Retreats in Cornwall – How about a Cornish Christmas?

Published: Monday 24th Nov 2014

Written by: The Niche Retreats Team

Christmas in Cornish is ‘Nadelik’ and many of the traditions we now celebrate with during the festive season throughout the UK actually come from places like Cornwall in the early 19th Century. Getting away for the Yuletide is what many of us consider at this time of year. Leaving the stress and fuss behind and enjoying a different scene. Christmas retreats in Cornwall are ideal for a getaway that feels like a holiday but still has many of the elements of Christmastide that we know and love.

“Nadelik Lowen Ha Bledhen Nowyth Da” is Cornwish for Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Some of the more Cornish characteristics at Christmas are:

  • illuminated church towers on Christmas Eve
  • evergreen arches and flags through towns and villages
  • candle dancing
  • the twelfth cake and 12th night feast celebrations
  • distinctively Cornish Christmas carols and those compose by Thomas Merritt
  • the Cornish Christmas Bunch decorations

In fact, carols were dying out in England by 1825 due mainly to the Cromwellian influences in the previous centuries and the approach of Victorianism. All this restriction had its impact in Cornwall where the response was to stimulate song! Singers would practice wherever they could, chapels, school rooms and many would walk miles for the privilege. Carols such as ‘While Shepherds’ and ‘Hark the Herald Angels’ were popular and well as those composed by local musicians and composers such as Thomas Merritt.

The favourite carols where those which allowed singers to experiment with their vocal skills, singing in parts or with trebles, altos, tenors and basses. All with great passion and vivacity.

Today Cornish traditions live on and are proudly practiced throughout the festive season. Which makes Cornwall a favourite destination for Christmas and New Year.

A retreat in Cornwall is the perfect breakout without breaking the bank. Crisp walks along the beach with a roaring log fire waiting back at the lodge, sumptuous food and passionate carols and festive entertainment. So memorable!

The Niche Retreats Team


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