The diverse history, superstition and culture which permeates life in Devon is wonderfully demonstrated in our round-up of things to do in Devon in November. Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night celebrations have some stiff competition from Flaming Tar Barrels and even a Turning the Devil's Stone ritual in Shebbear village on 5th November.
More down-to-earth activities include the Exeter Gold Cup Day Races, Clovelly Herring Festival and two carnivals at Hatherleigh and South Brent. Read the fascinating story of St Clement which is the focal point for a gathering of blacksmiths at the Finch Foundry, and last but not least we cover the excellent Jazz Festival at Teignmouth. Here goes!
Exeter Gold Cup Chase: Only fools and horses!
The Exeter Gold Cup Chase on 4th November 2014 is a popular race meeting at Exeter Racecourse before the winter sets in. Our informative article gives you all the information you need for getting to the racecourse, the best tickets and how to enjoy a relaxed meal in the Desert Orchid restaurant with great views overlooking the course.
Bonfire Night: It's smokin' down in Devon
Families across the country will be celebrating Bonfire Night with fireworks and bonfires on 5th November. We look at some of the best places to attend an organised event whether you live around Plymouth, Exeter, Barnstaple or Ottery St Mary. Which of these events will you attend?
Dig this! Turning the Devil's Stone at Shebbear
As an alternative to Guy Fawkes celebrations, why not head to Shebbear on the night on November 5th and watch the annual ritual of Turning the Devil's Stone. It's hard work turning this mysterious “alien” boulder, but woe betide the village if the tradition is ignored!
Holy smokes! Watch Flaming Tar Barrels at Ottery St Mary
Another ancient tradition which takes place on 5th November each year is the Flaming Tar Barrels event in Ottery St Mary. Learn about the firing of a rock cannon to announce the start of events which are detailed in the following article. Barrels are rolled, transported on sleds or carried aloft through the streets of this delightful village. There's the usual fair, side stalls and live entertainment too.
Hatherleigh Carnival: A flaming good time
If you fancy a drive into the scenic countryside of North Devon, Hatherleigh Carnival is a great excuse for a day trip on Saturday 8th November 2014. After the crowning of the Carnival Queen and her entourage, watch the decorated floats and torchlit procession in the evening. There's also a Flaming Barrel Run, so be prepared with this topical article.
Jazz it up at the Teignmouth Jazz Festival
There's just time to squeeze in one last Jazz Festival in 2014, and the Teignmouth Jazz Festival from 14-16 November 2014 pulls out all the stops. Workshops, jams, gigs and talks by performers from all over the country draw thousands of jazz fans and musicians. Get up to speed with what to expect by reading on.
Clovelly Herring Festival in the village that time forgot!
One of my favourite events in Devon in November is the Clovelly Herring Festival. If you know nothing about the history of herring and love smoked fish, you definitely want to attend this fun and educational event. The harbour village of Clovelly is as charming as ever as it hosts this family day out on Sunday 16th November, 2014.
Blacksmiths celebrate St Clement's Day at Okehampton's Finch Foundry
If you are not familiar with the St Clement's Day celebrations at Finch Foundry then this is the article (and event) for you! Blacksmiths and metalworkers from all over the Westcountry demonstrate their skills in competitions to celebrate their patron saint, St Clement, on Saturday 22nd November 2014.
We cover the history and origins of St Clement, and if you don't know what “firing the anvil” and “clementing” entails, you will certainly learn from this feature article.
South Brent Winter Floodlit Carnival is a grand finale before winter
The end of the Carnival season for another year is marked by the South Brent Winter Floodlit Carnival which takes place on 29 November 2014. Read the article and join in the fun as you watch the parade of many award-winning floats navigating the streets of South Brent. Want some ideas on where to eat? It's all here in our South Brent Winter Floodlit Carnival article!
What do you enjoy most about Devon's festivals ‐ the music, history, food, culture or pagan rituals? We'd love your feedback on what you like to read about to inspire us for next month's blogs.