With schools due back from early September this is a great time to visit Devon while the sun (hopefully) still shines and the main tourism season is winding down. But what’s on in Devon as the autumn kicks off? Here’s our guide to the top things to do in Devon in September 2021.
Got a while to stay? Here’s our BIG guide to family holidays in Devon.
Events in Devon this September
The usual Devon events calendar is springing back to life in 2021 with plenty of family-friendly events going ahead.
Find out more about what’s on in Devon for families this September.
Also take a look at my round up of what’s happening in Devon this weekend.
The Jungle Book at The Big Sheep – 1 September, 2021
Immersion Theatre are roaring to bring their trademark energy to their wildest show yet; a brand-new swingin’ musical adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling family favourite, The Jungle Book!
Filled with original music, audience interaction, and the chance to meet the characters after the show, you are invited to join Mowgli and his friends, Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther, on a madcap jungle adventure as they meet and attempt to outwit a slithering snake, some cheeky monkeys, and the fierce tiger, Shere Khan!
Find out more and book tickets on The Big Sheep website.
BioBlitz at Sharpham Trust – 3 – 4 September 2021
Help record the nature living on the Sharpham Estate near Totnes during its BioBlitz weekend.
There will be bat-detecting, moth-trapping, bird watching and animal tracking with expert naturalists and conservationists.
The BioBlitz runs from Friday evening through to Saturday, with various events that you can join in with.
Find out more on the Facebook event page.
Britain’s Ocean City Half Marathon, Plymouth – 5 September, 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.
Heritage Open Days 2021 – 10 to 19 September, 2021
This annual opportunity to explore some of the nation’s most extraordinary and often hidden places of history and culture will go ahead again in 2021.
From 10 to 19 September 2021 you can take special tours of heritage places in Devon like the secret spaces of Exeter Cathedral, the Bridging the Tamar Visitor and Learning Centre, and Plymouth’s cemeteries.
Here’s the full list of places to visit during Heritage Open Days in Devon, as well as the virtual tours that will be available.
Circus Extreme in Plymouth – 10 to 26 September, 2021
This September Circus Extreme returns to Plymouth with brand new death-defying show! It’s a one-of-a-kind performance, featuring some of the most talented performers in the world all housed in a climate controlled, socially distanced Covid Secure Theatre Style Big Top.
Merging modern and contemporary styles with extreme stunts and classic clown escapades, audiences will be amazed by the jam-packed Circus Extreme with show-stopping performances that will have you on the edge of your seat, when not falling off it with laughter.
Circus Extreme will be at Central Park, Outlands Road, PL2 3DG.
For a discount call the box office on 0203 375 3970 or online with Ticketmaster and quote ‘BIKES’. T&Cs: must be booked at least 24 hours before show time.
Find out more and book tickets on the Circus Extreme website.
Ottery St Mary Food and Families Festival – 11 September 2021
It’s food festival season in Devon and one of the first take place in Ottery St Mary in East Devon. Enjoy chef demos, cookery workshops, the children’s creative cabin, live entertainment as well as a market and of course lots of street food and drink.
This year the festival takes place on a new site next to Otter Garden Centre.
Find out more on the Ottery St Mary Food and Families Festival website.
Classic Transport Gathering at South Devon Railway – 11-12 September 2021
After months of being tucked away in garages, owners of classic cars and motorcycles are holding a get together at Buckfastleigh Station this weekend.
Up to 70 vehicles will be on show each day and, in addition to cars and motorcycles, there will be a display of military vehicles.
Vehicles booked to attend so far include some really interesting cars, such as a 1924 19.6HP Crossley, plus a selection of pre-war and post war cars. Devon Vintage Car Club will be helping run the event, which is being organised by the South Devon Railway, and other local car clubs will be in attendance.
The SDR will also be running its usual steam operated train services on both days.
Also in operation over the weekend will be the Miniature Railway running a steam service around the site. And the Garden Railway with its miniature steam models will be in action, plus and other static exhibitions including the Lee Moor Tramway Exhibition displaying a Peckett shunting engine.
The old Buckfastleigh signalbox, which was in use in the days when trains still went further on the two miles to Ashburton, will be open and where visitors can try their hand at pulling the levers.
Find out more on the South Devon Railway website.
Taste East Devon, various locations – 11-19 September, 2021
Taste East Devon is a nine day food and drink festival taking place across the whole of East Devon.
Award-winning venues, producers, chefs and restaurants throughout the area have joined forces to celebrate the incredible local food and drink. From farm feasts to brewery open days, seafood tasting experiences to BBQs and parties: some events will be ticketed, some will be open freely for all.
Venues include: THE PIG-at Combe, Darts Farm, Otter Brewery, Deer Park Country House, River Cottage, East Devon AONB, Donkey Sanctuary, Mazzard Farm, Jack in the Green and Lympstone Manor.
Find out more about what’s on and where on the Taste East Devon website.
Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival – 15 to 19 September 2021
Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival is returning this September with a full, live programme of events including huge names in both fiction and non-fiction, and a wide and varied range of events and topics for all ages.
Headlining the programme with be former principal ballerina and Strictly judge Dame Darcey Bussell talking about her life of dance, comedy actress and best-selling novelist Celia Imrie on her latest novel, and leading scientist Richard Dawkins on the best of science writing.
The programme is also packed with events for families lead by the multi-bestselling author Jacqueline Wilson who presents her latest book The Primrose Railway Children.
Horrible Histories illustrator Martin Brown will be getting everyone drawing, and Katz Cowley shares her brilliantly successful The Wonky Donkey. All ages can get stuck into modelling characters including Shaun the Sheep from Nick Park’s hilarious Aardman Films under the careful guidance of one of the company’s leading model makers.
Find out more about what’s on and buy tickets for Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival.
Cyfest-14: Ferment arts and ecology festival at Dartington – 17-26 September 2021
A new arts and ecology festival is coming to the Dartington Trust this month centred around the theme of fermentation.
‘Cyfest-14: Ferment’ examines fermentation through the dual lenses of art and science. Along with a series of art installations, there is also a full programme of workshops, talks, films and music.
Ferment is a collaboration with Cyfest, the biggest digital art festival in Eastern Europe, formed by Cyland, a Russian artists’ collective. The festival began in St Petersburg in 2007 and explores new forms of art and high technology interactions, exposing audiences to works in the field of robotics, video art, sound art and net art.
This new edition in the beautiful Devon countryside, offers itself as a stark contrast to the artworks.
There will be free experimental art installations dotted around the estate for the full ten days of the festival, as well as kids workshops, walks with the artists and a family DJ event. Some activities require booking in advance.
Find out more on the Dartington Estate website.
Darts Farm’s Field, Fire, Ferment Food Festival – 18 September 2021
Take your young farmers along to find out all about how their food and your cheeky Friday night tipples are made at Darts Farm in Topsham, East Devon.
This free festival is hosted by the Farm’s culinary experts and gives you a chance to wander the fields for tastings and demonstrations.
Find out more on the Darts Farm website.
Schools Out Comedy Club at Appledore Comedy Festival – 18 September 2021
Come along to Philip Simon’s hit comedy show where children tell their favourite jokes. It’s guaranteed to keep them giggling more than that time they saw their teacher’s dirty washing on Google Classroom.
This show takes place at Appledore Community Hall on New Quay Street and is suitable for ages 4 to 11.
Tickets cost £6.50 and are available from the Festival website.
Plymouth Seafood and Harbour, Plymouth – 18-19 September 2021
Celebrate Plymouth’s incredible satiably caught fresh fish and seafood at this free, family-friendly festival along The Parade, Quay Square and West Pier.
The event is organised by the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership with activities for children, cooking demonstrations and lots of opportunity to taste fishy delights!
The Amazing Vintage Classic at The World of Country Life – 19 September 2021
Visit The World of Country Life for a roaring day of automotive displays in addition to the usual opportunities for play, animal encounters and rides.
There will be plenty of classic and vintage vehicles visiting the park as well as Southern Troopers, the famous South West costume group, who will bring with them Darth Vader, Chewbacca and loads more Star Wars characters.
Find out more on The World of Country Life website.
Good Food Sunday, Plymouth – 19 September 2021
Visit Home park Stadium in Plymouth for a day of foodie delights from 10 to 3pm on 19 September, 2021. Entry is free.
Find out more on the Good Food Sunday Facebook page.
Day out with Thomas at South Devon Railway – 24 – 26 September 2021
Join Thomas & Friends for a day of family fun at the South Devon Railway. Take a train ride with Thomas, meet The Fat Controller and join Sodor Station Sweepers Rusty & Dusty for a trainload of excitement.
Other activities include Thomas re-enactments, a Magic Show, balloon modelling a Thomas Trail and the miniature railway.
Find out more and book a Day out with Thomas.
What about next month? Here’s my guide to things to do in Devon in October.
Devon days out
With the main summer holidays finishing this month, some Devon attractions are only open mid-week.
However, you can still find some that are open during the week in September:
- Dartmouth Steam Railway
- Kents Cavern
- Paignton Zoo
- Exmoor Zoo
- The Milky Way
- National Marine Aquarium
- The Big Sheep
Be aware that many attractions are taking advance bookings only. Always check before you travel to avoid disappointment.
What to do when it rains in Devon this September
Sadly it’s not always sunny in Devon. I have a big list of ideas for things to do in Devon on wet days this September.
Make the most of the last few beach days
I don’t know about you, but I always hold out a hope for some warmth in late summer, especially as I know we’ll find it much easier to get parking on the coast.
If you’re not a fan of sand and salty water, then why not check out some of the splash parks and outdoor swimming pools around the county.
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Are you planning your days out in Devon this month? Why not use Pinterest to save this post about what’s on and things to do in Devon in September. If you’ve spotted I’ve missed something let me know! Comment below or email me.