Thursday, 30 April 2015

May Day to Mid-Summer Highlights. A celebration of North Devon Coast and Countryside events

The Swallows are here, though I am still waiting for the House Martins and Swifts to appear. This is my favourite time of year when hedgehogs, butterflies and bees stir from their slumber. Bluebells and Ramsons abound in our wooded valleys, on the Hartland Heritage stretch of the South West Coast Path and beneath the hedgerows beside the Atlantic Highway. There will be May Day Celebrations, Village Fetes and Fairs in Northam, Great Torrington and Ilfracombe but check the local press for other town and village events. Ilfracombe’s Landmark Beer & Music Festival runs from May Day to the 4th May They will be celebrating their 15th anniversary so looks like a fun Bank Holiday for all. If you’re visiting Hartland Abbey on the 3rd May look out for the intrepid Hartland Hartbreak Runners and give them a cheer. On the Art Front, back in Bideford there will be a Drawing Symposium at the Burton Art Gallery and Museum. The village of Bradworthy will be hosting it's annual three day Bradworthy Arts Festval. Artists around the region will be opening up their homes and studios for the annual North Devon Art Trek. We also see the first of two newly themed Toddler Take Over Days at the Big Sheep and as usual they have some great fun days for bigger folk planned including North Devon’s Cream Tea Challenge, a Classic Car Shine and Show, Father’s Day and Armed Forces Day. On the coast Clovelly will be hosting a series of Clovelly Lectures, the Lundy Gig Row and their inaugural Seaweed Festival, the first annual event held to promote seaweed for its immense health and nutritional benefits. At the end June Hartland Abbey will be the elegant location for an amazing Charity Ball, Grand Auction and Musical Extravaganza all part of the 5th Mid-Summer Charity Weekend which will be raising money for North Devon Hospice and CRUK. Please scroll down for all event details....oh nearly forgot Woolly the Sheep's Surprise Birthday Bash is 28th June. sshh...
Ilfracombe May Day Celebrations - Monday 4 May. Parade starts at 11am from Wilder Road car park and will include musicians and dancers followed by Morris dancers and local school children performing Maypole. Traditional country dancing from 12pm on the seafront. CANCELLED See website for details

Mayday-4th May Landmark Beer & Music Festival celebrates its 15th anniversary with our best line-up of music to date and includes: Skata Tones, Iron Tyger, The Liquidators aka, Yazzy, Sam Fearon, Skylark, Where's Chrissy Bean? and Ilfracombe Rocks.
2nd/3rd and 4th May Bradworthworthy Arts Festival Visit Website for details
3rd May Hartland Hartbreak Run, Hartland Abbey. It's 13 (ish) miles of uphill, downhill, through rivers, bogs and hedges and some really stunning scenery. We are starting and finishing from the fabulous Hartland Abbey. You'll encounter the beautiful gardens of the Abbey - with bluebells in full flight - and then the rugged and unrelenting South West Coast Path. After a quick trip around Hartland Lighthouse it's into the deepest darkest Devonshire countryside.
8th May Drawing Symposium at the Burton Art Gallery and Museum. 10am - 4pm. Drawing: Art and Practice. Organised in collaboration with North Devon Arts and the Burton Art Gallery, thi symposium will explore " what drawing means to artists?" Chaired by Eilean Eland speakers include Professor Anita Taylor, Director of the Jerwood Drawing Prize Project and Dean of Bath School of Art and Design, Sara Dudman Jerwood Prize winner 2014 and Mike Stocks Tattoo artist. The day will also include short interactive workshops. £45 full price £40 concession (over 60, student ID, Friend or NDA member) Lunch and refreshments included. To book a place contact the Burton on 01237471455 or download a booking form from
8th May Live Music at the Clinton Arms In the wake of their performance at the BBC2 Folk Awards, Alt Folk band Wildwood Kin will be playing their first gig in North Devon at The Clinton Arms in Frithelstock , Devon .They are one of the many quality music acts that appear at the Clinton Arms free live music sessions every Friday. Wildwood Kin to play their first North Devon Gig Visit Website for for further details or Tel: 01805 623279

