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What’s on this weekend

Shopping, eating, running (in a Santa cozzie of course), heckling at the panto and more! Here's a winter wonderland of things to do in Devon this weekend.

MUSIC: London African Gospel Choir Sing Marley, Exeter Phoenix, Exeter, Fri 3 Dec

Having triumphed with their retelling of Paul Simon’s Graceland, the lyrical voices of the London African Gospel Choir are now tackling the works of the mighty Bob Marley. The choir was founded to provide a platform of excellence for musicians, singers and dancers from the African diaspora based in the UK and excel they do.

CANDLE WORKSHOP: Aromatic Festive Candles, Dartington Trust, Totnes, Sat 4 and Sun 5 Dec 

Muddy is already booked in to make these dreamy aromatic festive candles and you should be too! All crafted from sustainable materials with lush spicy winter essential oils, and decorated with botanicals grown by the Cockles and Heart team.

LIGHTS: Light Play launch, Royal Terrace Gardens, Torquay, Fri 3 Dec

Head to the launch of the new illuminations along Torquay’s Rock Walk from 6-8pm, when there will be jugglers, musicians and entertainers to add to the fun. Created as part of the government Towns Fund investment to make the area safer and prettier, so not just for Xmas!

CHARITY BALL: Cancer Research Charity Snow Ball, Soar Mill Cove, Sat 4 Dec

An evening of fine dining, a Michael Bublé live tribute act, disco and grand raffle compered by BBC’s David “Fitz” Gerald. There’s a gin fizz on arrival and a special room rate if you want to stay over – and all for a really good cause.

Cinderella, Barnfield Theatre, Exeter, Sun 5 Dec

Brought to you by Wonder, a West Country touring company who specialise in pantomime (they have four other panto up their frilly sleeves). They’re popping up at numerous venues around Devon so their Cinders is sure to be a cracker with familiar rags-to-riches, glass slipper shenanigans, and, by the looks of these two, loads of amusing ugly sister action. (Also at Palace Theatre, Paignton on 9 Jan)

LIGHTS: Buckland’s River of Light, Buckland Abbey, Yelverton, Sat 4 Dec – 2 Jan

When the National Trust team trim Buckland Abbey’s Barn for Christmas it always makes Muddy feel festive and this year sounds amazing, a river of blue light created by an indoor forest winding its way to the big Estate tree.

FAMILY: Christmas at the Box, The Box Museum, Plymouth, 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19 Dec

Decisions, decisions….a delicious dinner out or Santa with the kids? Either way The Box has you covered. Every weekend Santa starts his day at The Box, 9-11am until 19 Dec when they’re hosting a ‘Family Late’ to wave him off before he returns to the North Pole. Weekend craft sessions include candle holder making (4/5 Dec), bookmaking and marbling paper (11/12) and making Xmas decs on 18/19 Dec. The Box Kitchen & Bar never disappoints and the gift shop rivals the best city museums for quality and range of gifts. Go, go, go!

THEATRE: A Christmas Carol, Exeter Northcott, Exeter, until 1 Jan

A Christmas Carol, Le Navet Bete and the Northcott are as reliable and comfortable as your favourite Xmas jumper. Impossible not to feel Christmassy after this giggle-worthy treat.

CINEMA: Northern Lights, Real Ideas Organisation, Market Hall, Devonport, Sat 4 Dec

Not managed a Lapland getaway this Christmas? Here’s the next best thing – a 360 degree cinema Northern Lights experience at RIO’s amazing immersive cinema. 

XMAS SHOP: Festive Good Food & Craft Market, Royal William Yard, Plymouth, Sun 5, 12, 19 Dec

Great to see this much-loved market back and ready to help us with our Christmas shopping, excellent as it is at hosting an array of talented artists and makers – expect tasty treats and handcrafted gifts.

FITNESS: Santa Run, Brixham, Sun 5 Dec

Brixham Harriers and the Soroptomists raised over £2500 last time the streets of Brixham were populated with sprinting Santas. Even if you don’t fancy doing the 3k run yourself, it’s bound to be a spectacle.

KIDS: Follow the Glow, The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, until Thurs 6 Jan

Not a light show but a trail to get kids active, finding clues around the sanctuary, finishing up in ‘Glow Room’ with three little donkeys, Gilly, Holly and Snowy. Then it’s off to the Gift Shop to collect their prize. £5 trail.

ILLUMINATIONS: Christmas at the Castle, Powderham Castle, Kenton, until Fri 31 Dec (except Mon 13, Weds – except 22 Nov and 25 Dec)

Choose between a daytime or evening visit to explore the Secret Garden where you can get up close and personal with Powderham’s animals including pony rides and goat walks. The Christmas Market in the Old Riding School has music, food and a bar so you will never be too far away from a mulled wine. By night, the grounds will be sparkling, with a light maze, music, and warm mince pies – and the Castle is open for you to explore.


Plymouth Christmas Market, Armada Way, Plymouth, until Sun 19 Dec

A city centre shopping destination, located in the Piazza, with an open air festive bar, food and drink and artisan gift stalls. They’ve pushed the envelope this year with loads of festive entertainment, and this Saturday we have a Sofa Driving Santa cruising around town on his sofa accompanied by his naughty elf. Sounds a hoot. FREE

Christmas Time at The Beach, Westward Ho!, 4/5, 11/12, 18/19 Dec

The Pig on the Beach’s Beer Garden is getting some Christmas sparkle with three weekends of Christmas joy including gift stalls, music, a German sausages stall, and beer.

Christmas Farmers Market, The Big Sheep, Bideford, Sat 4, 11, 18 Dec

The South West’s biggest indoor market is popping up at The Big Sheep where you can stock up free range turkeys, organic meats, sprouts on stalks, cheeses, cakes, fresh fish and pick your tree. Christmas sorted! On Saturday, stay in the evening for fireworks live music and drinks.

Kingsbridge Celebrates Christmas, Kingsbridge, Sat 4 Dec, 10am – 5pm

Head to Fore Street for stalls, and shops in festive mood with live music around the town, a visit from Santa and activities for young ‘uns in the Town Square, Market Hall and Churches. Award-winning restaurant Twenty Seven have one-day bakery with pastries, macaroons and a hot Yorkshire pudding wrap with gravy – and that’s worth going to Kingsbridge in itself.

Newton Abbot Christmas Fayre, Newton Abbot Racecourse, Sat 4, 10am – 4pm

Over 120 stalls offerin homemade crafts, jewellery, wood-turned items, textiles and Christmas cards. Music from the Red Rock Choir, yummy food and drink stalls and Humaryn Shetland Ponies are there with their Reinponies so kids can have a trot around ride around the Parade Ring for a small fee. Adults £3, kids free.

Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market, Cathedral Green, Exeter, until Sat 18 December

Ever since the cathedral took over the running of the market on their green a few years back, the quality has gone up shed-loads. Treat yourself to a handmade necklace or grab a bag of fudge for the perfect stocking filler. A quality, totally tat-free zone. Plus for littlies, Exmouth Miniature Railway‘s Elf Express is here all weekend. No need to pre-book, just pay on the day.

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