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Head to the Exmouth Craft Fair for some unusual Christmas shopping

By early December most people are in Christmas shopping mode. Why not combine duty with pleasure by popping down to the Exmouth Craft Fair.
Exmouth seafront is best known for its gorgeous sandy beach, ice cream stalls, gentle waves and rows of coloured beach huts. However, on the second Sunday in December the crowds flock down to Exmouth seafront for quite another experience – the Exmouth Craft Fair.

Exmouth Craft Fair at Exmouth Pavilion

The Exmouth Craft Fair is a well-attended annual event held in the spacious . You can’t miss it as it is right on the Esplanade. This general entertainment venue is used for conferences, fitness classes, weddings, concerts and exhibitions throughout the year. From Broadway shows to ballet and boxing, you would be surprised at what goes on in this supposedly quiet retiree community!

The Exmouth Craft Fair attracts over 40 stallholders, all geared up and ready sell unique crafts and gifts that you certainly won’t find anywhere else. Stallholders include local artists, wood turners, jewellers, glass engravers and many other talented artisans.

It is a great place to pick up treats such as homemade jams and pickles, melt-in-the-mouth fudge, hand knitted items and sewing crafts. As a shopping experience, Exmouth Craft Fair is far more pleasant than pushing your way around the main stores in town, and you are more likely to pick up gifts that you would love to receive yourself.

Free admission to the Exmouth Craft Fair

Prices are competitive and the feedback generally is that the standard of craftsmanship is surprisingly high and the quality is first class. Although many craft fairs charge an entrance fee, admission to the Exmouth Craft Fair at Exmouth Pavilion remains free – another great reason to attend.

Whether you are attending the Exmouth Craft Fair or one of the other events that keeps footfall high in this prestigious location, you must look out for the onsite café and bar. The award-winning caterers, “Posh Nosh”, provide some great meals from breakfast through lunch as well as a range of coffees and snacks, all enhanced by wonderful sea views.

What to do in Exmouth

Once your shopping experience at Exmouth Craft Fair is complete, it’s worth spending some time exploring this lovely town. The town centre has all the usual high street brands and stores for continuing your Christmas shopping.

The Esplanade is very long and flat – just right for a stroll along the seafront, especially on a sunny day. The beach is two miles long, in a sheltered position at the foot of Beacon Hill.

It may be a little chilly for sailing, wind surfing and jet skiing in December, but a boat trip or walk along the Exe Estuary is ideal for bird watching and enjoying the scenic views. Located at the beginning of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, the runs along the coast and offers great walks in all seasons.

No prizes for guessing that the town is situated on the banks of the River Exe. Although the area was known to have been inhabited since pre-Saxon times it only reached a reasonable size in the 18th century. It is considered the oldest holiday resort in Devon as visitors were attracted to the medicinal salt waters for their health.

With the opening of the railway in 1861, Exmouth boomed with mass tourism. It still has some lovely Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian town houses overlooking the sea. Landmarks to look out for are the original 1859 Lifeboat Station and the elegant Queen Victoria Jubilee Clock Tower on the sea front.

What can you tell us about Exmouth? Perhaps you live there and would like to recommend some places for visitors to head for? We’d love to hear what makes Exmouth special in our comments 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.


  1. Mellisa Turner says:

    Great post! I have never heard about it. I would love to explore this place definitely so I’ve included it in my bucket list. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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