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This week

XMAS: A Victorian Christmas, Knightshayes Court, Sun 1 Dec onwards

Gorgeous gardens, captivating Christmas trees, illuminations and Father Christmas: a Xmas without a visit to Knightshayes Court is surely not nearly festive enough? Celebrating Yuletide throughout the ages, experience the richly decorated rooms for yourself for a certifiably festive day out.


XMAS: Santa in the Caves, Kents Cavern, Torquay, Sun 1 – Tues 24 Dec

Looking for a Santa Claus with a twist? Look no further than Kents Cavern: confined spaces have never looked so inviting! Join a very merry Father Christmas and his band of rosy cheeked elves for a panto-adventure with minced pies (and a cheeky mulled wine for the big people) to top it all off.


XMAS: The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, Greenway, Galmpton, until Tues 31 Dec

Follow the troublesome Christmas Pudding on his adventures through Greenway, meeting Old St Nick on the way. Based on Agatha Christie’s classic of the same name, Mr Pudding promises you and the kiddos a fun and interactive experience all while exploring the grounds of Greenway and its decadently decorated rooms.


MARKET: Exeter Christmas Market, Cathedral Green, until Thurs 19 Dec

Done your Xmas shopping yet? Exeter’s annual Christmas market arrives just in time to save the day. Treat yourself to a handmade necklace or grab a bag of fudge for the perfect stocking filler. A quality, totally tat-free zone.


PANTO: Beauty and the Beast, Exeter Northcott, until Sun 5 Jan

A tale as old as time, now a panto! Things get romantic, things get magical and things get hairy as Belle, her sister Souffle and Dame Betty Bonbon fight to free Prince Valentin from the curse of the Evil Enchantress. Will they succeed in time to save Belle’s love and the family business? You’ll just to have go along and find out,



SHOPPING: Plymouth Christmas Market, Plymouth Piazza, until 19 Dec

More than 50 traditional cabins including the Bavarian Bar, with bling, homeware, artwork and clothing on sale,  and once you’ve had your fill of those cherry-bakewell favoured Retro Shotz, you can get go your festive selfie at an illuminated bauble.


XMAS: Storytime with Olde Father Christmas, Buckland Abbey, 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 Dec

Bring the kiddies along for a very special day at Buckland Abbey to hear the original story of Old Nick and his traditional Victorian green gear. Each child will be gifted with a very special Christmas pressie, if they’ve been good of course.

MARKET: Totnes Christmas Festival, Totnes, Fore Street and High Street, Tuesdays 10 and 17 Dec

Let the retail therapy commence! It’s only once a year we get to experience the festivities of Totnes high street and market at our Christmassy pleasure, after all. An array of all our favourite shops and an eclectic mix of food stalls, art and craft available to peruse at your leisure.


THEATRE: Les Gloriables, Theatre Royal Plymouth, until Mon 30 Dec

Legendary French actress Gloria Delaneuf brings you Les Gloriables, inspired by Les Mis. Expect a story for the whole family incorporating socialism, audience participation, comedy, a whole lotta singing and above all, extreme silliness. Vive La Revolution!


EXHIBITION: Torsten Lauschmann: War of the Corners, The Gallery, Plymouth College of Art, until 8 Feb

Lauschmann’s exploration of humour, politics and abstraction through gorgeous projections, light, sound and sculptural instruments to create a landscape of thought and poetic art, first having been shown at Glasgow School of Art in 2018.


KIDS THEATRE: The Curious Tale of Jack Frost, The Soapbox Theatre, Devonport Park, until Tues 24 Dec

Children’s theatre Soapbox bring you two shows: a gentler version for under 5’s and a family version with plenty of boo-ing and hissing to discover Jack and the mysterious fern-like patterns he leaves behind.


XMAS: Christmas Train of Lights, South Devon Railway, Buckfastleigh, 10, 14,15, 18, 19, 20-23, 27-30 Dec

The closest thing you will get to being on the Polar Express – an illuminated night-time journey that takes you on a round trip by steam train from Paignton to Kingswear. Hundreds of thousands of lights, festooned on the 10 vintage carriages and along the track, light your way, with a Xmas commentary, music, ‘snow’ and magically lit diorama. Magical. It’s a Santa-free zone – you’ll need to take the daytime Xmas train to meet the big man.


CONCERT: Christmas with the Cathedral Choir, Exeter Cathedral, Thurs 12 and Fri 13 Dec

Carols, gorgeous architecture, the renowned Cathedral Choir and due to popular demand, there will be three performance dates this year.


