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Devon in Summer

Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors in Devon as towns and villages begin to prepare for summer fetes and festivals

Devon County Show

You know summer has officially arrived when the Devon County Show begins to make its preparations. Held at the huge Westpoint Showground near Exeter in mid-May, the Devon Show is a celebration of agricultural and rural life. It is the biggest event in the county’s calendar and includes rare breeds and livestock, from alpacas and sheep to prize bulls.

There is a dog show, horses and showjumping events, steam engines, vintage cars and all manner of demonstrations including blacksmiths and farriers. Trade stands are the place to pick up locally produced honey, wool, local pies and other tasty treats homemade on Devon farms. The arena has a rolling program of events from sheep dog skills to a motorcycle display team.

Salcombe Festival

In mid-June, Salcombe celebrates with a festival dedicated to its sailing and musical heritage. Out on the estuary are classic keelboats and vintage yawls all competing in races under the arm of the British Classic Yacht Club. The Estuary Rowing Club hosts a Gig and Rowing Regatta while on dry land, street entertainment includes a Big Band, live Jazz, Rock n’ Blues and comedy workshops in many of the towns historic inns. Celebrations run until late on Whitestrand so visitors can enjoy the bars and restaurants with live street music.

Pixie Day

The little folk are remembered at Pixie Day (Midsummer’s Day) in Ottery St Mary. Apparently, the village did not live in harmony with these pesky pixies and finally drove them out of town on Midsummer’s Day, 1454. The occasion is re-enacted by the children of the village who run down Broad Street making as much commotion as possible. When they reach the church, they capture the bell ringers but finally run out of pranks and are run out of town. The “revenge” on the pixies is celebrated with live music, street entertainment and fireworks.

Navy Days, Plymouth

Plymouth celebrates its naval heritage at the end of August by opening the HM Naval Base at Devonport to the public. It is a fantastic opportunity to see a wide range of ships and submarines, along with foreign naval vessels. See exciting demonstrations by Royal Navy sailors and serving members of the Royal Marines. See the latest weapons, watch stunning air displays and marvel at the modern submarines and aircraft carriers of the modern day Navy. Park and ride services are provided from various out-of-town car parks and from Royal Parade in the centre of Plymouth.

Checkout the many other local events that are happening across Devon during the summer, and join in some of the great days out they offer. The Dawlish Horse Show, Newton Abbot Carnival, South West Motor Show at Newton Abbot Racecourse, Powerboats World Championships in Plymouth Sound, bowling competitions in Dawlish and Tavistock Food and Drink Festival are just a few of the great events Devon has lined up for visitors this summer.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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