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Golowan Festival in Penzance | Days Out in Cornwall During June

Golowan Festival in Penzance

With a packed schedule during Easter and an unmissable programme of things to do in the summer, the end of June might be a bit of a blip for other areas of the UK when it comes to things to do with the family.

However, as always with Cornwall, there’s no shortage of goings on at the end of June – and our favourite is the Golowan Festival in Penzance.

Golowan Festival in Penzance

Running from the 21 June to the 29 June the Golowan festival is a (somewhat) recently-revived Cornish tradition that can be traced back hundreds of years.

A midsummer festival in the most traditional sense, the Golowan was practised throughout Cornwall, and every year the summer evenings would be lit up by blazing barrels of tar, placed on the hillside. These miniature beacons could be seen from all around the county, until the late 19th-century when the powers-that-be decided they posed too much of a fire hazard.

However, a century later in 1991, the Golowan festival was resurrected in it’s current form; as one of the most vibrant community festivals in the whole of Cornwall.

Based around the midsummer feast of St John, the modern festival trades burning pitch for fireworks, artists, theatre in performances to suit all ages and tastes.

With the festival going on all week, there’s a lot to take in and a few definite highlights on the programme. Every night sees traditional music played by the Golowan festival band, but St Johns eve is the only one where you can join hands with the locals for a ‘Serpent Dance’ through the streets.

Mazey Day is perfect for young families who don’t want too late a night, as the streets come alive with greenery and children from local schools dress in costumes and create statues and sculptures based on sailing, fish, and more!

It goes without saying, of course, that one of the best places to stay during the Golowan festival is the Hotel Penzance, with luxurious rooms available for the duration of the festival – but in a limited number as it stands!

So if a week of local culture and festivities during the day followed by a night in one of Cornwall’s most in-demand boutique hotels sounds like your idea of a good time, we’d love to see you soon – so don’t hesitate to use that online booking form for our best rate; guaranteed!