14th May Toddler Take Over Days at The BIG Sheep Bugs & Butterflies. Every parent and grandparent knows just how much energy a young toddler can burn up, leaving you feeling exhausted at the end of a day. So if you want your toddler to enjoy something stimulating, imaginative and energetic then book a date in your diary and come along to one of The BIG Sheep’s newly themed Toddler Takeover Days: Visit website for details
May 23rd - June 7th 2015 North Devon Art Trek. North Devon Art Trek 2015 is an open studio event. Over three weekends artists will open up their homes and studios to invite you in to see their work and in some cases organize workshops and demonstrations. Art Trek brochures which include all participating artists and a map and will be available from April. Visit Website for more details
Sunday 30th May North Devon’s CREAM TEA CHALLENGE at the Big Sheep, Abbotsham. According to celebrity cook, Mary Berry, ‘The secret of good scones is not to handle them too much before baking, and to make the mixture on the wet, sticky side.’ Do you have your own secret ingredient for baking the perfect scone, if so you could be crowned winner at the inaugural North Devon Cream Tea challenge. Visit website for details.
5th June MS Oldenburg Jazz Cruise from Bideford Quay. Northam Lodge's annual Cruise from 7.15pm to 9.15pm to raise funds for our severely learning disabled residents and their carers. Visit website for more details Email:
Saturday 6th June CLOVELLY LECTURES 'An interesting and informative lecture with question and answer session.' Admiral The Right Honourable Baron West of Spithead GCB DSC PC ADC DUniv and FORMER FIRST SEA LORD will be speaking at the latest CLOVELLY LECTURE "Can the Royal Navy still Defend British shores? 'Blood-Letting' on Aircraft Carriers & 'Chilling Impact' of Cyber Warfare." Born in 1948, West joined the Royal Navy in 1965, serving in fourteen different ships and commanding three. In 1982 he commanded HMS Ardent which was sunk during the Falklands War. West was the last to leave the sinking ship and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. For several years he was head of naval intelligence and Chief of Defence Intelligence during the Kosovo war and then became Admiral in November 2000 and Commander-in-Chief Fleet, NATO Commander-in-Chief Atlantic and NATO Commander Allied Naval Forces North. He led the UK maritime response to 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan. In 2002 Lord West was appointed First Sea Lord and also the First and Principal Naval aide-de-camp to H.M. The Queen. He also led the Navy in the initial invasion of Iraq and the demand by the Royal Navy for a major ceremony of the Trafalguar Bicential Year. Lord West completed his term as First Sea Lord in February 2006 and became an advisor on Conservative and Labour Foreign Policy. He was asked by Gordon Brown to join the Government as one of the GOATs (Government Of All Talents), responsible for national security, counter-terrorism, Cyber and Olympics security, after having produced the UK's first ever National Security and Cyber Security strategies including ground breaking strategies for countering international terrorism. Lord West was appointed the first Chancellor of Southampton Solent University, Naval Trustee of the Imperial War Museum, Knight Commander of the Order of The Bath in 2000, Knight Grand Cross in 2004, a Baron in 2007, Privy Counsellor in 2010. He is Chairman of QinetiQ Defence Advisory Board, Chairman of National Security Forum, and Chairman and strategic advisor for a number of companies For more information please contact Telephone: 01237 431200
Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June Lundy Gig Row. The row from Clovelly to Lundy and back across 32 miles of open seas is a huge test of endurance - depending upon the weather and tides it can take up to four hours. The gig teams leave Clovelly at 8am and arrive at Lundy about 11am. They leave Lundy the following day at about 1pm, and arrive back at Clovelly at about 4pm. So come along and support the brave crews! It makes for a thrilling day
Sunday 14th June, Seaweed Festival at Clovelly in aid of the N. Devon Hospice. The first annual event held to promote seaweed for its immense health and nutritional benefits. As it is hugely versatile, quay kitchens will be serving a wide variety of dishes and stalls will be selling a wide range of seaweed products and seaweed arts and crafts. .There will also be live music, demonstrations, talks and walks throughout the day. Children will enjoy storytelling, street entertainment and The National Trust event-themed craft activities

