Must-see events in Devon 2020 & 2021 – regattas | shows | festivals
Devon has a packed calendar of things to do throughout the year. From regattas to festivals and country shows, you’ll find tough decisions have to be made about which events in Devon you are going to prioritise. Here’s what’s on in Devon in 2020 and 2021. What takes your fancy?
Updated Wednesday 7 October, 2020
The Devon events diary has been hugely impacted by the pandemic in 2020. Many events have been cancelled. Please check with organisers, attractions and venues before travelling. Be safe and know before you go. Some live events have been replaced with virtual activities.
I’m adding dates for 2021 events in Devon as they are announced. Please get in touch if there’s something I have missed.
Looking for Devon family attractions? You’ll find plenty in my huge round up of 101 things to do in Devon with kids.
What’s on in Devon 2020 and 2021
Below are our top picks for fantastic family-friendly events in Devon in 2020 and 2021. Also check out what’s on in Devon this weekend.
Things to do in Devon in winter
There’s no denying that events are harder to find in the off season but there’s still plenty of ways to entertaining kids in the colder months.
Here’s my guide to things to do in Devon in winter.
Events in Devon in February 2021
Illuminate Festival at Royal William Yard – 18-21 February, 2021
Illuminate Festival lights up Plymouth’s Royal William Yard with projection mapping, playful light art installations, joyous performances and a myriad of opportunities to engage, participate and make.
This event is part of the Mayflower 400 commemorations and has been rescheduled from November 2020.
It’s a free event and that we also visited a few years ago. Check out our favourite bits in the video below:
Find out more about our visit to Illuminate Plymouth 2018.
Illuminate Festival, Royal William Yard.
Read my round up of all the family-friendly festivals in Devon in 2021.
Things to do in Spring in Devon
Moor Otters trail 2021 – TBC
A start date for the Moor Otters 2021 trail will be announced soon. This fun art trail first took place in 2017 with creatively designed otter statues hidden around Dartmoor National Park – one of this beautiful creature’s natural habitats.
In 2021 there will be a new set of 81 otters and cubs. Keep an eye on the Moor Otters Facebook page for sneak previews and updates.
Events in Devon in May
The Brixham Pirate Festival – 1-3 May, 2021
There be pirates in Brixham! If your way to see one of the largest gatherings of modern day pirates then Brixham is the place to head. Over the May Day bank holiday weekend the town will be brimming with swashbuckling activities. Expect skirmishes, historic reenactments and a visit by mermaids.
Brixham Pirate Festival is free to attend but please give generously to any donation buckets you see around town to help this unique event continue in the future.
Find out more about Brixham Pirate Festival on the website.
Dart Music Festival – 7-9 May 2021
This is one of our favourite free events in Devon. Dartmouth has a rhythm of its own for this three day music festival with indoor and outdoor venues across the town. See more than 100 performances across the weekend, ranging from rock to opera and jazz. The festival is free to attend.
Find out more on the festival website.
Britain’s Ocean City Half Marathon, Plymouth – 16 May, 2021
Britain’s Ocean City Half Marathon offers a challenging and scenic 13.1 mile course taking in Plymouth’s famous landmarks.
For full details and to book your spot visit the Run Plymouth website.
Devon County Show, West Point, Exeter – 20 – 22 May, 2021
This is Devon’s largest agricultural show with a full programme of activities and entertainment throughout the weekend. Marvel at monster trucks, sample local ales, and cheer on sheep dog displays.
Families with young children will enjoy the petting farm, fairground and countryside activities, like making bees wax candles.
To check out the full weekend programme on the County Show website.
Brixfest, Brixham – 28 – 31 May, 2021
This celebration of sea, food and music takes place over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend. There will be a dragon boat challenge, cooking demonstrations and fireworks. Families will also love the Children’s Day with lots of children’s activities planned.
Find out more about the event programme on the festival website.
Prawle Fair 2019 – TBC May 2021
Prawle Fair is a fabulous family event with live music, traditional rides and stalls from swingboats to greasy pole, and lots of refreshments available. There is a fancy dress competition for children plus bouncy castle, face painting and a human fruit machine.
