Cars Shows & Exhibitions This Summer

Calling all auto-enthusiasts and gearheads!

Take your car-loving kid (big or small!) to one of these long-running car shows this year…

You can always be guaranteed to find a few things at a Great British Car Show: plenty of over-excited men, the sound of roaring engines and a quality beefburger. Thankfully, in Devon our car shows take things one step further and provide a great day out for the whole family (car lovers or not). Maybe you’re looking to shoot the breeze with car enthusiasts, or perhaps you’re looking to find a Porsche 911 restoration project for sale. Whatever your reasons for venturing out to one of these events, make sure that you pack plenty of sun cream lotion and enough spare change to keep the kids stocked up with ice creams…

Make the most of the fine summer weather this year and head out to one of these car shows:

Historic Vehicle Gathering – 13th-14th July 2019

Now in its 46th year, the Historic Vehicle Gathering is exactly what it says on the tin: a chance for collectors of all kinds old vehicles to show off their wares! As this is Devon you can expect to see just as many tractors and farm machines as sports cars.

There’ll also be a handful of steam engines, buses, as well as live music, a dog show and amusements for children. Entrance to the gathering is £10 per adult, but children 16 and under go free.

Cofton’s American Car Show Weekend – 5th-7th July 2019

Over 100 classic American and Canadian cars are confirmed to be arriving at Cofton Holiday Park near Dawlish.

Although only in its 6th year now, this show has built up a real reputation for itself as a family friendly event that caters for everyone. In addition to the exotic cars there’s also be the infamous Cofton Dog show, BBQ food, fireworks displays and even a 50s themed music night with fancy dress encouraged. Tickets and prices TBC.

BHP Fuel Fest – The Devon Car Show – 16th June 2019

This is Devon’s biggest car show and it’s certainly one not to miss should you wish to get your fill of car-related action. There will be 1500 static displays of calls from all categories including Supercars, Performance Cars, Motorsport, Classics and Modern Classics. There will also be live action arenas which offer the chance for visitors to get up close and personal with all sorts of stunt riders, as well as ‘chill out zones’ for families who are looking for a break from the action. Tickets are £12 per adult, kids go free.

Southwest Autosport – 11th-12th May 2019

There’s all sorts on offer at this year’s Southwest Autosport including a full lineup of music acts, a first for the well-established motor show. In addition to the music, there’ll also be a thrilling show from the monster truck ‘Big Pete’, not to mention an impressive ‘Show’n’Shine’ and AutoSolo competition for those who fancy taking their car around the new and improved race course! Performing artists on the music stage include Mad Dog Mcrea, Land of the Giants and Chay Snowdon. Tickets start at £10 for Car Show Sunday.

5 Coastal Walks (with nearby Pubs included)

These Five Coastal Walks will leave you tired and thirsty for a well-deserved drink.

With two spectacular coastlines to choose from, we’re rather spoilt for choice here for coastal walks, these are just a handful of our favourites. So grab your fur pom pom bobble hats, scarves and gloves – it’s going to get breezy!

Budleigh Salterton

The coastal town of Budeligh Salterton is a gem in of itself, a miniature prom offers an enjoyable wander, but you’ll get the best views if you head towards Lime Kiln along the coastal path.

Brisk breezes and startling views are abound in this part of South Devon. If you spend a little too much time up in full view of the sea breeze you might need to warm up at The Salterton Arms with a pint of ale and bowl of chips.

Gara Point

This little coastal corner of Devon is chronically underused, so much so that if you go there for a walk you might be the only visitors for miles around.

Start and finish a moderately challenging circular route that takes you up well worn paths and around the stunning coast line of this epic piece of countryside. Whatever you do, make sure you pack plenty of woolly items and leave enough time to refresh yourself at The Swan, in Noss Mayo. This excellent pub serves the best ales in the area.

Ayrmer Cove

A true Area of National Beauty, Ayrmer Cove is situated just outside the good sized-town of Kingsbridge. A walk around the surrounding farmland should take you no longer than 40 minutes or so, but you’ll still get a chance to glimpse Burgh Island (a location used by Agatha Christie for her iconic Then There Were None) and Bigbury.

Factor in a trip to The Journey’s End Inn to experience a true slice of traditional seaside hospitality – this pub looks just like a cottage from the outside, so keep a close eye out for it!

Brixham Harbour

Brixham is well known for it’s bustling sea port, the fisherman are busy 7 days a week, hauling in big catches and delivering to nearby restaurants and markets. You can glimpse all of this activity and more by simply parking up and taking a stroll along the length of the promenade.

Getting a bite to eat from a local chippie should go without saying, however there’s a niche bar that’s well worth a visit for fans of TV’s Peaky Blinders. The aptly named Peaky Blinders is a bar styled in the fashion of a 1920s era boozer, expect era specific outfits on the staff and a menu full of references to the show.


