Events, Festivals & Arts

2015 Events for North Devon & Hartland Peninsula

Find all the best things to see and do in North Devon and the Hartland Peninsula during 2015.

August 2015


Throughout August

  Outdoor Summer Theatre at Hartland Abbey-  Set against the backdrop of this wonderful historic house, so deeply steeped in the history of North Devon, is a summer programme that promises to keep theatregoers of all ages and tastes well rewarded with some fantastic productions from different travelling theatre companies. It is a perfect reason to get together with family and friends, bring rugs or picnic chairs and enjoy a night under the stars! Bring your own picnic or treat yourself to something delicious from Mr Crackling's Barbeque and a glass of Pimms, wine or maybe a local cider or ale from the theatre bar, and settle down to watch one of the many stunning performances on offer.  Many people make a longer day out visiting the fascinating house with its beautiful gardens and a leisurely lunch or tea in the Old Kitchens Tea Rooms before the performance begins.

Box Office 01805 624624 Tickets: £7 – £20. See the Plough Arts Centre website for full details:

Tues 11th August 5pm – Illyria ‘THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE’ This version of Disney's famous classic features the original music by Paul Dukas (as used in Fantasia); more water then you have EVER seen in a play before; and eye-popping magical illusions designed by the world famous illusionist Paul Daniels. Exciting, magical family fun for all ages 5+!

Tues 18th August 5 pm – Cambridge Theatre ‘ROBIN HOOD, THE MUSICAL’ An extremely funny and lively family show. Come and have a joyful, fun-filled time with your family as you watch this hilarious musical show full our usual zest and vim! Boys and girls are invited to come along dressed in their best Sherwood fashion. There is also a 45 minute drama workshop where your child can play theatre games with the actors. Age 5-10. Please check with the ticket office.

Tues 25th August 7pm – Illyria ‘THE THREE MUSKETEERS’ All for One, and One for All! Young D’Artagnan is desperate to join Athos, Porthos and Aramis as an elite Musketeer of the King’s Guard. To prove himself he plunges headlong into a thrilling adventure to restore the Queen’s honour, survive the machinations of scheming Cardinal Richelieu, race the clock to save the hapless Mme Bonancieux and cross swords with the deadly Milady de Winter. Set against a sweeping panorama of 17th century France at war, this production is a whirlwind of excitement, broad comedy and ingenious story-telling. Suitable 8+

Mon 31st August 7pm – Heartbreak ‘EMMA’ by Jane Austen In true Heartbreak style, the adaptation of Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ is introduced and performed by a group of artists who tell the story in the hope that the Romantic nature of Austen’s writing inspires their portraiture and landscape skills.

2nd - 8th


Hartland Carnival Week!  Hartland comes alive during carnival week, starting with the crowning of the carnival royalty on the 2nd, through a week of events, games, quizzes and more and then culminating in the riotous, colourful Carnival procession on the 8th and an afterparty in the Square. For the full programme with literally something for everyone (from a Military Whist Drive to Family Fun Night) see the carnival website: T

7th, 8th, 9th
10.30am - 5pm


Welcombe Open Studios, Welcombe.  This is the 10th annual Welcombe Open Studios event. In this stunning, unspoilt coasal location visit the studios of artists, potters, photographers and craftspeople working in textiles, glass, furniture and much more. There are children's workshops, a National Trust sculpture day on the beach - and even a pop-up tea room! See for full details of all artists, studios and events. Free entry.



RNLI Lifeboat Weekend, Clovelly.  Held in aid of the RNLI, it is a popular celebration of the Clovelly Lifeboat, ‘Toby Rundle’.  The Lifeboat House will be open to visitors. On Saturday afternoon there will be a sponsored swim from Bucks Mills to Clovelly, followed by a barbecue.  
On Sunday it will be a fun-packed family day with games, competitions, entertainment, food,  drink and music. During the day the Clovelly lifeboat will be launched and in the evening there will be a curry, quiz and live music. Normal admission charges apply but on Sunday young people (7-12 years) will have free entry if they come dressed in orange (to match the boat). Under 7s have free entry anyway, but it would be much appreciated if they come dressed in orange too.



