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

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

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


Dartmouth

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


Paignton

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