THERE can surely be few places that lend themselves quite so perfectly to the festive season as the picturesque beauty that is St Ives.
A gentle winter's stroll through the town's cobbled, warmly-lit streets, past welcoming pubs or along the twinkling harbour offers up scene after scene of stunning Christmas card perfection.
Throw in a wealth of excellent restaurants, traditional craft markets, great shopping opportunities and Santa himself and it's easy to see why St Ives is a genuine treat for lovers of a classic Christmas.
This year the town plays host to a number of seasonal events throughout the run-up to Christmas and things get off to an exciting start with the grand opening of Fair Mo.
This year's fair will take place at St Ives Parish Church on Saturday, November 26 and will be opened in style by the stars of Hall for Cornwall's Sleeping Beauty pantomime at 10am. Santa will make an appearance half-an-hour later after first taking a trip by fire engine through the town.
The event also offers a host of entertainment for all the family with real pigs and pets, music, stalls, crafts and a pig roast before its 4pm finish. The St Ives Parish Church will also host the St Ives Rotary Club's Christmas concert on December 6 alongside its own traditional seasonal services.
The Fair Mo isn't the only place Santa will be visiting this year, as he'll also be making his traditional appearance in his grotto at The Glass Tree in Fore Street. Santa will be bringing a little magic into the lives of adults and children alike every weekend from December 3 and will even be making a special Christmas Eve appearance before setting off to deliver the presents.
The town will become awash with the glow of Christmas lights on December 2, when at 6pm, at The Guildhall Christmas tree, St Ives Mayor Ron Tulley will switch on the town's festive lights. This will be accompanied by the singing of traditional Christmas carols.
The magnificent Tate Gallery gets involved in the festivities with a carol concert on Tuesday, December 20 in which the St Ives Combined Chapels' Choir will delight with a number of both traditional and Cornish carols.
St Ives seems to be the perfect setting for a perfect Christmas.
Whether browsing the various shops for that perfect Christmas gift or taking shelter from the chill winter air in one of its traditional pubs, the spirit of the season flows from the very foundations of the town; let it wash over you this year.