Things to do This Summer (2012) - Events
A wealth of events and festivals are taking place in the area to tempt all ages.
These kick off with the Way With Words Festival at Dartington from July 5th to 15th. The vibrant and joyful 10-day event is a chance for those who read books to meet those who write them in a glorious setting and invigorating atmosphere. Each year the annual event draws people together in spectacular surroundings to share the pleasure and power of language and ideas. For more information visit: www.wayswithwords.co.uk.
Slapton Field Centre is hosting a Bird in the Hand event on July 27th. Meet at the field centre at 8am for a two-hour up close and personal experience with some of its feathered friends by viewing the bird-ringing operation manned by the Devon Bird Watching and Preservation Society. Then take part in a walk through the sanctuary area to watch the birds in flight. Booking is essential. For more information phone 01548 581529.
Don’t miss out on this year’s Totnes and District Agricultural Show which is taking place on Sunday July 28th. This annual event includes a plethora of exciting demonstrations, displays and parades. All day entertainment includes “The Chariots of Fire”, Grand Parade of Livestock and Equine winners, terrier racing, pony club mounted games, falconry, woodland and rural skills, plus lamb shearing, vintage cars and agricultural machinery, mountain bike trials shows and much more! Visit the pets’ corner and cheer on the ferrets racing. Shop in the craft marquee, lifestyle pavilion and large trade stand area. Listen to the live music and watch chefs demonstrate within the Food Hall. Free park and ride from Totnes!
From a countryside marquee, to food hall, and from cakes and handicraft to diggers and tractors, there is plenty at Yealmpton Show at Kitley Lawns, Yealmpton on July 31st for everyone, young and old to enjoy. The event boasts a host of attractions from James Dylan’s stunt world, flyball and Pony Club cup games, to heavy horse demonstrations, dog show, terrier racing and pet tent.
The National Trust Coleton Fishacre house and garden estate at Kingswear is hosting a Pondemonium event on July 31st. The two-hour pond dipping fun starts at 2pm where you will be able to explore the estate’s underwater world with the expert help of one of the trust’s gardens team or intrepid rangers. Meet at the Coleton Fishacre visitor reception. Admission fees apply.
If all things nautical appeal head to the pretty town of Salcombe when it celebrates its maritime heritage with a colourful Town Regatta from August 4th to 10th. The week is packed with things to do and watch on and off the water from sailing events and competitions, air displays, a magical torchlight procession and fireworks – even sandcastle and crab catching competitions for the kids (and the kids at heart). The regatta combines art, theatre and live music with traditional working boat races and rowing events. With parachuting teddies and fancy dress competitions, the focus is on fun and enjoyment for all the family.
Dartmouth Shakespeare Week is a star attraction for theatre lovers. Set in the glorious and panoramic grounds of Dartmouth Castle, the open air event has gained a reputation as one of the ‘must see’ theatrical events in the South West. Over the past 10 years the Inn Theatre Company has presented a series of spectacular productions during Shakespeare Week from The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew and Macbeth. This year’s offering of King Lear promises to be the company’s most challenging and dramatic production to date. King Lear will be staged from August 6th to 10th. Tickets are available from Dartmouth’s Tourist Information Centre.
Torbay Steam Fair kicks off on August 2nd at Churston Showfields. The three-day event is a great family day out and will showcase numerous steam engines that will be driving fairground rides, big saws, threshing drums and ploughs. Also on display will be a range of vintage and classic cars, motorbikes, commercial vehicles, tractors and old farm engines. Visitors will be able to browse the models and craft tent and the market stalls as well as watch demonstrations of rope making and metal forging. The old time fairground will feature Gallopers, Big Wheel, Dodgems and Noah’s Ark along with a number of children’s rides and the air will be filled with tunes played on old fairground organs. Parrots and birds of prey will be on site and Cosmo the Clown will entertain the youngsters. Hungry fairgoers can fill their stomachs with nosh from a variety of catering trailers selling hearty favourites including pasties, jacket potatoes, beef burgers, roast pork baps and a selection of baguettes, while Branscombe Vale Brewery will serve an excellent selection of real ales and lagers. For more information visit www.torbaysteamfair.com.
On August 20th The Totnes Elizabethan Society organise the Orange Races in commemoration of Sir Francis Drake. Legend has it the old sea dog dropped his basket of oranges on Fore Street and the locals chased them down the slope. Competitors must kick or throw their fruit along the 450-metre course from the Market Square but can’t pick it up and carry it, at least part of the orange must be intact by the finish and there may be disputes over whose is whose! Races are arranged by age group with trophies for winners and runners-up. The Elizabethan Market is held simultaneously with plenty of goods and entertainments on offer.
Kingsbridge Show kicks off September 7th, taking place on the first of day of the month at Borough Farm (one mile north of the town on the A38). The show continues to grow at the same time as maintaining a local feel - managing to retain its traditional, agricultural and horticultural roots. Horses are a major feature of the event, but the show also encompasses cattle, sheep and domestic animals. Other attractions include a large craft marquee, more than 100 trade exhibitors, food outlets, a bar and musical entertainment. Kingsbridge Show offers something for everyone and, with so much to see and do, it’s a great family day out whether you farm, ride or just want to soak up the atmosphere and see a little piece of rural England.
Each September, the English Riviera transforms itself into the murder mystery capital of the country, with ladies and gents in their period finery, immersing themselves in tea parties, theatre, dinners on steam trains and vintage bus tours. Why? For the annual Agatha Christie Festival in honour of the Queen of Crime who was born in Torquay in 1890. This year’s festival from September 15th to September 22nd is a fabulous occasion for fans from all over the world to congregate and celebrate Dame Agatha Christie’s life and times. Round every corner there is a murder mystery – on steam trains, in spooky country inns and in rambling seaside pubs. Celebrations kick off with the traditional Agatha Christie Fete on Torquay seafront when stallholders dress up in their 1920s and ‘30s best and there are jazz bands, Punch & Judy shows and fairground rides. As the festival unfolds, experience lunches at Burgh Island, exclusive Twilight Tours of Greenway, even an Agatha Christie Sea Swim in aid of the Devon Air Ambulance as a nod to her loving of swimming. The official Agatha Christie Theatre Company also perform their latest production at the Princess Theatre, Murder on the Nile, and Poirot is ever on-hand should there be a case or two to solve.