Enjoy Christmas and New Year
Christmas and New Year is a fantastic time on the Peninsula. The scenery is stunning: the land, woodlands and moor wear their winter finery and the sea awes with its winter power.
Yet the welcome is warmer than ever: Hartland village is bright with Christmas decorations and alive with festive bustle. Fires roar in the pubs and places to stay, and the local food and drink is at its very best.
Whether you're here for Christmas or New Year itself, or just visiting there is so much to see and do. Explore the beautiful scenery, indulge in fantastic local meat, cheese, seafood, drink, sweet treats and much more and take part in the wonderfully diverse range of Christmas events on and near the Peninsula.
See our 25 Christmas and New Year things to do for inspiration:
- Take a long wintry walk on the cliff tops, through the woods or across the vale (pictured) before a glass of mulled wine in front of a roaring log fire in one of the local hostelries.
- Join in with carols around the tree in Hartland Square with the town band.
- Pick up unique gifts from the craft markets or one of the open studios and galleries, including a late nights on Wednesdays up to Christmas.
- Shop for festive treats from the Christmas farmers' markets and local producers.
- Go wave watching down at Hartland Quay before retreating into the bar for a warming bite, hot chocolate or local ale.
- Pop in to Hartland to pick up local treats, gifts and supplies: cheeses, cream, meats, fish, icecream, apple juice, honey, arts, crafts...
- Watching for shooting stars across a star-studded sky that goes on for as far as the eye can see.
- Relax with a Christmas spa session and even get a massage or treatment.
- Take a short break on magical Lundy Island, including a six minute spectacular helicopter ride each way.
- Let children burn off some holiday energy at the award winning Big Sheep or Milky Way theme parks!
- Enjoy late night shopping on Wednesdays when many of the shops and studios are open late and the town band plays.
- Take a trip to the Eden Project for a magical Christmas experience and real ice skating!
- Make a driftwood Christmas tree from wood collected from the beaches
- Visit Rosemoor Gardens for their whole calendar of winter festival events
- See Santa come to town when he visits Hartland on the 7th December, or one of the nearby villages on other dates.
- Go to one of Hartland's Christmas Concerts
- Walk down through Clovelly's timeless cobbled streets to the harbour, taking in the Christmas lights
- Attend the Christingle service at St Nectan's Church, Stoke
- Order Christmas food from local suppliers: fresh turkey, smoked fish and other festive foodstuffs from local suppliers and pick them up at the Hartland Christmas Farmers' market on 18th December
- Enjoy some festive cheer, fantastic food, drink and music at one of Hartland's hostelries: the Hart Inn, Hartland Quay's Wreckers' Bar, The Anchor Inn, The West Country Inn or the Old Smithy at Welcombe.
- Follow the Harton Borough or Parkland heritage walks, be inspired by local history and see Hartland village and its artisans in a new light
- Take in a traditional pantomime, see Aladdin at Barnstaple's historic Queen's Theatre.
- Join in (or just watch) the mad Christmas day sea swimmers at Bude!
- Visit Bideford on New Year's Eve for a whole days' programme of events and to see thousands in fancy dress in the streets and the incredible fireworks at midnight
- Go on a wildlife walk. Keep an eye out for: gorse and early primroses, foxes, deer, badgers and listen for woodpeckers and tawny owls.