Start from Marine Drive in the town of Woolacombe and head out onto the South West Coast Path walk to get sights of big, open coastal views and some spectacularly sandy beaches.

There are sand dunes aplenty if you’re looking for them and plenty of benches to stop off at and enjoy the views.Whilst you’re in area, fuel up at the Chichester Arms, a super-traditional seaside pub set in the village of Mortehoe.

The Must-See Festivals of Devon

Who says Glastonbury is the only good Festival in the South West?

When most people think of music festivals in the South West they think of that one big shindig North of the border beginning with a ‘G’.

These folks are probably not aware of a whole raft of excellent (slightly smaller) festivals that happen every year, just a few miles South. There’s a thriving music scene in the heart of Devon, one that is supported by a series of well-organised festivals. Whether you fancy slumming it in the muddy fields of Escot House or dancing in the streets of Sidmouth, there’s sure to be a music festival for you here – just make sure you buy your tickets well ahead of schedule!

Beautiful Days

90s Folk Rock band the Levellers set up this family-friendly festival over 15 years ago and, despite it’s continual success, the event has remained a medium-scale affair, making it ideal for young teenagers and kids.

The lineup is uniformly eclectic, with the only constant being the Levellers themselves who headline the final night of every festival.

There are tonnes of fun arts activities to get involved, as well as a decent range of acts including political debate and stand-up comedy.

Where? Escot Park, Talaton

When? 17th-19th August 2018

Sidmouth Folk Week

One of the longest running festival of it’s kind, the Sidmouth Folk Week has been running in some shape or form since 1955, bringing thousands of visitors into the seaside town for the entire week.

With the Summer in full swing, this is a great chance to soak up some traditional Devonshire culture (as well as some sunshine). Some of the biggest names in Folk music have graced the various venues of Sidmouth, but it’s the street-based frivolities that make this a festival worth seeing.

Where? Sidmouth

When? 3rd-10th August 2018

Chagstock Music Festival

Once described as ‘The best little festival in the South West’, this tiny festival (only 5,000 tickets are sold for the event each year) offers the music festival experience in a nutshell.

Set on the very edge of Dartmoor, you’ll feel like you’re on the brink of civilisation with as much music and activities as you could dream of handling.

An ever-changing lineup of retro bands and folk legends keeps the one stage busy – and because of the remote location partying often drifts far into the early hours!

Where? Chagford, Dartmoor

When? 20th-21 July 2018

Dart Music Festival

The story of the Dart Music Festival is a long one. Started by couple Rob and Di Lyon (who now serves as the Mayor of Dartmouth), the event runs over three days and encompasses the whole town of Dartmouth. Each year over 100 acts flock to the seaside town, to play in over 20 different venues. This is a weekend not to be missed and a great way of discovering all the hidden gems that Dartmouth has to offer. The lineup regularly features local talent, as well as other upcoming acts from around the country.

Where? Dartmouth

When? May 2018

Sea Change Festival

Although Sea Change Festival has only been running for the past 2 years, it’s already attracted some of the hottest up and coming acts from around the world. Set over a handful of venues in the peaceful market town of Totnes, this festival transforms its usually quiet host town into a thriving hub of pop culture and empowerment. Acts that have played at Sea Change include: Aldous Harding, Ulimate Painting and Temples.

Where? Totnes

When? August 24th-25th 2018

Testimonials: Living in Devon

Thinking of moving to Devon?

For many people living in other parts of the UK, the prospect of moving down to us here in Devon seems like an attractive prospect.

The weather is warmer down here, the population density is amongst the lowest of all the counties in Britain and there are two golden lines of coast to enjoy. If the only thing stopping you seriously considering making the move down to Devon is a lack of first-hand opinions, then look no further!

We’ve had a chat with some of our friendly locals here to give us their honest opinion of what it’s like to live and work in Devon:

Jed Burnhop – Oven Cleaning Technician

“I work on the road as an oven cleaning technician – which is a fancy word for professional oven cleaner. I’m based just outside of Dartmoor in a village called Cheriton Bishop. The great thing about living here is my proximity to both the wild expanse of Dartmoor and main road connections to the rest of Devon.

After a day of driving all over the county, I always feel so relieved to get back off the busy roads and onto the country lanes that take me back to my home in Cheriton. It’s quiet and peaceful here, which is just what I need after a long day on the road!”

Alice Barnett – Primary School Teacher

“Sometimes I have to pinch myself to remind myself that I’m living in the 21st century – it’s that antiquated here in Lower Lovacott. My colleagues at the school often sympathise with me for living so close to the school, but I really don’t mind.

