The Greenbank will be hosted by the lovely folk from Tarquin’s Gin. Marc will be talking about the distillery based on the north Cornish coast and provide samples of their award-winning products. Expect to be sipping on two homemade gin cocktails, as well as enjoying a selection of nibbles with a G&T served on arrival. Tickets for the Gin Club are £25 per person and must be pre-booked by calling reception on 01326 312 440.


25th May – 3rd June: Fal River Festival, falmouth

Where: right on our doorstep

A 10 day celebration with over 100 events showcasing creative talent from the worlds of art, food, film, adventure, theatre and more! Embrace the places, people, history and culture that are connected by this beautiful Cornish river. As a not-for-profit community festival, this fun bash encompasses everything from music and drama, to gig racing, swimming, walking and fishing workshops from our quay.


25th – 27th May: The Working Boat Mini Beer Festival, Falmouth

Where: The Working Boat (downstairs)

Head to The Working Boat for our first ever beer festival, from midday until 11.30pm every day this May bank holiday. With barrelfuls of local ales, ciders and craft beers on offer, find your new favourites whilst watching our ever-changing views across Falmouth harbour. We will also be preparing scrumptious homemade pizzas in our new pizza oven, as well as firing up the barbecue and serving pub grub from midday until late.


30th – 31st May: Meet Paddington at Lappa Valley, newquay

Where: 40 minutes from The Greenbank

Make way for everyone’s favourite bear, who will be stopping off at Lappa Valley Steam Railway. Making appearances throughout both days at East Wheal Rose, make sure you bring your camera to capture the magic of this wonderful day out. Visitors can enjoy a stream ride into the leisure park where they can enjoy all of the great attractions on offer including crazy golf, canoeing lake, toddler path maze, pedal cars, multiple outdoor play areas and nature walks.



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