Monday 15 July 2024

Liz Shakespeare spreading the word this Summer

A Devon author, who specialises in breathing life into true stories from Devon’s past, is looking forward to a busy summer. Liz Shakespeare will be attending a number of events this summer to sign copies of her books and to talk to members of the public.

‘Writing is a solitary activity,’ Liz said, ‘so I really look forward to opportunities to meet readers when I give talks or attend book signings throughout Devon.’

Liz, who lives in Littleham, has a long Devon ancestry which she feels has given her a good understanding of the county and its people. She has been writing for thirty-five years, and has written seven books set in Devon, bringing to life the stories she finds in old newspapers, on gravestones and in parish records. Her most recent book, The Ordeal of Miss Lucy Jones, tells the true story of a nineteenth century Torrington scandal. ‘I was fascinated by a report of the event in a Victorian newspaper,’ said Liz. ‘A disorderly crowd of three thousand people burnt effigies of a man and a woman on Torrington Common. I researched the story, and came to the conclusion that the woman, Lucy Jones, was innocent of any wrongdoing.’

Liz will be signing copies of all seven of her books at the following locations:
  • Clovelly Parish Hall on July 20th
  • Clovelly Maritime Festival on July 21st
  • Launceston Show on July 25th
  • Mid-Devon Show in the Magpie Marquee on July 27th
  • Appledore Craft Fair on August 3rd
  • Hartland Farmers’ Market on August 4th
  • North Devon Show on August 7th
  • Okehampton Show on August 8th
  • Chagford Show on August 15th
  • Ashwater Show on August 17th
  • Holsworthy Show on August 22nd,
  • Appledore Craft Market on August 24h
  • Lustleigh Show on August 26th
  • Hartland Farmers’ Market on September 1st
  • Clovelly Lobster and Crab Feast on September 8th
Liz will also be appearing at the Appledore Book Festival on September 19th.


Devon Author, Liz Shakespear

Devon Author, Liz Shakespear
Liz’s books can also be ordered post-free from her website
 A Liz Shakespeare Media Release

Friday 12 July 2024

Butterflies at last. Butterflies count

I was beginning to wonder if the butterflies were ever going to return. Worryingly very few in numbers over the past couple of months.

I spotted the Speckled Wood in my wildlife friendly garden at the end of May. On my walks around coast and countryside I only saw a couple Orange Tips back in the Spring and very few Whites.

Yesterday I saw a good selection including

  • Red Admiral (first I’ve seen this year)
  • Gatekeeper (first I’ve seen this year)
  • . Skipper (first I’ve seen this year)
  • Comma (first I’ve seen this year)
  • Large White
  • Small White

There was also a solitary Brimstone among the many Gatekeepers fluttering around the beautifully sheltered Permaculture Garden at Tapeley Park.

I do the Big Butterfly Count every year, so I’m hoping my own garden count counts for something this year. I took the stunning Speckled Wood photo in  my garden at the end of May.

 Butterflies at last. Photo credit Pat Adams North Devon Focus
Butterflies at last. Photo copyright Pat Adams North Devon Focus
Large White - Photo credit Pat Adams North Devon Focus
Butterflies at last. Speckled Wood  Photo copyright Pat Adams North Devon Focus
Speckled Wood - Photo credit Pat Adams North Devon Focus


 The Big Butterfly Count 2024 runs from 12 July - 4 August, spend 15 minutes in a sunny spot and help gather vital data to save butterflies and moths.

Help the Butterfly Conservation take nature's pulse by joining the Big Butterfly Count. The Big Butterfly Count is a UK-wide survey aimed at helping us assess the health of our environment simply by counting the amount and type of butterflies (and some day-flying moths) we see.”


Pat Adams' North Devon Focus. My North Devon Coast & Country Chronicle

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Explore the Coast and' Country' side of  Bideford Bay and Beyond 

Saturday 22 June 2024

Experience Watermouth Castle’s scare attraction: ‘Descend into Darkness'

A haunted castle with a twisted maze of horrors… This October, be first to experience Watermouth Castle’s first-ever immersive scare attraction:Descend into Darkness 

Watermouth Castle has a new owner. His desire: to create an amusement park for local people to come and enjoy and share his wonderful new home. Little is known about this mysterious benefactor. Some say he is eccentric. Some say he is mad. Some say he is… INSANE. 

Get ready to be spooked! Watermouth Castle, nestled in the heart of North Devon, is excited to announce its hair-raising Halloween scare event, promising thrills and chills for all horror lovers, fright fiends, and all those who love a good fright…

Do you dare to come face-to-face with terror...? With bone-chilling attractions, live scare actors, and heart-pounding themed areas, this event is not for the faint of heart. Join us if you dare for a night of spine-tingling fun, and unforgettable scares.


Do you dare to come face-to-face with terror…?

The castle’s multiple different immersive scare zones include:

• Cursed Forest: a bone-chilling woodland trail of howling wolves, clanking chains, and hanging trees
• Carnival of Clowns: this twisted fairground is a freakshow of horrifying jokers, bloody face paint and maniacal laughter
• The Mad Maze: beware; a gang of the undead scarecrows have to come to life– and now they wander the twisted paths of the castle’s maze, looking for their next victim… you!
• Voodoo Valley: journey down the river of restless spirits; just make sure you don’t become yet another one of the lost souls trapped on its waters…
• The Haunted Castle: when the castle doors slam closed, you’ll find yourself trapped in a hellscape of cobwebs, cursed animatronics, and haunted robotsAnd only the bravest will dare to complete their journey with a descent intothe bowels of the castle itself – the demented dungeon…


Run by Catfish Productions, in partnership with Watermouth Castle. 

Not suit able for under 12s or wheelchair users. Under 16s must have an accompanying adult.

The experience lasts approximately one hour, For tickets and early bird rates. Contact


Experience Watermouth Castle’s scare attraction:‘Descent into Darkness'

Water Mouth Castle Media Release

About Watermouth Castle

Watermouth Castle is a beloved attraction in Ilfracombe. The Castle offers a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors of all ages. From thrilling rides to enchanting play areas, Watermouth Castle is where memories are made and adventures begin.

Watermouth Castle is part of The Escapade Group which comprises indoor and outdoor play attractions including Hobbledown adventure park in Surrey, Hobbledown Heath in London, Gripped aerial adventure park in London, and indoor play centres Kidspace Adventures in Croydon and Romford.