It takes me 5 minutes to walk to work and I’m within easy driving distance of the North Devon coast which suits me fine. I might be living a quiet, rural teacher’s existence during the week, but on the weekends I’m off in my camper van, catching surf on the beaches! I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

Matthew Forbes – Student/Customer Service Assistant

“When I first moved to Exeter it was a bit of a shock. I moved from London to study here and naively expected one Southern city to be the same as any other – I was so wrong. Initially I thought I’d get bored, it’s so small down here that you can walk round in just a couple of hours.

After meeting some new friends and getting a job in the local supermarket, things started to change. I cycle everywhere here, which means I can get anywhere I want in 10-15 minutes, that’s a lot quicker than London – trust me!”

Sarah Jacobs – B&B Manager

“Whenever I have guests visiting, the first thing they mention is how hard it is to get to us here in Exford. But that’s why they come and stay with us really: for the isolation.

We’re literally bang in the middle of Exmoor National Park and whilst the quiet might take a bit of getting used to, it’s something that I’ve really grown to appreciate, especially when I make trips into Minehead to pick up the shopping. There’s really room to breathe here, plenty of pubs to walk to and the beach is only a short drive away – why would I go anywhere else?”

Ultimate Devon Foodie Getaways

Looking for a luxurious foodie weekend getaway?

Whilst you could spend a weekend in Devon exploring the wilderness of Devon or catching some waves on the North Coast, it’s also a great place for serious foodies too.

Many of the top chefs from London move down here to experience a slower pace of life and bring their cooking talent to a more rural setting. Thanks to the wealth of local produce on offer, these chefs can source all their ingredients from within a few miles, which means that the food is as fresh at it comes. Whether it’s organic vegetables, grass fed beef or even sparkling wine: Devon’s producers ensure that your meal will only be a short hop from farm to table.

Treat yourself to a touch of luxury by booking a table at one of these excellent Devon restaurants:


Devon-born chef spent 12 years working in some of the finest restaurants in the South before fulfilling a lifelong dream of opening his own restaurant in the seaside resort of Ilfracombe. The Olive Room is the young chef’s showroom for his prodigious talent and after only two years of his service, his hard work was rewarded with a Michelin Star. A taster menu at The Olive Room costs £80, factor in another £30-40 for a decent bottle of wine.

Where to Stay: Trimstone Manor Country House Hotel (Trimstone) from £63 p/night.

Whilst You’re Here: Watermouth Castle is an early 19th Century building well worth visiting.


Mostly known as a seaside resort of somewhat ill-repute, Torquay is building a reputation as an up and coming, modern holiday destination. Coming top of the pick for foodies is the Michelin-starred The Elephant Restaurant and Brasserie. A bright and informal dining experience awaits visitors looking to taste some of the best locally sourced seafood with frequent collaborations with special guest chefs making each experience different.

Where to Stay: Lincombe Hall Hotel (Meadfoot Road) from £100 p/night (with Breakfast).

Whilst You’re Here: Kents Cavern offers a glimpse into our prehistoric past with guided tours running 7 days a week.


There aren’t many pubs in Devon that can claim to have the same historical heritage as The Treby Arms. Built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in the mid-19th Century, it’s now the home of Luke Fearon and his talented team of chefs.

Despite gaining and losing a Michelin star, the standard of service at The Treby Arms is uniformly excellent, serving high-end takes on pub classics at a reasonable price. The taster menu is £65, whilst mains from the menu are priced between £12 and £38.


Where to Stay: St. Elizabeth’s House Hotel (call 01752 344 840 for rates).

Whilst You’re Here: Build up an appetite at Delta Force Paintball Plymouth before settling down for dinner.


Sat on the mouth of the River Teign, this peaceful town that offers a secluded weekend break, away from the busier tourist hubs nearby. Perhaps it’s this isolated location that explains why the talented team at The Owl and the Pussycat are yet to receive any accolades for their efforts, nonetheless, excellent reviews have been coming in thick and fast for this well respected establishment. With a menu that draws from classic British flavours and makes the most of locally sourced butchery, this restaurant is a hidden gem that’s well worth the trip.

Where to Stay: The Ness (Shaldon) from £80 p/night (with Breakfast).

While You’re Here: Take a South Devon Wine Tour to discover the underrated vineyards of the local area (from £85 for the day).

Rainy Day Activities for Families

What to do when it’s raining and pouring…

Come visit us during the Summer months and you’ll be treated to some of the warmest weather in the UK, however if you’re thinking of visiting in the next couple of months then you do run the risk of getting caught in a day or two of rain.

Whilst your chances of being rained on are increased at this time of year, you can still take advantage of cheaper rates for both accommodation and attractions.

