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Devon springs into April with beer, walking & St George’s Day events

Beer festivals, flower shows, guided hikes and boat trips along the Jurassic Coast are all in store for visitors to Devon in April.
Easter marks the start of the holiday season for Devon’s busy tourist industry. April traditionally sees plenty of activities to enjoy from spring lambing to beach activities along with hiking, cycling and appreciating the early floral displays. Visitors will certainly find plenty of festivals to join in such as the Exmoor Walking Festival, the National Rhododendron Show and the Exeter Food and Drink Festival – with an After Dark Party with a difference!

Castle Drogo puts on a patriotic St Georges Day Lunch

Put a red rose in your buttonhole and show your patriotic spirit by attending the on 23 April. This National Trust-owned castle is the youngest castle in England but it still has all the characteristics of a true mediaeval fortress.

After feasting on English favourites for lunch, walk off the calories beside the River Teign, explore the formal gardens or take a tour of the Lutyens-designed castle interior. Here’s all you need to know before you go…

RHS National Rhododendron Show at Rosemoor is bloomin’ marvellous!

Once again RHS Rosemoor attracts thousands of visitors to its annual on the third weekend in April. This free competition has 60 classes for rhododendrons as well as magnificent displays of magnolias and camellias.

Browse the exhibits, quiz the Rosemoor horticulturists and admire the wonderful floral displays in the main marquee. This colourful flower show is an unmissable event for garden lovers!

Don your boots for the North Devon and Exmoor Spring Walking Fest

Hosted by four towns on the North Devon coast, the itinerant is a 10-day event running from the last weekend in April through the May Day Bank holiday weekend.

This area is a real walker’s paradise and you can choose from over 40 guided hikes for all levels of experience. Led by rangers, wardens and guides, these scenic walks are all around , Lynton, Porlock and Dunster.

Tuckers Maltings Beer Festival at Newton Abbot

If you fancy sampling 260 beers and ales in an authentic brewery setting, then the is the place to be on the third weekend in April.

Read all about the 180-year history of the family-run Tuckers Maltings and picture the lively scene at this popular three-day beer festival. Real ale lovers gather from all over the UK to enjoy hot food and live entertainment, the perfect accompaniment to a selection of first-class beers.

Jurassic Coast Cruises from Exmouth

Discover Devon’s World Heritage Site with a aboard the Pride of Exmouth on select dates throughout April. Learn more about these 2-3 hour narrated boat trips along the Jurassic Coast which are the best way to appreciate the unique geology of the sandstone cliffs. Other sights include historic buildings, coastal villages, sea birds, and if you’re really lucky you may see dolphins and basking sharks.

Eat, drink and be merry at the Exeter Food and Drink Festival

Another spectacular event focusing on food, drink and castle ruins is the on the last weekend in April. This three day festival includes chef’s kitchen demonstrations, food stalls and plenty of locally produced wines and ciders.

After dark, the event moves from the Northernhay Gardens to the Exeter Castle courtyard for the Festival After Dark Party. High-end restaurateurs provide pop-up restaurants and the live music entertainment is non-stop, as this article reveals.

We defy you not to have found something to appeal in this eclectic mix of events. Whether you are a local or a visitor, is a wonderful place to spend some time this month!

We’d like to hear from readers who have taken part in some of these events in past years. Please let us know what the best (and worst!) parts of your experience were by commenting in the box below.

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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