Devon Diary


What is on in Devon?


Within this section we have tried to showcase activities, days out, sports and events, fun for the family and dates of interest. Clearly we cannot due justice to every event held in Devon but hope you find this brief summary of interest. If you are holding an event in Devon you may add this to Devon's Finest Devon Diary at no charge simply contact us for information.


Devon Dates for 2017


The Devon Diary has been updated for 2017


Clovelly Events 2017


Normal entry charges to Clovelly apply, except for Christmas Lights where a small parking fee is charged after 2 p.m. 


Clovelly is a privately owned village.  Part of the admission fee contributes to the maintenance of the village to preserve its timeless charm and magic.


Events, dates and content may be subject to change, so please visit for latest details or phone the Visitor Centre on 01237 431781.


The Fantastic Fudge Hunt, Clovelly,  Friday 3 April - Friday 10 April


Back by popular demand!  TWENTY fudge stones are hidden along the main street of the village.  Track one down, take it to the fudge shop at the Visitor Centre and find out how much mouthwatering, creamy fudge you have won.  Find stone number 20, and you win a whole kilo of luxurious fudge!


One stone redeemable per visiting family per day.


Clovelly Celebration of Local Ales and Cider, Saturday 23 May - Monday 25 May


Come along to Clovelly for its special Celebration of Ales and Ciders, where you can enjoy a range of local brews.  Whether you're a committed ale and cider drinker or yet to be convinced, you'll find a tipple to suit your palate.  So come along and raise a glass and support North Devon's brewers and cider makers.


Clovelly Maritime Festival, Sunday 19 July, held in aid of the North Devon Hospice

There's something for everyone at the Clovelly Maritime Festival, held in aid of the North Devon Hospice.  It's a day of traditional seaside entertainment, including shanty singers, fire-eating, juggling, Punch and Judy, a wench auction, and lots more.  Enjoy delicious seafood or a succulent hog roast on the beach.  The Old Gaffers Association will be coming along - they're devoted to the conservation of traditional sailing craft and our maritime heritage.



Lundy Gig Row, Saturday 18 July


West Country pilot gigs were designed to carry pilots out to ships.  The first one alongside won the pilotage job, so speed was critical.  The row from Clovelly to Lundy and back is a true test of endurance over 32 miles of sea - it can take up to four hours, depending upon the weather and tides.  So come along and support the brave crews!


Woolsery Agricultural Show, Clovelly Court, Monday 27 July, held in aid of various charities

Summer in North Devon would not be complete without a visit to this country agricultural show.


There are many classes for cattle, horses, and sheep, along with pony competitions.  You'll find bustling trade and exhibition stands with stalls offering locally made crafts and foods.  The children will be kept busy with fairground rides and a bouncy castle.  A great summer day out for all the family!


Lifeboat Weekend, Saturday 25 July - Sunday 2 August, held in aid of the R.N.L.I


Keeping Clovelly's lifeboat on alert for emergencies round the clock takes effort and dedication.  Held in aid of the RNLI, Clovelly's Lifeboat Weekend is a popular celebration of the lifeboat and her crew.


To get the fun going on Saturday there's a sponsored swim to Bucks Mills and back.  Sunday is packed with entertainments, including a hilarious race of men dressed as women, a tug-of-war and, of course, the ever popular slave auction in which young local men are 'sold' to the highest bidder to do their chores for a day.  And there are stalls galore.


Clovelly Gig Regatta, Saturday 8 August

In the West Country we are proud of our long tradition of racing pilot gigs.  The sport's popularity is hardly surprising - gig racing today is exciting, strenuous and often downright dangerous, with the crews reaching speeds of 9 knots in fast-flowing tidal waters.  So come along and cheer on the rowers.  It will be an exhilirating day's racing.


Lobster & Crab Feast, Sunday 6 September, in support of The National Lobster Hatchery

This popular event pays tribute to Clovelly's famous lobster and crabs.


There's always a fun party atmosphere, so come along and enjoy a day of live folk music and theatre.  And will you be able to resist the charms of the lobster hypnotist?  There will be local craft and food stalls, a quay kitchen with cookery demonstrations, wine and beer tasting, and no shortage of entertainments for the children.  And it's in aid of the National Lobster Hatchery at Padstow.  So don't miss it!


Clovelly Herring Festival, Sunday 22 November

In the 18th century, a hundred boats fished for the 'silver darlings' (herring) out of Clovelly.  This Herring Festival is held in support of sustainable fishing by traditional methods and to celebrate the herring. Mike Smylie will be there with his popular 'Kipperland' exhibition, smoking delicious kippers and bloaters.  Simon and Ann Cooper will be bringing along their curragh, making nets, and demonstrating flax processing and knitting. In addition, Jim MacCool, founder of National Poetry Month, will be performing his show of infectious verse and toe-tapping Celtic rhythms. Enjoy herring specialities, local cider and wine, shanty singing, a walk-about theatre and masses of stalls.


