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What's on - May 2009

Irrespective of the season, there's always something going on in Cornwall. 

After such a glorious April, the hedgerows are now awash with colour.  Those that were fortunate enough to visit Cornwall in March and April were treated to an impressive display of daffodils, snow drops, camellias and rhododendrons. But as thoughts now turns to summer, there remains much to see and do in May.  It's our favourite month of the year. The fields are verdant, the sun has real warmth, but the roads, the gardens and crucially, the restaurants are not quite full.  And best of all, there's the Fal River Festival to look forward to between 22 - 31 May.  

We've set out below some ideas for great days out. There's also a very useful publication called Inside Cornwall that provides much more information and can be purchased in almost all newsagents in the County.  Two other good sources of information are King Harry's Cornwall and the Visit Cornwall websites.


Great days out

1 May onwards - Orca Sea Safaris open for the Spring/summer season.  Take a 2 hour wildlife boat safari out to sea.  Plenty of birdlife.  If you're lucky, you'll also see Seals and Dolphins.  Wet weather clothing provided.  A different way to see our wonderful coastline.  We've been on it and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  Great for young and old alike.  Tickets also include entrance to the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth.  Pre-booking essential (01872 861910).  Alternatively, we have recently become a ticket retailer and guests can pre-buy their tickets at Roundhouse Barn Holidays.  Trips depart from Events Square, Discovery Quay, Falmouth. 

1 May onwards throughout Spring and Summer - Camel Valley Vineyard guided tours.  Running Monday - Friday, the new guided tour takes in both the vineyard and the winery.  See how the grapes are transformed into award wining wines.  2.30pm Nanstallon, Bodmin.  Tel 01726 852436.  Tickets £5 per person.

1 - 4 May - International Male Choral Festival.  Starting today, there are a series of international gala concerts and competitions bringing together the finest male voice choirs from Cornwall, England and Abroad.  Hall for Cornwall, Back Quay, Truro.  7.30pm

2 - 3 May - National Surfing Championships.  One of Europe's oldest and largest surfing competitions.  Watch pro surfers compete in 24 divisions to win national titles.  Why not also combine this with lunch or dinner in Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Cornwall restaurant.  Watergate Bay, Newquay.

2 -3 May - May Day Gras.  Inspired by the Rio de Janerio festival, this two day event features samba dance and percussion workshops on the Saturday and a parade and showcase of samba on the Sunday.  Various venues in Truro City Centre.

2 - 4 May - Steaming through the '40s.  Enjoy a trip back in time with steam trains, military vehicles, evacuees, re-enactment battles and air raid sirens.  There will also be live music from the Cornish Steam Jazz Band.  Ideal for children from 6 - 86! Bodmin and Wenford Railway, Bodmin from 10am each day.

3 May - Caerhays Castle Family Day .  A charity day in aid of the Precious Lives Appeal.  Craft and food stalls, treasure trails and BBQs.  From 10:00am, Caerhays Castle, St Austell. 

4 May - Spring Celebration.  Celebrate the arrival of the seasons flora and fauna with live music and a medley of traditional activities.  From 10:00am, Lost Gardens of Heligan, Pentewan

5 - 6 May - Derek Acorah.  Psychic Derek Acorah performs live at the Hall for Cornwall....  but the psychics amongst you will already know that!  Back Quay, Truro.  7.30pm.

7 - 16 May - Daphne Du Maurier Festival.  One of Cornwall's most anticipated arts events every year.  A ten-day annual arts festival of arts, music and literature with star names, guided walks, talks, drama, music, comedy and local events and free entertainment.  if you only come to Cornwall for one event, make it this one.  Various venues around Fowey.  Check website for details.

8 May - Rumours of Fleetwood Mac.  A celebration of the music of ...  err...  guess who?  Hall for Cornwall, Back Quay, Truro.  7.30pm.

9 May - Buddy Holly and the Cricketers.  Another tribute band banging out those timeless hits.   Bowl your maiden over and take here her for a great night (not) out.  Hall for Cornwall, Back Quay, Truro.  7.30pm.

12 - 16 May - Be Near Me.   A compelling and moving story about love, morality and regret performed by Donmar Warehouse and the National Theatre of Scotland.  Great stuff!  Hall for Cornwall, Back Quay, Truro.  7.30pm.

14 May - Cold War Bunker Tours.  See inside the Veryan Preserved Royal Observer Corps post.  Bookings essential - tel 01872 278234.

14 May - Buddy Whittington Live.  Buddy is John Mayall's lead guitarist in the Bluesbreakers and also an accomplished blues songwriter.  He is visiting Falmouth with his own band.  A must for all blues fans.  Princess Pavilion, Melville Road. Falmouth from 8.30pm.  Tickets £12.  

