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May Day, May Queens & May-hem sum up Devon this May

Devon serves up some great entertainment from coast to coast during May. Here's hoping for sunny days for the Devon County Fair, National Gardens Scheme Days, the Ten Tors Challenge and the lively Brixham Heritage Festival.
With two bank holiday weekends and warmer temperatures, May is the perfect month to take a short break in Devon – but you may want to stay a little longer. The county is brimming with festivals and events, from the acclaimed Devon County Fair to rather more off-the-wall events such as the Basketry and Beyond Festival.

Get weaving at Dartington Hall’s Basketry and Beyond Festival

Historic Dartington Hall is set in beautiful grounds which make the perfect setting for the . This enterprising arts and crafts event takes place from Friday 17th to Sunday 19 May 2013.

Attend basket-making seminars, browse produce stalls and hang around for the innovative Wearable Basketry Parade for some new ideas in cane fashion! The accompanying “From Bare Stems” exhibition is in the adjoining National Trust property, High Cross House, and our article includes full details of the weekend events.

May Fair fun and May-hem Half Term Madness at Arlington Court

The National Trust-owned Arlington Court near Barnstaple is a popular tourist attraction year-round with its Regency mansion and Carriage Museum. If you have youngsters to occupy, plan to visit during the last week in May and join in the event. Activities include den building, clay modelling and making art with nature, so old clothes and wellies are the recommended dress code!

National Garden Schemes Days take place all over Devon

Have you ever wondered what are all about? These organized open days of private gardens are a wonderful opportunity to peek over the garden wall at more than 4,000 lovingly created gardens. In May, there are 28 NGS open days taking place throughout Devon. We give you a taster of some of our favourite NGS locations and run through the main highlights including what, where, when and why.

Says cheers! at the Clovelly Celebration of Local Ales and Cider

Ale lovers and cider drinkers will want to head down to the over the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May. The delightful village of Clovelly makes the perfect day out, especially during this festival celebrating locally brewed ales from many North Devon breweries.

The Ten Tors Challenge on Dartmoor is no walk in the park

Young people have been rising to the for the last 50 years and despite its tough challenges, numbers have to be strictly limited. This year it takes place on the second weekend in May and walkers are hoping the weather will be kind! Learn the history behind the annual Ten Tors event and consider taking part or cheering on the participants in this Dartmoor-based test of endurance.

Get your feet tapping with sea shanties and clog dancing at the Brixham Heritage Festival

The delightful harbour in Brixham is never short of things to do, but when the takes place during the last week in May, it really pulls out all the stops! There is a parade, a regatta and a classic car show as well as family entertainment.

We guarantee your feet will not keep still as you enjoy sea shanties, clog dancers, magicians, music and majorettes as part of this fabulous celebration of Brixham’s heritage.

Experience the best of the SouthWest at the Devon County Show

Described as “Devon’s Big Day Out”, the has been entertaining visitors for over 140 years. Taking place on 16th – 18th May 2013, it celebrates the very best of Devon’s farming community with prize-winning animals, show jumping, tractors, flowers, food and drink all on display. Entertainment in the main arena includes a BMX freestyle display team and the Diggerland Dancing Diggers!

You’ll find plenty more to tickle your fancy by reading all the details about the acclaimed Devon Country Show which is held at the Westpoint Arena near Exeter.

After skimming through all these tasty events, you’re sure to have found a few things to make you want to head down to , whether you are visiting solo, as a couple or as a family.

What sort of things do you enjoy doing as a visitor or resident in Devon? We love hearing about festivals and events that we may have missed, so drop us a few of your favourite ideas in the 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.

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