Here are a few great activities for families looking to get some shelter from the rain:

Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter

Although some kids might well roll their eyes when you mention a museum, they’ll soon change their tune when they’re greeted by Nelly, the giraffe. The Royal Albert recently underwent a  complete renovation, so now’s a great time to visit the vast collection of taxidermied exotic animals.

There’s at least 2-3 hours of activity here, as you long as don’t let your kids run too far ahead – plus there’s also a cafe that you can duck into should the rain persist.

Entry: Free for all.

Opening Times: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm (Closed Mondays & Bank Holidays)

The Big Sheep, Buckfastleigh

There are a handful of all-weather activity centres scattered across Devon, but The Big Sheep takes the biscuit when it comes to rides, attractions and entertainment. Whether you visit during Summer or Winter, there are seasonal events throughout the year that are guaranteed to keep your family dry and entertained. Sheep Racing takes place daily, there’s also The Sheep Show which is on twice daily, offering families a chance to learn all about the different kinds of sheep that are kept within the grounds.

Entry: Babies under 12 months: Free – Children under 3-ft: £3.50 – Children & Adults: £7.50

Opening Times: Weekends 10am-5pm (Prices & Times for Winter season, see website for Summer details)

Waves Leisure Pool, Torquay

If you can’t beat them, join them! With the rain pouring down outside, you may as well get wet in Devon’s best indoor leisure pool. You’ll have to wait until 09:00 for the safety pool cover to be taken off the main area for kids as the period before is reserved for adult swimmers only.

Once the pool opens up to the general public, you and your kids can take full advantage of the flumes, jets and play areas which is sure to tire out your kids.

[If you want to roll lunch into the plan then you can take advantage of the Dip’n’Dine option for just £7.]

Entry: Free for Under 3s – 3-15 years: £3.60 – Adults: £4.50

Opening Times: Varies. Check website for details.

Pennywell Farm, Buckfastleigh

If your kids are animal enthusiasts then you’ll want to make a trip to Pennywell Farm whatever the weather. Although the starring attractions are the Farm’s miniature pigs, there’s also a big range of other animals to see, including: alpacas, tortoises, lambs, horses and more. The activity board at Pennywell changes on a daily basis, get there early and you can take part in egg collecting, goat milking and ferret racing.

Entry: Free for Under 3s – 3-16 years: £11.95 – Adults: £14.95

Opening Times: Opens on 25th November for Christmas Season activities. Farm Season opens on 10th February.

Festive Getaway Ideas

3 Festive Getaways for You and Your Partner

The Festive period is a great time to get away with your partner and Devon is the perfect destination escape to!

The hustle and bustle of city life can often drive people up the wall, especially when the shorter winter days come into effect, so why not head down South for a weekend break this Festive period to make the most of the clean air and longer days?

Whilst it might not be the best time of year to rough it in a tent, the October to mid-December period is a good time to book a room in one of Devon’s many fine hotels. During the off-season you’ll find rates are a lot cheaper in seaside towns and whilst you’re down you can get in on the festive vibe by attending an event that is completely unique to the area.

Take a look at our 3 Getaway Ideas and don’t forget to send us a message if you end up going on any of them:


Exeter might be referred to as the ‘Capital of Devon’, but it’s really more of a large town that a city. Surrounded by the ruins of an ancient Roman wall, this ‘city’ is steeped in history and very pedestrian-friendly, so you can leave the car in the hotel car park. There’s the usual rogues gallery of restaurants on offer as well as a few stand-out independents such as Harry’s Restaurant (Longbrook Street) and The Conservatory Restaurant (North Street).

Where to Stay: Southernhay House Hotel (Southernhay Street) from £167 p/night

What to Do: St. Leonard’s Christmas Fayre – 2nd December 2pm-6pm


There’s nothing like a weekend by the sea to blow the cobwebs out and Dartmouth is far and away one of the most scenic that Devon has to offer. One of the smaller towns in the local area, Dartmouth has all the amenities that you’d expect from a town with the addition of a whole raft of charming, family-run restaurants including: Rockfish (S Embankment) and The Seahorse Restaurant (S Embankment).

Where to Stay: Royal Castle Hotel (The Quay) from £125 p/night

What to Do: St. Saviour’s Church Advent Fair – 2nd December from 10am


If you’d rather get a taste of a more traditional seaside town, then Paignton could be right up your street. Officially a part of the English Riviera, Paignton was once a small fishing village, however it was transformed by railway links built in the late 19th century. Within 10 years, the village had morphed into a thriving seaside resort with tourists coming from London and Torquay by train. By far it’s biggest attraction, Paignton Zoo was built in 1923 and remains a must-see for people of all ages.

Where to Stay: Marine Hotel (Seafront) from £160 p/night

What to Do: Santa’s Traditional Christmas at Paignton Zoo – 16th-24th December