The fair takes place from 2pm on The Green, East Prawle, near Kingsbridge. Entry is free and car parking costs £2 per car.
Full details are available on the Prawle Fair website.
Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival, Kingsbridge – 28-30 May 2021
Kingsbridge will come alive with three days of top-notch music, local food and drink, and family fun. The dedicated Kids Zone behind the main stage offers young festival-goers the chance to learn bush craft, as well as take part in a fancy dress disco.
See the full programme of festival activities on the Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival website.
Flavour Fest, Plymouth – TBC May, 2021
Plymouth plays host to some to some of the best food and drink events in the country including Flavour Fest. Every year more than 100 regional food and drink producers transform the city centre into a bustling continental-style market, with plenty of tempting treats to try and buy.
Find out more on the Flavour Fest website.
Pirates Weekend, Plymouth – TBC May, 2021
Plymouth’s waterfront offers swashbuckling family fun during this award-winning event. Have an adventure-filled day out with pirates, shanty bands, and children’s activities around The Barbican, Quay Square & Sutton Harbour.
Find out more about what’s planned for Pirates Weekend.
What’s on in Devon in June
English Riviera Airshow, Torbay – TBC June, 2021
This free two-day airshow takes place in the natural amphitheatre provided by Torbay. There will be family favourites including The Red Arrows and The Blades.
As well as plenty of action in the skies there’s stalls, entertainment and children’s activities on Paignton Green.
For the complete air display line up see the English Riviera Airshow website.
Teignmouth Folk Festival, Teignmouth – TBC June, 2021
This lively folk festival takes place across five venues in Teignmouth. Throughout the three-day festival there’s a heady mix of music performances and morris dancing performed by more than 20 clubs from across the country.
Tickets are available for camping and night time concerts.
Check the festival website for announcements about acts, the event programme and to book tickets.
Greenway Literary Festival and Children’s Book Week – 7-13 June, 2021
What better place to celebrate books and a love of ready than at the South Devon holiday home of Agatha Christie?! The Greenway Literary Festival comprises of two parts: Children’s Book Week to coincide with May half term, and Literature week in June.
During Children’s Week there will be storytelling, workshops and games for young bookworms to enjoy, followed by a programme of talks and workshops by award winning authors in Literature Week.
Find out more on the Greenway National Trust website.
Events in Devon in July
Have a read of my guide to things to do in Devon in July.
Glas-Denbury Festival, Denbury – 2-3 July, 2021
We experienced the Glas-Denbury Festival in 2018 and had a brilliant weekend. It brings together a family-friendly atmosphere with lots of kids activities and some great music from the South West. Throughout the days there’s storytelling, crafts, street performers and music by top regional acts who continue into the evening.
Glas-Denbury is a friendly music and arts festival for all ages. You can get day or weekend camping tickets to this great family-friendly festival in rural Denbury.
For more information about weekend, day and camping tickets see the Glas-Denbury festival website.
Read my round up of all the family-friendly festivals in Devon in 2021.
SailGP in Plymouth, 17-18 July 2021
One of the world’s most impressive sailing events, SailGP will stop in Plymouth in 2021, following events in San Francisco and New York.
Plymouth has been selected to host SailGP’s Season 2 European debut when the global league’s events restart in 2021.
SailGP is an annual, global sports championship featuring bold, cutting-edge technology and awe-inspiring athleticism. It attracts some of the best sailors in the world, including Sir Ben Ainslie, the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, who will lead the British team.
All of this will be available for spectators to watch live from Plymouth Hoe and the waterfront. You can expect to see capsizes, extreme sail racing speeds and high adrenaline competition between each nation as they race close to the shore in Plymouth Sound.
For more information about SailGP coming to Plymouth check the Visit Plymouth website.
Mid-Devon Show, Knightshayes, Tiverton – 24 July 2021
In 2021 the show will be in its 26th year and offers an award-winning combination of ringside entertainment, countryside history and livestock competitions. There’s also plenty of local traders selling Devon delicacies, crafts and gifts in the grounds of this beautiful National Trust estate.
