Mon 24 - Sun 30 June
GARDENS: Rose Festival, RHS Garden Rosemoor, Torrington, until 21 July
No time to stop and smell the roses? That’s no good! How about a trip to North Devon’s Royal Horticultural Society garden for a top-up from 2000 in glorious bloom? Then you can pop in the Garden Kitchen Restaurant for a rose-infused treat or two.
THEATRE: Educating Rita, Northcott Theatre, Exeter, Mon 24 – Sat 29 Jun
Willy Russell’s Olivier Award-winning story of aspirational hairdresser Rita and her functioning alcoholic lecturer Frank, played by Stephen Tompkinson of Drop the Dead Donkey. See Muddy Norfolk Helen’s review here. She loved it.
CULTURE: Fringe TheatreFest, Barnstaple, Thurs 27 – Sun 30 Jun
Barnstaple’s annual culture fest brings you four days and 70 shows across 24 ticketed venues around the town, including music, comedy and spoken word. Nathan & Ida’s Hot Dog Stand is an award-winning comedy about a couple who leave the old country to build a better life for themselves in the New World, taking with them nothing but a will to succeed and a secret recipe for sauce. Looks fun.
DANCE: Here Come the Girls, Exmouth Pavilion, Exmouth, Thurs 27 Jun
Here come the twirls – a sparkly sequinned night of choreographed ballroom and Latin dance from pro Strictly dancers, Dianne Buswell and Amy Dowden joined by Chloe Hewitt on the girls’ first UK tour.
ART: Sculpture Trail, Cockington Court, Torquay, until 8 Sept
Cockington’s craft centre throws opens its award-winning country park to the work of 17 local artists, including Jo Golesworthy’s amazing ceramic renditions of super-sized pollen. Check out their time-lapse here, then go and see it for real!
MUSIC: Johnny Marr, Lemon Grove, Exeter, Fri 28 Jun
Didn’t get tickets to Glastonbury this year? Never mind! You can catch the legendary Smiths’ guitarist playing at Exeter’s Uni’s Lemon Grove tonight. He’s one of the most influential guitarists of all time, with a new LP out, what more do you want?
FOOD: Cheese Baking Course, Exeter Cookery School, Exeter Quay, Sat 29 Jun
Led by cheese expert Louise Talbot, this day course will show you how to make – and let you come home with – two Camemberts, a block of Feta and an Edam boule to mature at home. More than enough to spread on your cream cracker then.
MUSIC: Let’s Rock Exeter, Powderham Castle, Kenton, Sat 29 Jun
Who’s playing at the family-friendly 80’s revival this year? Human League, Billy Ocean, Nik Kershaw, Snap!, China Crisis, Johnny Hates Jazz – aka all the greats! Set in the peaceful setting of Powderham’s deer park, so you can avoid the crowds on a picnic rug if you want to or head to the mosh pit for a boogie.
COURSE: One-day introduction to mindfulness, Sharpham Trust, Totnes, Sat 29 Jun
Find your inner balance at the beautiful Sharpham estate with a meditative day devoted to practical mindfulness and exercises on meditation, gentle movement and how to be aware of your sensations, emotions and thoughts.
OUTDOOR THEATRE: The Tempest, Arlington Court, Barnstaple, Sat 29 Jun
Hopefully the tempest will be on the stage not in the skies, as this is an outdoor showing of the Shakespearean comedy performed by Illyria, an intrepid band of five actors who deliver the bard’s works entirely uncut and direct from the First Folio.
MUSIC: Sunday Sessions, Powderham Castle, Kenton nr Exeter, Sun 30 Jun
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds swoop in for a soothing Sunday Session along with The Charlatans, indie rock band Reverend & The Makers, The Blinders and Exeter indie band The Loft Club.
FESTIVAL: Glas-Denbury, Denbury, Fri 5 – Sat 6 July
Every pun-spotter’s favourite family-friendly festival returns to the fields of Denbury with live music, craft workshops, silent disco, lots of eco-glitter, and Basil Brush to boot. Set up camp on Friday afternoon and stay overnight for the full Glas-Denbury experience.
CULTURE: Ways with Words, Dartington Hall, Totnes, Fri 5 – Sun 14 July
As ever it’s a brain-expanding programme of talks, with dozens of distinguished authors here to share their wisdom. Each day is roughly themed – focusing on politics, environment, science, life stories and so on. It’s just a tenner to see one author or make a day of it for £40 and stay for all five. In between times you can sit on a deck chair in Dartington’s serene courtyard with a Pimms and soak up the cleverness.