Christmas Lights, Sunday 6 December, in aid of the RNLI. 

 (Procession starts at about 4 p.m. from the Visitor Centre.  Entry free after 2 p.m. with small parking charge)

Christmas is a magical time at Clovelly, so don't miss this fund-raising event and the switching on of the village Christmas lights.  A brass band leads the procession down to the harbour.  There's mulled wine, a barbecue, rousing carols, and Father Christmas makes a surprise visit.  At 5 p.m. the switch is thrown and the entire village and harbour are lit up - it's a fantastic sight.  And there are fireworks to finish off what is always a perfect day


May 2017

The Inaugural Dartmoor Classic. In May 2009 it was a massive success by any standard. It attracted a capacity field of 1200, with places selling-out well in advance of the big day, establishing it as one of the biggest and best sportives in the U.K. As Cycling Weekly columnist Huw Williams wrote in his post event article: "The sense of achievement is always greater in arduous conditions and here it was huge. Anyone who completed the 2007 Dartmoor Classic will be dining out on the story for years. It takes a lot more than rain to hide the true nature of an event like this and it’s clearly a ride that will come to deserve its ‘Classic’ tag in years to come. The infrastructure is solid, entry and sign-on were streamlined and efficient, marshalling was impressive, food and drink was bountiful at the control points and there was even a trophy for everyone who finished. I don’t normally say this when I’ve been through hell, but I’ll be back."

Probably the most important changes this year, particularly for those who rode the first edition of the Dartmoor Classic, are the two new routes which will give you more moor for your money; 70% of the 100 mile route is over parts of the moor not covered in 2009.


What is a Cyclosportive? Rapidly becoming the country's most popular cycle sport discipline, Cyclosportives are long distance, mass participation challenges over demanding terrain, with established events now selling out within days of entry acceptance. Although Cyclosportives are not races, finishing times are recorded, which encourages the fittest riders to chase the fastest times, while the majority are just happy to complete the distance within the time allowance. The severity of the course coupled with the time restriction make cyclosportives much harder than the average charity ride and those who take part must be well prepared for their stamina and courage to be put to the test.


Plymouth Summer Festival


Various locations in Plymouth



Tel: 01752 306330

Plymouth Summer Festival kicks off with the start of the world-famous Transat Race from Plymouth’s Sutton Harbour. The historic single-handed trans-Atlantic yacht race is an exciting and colourful spectacle with appeal for everyone. The race has become synonymous with Plymouth since the inaugural race in 1960, won by sailing legend Sir Francis Chichester.

Other key highlights during the three month festival include:

- Live tennis and open air film screenings in Plymouth City Centre with the return of the Wimbledon Big Screen.

- British Fireworks Championships.

- Plymouth Flavour Fest - the UK’s biggest and best free farmers market celebrating the finest West country produce taking place


Ilfracombe Beer Festival

Landmark Theatre

Wilder Road


North Devon

EX34 9BX

Tel: 01271 324242

A weekend of live music, entertainment and selection of real ale to herald the spring.

June 2017

Ilfracombe Town Criers Competition

Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! Meet the criers and enjoy the experience of some thirty criers in one of the largest competitions of its type in the UK.


Goldcoast Oceanfest

Braunton, Croyde The 9th GoldCoast Oceanfest takes place against the majestic backdrop of North Devons’ Gold Coast on the golden sands of Croyde Bay. Attracting world class sporting and music talent, the midsummer weekend in June is filled with fun in the sun.

July 2017

Woolacombe International Sandcastle Competition

Woolacombe & Mortehoe Marvel at the amazing sand sculptures which result from this event on one the finest beaches in Europe. The competition features teams from local companies and teams from Italy, France and Spain.

August 2017

Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta

Dartmouth regatta is a huge extravaganza with air displays, music, rowing, tennis, running, yacht races, children's activities, a fun fair, fireworks, plus much, much more for the whole family.

Clematis Festival

Exhibition of clematis flowers, pictures and plants plus a range of Clematis "experts" on hand to deal with questions and identifications. Bring cut clematis flowers and add to the display! Entry to the garden is at normal price with RHS and British Clematis society members free. entry to the Clematis exhibition and plant sale is free.

Weird Wildlife & Nasty Nature Trail

Follow the trail around the gardens and grounds to find out about the strange and scary creatures you can find on the Estate, from bad tempered beetles to fascinating Funnel Web Spiders! Prize for completed trails.

