As the Royal family announce plans for celebrating the historic Diamond Jubilee of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, canny Brits are already making arrangements to spend the extended bank holiday in the West Country. With close ties to the royal family through the Duchy of Cornwall, close-knit communities throughout Devon and Cornwall will pull out all the stops to celebrate this right royal event.
Expect street parties, garden parties and community picnics in every town and village and special celebrations in the cities of Truro, Plymouth and Exeter. Celebrated tenor Russell Watson is performing a tribute to the Queen's Diamond Jubilee at Plymouth Pavilions on June 8 and tickets are already in hot demand.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will certainly be welcomed as they tour South West England on 1-2 May, just prior to the traditional May Day Bank holiday.
Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in Devon
Villages such as Newton Poppleford are already hard at work with a special fundraising committee to fund a village dance and buffet at the village pavilion. Holsworthy Scout Group received a £2,500 grant to organise a fair and sports tournament in Stanhope Park which could be well worth visiting. A community picnic and lighting of a beacon will all be part of this community event.
Devon County Council is already granting Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders to accommodate street parties across the county, so you need to plan your stay in a Devon holiday cottage with these fun events in mind.
Big Jubilee Lunch
Sunday June 3 will see the Big Jubilee Lunch take place, and where better to tuck in than at the source of some of England's finest fare, fresh from the farms of Devon and Cornwall. The idea was actually inspired by the Eden Project's Big Lunch 2011, when locals were encouraged to share lunch with neighbours and friends. It was a resounding success and the community friendship and fun will now be repeated on a national scale as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Clotted cream, mini pasties, sparkling cider and giant hog roasts are just some of the home-grown foods that taste so good in the great outdoors of Devon and Cornwall. Beaches, gardens, pubs, town halls, churches and attractions are all sure to have their own plans to celebrate this historic event in style.
As yet, most places are keeping their plans a well-kept secret. However, like the 1999 eclipse, only those who are organised well ahead of time will be able to secure holiday accommodation for this sell-out event. Every B&B, hotel room, campsite and caravan park will be fully booked well ahead of the date and holiday cottages are sure to be among the first to get booked up. Offering comfortable self-catering accommodation in the heart of local communities, holiday cottage bookings in Devon and Cornwall are already being secured. Book now as prices for holiday rentals over the Diamond Jubilee weekend are sure to rise with the high demand from families and groups of friends.
Diamond Jubilee Beacons
Monday June 4 will see the lighting of thousands of Jubilee Beacons in a tradition dating back to the sighting of the Armada along the southwest coast! Fortunately this time the beacons herald only good news.
The beacons will be lit on strategic hilltops throughout the West Country in places such as Looe, Bodmin Moor and Tintagel. They will be visible from most points across the area, especially after dark.
Diamond Jubilee Attractions and More
Other planned highlights include steam train rides on the South Devon Railway, one of Devon's most popular attractions. This former Great Western Railway branch line runs through stunning scenery along the River Dart from Buckfastleigh to Totnes. Over the Diamond Jubilee weekend, the railway will be offering typical branch line services with auto trains and goods trains running all day and into the evening.
This exciting train ride can be combined with a trip to nearby Buckfast Abbey, Buckfast Butterfly Farm or the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm attractions. In the evening, a real ale festival is planned at Staverton Station to toast the Queen's health which sounds just the ticket!
Other great reasons to stay in a Cornish cottage after the Diamond Jubilee celebrations include the splendid agricultural and horticultural events at the Royal Cornwall Show on 7-9 June, 2012. As you will appreciate, there's always something to see and do when you visit the West Country. Make sure you book your holiday cottage in Devon or Cornwall now to avoid disappointment for this once in a lifetime event.