Awesome August! 40+ brilliant things to do this month
Catch a Titanic exhibition or Shakespeare's Globe on Tour, wander in a meadow; do a cider or wine tasting or set sail on a sunset cruise down the River Exe. August sorted.
OUTDOORS: Wildflower Meadows Open Days, Goren Farm, nr Honiton, Weds-Sun, 11am -6pm until 18 Sept
Fancy roaming wild for the afternoon? Let your hair down on a self-guided walk among the bees and wildflowers at Goren Farm. Dogs on leads can come too, theres’ a play area with a trampoline, giant hammock and monkey bars for the kids. When you’ve had a wander around the walled vegetable garden, and cider museu, why not try a sample of Goren Farm cider? £5/kids free
MUSIC: Dartington Music Summer School & Festival, Dartington Estate, nr Totnes, until20 Aug
Running since 1947, the Dartington Summer School & Festival is a four week mix of week-long courses, individual workshops and concerts from acclaimed international musicians. There is also an extensive programme of family-friendly events throughout the festival.
FAMILY: Circus Berlin, Plymouth, Fri 5 – 30 Tues 30 Aug
No lions or parading elephants here, but a fantastic live display of daredevil acts, including Motorbikes inside the Globe of Death, which will have you on the edge of your seat.
FESTIVAL: The Little Big Festival, Higher Mead Farm, Ashburton, Tues 9 – Sun 14 Aug
Brought to you by the people who started The Port Eliot Festival, this one-day’er has doubled in size in 2022 to deliver two fun-filled days of music, variety, circus, comedy, talks, poetry and literature, film, flamenco, opera, art, a children’s festival-within-a festival. Very creative, just what you’d expect from arty Ashburton, with plenty of local flavour from the town’s eateries too. You will not be bored – or hungry! Adult day tickets from £55.
EXHIBITION: Titanic Exhibition, Corn Exchange, Exeter, Weds 10 – Mon 22 Aug
A chance to see genuine artefacts from the wreck of the Titanic, including a small piece of the Titanic’s hull, and discover more about the ill-fated liner’s association with the city. Free audio guide available, £12.50 / £14.50 weekends.
OUTDOOR THEATRE: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cockington Court, Torquay, Weds 10 Aug
Illyria Theatre will be providing the ultimate summer show to watch in England, so let the sun shine dim, grab a blanket and a bevy, and don’t let the moonlight leave you feeling an ass.
FAMILY: Dear Zoo at Dartmoor Zoo, Sparkeswell, until Mon 5 Sept
Celebrating 40 years since the publication of Rod Campbell’s classic storybook, Dartmoor Zoo is partnering with Macmillan Children’s Books to host Dear Zoo, a sweet animal-focussed trail where you can interact with a giant storybook, listen to the story being told, of course say hello to some of the animals from the story in real life. Free with normal admission.
CRUISE: Countess Wear Evening Cruise, Exmouth, Fri 12 Aug
Only available at certain times of year, setting off from Exmouth Marina, this leisurely cruise sails the length of the River Exe up to the Countess Wear. £8-11
EXHIBITION: Amy Wiggin, Artist in Residence, Southcombe Barn, Dartmoor, Fri 12 – Tues 30 Aug
If you’ve been meaning to go have a non-committal nose at this new wellbeing and events hub, now’s your chance. Amy Wiggin, winner of the Southcombe International Women’s Day Residency Award, who counts Vogue among her past clients, be showing her female-inspired fine art prints and lithographs. Check out Amy’s Instagram page for a taster.
DRAG: Absolutely Dragulous, Axminster Guildhall, Axminster, Fri 12 Aug
Ok, admit it. You want to go absolutely just because of the fabulous name? Absolutely. (See what I did there?) Drag yourself down to see Drag Duo Marilyn Fockhard and Amanda Fockhard, if the reviews are anything to go by you’ll be glad you did.
LIVE MUSIC: Yard Sessions, Royal William Yard, Plymouth, Fri 12 and Fri 26 Aug, 5.30 – 8pm
What better way to end the week than heading to RWY and the incredible maritime backdrop for their Friday night music sessions with talented artists selected from the region’s thriving music scene.
MUSIC: West Country Music Festival, Muddifords Court Estate, Willand, Cullompton, Sat 13 Aug
Yee-haw! A one-day festival filled with country music, promising the best and top-selling original country artists from the UK, many of whom have featured on BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris Country. All-weather undercover seated and standing tickets.
AFTERNOON TEA: Afternoon Tea – Experiences at the Palace, Palace Theatre Paignton, Sat 13 Aug
Stage Left, Palace Theatre’s newest event suite is hosting local musical performers to entertain you as you enjoy their afternoon tea, served from 2-3:30pm. £15 a head with the optional extra of a glass of fizz. Delightful.
WORKSHOP: Make your own Wedding Rings, Moon & Moor, Okehampton, Mon 15 Aug
Can’t think of many things more romantic than making your own wedding rings together, can you? Run for Muddy Award nominated art gallery, Moon & Moor, there are loads of course here, for non-betrothed too, from pottery to leather and jewellery making.
