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This weekend

Fri 21 - Sun 23 June

DAYS OUT: Grand Victorian and Steampunk, Ilfracombe, 15 – 23 Jun

Pop on your best bustle and suffragette costume and head to Ilfracombe for a week of Victorian-themed celebration including the Friday night Time Travellers’ Ball, a Tea Dance, a Paranormal Event, Teapot Racing and other tongue-in-cheek capers. Queen Victoria would definitely be amused.


THEATRE: 2000 stories, Theatre Royal, Plymouth, Weds 19 – Sat 22 Jun

This is a show about stories; the ones that stay with you, the ones you forget and the ones you may have been forced to hear. Who decides on what stories we’re told and are we really listening anyway?



FESTIVAL: Goldcoast Oceanfest, Croyde, Fri 21 – Sun 23 Jun

Beach babes ahoy! Croyde’s three-day music and surf fest brings Brit-nominated The Feeling, Craig David and Tom Odell to North Devon this weekend, with the usual beach shenanigans, including food demos, surf competitions and volleyball. It’s a no plastic event, so bring your refillables.


FOOD: Sidmouth Eats Boutique, The Ham, Sidmouth, Fri 21 Jun

Friday night and can’t be bothered to cook? Always! Head to Sidmouth for an evening pop-up street food market with a pebbly beach to perch on and views out over beautiful Jurassic Coast. And it’s dog friendly so the pooch can come too.


COMEDY: Mark Watson: The infinite show, The Watermark, Ivybridge, Fri 21 Jun

The novelist and comedian shares his angst about the shocking state of the world his children are growing up and poses the empathy question: if 99 percent of the world’s population is made up of other people, why can’t we understand them?


OUTDOORS: Summer Solstice Early Opening, Overbecks, Sharpitor, Salcombe, Fri 21 Jun

Max out your Vitamin D-dose on the longest day of the year by the setting your alarm for dawn and heading to Overbecks for their special 5am summer solstice opening (if you’re not off to Stonehenge that is). Take in subtropical plantings and river views, salute the sun, then catch up on your snooze behind a palm with an early-morning pastry. It’s open till 4.30pm if 5am’s too early.


COMEDY: Hardeep Singh Kholi: Edinburgh Preview, Palace Theatre, Paignton, Fri 21 Jun

A sneak preview of the comedian, chef and broadcaster’s work-in-progress Edinburgh Fringe show.


MUSIC: Kitty Macfarlane, Plough Arts Centre, Great Torrington, Sat 22 Jun

Part of two weeks’ of live music sessions at The Plough, West Country singer-songwriter Kitty Macfarlane – her latest album Namer Of Clouds was included in The Guardian’s Best Folk Albums 2018 – brings her guitar and eco-focussed lyrics to North Devon.


WELLBEING: Half-day Yoga Retreat, Brickhouse Vineyard, Mamhead, nr Exeter, Sat 22 Jun

Namaste! Salute the Saturday sun in the idyllic setting of Brickhouse Vineyard’s restored thatched roundhouse with rural views over the vineyard and the sparkling Exe estuary. Two 90-minute practices (with a gap between for herbal tea, cake and a wander among the vines) supported by Neal’s Yard organic aromatherapy oils and contemplative playlists. And you’ll only have to do a handstand if you want to.


THEATRE: The Canterbury Tales, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, The Beehive, Honiton, Sat 22 Jun

All of medieval life is here in the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School’s version of Chaucer’s classic pilgrims’ tale, with the wide range of social strata rubbing shoulders as the Miller, the Steward and the Wife of Bath among others all have their (often bawdy) tales to tell.



MUSIC: Mark Harrison, Brixham Theatre, Brixham Town Hall, Sat 22 Jun

Quirky singer-songwriter and guitarist known for taking roots music, including folk, blues and gospel, and turning it into his own. As recently raved about on Radio Two Cerys Mathews’s show and Anneka Rice’s Pick of the Week.



FITNESS: Haldon Forest 10k, Bullers Hill, Exeter, Sun 23 Jun

Ha! 10k is nothing when you’ve got the backdrop of beautiful woods and butterflies to spur you on. I’ll be there – cheering you on of course!


EXHIBITION: The BFG in Pictures, Torre Abbey Museum, Torquay, until 1 Sept

Curated by Quentin Blake, this exhibitions shows Blake’s illustrations that Roald Dahl rejected when the book was first published in 1982, providing a unique insight into the development of one of the most iconic characters in children’s literature and a glimpse of a Big Friendly Giant that might have been.

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