WORKSHOP: Natural Christmas Wreath making, Coastal Craft, Seaton, Thurs 12 Dec

Jazz up your doors and get crafty this Christmas with a very festive natural wreath making course. With all materials provided, learn how to decorate a pre-made willow circle with all kinds of flora and foliage to make this year’s wreath totally unique. Check out my Muddy round-up of other Devon wreath workshops here.


TALK: ‘How the Villanelle Novels became Killing Eve’ with Luke Jennings, Exeter Custom House, The Quay, Weds 11 Dec

Calling all fans of strangely likable psychopaths! Quay Words welcomes Luke Jennings, author of the ‘Villanelle’ books, AKA the source of our favourite show at the moment, Killing Eve. Luke will be exploring the dynamics between his two famous characters and how his novels became the critically acclaimed show it is today (yay!).


XMAS: Santas Elves and the Shoemakers, Palace Theatre, Paignton, Weds 11 – Sat 14 Dec

One for the teenies (2-plus), this festive twist on the traditional tale features two of Santa’s little helpers as the mysterious shoe-makers. It’s written by CBBC TV writer and children’s author, Ian Billings – and there are gifts for all of the littlies – so should be a cracker.


The Velveteen Rabbit, Exeter Phoenix, Gandy St, Exeter, Weds 11 – Sat 28 December

Quirk Theatre’s rendition of Alice and the unwanted Chrimbo gift she comes to love with deeper themes exploring what it means to love and be loved *and what to do with all those unwanted socks/hankies/cookbooks.* (Also on at the Plough Arts Theatre in Great Torrington from 4-7 December.)


WORKSHOP: Clovelly Soap Company Seaweed Workshop, RAMM museum, Weds 11 Dec

From bladderwrack to oarweed, seaweed is packed full of nutrients and vitamins perfect for making that skin glow. Clovelly Soap Company will teach you how to harness the magic of natural, homemade soap with a chance to make your own seaweed bath bombs and salts, perfect for an Xmas gift or a little treat to yourself.



XMAS: Wonder Nights, Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, Torpoint, Thurs 12 Dec – Sun 5 Jan

In an enchanted wooden barn, a spectacular Crimbo treat in aid of St. Lukes Hospice is waiting. With dazzling light shows, gorgeously illuminated gardens, a chance to meet Father Christmas and top quality nosh.


SHOPPING: Planet Christmas: Outfit Exchange, Ocean Studios, Royal William Yard, Thurs 12 Dec

Sick of all the Crimbo consumerism? For just £3 and a donation of 5 unworn garments, you can shop till you drop, without the guilt of buying new! Items will be valued in four bands and will enable you to swap one for a completely new item. Nifty, huh?


THEATRE: Humbug! St Nicholas’ Priory, Exeter, Thurs 12 – Tues 24 Dec

Join Scrooge and his miserly misadventures on an atmospheric and immersive trip around Exeter’s oldest building, incorporating live music and projection for a theatrical reimagining of Dickens’ festive tale. There’s nothing better than a story of redemption for drumming up some Christmas cheer.


XMAS: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Queens Theatre, Barnstaple, Fri 13 Dec – Sun 5 Jan

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to the Panto we go, starring Jay Aston from Bucks Fizz of 80’s Eurovision fame – remember the skirt routine? – as the Wicked Queen. It’s brought to you by the theatre’s new operators, Selladoor Worldwide, the talent behind numerous award-winning West End shows.


XMAS MARKET: Festive Good Food & Craft Market, Royal William Yard, Plymouth Sun 15 Dec

Activities in the Royal William Yard take a festive turn this month with Santa arriving on 8 and 15, and kids can get their letter to Santa done as part of a range of Christmas crafts in the Melville Building. The talented barbershop choir, Kingsman Barbershop Chorus, with be there on 8 December from 1:30pm. The popular Native Makers Market makes its return on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8, a chance to get your mitts on incredible handcrafted, bespoke wares and meet the talented peeps who make them.


THEATRE: Treasure Island, Barbican Theatre, Plymouth, Thurs 12 – Sun 5 Jan

Ho, ho, ho and, er, a bottle of rum. X marks the spot this Christmas, with the four lads from Le Navet Bete delivering a swash-buckling comedy aimed at littlies from 6 and up.


THEATRE: A Grimm Christmas, Barbican Theatre, Plymouth, Thurs 12 – Mon 23 Dec

A spin on the Grimm fairy tales of yesteryear, before Hollywood got its evil mitts on them. For anyone who prefers uncensored and menacing tales over gooey Christmassy sugariness. Not for littlies obvs, 16-plus.


Words by Molly Grogan.

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