We know it’s only the beginning of December, but we’re feeling super festive here, as Christmas time is truly magical in North Devon.
It’s an enchanting time of year with festive fun available for the whole family. You can see everything from twinkling harbours and brightly lit stars to Father Christmas in all his glory.
So, if you don’t live locally, book up for a stay with us this month, then wrap-up warm and head to out into the great outdoors and find out what’s going on here in our part of the world.
Here’s our pick of some of the highlights, so you can get prepared and swot up on all the goings on before you leave home – you’ll soon have a jam-packed diary full of ideas, events and experiences to try.
Twinkling lights and carolling
If you’re looking for something festive to kick off the month with, why not pop along to see the Christmas lights in Clovelly today. The fun starts at 3.30pm. A brass band leads the procession to the harbour with Christmas carols sung by a local church choir. There will also be a hog roast, hot dogs, Christmas grog and other refreshments available and Father Christmas will be dropping in too. At about 5pm there’s a grand switch-on and the entire village and harbour is lit-up. It’s a fabulous sight! This is followed by a carol service and fireworks. Entrance costs £5 per car at the Visitor Centre after 3pm. All proceeds to the RNLI.
The Victorians invented Christmas as we know it today and if you’d like to step back in time and see how it was done, then this month, during the weekends (from 11am-4pm) until December 23, Arlington Court is putting on a proper festive show. They’ll be stunning decorations up in the National Trust property, which is not far from us, plus an outdoor festive trail and family crafts too. Normal admission prices apply, donations are welcome for the Christmas crafts and a £1 fee per person is applicable for the festive trail. There’s also a special traditional Christmas wreath making workshop, using natural materials from the garden, on Saturday, December 15, 10.30am-1pm, priced £25 per person including admission.
Festive food and craft markets
One of the biggest food and craft markets in North Devon takes place on December 8, 15 and 22 at the BIG Sheep near Bideford. Stallholders will be selling delicious local produce as well as handmade gifts. The stallholders attending will be offering organic meats, cheeses, veg, Christmas trees, gifts and stocking fillers. Entry is free. The Food Barn is open from 9am until 1pm and the Craft Marquee from 9am until 4pm.
Follow the stars on Exmoor
Exmoor National Park is Europe’s first International Dark Sky Reserve. It’s a brilliant place to stargaze whether you own a telescope or not, as the lack of light pollution on the moor means there’s plenty to be seen with the naked eye. Fewer than 10% of residents in the UK can see a natural night sky with stars above them, according to the Campaign for Dark Skies.