Parking is free and dogs are welcome on a lead.
All the latest event information is available on the show website.
Totnes & District Show, Totnes – 25 July 2021
The Totnes & District Show is over 100-years-old. Popular features of the event are seeing the livestock in the main ring, the lamb sheering competition, horse events and live music.
For all the latest show information see the Totnes Show website.
Yealmpton Agricultural Show, Yealmpton – 28 July 2021
See vintage tractors, a motorcycle display team and the live stock parade. There’s also a countryside marquee where you can get up close with farm animals. Don’t miss the parade of hounds!
For more information about the show, tickets and parking see the Show website.
What’s on in Devon in August
For the most up-to-date 2020 event listing read of my things to do in Devon in August 2020.
Sidmouth Folk Festival, Sidmouth – 30 July to 6 August, 2021
Sidmouth will be wash with music, dance and workshops for all ages during this four-day event. The dedicated children’s folk festival is staged across three workshop venues with crafts, family-friendly shows and story times.
Find out more about the festival programme and children’s festival activities on the website.
Clovelly Maritime & Lifeboat Weekend, Clovelly – TBC August, 2021
See the village’s Clovelly Cup Race as well as other waterborne competitions. Back on land there will be lots of family entertainment including building your own model boat, arts and crafts, story-telling, and Punch & Judy.
See what else is happening during the maritime festival on the the Clovelly website.
Sidmouth Regatta, Sidmouth – TBC August, 2021
Details for Sidmouth’s Regatta in 2021 are still being worked on.
For more information about the regatta at Sidmouth see the Sidmouth Regatta website.
North Devon Show, Umberleigh – 4 August, 2021
This celebration of North Devon’s agricultural roots will be in its 130th year in 2020. It offers plenty of opportunity to see the region’s finest livestock in the arena. There’s also arena shows, vintage vehicles, family activities and trade stalls.
For full details about what will be happening at the show see the website.
Honiton Show, Honiton – 5 August, 2021
Head to this traditional farming show to see one of the county’s largest one-day celebrations of agriculture. Honiton offers a fantastic showcase of local farming, produce and rural skills that will entertain the whole family.
For the latest updates and event programme see the Honiton Show website.
Salcombe Town Regatta, Salcombe – 7 – 14 August, 2021
Dozens of craft will take take part in sailing competitions during this week long event. Alongside the regatta locals and visitors will be able to try their hands at sandcastle building, crab catching and climbing the greasy pole (!).
For updates about this year’s event as they become available see the Salcombe Information website.
Ocean City Blues ‘n Jazz Festival, Plymouth – TBC August, 2021
The free Britain’s Ocean City Blues n Jazz Festival takes place in Plymouth in August. The event will take place in the Barbican area.
More details will be available on the Visit Plymouth website as the event approaches.
Torbay Royal Regatta, Torquay – TBC August, 2021
Details about this week-long sailing event between Torquay and Paignton are yet to be announced.
For more information see the Regatta website.
Dartmouth Royal Regatta, Dartmouth – 26 – 28 August, 2021
Devon’s royal regatta hosts sports, sailing and family events throughout the three days, plus a ball and live music festival.
You can also see impressive visiting ships moored on the River Dart throughout the festivities. Families will love the children’s fancy dress competition, scavenger hunt and a shopping village showcasing local companies.
To see the full regatta programme visit the Dartmouth Royal Regatta website.
Plymouth Firework Championships, Plymouth – TBC August 2021
The Championships are a spectacle not to be missed and take place overlooking Plymouth Harbour and Sound for extra sea view drama. This is the premier firework display in the country, attracting tens of thousands of people each year.
Details about the event in 2021 are still to be announced.
For the latest event news and information see the Plymouth Firework Championships.
Events in Devon in September
Kingsbridge Agricultural Show, Kingsbridge – 4 September 2021
2021 marks the show’s 140th anniversary. Each year it offers a great family day out with livestock and countryside competitions, donkey rides, vintage vehicles and live music. There’s also a packed programme of arena entertainment.