ARTS: Totnes Festival, various venues, Mon 15 – Weds 24 Aug
Ten days of events to take you from parades to The Globe on Tour’s Julius Caesar in The Totnes and Bridgetown Festival of Arts and Culture. Expect visual Arts, circus theatre, dance, film, storytelling, music and more. Go get your culture fix.
OUTDOOR THEATRE: Julius Caesar, Totnes Festival, Tues 23 Aug
Not to be missed! Watch The Globe on Tour’s new production of Shakespeares’ Julius Caesar, coming to Totnes as part of their nationwide tour.
FESTIVAL: Oceanfest, Croyde Bay, Weds 17 – Fri 19 Aug
North Devon’s beloved beach-side festival is back, combining water-sports, music and great food. Oceanfest is big enough to be a great party, but still small enough to feel special. This year’s impressive line up includes Clean Bandit, Tom Walker, and Sigala. Combine that with ocean views of Croyde Bay and you’ve got yourself a spectacular summer weekend. Tickets £40+
FIREWORKS: Plymouth Firework Championships, Weds 17 – Thurs 18 Aug
Enjoy a sparkling evening of firework displays at the Plymouth Hoe. Both evening will feature three professional displays each lasting 10 minutes. As the displays are fired from The Mountbatten breakwater so either the Citadel or the Hoe are fabulous places to view the fireworks. Or how about this? Ocean View is offering a special five course menu and glass of champagne for £55 per person or £65 for a window seat to watch the spectacle.
FESTIVAL: Beautiful Days, Escot Park, nr Exeter Fri 19 – 21 Aug
Beautiful Days have pulled in a great line-up for ’22, featuring Flogging Molly, The Specials, Levellers, The Dandy Warhols, Maximo Park, Seasick Steve, Beth Orton, Seth Lakeman and Billy Bragg and loads of others you’ve probably-definitely heard of. Weekend camping tickets only, no day tickets caravanning and glamping, £176.75 – £12.
GARDENS: RHS Flower Show, RHS Rosemoor, Torrington, Fri 19 Aug
An absolute corker of a garden show with specialist nurseries and fabulous exhibitors, so many options to find answers to all of your gardening niggles. Plus, Devonshire flower clubs have created floral displays, this year’s theme being the great garden adventure and don’t miss the ever-fragrant floral designer Jonathan Moseley as he helps you to make your own perfect floral displays.
REGATTA: Dartmouth Royal Regatta, Dartmouth, Weds 20 – Weds 27 Aug
Sailing, sports, live music, street food, fireworks, grab the champers and the posh hat and launch yourself off to Dartmouth. Feeling brave? Sign up for the Fire Walk here.
FAMILY: North Molton Country Fair, Fri 22 Aug
About as traditional as It gets, dog shows, tractor shows with bouncy castles galore should be a Jolly day for all the family.
THEATRE: Perfect Nonsense, Landmark Theatre, Ilfracombe, Tues 23 – Sat 27 Aug
A chance to see two performances from Paul Taylor Mills Summer Play Festival – the king of thrillers, Francis Durbridge’s The Gentle Hook and hilarious comic romp based on P G Wodehouse’s Jeeves stories, Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense. From £14.
WORKSHOP: Organic Cocktails, Albatross, Totnes, 6-8pm, Weds 24 Aug
Learn how to make four organic cocktails, using only organic spirits, homemade cordials and infusions and, bear with me, common kitchen waste. You’re welcome to invite a friend join you at 8pm for the tasting. £42pp
FILM: Girls Can’t Surf, Exeter Phoenix, Weds 24 Aug
‘Oh yes they can!’ And here’s an uplifting positive film to prove it, about a bunch of 1980s women pro-surfers who take on the chauvinism and the bikini contest-dominated surfing culture of the time. AKA “an empowering history of badass women.”
Gone Wild Festival, Powderham Castle, Kenton, Fri 26 – Sun 28 Aug
Bear Grylls is back for a second year of family-focussed survival skills, inspiring talks, workshops and live music, AND, this year day tickets are available. Heading the line-up are The Darkness, Reef, The Script and Sophie Ellis Bextor. Tickets from £50.
DRINK: Rails and Ales, South Devon Railway, Buckfastleigh, Fri 26 Aug
Obviously one should never drink and drive but apparently it doesn’t count if you travel by steam and over the Bank Holiday weekend there will be a positive feast of steam and diesel trains timed to coincide with a beer and cider festival at Staverton station. Cheers!
AIRSHOW: Sidmouth Air Show, Sidmouth, Fri 26 Aug
The curvaceous glory of Lyme Bay is perfectly suited as a natural amphitheatre for the acrobatic aerial displays.Always worth it for the Red Arrows alone.
MUSIC: Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Vivary Park, Taunton, Sat 27 Aug
Get thee to Somerset to to see Rag N Bone Man in Vivary Park, Taunton.
