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Things to do in Devon in November

If you fancy chilling out and enjoying the simple things in life, then Devon is the place to head for. There is plenty going on in November for all ages and interests, from woodland walks to craft workshops. After a day of activity, dine out in one of the many Devon pubs which offer real ale, great comfort food and roaring log fires.

National Trust Events

If you want to learn a new skill during your stay in a Devon holiday cottage, join the one-day hedge-laying event organized by the National Trust Ranger team. Learn the art of hedge-laying, put your knowledge into practice at Ayrmer Cove near Kingsbridge and receive a NT rural skills certificate at the end of the day. Alternatively, join the charcoal-making workshop in Wembury Woods on 19 and 20 November, 2011.

The National-Trust-owned Killerton at Broadclyst has a number of events scheduled. Join the Fungi Foray in Ashclyst Forest on November 6, 2011 before sampling a mushroom-themed menu in the restaurant.

On a more energetic note, enroll on the 5km Fun Run at Killerton which follows woodland tracks and trails through the National Trust owned parkland. These runs take place every Saturday morning throughout November.

Castle Drogo offers a pickling workshop with their resident chef on Wednesday November 23, 2011 and organises a Hibernation Hunt every weekend throughout the month.

Another useful pre-Christmas event is the Christmas crafts event at Arlington Court on November 19 and 20. Learn how to make your own wreath, make chutney and browse the stalls of local crafters for handmade Christmas gifts. The same weekend there are also Christmas Craft Fairs at Knightshayes Court and Buckland Abbey.

Nature and Gardens

Visit the RSPB Shop at Darts Farm near Topsham and join in one of the free family friendly nature walks around the area, led by RSPB staff. The final walk of the season takes place on November 5, 2011 and tramps through the surrounding farmland and wetlands with great lookout points along the way.

If you think November is a dull month for gardeners, think again. On Sundays throughout November, Sherwood has an Open Garden Day for NGS. Wild flowers, magnolias, camellias, heathers, cotoneasters, rhododendrons, azaleas and late summer perennials put on a final display in aid of charity.

A treat for bird watchers is the RSPB Winter Dawn Cruise on Sunday November 20, 2011 on the Exe Estuary. Avocets, black-tailed godwits, brent geese and mergansers visit the estuary during their migration from Siberia and Greenland.

Markets, Festivals and Fairs

Start (or finish!) your Christmas shopping on November 3, 2011 at the Michaelmas Fair in the spectacular setting of Powderham Castle. As well as the usual array of books, crafts, jewellery and stocking fillers, Auctioneer Jethro Marles will be on hand to give verbal valuations of jewellery, watches and precious metals.

Sidmouth College puts on a local Christmas Craft Fair on November 19, 2011 with free entrance and superb seasonal refreshments.

The Clovelly Herring Festival celebrates bygone days when herring were the staple economy for the area. Join maritime historian Mike Smylie with his kipperland exhibition and sample tasty smoked kippers and bloaters. Learn how to make a fishing net and process flax for knitting among other long-forgotten local crafts.

St Clements Day

November 19 is St Clement’s Day when blacksmiths meet from all over the country at Finch Foundry, Sticklepath near Okehampton. See the “firing of the anvil” and the blacksmiths in action as part of the Blacksmiths’ Saints Day.

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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