Clovelly Gig Regatta, Clovelly. The West Country boasts a long tradition of racing pilot gigs.  Gig racing is exciting and strenuous, with crews reaching speeds of 9 knots in North Devon’s powerful tidal waters. You’re assured an exhilarating day’s racing.  So come along and cheer on the brave crews!  Normal admission charges apply.

September 2015


Throughout September

  Sail in a traditional ketch.  Throughout the month take advantage of a very rare and unusual opportunity to sail in a traditional wooden ketch - the beautiful Irene - from Clovelly harbour out along the North Devon coast. No experience is necessary, there's a professional crew on board so you can either laze away on deck watching the scenery go by, or, if you prefer, join in and be shown how to hoist sails, trim jibs and even steer the ship.  This large vessel can cater for small groups or book as an individual. Prices start from £50. See here for full details.

5th  & 6th


Giant Veggie Competition, Big Sheep, Abbotsham. Try your hand at gardening and enter the GIANT Veggie Competition – The Big Sheep is on the look out for vegetables of all shapes and sizes for the competition. If you would like to enter please email for an entry form. All entries must be in no later than 1st September 2015.



Lobster and Crab Feast, Clovelly.  Clovelly celebrates its famous lobsters and crabs sustainably caught by its fishermen with a great day out for all the family.   Choose from a variety of crab and lobster dishes cooked on the quay or book a table at the Red Lion Harbour Restaurant and dine on delicious lobster, crab and seafood platters, each with a complimentary glass of bubbly.   There'll be live folk music, chef cookery demonstrations, a prize draw for a magnum of champagne, local food and craft stalls, including plenty of freshly cooked lobsters and crabs, and beer tasting.  Children will be kept entertained by street theatre, walkabout magic, balloon modelling and event-themed craft activities provided by The National Trust.  Standard admission charges include all entertainment.

November 2015




Clovelly Herring Festival, Clovelly.  Clovelly was once a major centre for herring fishing and the annual Herring Festival is held to promote these tasty, nutritious 'Silver Darlings' and support carefully managed fishing as carried out by our local fishermen.  The village once depended on the harvest of herring, which are caught in superb condition for a short season off its coast.  Records go back over 400 years and in 1749, there were a hundred herring boats in the port.  When fishing was good, 9000 herring could be landed at one time. Those days of massive catches are long gone and there remain just two herring fishermen who still employ sustainable fishing methods using drift nets and long lines. Maritime historian and writer, Mike Smylie, will return with his 'Kipperland' exhibition, which is devoted to the history of the herring.  He will also be turning herring into delicious and delicate-tasting kippers and bloaters in his smokehouse.   There will also be net making, flax processing and a curragh on show provided by 'Flaxland'.  Enjoy a wide variety of herring dishes in the quay kitchens or at the Harbour Restaurant, (visit to view the menu before the date), cookery demonstrations, live shanty and sea song singers, stilted entertainers, other local food and craft stalls, a photographic exhibition of Clovelly herring fishing and National Trust event-themed, free craft activities.  Standard admission charges include all entertainment.

December 2015




Christmas Lights in aid of the RNLI, Clovelly.  Christmas is a magical time at Clovelly.  The promenade starts down the cobbles with a local brass band leading the procession down to the harbour and accompanies Christmas carols sung by a local choir.  There'll be a hog roast, hot dogs, Christmas punch and other refreshments available at the Harbour and Lifeboat Station and Father Christmas will makes a surprise visit. At about 5 p.m. the switch is thrown and the entire village and harbour are lit up.  It's a fantastic sight!  A Carol Service is then lead by the vicar of All Saints Church, Clovelly, and there is a grand finale of fireworks to finish off. Entrance fee:  £5 per car at the Visitor Centre after 3 pm.  All proceeds to RNLI