See all the show details, ticket prices and what’s on by visiting the website.
Seafood Festival Plymouth – TBC September 2020
Details of Plymouth’s Seafood Festival in 2021 are still to be announced.
Find out more about the Seafood Festival.
Abbfest, Newton Abbot – 17-19 September, 2021
The best of Newton Abbot’s food, drink and craft traders will showcase their wares alongside a weekend of music and cookery demonstrations.
Families will get the most out of the Saturday when there is a day of children’s activities.
For the full festival line-up and ticket information visit the Abbfest website.
Read my round up of all the family-friendly festivals in Devon in 2021.
What’s on in Devon in October
Looking for fun things to do in Devon this autumn? October is a fun month in Devon with half term and Halloween on the event calendar.
Here’s some ideas for things to do in Devon in October. Read on for more events in Devon this month:
West End Meets Animation and West End Extravaganza at Exeter Racecourse – 17 October, 2020
West End Stars are bringing their talents to Exeter Racecourse with two unique drive in experiences.
West End meets Animation is a Disney-themed drive in concert for all the family, where
David Ribi, Lauren Varnham and their West End friends take the audience on a journey filled with songs from everyone’s favourite animation movies, resulting in finding a much loved icy Princess.
And West End Extravaganza is a glittering drive in concert where all the cast will execute a realm of current and classic Musical Theatre hits, whilst letting the audience in on a thing or two about life behind the scenes in London’s West End Theatres.
Dartmouth Food Festival – 22-24 October, 2021
This delicious event in Devon is packed with food and drink to suit all taste buds is the on the menu during Dartmouth Food Festival. There’s three days packed with cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs, talks with food writers, and cookery workshops for adults and children.
A whole day of the festival is dedicated to children, with events and activities to get kids excited about cooking. Don’t miss the free story telling sessions with tales of funny food and even ginger bread man making.
Dartmouth harbour and town, South Devon. Some activities must be booked and paid for in advance. Take a look at the Food Festival website for more information.
Clovelly Apple Day, TBC October, 2021
This traditional autumn event adds apple themed events to the usual activities on offer at this beautiful fishing village. Children can see apples being pressed to make fresh juice, try bobbing for apples and take part in arts and crafts.
There’s a competition for the best carved, sculpted or decorated apples. Later in the day there’s a harvest hunt and a special tour with a spooky theme.
Clovelly Village, Nr Bideford, North Devon. Normal admission prices apply. Find out more on the Clovelly website.
Halloween in Devon
Get your spook on during October half term and Halloween events in Devon. Check out my full round up of tricks and plenty of treats in Devon during the autumn.
Events in Devon in November
For the most up-to-date 2020 event listing read of my post about things to do in Devon in November 2020.
Clovelly Herring Festival – 15 November, 2020 – CANCELLED
2020 marks the 14th anniversary of Clovelly’s Herring Festival. The village once relied on its huge catches of herring and today celebrates that heritage.
During the event there will be cooking demonstrations, food and craft stalls, shanty singers and street entertainers. For families there will be free arts and crafts, face painting and a treasure hunt.
Crealy’s Firework Spectacular – TBC
Crealy always hosts a firework extravaganza over half term, usually in the last weekend of its Halloween Spook-fest, with rides staying open until late.
Exeter, East Devon. Normal admission prices apply. Find out more on the Crealy website.
Bonfire Fire Works Party at The Big Sheep – 5 November 2020
There will be a socially distanced bonfire and fireworks event at The Big Sheep in 2020. For more details and tickets keep an eye on the website.
Bideford, North Devon. Find out more on The Big Sheep website.
What’s on in Devon in December
Ho ho ho how about festive events? Christmas in Devon is a real treat. Check out my Devon Christmas round up of the top places to meet Santa, see Devon Christmas lights and illuminations, and soak up some Xmas cheer!
The most up-to-date dates will be added to this guide of events in Devon as they are announced.
What family-friendly events in Devon have I missed? Share your recommendations in the comments below. You might also like to check out my top tips for Devon family attractions.
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