FAMILY THEATRE: Brainiac Live – Remixed, Exeter Northcott, Sat 30 – Sun 31 Aug
Totally bonkers science for all, promising their wildest show yet with fresh beats and volatile mad experiments.
EXHIBITION: You Can Never Have Enough Hats, Shoes and Gloves, The Box, Tavistock Place, Plymouth, Sun 31 Aug
A fascinating talk, highlighting and explaining some of the more quirky fashion items curated by The Box. Weird and wonderful accessories, glorious.
ART EXHIBITION: In Harmony: Royal Society of Sculptors, Broomhill Estate, Muddiford, until 30 Sept
An inaugural exhibiton in partnership with the Royal Society of Sculptors and showcasing some of the UK’s leading sculptors.
The Sidmouth Folk Festival, 29 Jul – 5 Aug
The 68th Sidmouth Folk Festival returns to its beach-side location with 700 diverse events and a week of major concerts, upbeat roots parties, intimate sessions, ceilidhs, folk dancing, storytelling events, fun family entertainment, youth-centred sessions, hands-on workshops and spectacular dance displays. Ooh, and excellent street food.
COMEDY: Blackadder, Teignmouth Pavilions, Teignmouth, Tues 2 – Sat 6 Aug
Frankly, the actor that plays Blackadder in this group of very gifted amateur players is so flipping fantastic that I strongly recommend that wherever you are in Devon you take one night this week to drive down to Teignmouth to catch the show. It’s an absolute scream.
MUSIC: Festival on the Hills, Smeatharpe, Thurs 4 Aug
Cor, what a chilled out way to enjoy some music and have some summer fun in the beautiful Blackdown Hills. A very local, community vibe, excellent as a ‘starter’ festival perhaps? Suitable for all ages. Local bands and tribute acts alongside Mad Dog McCrea who are working super hard this summer.
FAIR: Buckfast Abbey Summer Fair, Buckfastleigh, Thurs 4 – Sat 6 August
A traditional summer fair, with three days of music, food and entertainment. Set in the Abbey’s beautiful gardens, this family friendly event is free to enter (onsite parking for £5). For those who like exploring, be sure to follow the treasure hunt for a tour of the Abbey grounds.
COMEDY: Jimmy Carr: Terribly Funny, Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple, Fri 5 Aug
Love the kind of comedy when you are on the edge of your seat at all times wondering if they are going to stray over the acceptable boundaries of the politically correct? If you do, Jimmy’s your man. Last few available.
PARTY: 25th Birthday Party, China Blue, Totnes, Sat 6 Aug
A nice touch here from the perennial pottery favourite, China Blue, as they invite us to join them for a celebratory bash. Live music from the delightful named Mafia Babies and Pizza from‘Il Cornicone, drinks too, obviously, and no, you won’t have to paint your own plate.
RACE: RainBo Fun Run, Victoria Park, Bideford, Sat 6 Aug
Run or walk the course while being showered with all the colours of the rainbow, a white T-shirt is advised – all the better to see the extent of your own personal Rainbow by the end of the course, and don’t worry about your fancy summer specs , sunglasses are provided by the event organiser.
FOOD: Jamaica Independence Day Yardi Party, HonkyTonk Wine Library, Sutton Harbour, Plymouth, Sat 6 Aug
With many Jamaicans involved in this fabulous place it sounds an authentic way to celebrate Jamaica’s big day, promising everything Jamaican, from curry goat, to jerk chicken with homemade rum punch and reggae rhythms – everything irie. £25pp.
FESTIVAL: Love Summer, Newnham Park Estate, Plympton, Fri 5 – Sun 7 Aug
This three-day festival has glamping options and loads of family friendly acts and entertainments – a training exercise for Glasto next year perhaps? And for the kids (and big kids), they’ve Aardman Model making workshops.
WINE TOUR: Sunset Winemakers Tour, Alder Vineyard, Okehampton, Sat 6 August
Sunset and a glass of wine? Don’t mind if we do…Take the evening off with this delightful tour of a Dartmoor vineyard. Along with a tasting of the vineyard’s signature wines, you’ll be well-fed with nibbles on arrival, a substantial sharing board and a choice of sweet treats. For those who boycott meat and cheese, there’s a delicious plant-based platter with a selection of crudités, focaccia, falafel and homemade hummus. £37.50 pp
WORKSHOP: Book Binding Course, The Walronds, Cullompton, Devon, Sat 6 Aug
Attention bookworms! Learn the art of book binding in the historic grounds of Walronds House. Using traditional techniques you’ll create your own clothbound hardback book to take home and display in pride of place. You’ll also receive a certificate in basic book binding (very official!) Refreshments are provided along with a light lunch. £40pp.
FAMILY: Lifeboat Weekend in aid of RNLI, Clovelly, nr Bideford, Sat – Sun 7 Aug
Family-friendly event raising money for a worthy cause. Cheer on the participants in Saturday’s sponsored swim, or visit on Sunday for a lively day of games, music and local nosh. You can also visit the Lifeboat House to watch rescue demonstrations from the crew.
Words by Ashley Tremlett and Zoe Williams.