15 May - Evening Supper and Stroll around Glendurgan Gardens.  Enjoy a guided walk around the beautiful valley garden, followed by a two-course meal and gardening tips from one of the Glendurgan team.  Glendurgan Garden, Mawnan Smith.  6pm.

15 May - Mike Hitchings Jazz Night.  A concert with Mike's group Jacka Jazz celebrating the best of mainstream jazz.  Gerrans Parish Memorial Hall, Portscatho.  7.30pm

16 - 17 May - Bonsai.  Annual Bonsai show featuring familiar and more unusual plants.  Find out the processes involved from the experts and learn how to start your own Bonsai tree.  Trelissick Estate,, Feock from 10.30am.  

16 May - New Zealand Plants.   A talk by Darren Dickey about New Zealand plants and their uses and value in Cornish Gardens.  Trebah Garden, Mawnan Smith.  11.3am prompt.  

19 May - Seth Lakeman.  Performing songs from his new critically acclaimed album "Poor Man's Heaven".  Seth's folk-inspired sounds has a strong coastal theme.  It's a little way from here, but he's playing open-air at one of Cornwall's best theatres.  A must of you enjoy live music.  Minack Theatre,, Porthcurno, 8pm.  Book Early.  Likely to sell out fast.  

20 May - Fifteen's Third Birthday .  Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines joins the Fifteen Team to host an entertaining evening of European and Italian-style food.  It's a little way to travel, but promises to be a great evening.  Fifteen Cornwall, Watergate Bay, Newquay.

20 May - One Day, Two Dawns.  A new opera written by people of Cornwall.  More than 200 people have worked alongside professional artists from English Touring Opera to produce and perform this extraordinary story set on the day of the solar eclipse in 1999.  Hall for Cornwall, Back Quay, Truro, 7.30pm.

22 -23 May - Birmingham Royal Ballet.  The troupe is renowned for performing a mis of dance, from traditional to more modern ballets.  Hall for Cornwall, Back Quay, Truro, 7.30pm.  

23 - 31 May - Fal River Festival.  A nine day festival celebrating life on the river Fal, encompassing more than 130 events ranging from music and drama to rowing races, triathlons and walks.  See website for details.  See also our own news story.  

26 May - Natural Larder.  How to cook with foraged food and discover the wealth of naturally occurring food in the local area.  A must for these 'Credit Crunch' times!  Enjoy demonstrations, tastings and take recipes away to try at home.  Glendurgan Garden, Mawnan Smith, 10.30am prompt.  

26 - 30 May - The Gondoliers.  Created by Gilbert & Sullivan,, this tale of two gondoliers, 24 young maidens in love with them and a game of blind man's buff is performed by the Truro Ameteur Operatic and Dramatic Society. Trelissick Estate, Feock, 7.30pm.   

27 May - Alan Villiers: Voyager of the Winds.  Peter Villiers, son of Alan discusses this incredible poet and author, his daring sea voyages at sea, his wartime stories and his passion for spending his days sailing ships and photographing and recording their passing.  National Maritime Museum, Discovery Quay, Falmouth, 6.30pm. 

28 May - The Manfreds.   The Manfreds, with original front-man Paul Jones perform their own hits along with a mix of jazz and blues.  Hall for Cornwall, Back Quay, Truro, 7.30pm.

29 May - The Counterfeit Stones.  Looks like the Rolling Stones, but not the real thing....  Can't get no Satisfaction from this blaggers banquet!  Hall for Cornwall, Back Quay, Truro.  

30 May - Military Day.  To commemorate the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings, enjoy a special day with World War 2 jeeps and vehicles, the Cornwall Caledonian Pipes and Drums Band and a 'Red Devils' aerial display and plenty more.  Trebah Gardens, Mawnan Smith, 10.00am. 

30 -31 May - Food and Craft Fair.  An opportunity to sample and buy Cornwall's finest food and crafts.  Trelissick Gardens, Feock, 10.30am.  

30 May - Jane McDonald.   An entertaining evening of music and laughter, starring Britain's best-loved diva, international recording artiste and tv star.  Hall for Cornwall, Back Quay, Truro, 7.30pm.

30 May - Cahooty.  Where Bluegrass and Country meet Blues and Cajun, Cahooty, a talented four-piece band from West Cornwall, play a lively mix of unique acoustic music - great to dance to or just to watch and stamp your feet.  Grampound Community Hall, nr. Truro, 7.30pm.

30 May - Made in Britain.  A celebration of classic songs from John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard and Billy Fury.  The show is filled with hits spanning more than four decades.  Princess Pavilion, Melville Road, Falmouth from 8.00pm.