National Trust. Tel:Castle Drogo, 01647 433306


Event:  Lifeboat Weekend, in support of the R.N.L.I.

Date:    Sat. 25 July - Sun. 02 August

Time:   From 10 a.m.

The celebration of the Clovelly Lifeboat, Spirit of Clovelly, is one of the village highlights of the year and the Lifeboat House will be open to the public on both days.  There’ll be a sponsored swim on Saturday and lots of contests on Sunday including cross dressing-up race, tug-of-war and the ever popular slave auction in which young local men are ‘sold’ to the highest bidder to do their chores for a day.  Also harbour stalls.

September 2017

Ilfracombe Folk Festival

The Landmark Theatre

The Promenade



EX34 9BZ

Tel: +44 (0)1271 324242

An exciting new weekend event featuring over twenty five artists, representing the best in the folk and acoustic music, simultaneously across three stages: the theatre, Pavilion and marquee on the green. You choose which stage, which artists, space permitting.


Event:  Lobster & Crab Feast, in support of The National Lobster Hatchery

Date:    Sun. 6 September,

Time:   10 a.m.—5 p.m.

Part of the AONB’s 52th Anniversary celebrations


We pay tribute to Clovelly's famous lobsters and crabs with a day of live folk music, street performers, including a lobster hypnotist, quay kitchen with demonstrations, wine tasting and entertainment for the children too.  .

It’s a Feast, which visitors say has a particularly happy festive atmosphere.

October 2017

Alive With Laughter

‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ is assured so forget the worries of the world and allow yourself two hours to sit back and enjoy comedic moments, magical highlights, fancy footwork and memorable musical numbers with an array of talented artistes, whose ability knows no bounds, when it comes to inducing the delights and admiration of a warm and friendly audience.

Babacombe Theatre, Bababcombe Downs, Torquay Devon TQ1 3LU

British Food Fortnight

Celebrate British Food Fortnight in the Stables Restaurant with the best home-cooked food using seasonal produce from our kitchen garden wherever possible. Except Friday.

Tel: Lesley Taylor, 01884 259416

Knightshayes Court Bolham Tiverton Devon EX16 7RQ


The Deer Rut

Take a minibus safari with our ranger into the forest, then walk - over rough ground in places - to see and hear the rut of our rare Black Fallow Deer, seen in the picture here. This will be followed by a well deserved full breakfast at a local establishment, included in the price (vegetarian option available). Booking essential. Forestry Commission: 0845 3673787


November 2017

Winkles Race from Ilfracombe to Clovelly

Tar Barrels

Town Centre

Ottery St Mary


Tel: +44 01404 813964


Every year, the Flaming Tar Barrels are carried through the streets of Ottery St Mary to the delight of thousands of townsfolk and visitors. Ottery St. Mary is internationally renowned for its Tar Barrels, an old custom said to have originated in the 17th century, and which is held on November 5th each year. Each of Ottery's central public houses sponsors a single barrel. In the weeks prior to the day of the event, November 5th, the barrels are soaked with tar. The barrels are lit outside each of the pubs in turn and once the flames begin to pour out, they are hoisted up onto local people's backs and shoulders.

It is an incredible night to remember - one of the biggest bonfires in the South West is ignited on the banks of the River Otter and behind it are the flashing neon's of the annual fun fair.

Teignmouth Jazz Festival

Bank Street



TQ14 8AW

Tel: +44 01647 253115


The Friends of Teignmouth Festival is celebrating its 11th anniversary this year and whilst we succeeded in making the 10th year one of the most successful festivals we are aiming even higher again! We have a new additional venue at Coast View. There will be a scheduled full sized coach running between the town and Coast View at regular & fixed times to coincide with the musical programme.

Event:  Clovelly Herring Festival

Date:    Sunday, 15 November

Time:   10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Part of the AONB’s 57th Anniversary celebrations

The Herring Festival is held to promote sustainable, carefully managed fishing, which helps safeguard the livelihoods of fishermen and supports the local economy through environmentally sound means. Clovelly’s sweet herring was once its staple economy and so a well-justified reason for celebrating the Silver Darlings.


There’ll be herring dishes, local cider and wine, maritime historian, Mike Smylie, with his Kipperland exhibition and freshly-smoked kippers and bloaters, traditional shanty singers, walk-about theatre and lots of stalls.

December 2017

Event:  CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, in support of the R.N.L.I.

Date:    Sunday, 6 December

Time:    about 4pm

Crediton Parish Church Christmas Tree Festival

60 decorated and illuminated Christmas trees will fill the church. These will have been decorated by a mix of local charities, groups, individuals, organisations and businesses. Christmas stalls, tours of the church, refreshments. Nearby free parking.

Further information 01363 773669

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