Sunday 14th June  Classic Car Shine & Show at the Big Sheep from 10.00am to 3.00pm the North Devon Sports and Classic Car Club will join forces with the Ultimate Classic Car weekend organized by Unmissable Events to give you an opportunity to see some of the best classic cars in the South West. Visit website for more details 
17th June Boo Hewerdine Live at Tapeley Park with support from Roseanna Ball. BOO HEWERDINE is one of the UK's foremost singer-songwriters and producers. His work includes lead singer and creative force behind The Bible, formed in the 1980s, as well as solo recordings and work for film. He has also produced records by several artists, including a long association with Eddi Reader. He has been described as "one of Britain's most consistently accomplished songwriters". If you're a fan of truly great songwriting, this intimate gig is one not to be missed. Contact Ben Clarke for details

Sunday 21st June Country Fair & Dog Show, Furze Park, Nr Winkleigh EX19 8PG 11am-5pm. A Fantastic Family Day out Adults £5 children under 15 Free. TEL NO: 01805 804347. Visit website for further details
21st June Fathers Day at the Big Sheep every Dad who is accompanied by a full paying child (under 16 years) will be admitted FREE of charge. Visit website for details
Friday 26th June to Sunday 28th June The Mid Summer Charity Weekend which takes place at Hartland Abbey, raising money for North Devon Hospice and CRUK - all details can be found on
Friday 26th June 2015 Mid Summer Charity Ball. Get dressed up and join us for a wonderful night out, in our beautiful marquee, enjoy the welcome reception, 4 course dinner, live music , grand auction, champagne bar and many surprises throughout the evening. For details visit
27th June Armed Forces Day at the Big Sheep. FREE entry to all Armed Forces on Saturday 27th June. Enjoy a day out with your family on us, to say a BIG thank you. Please provide some ID upon arrival. FREE entry for immediate family, this includes children and spouses.
Saturday 27th June 2015 Hartland Abbey’s “Live at the Abbey”. Let us entertain you with a musical extravaganza, 3 course dinner and lots of fun surprises. For tickets/details visit
28th June Dogs Trust Annual Fun Day 11am-4pm at Mullacott Equestrian Centre, Near Ilfracombe, EX34 8NA. Annual Fun Day including a Fun Dog Show, Have-a-Go Agility, games for kids and dogs, bouncy castle, BBQ and The Voice FM. IN AID OF: Dogs Trust. Contact EMAIL: Visit Dogs Trust Website 

28th June Woolly's Birthday Bash at the Big Sheep. Excitement is mounting at the BIG Sheep’s award winning family attraction as staff get ready to plan a huge surprise party for Woolly, the BIG Sheep’s giant mascot. Visit website for details  
For more North Devon Events see Local Press: What's On North Devon Gazette - North Devon Journal
Photo Copyright P. Adams (All rights reserved)
North Devon Tourist Information Centres
Barnstaple Tourist Information Centre, North Devon Museum, The Square, Barnstaple, North Devon, EX32 9LS
Bideford Tourist Information Centre, Burton Art Gallery, Kingsley Road, Bideford, EX39 2QQ 

Braunton Tourist Information Centre The Bakehouse Centre, Caen Street, Braunton, North Devon, EX33 1AA
Combe Martin Tourist Information Centre Cross Street, Combe Martin, North Devon, EX34 ODH 

Holsworthy Visitor Information Centre: The Memorial Hall, Holsworthy, 
Torrington Tourist Information Centre, Castle Hill, South Street, Torrington   
lfracombe Tourist Information Centre The Landmark Theatre, The Seafront, Ilfracombe, North Devon, EX34 9BX
Lynton Tourist Information Centre Lynton Town Hall, Lee Road, Lynton, North Devon, EX35 6HT T

South Molton Tourist Information  1 East Street, South Molton, Devon, EX36 3BU 
Woolacombe Tourist Information Centre The Esplanade, Woolacombe, North Devon, EX34 7DL 
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