What’s on: October
Yes, there are still things to do! The best live music, kids' theatre, walks, talks and ooh, a bottomless brunch in this month's Muddy curated guide.
WALKING TOUR: Barnstaple Bygone Brothel tour, The Plough, Barnstaple, Thurs 1 Oct
Heavens! Apparently, it was once *all go* in Barnstaple. Come along to this fascinating walk and talk around the town, especially if you’ve been enjoying BBC Two’s Harlots on the old gogglebox. (Not for the easily shocked.)
POETRY: Learning the Basics, Exeter Cathedral, Thurs 1 Oct
In celebration of National Poetry Day the Exeter Cathedral Library & Archives are running an online Poetry Workshop where you will be taught the basics of writing poetry. With guidance from a poet and recent graduate of English & Drama, all are welcome so grab a pen and wax lyrical.
MUSIC: Two Moors Festival, Wiveliscombe, Exmoor, Fri 2 – Sun 4 Oct
Classical music fans, rejoice! The Two Moors Fest has kept going despite the Covid crisis and sees St Andrew’s Church playing host to tea-time and night-time jazz from Misha Mullov-Abbado; pianist Elisabeth Brauss playing Scarlatti, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Chopin; and Roderick Williams OBE and Christopher Glynn playing Schubert’s The Fair Maid.
EAT: Autumn Evening, Orchard Kitchen, Buckfastleigh, Fri 2 Oct
The new upstairs cafe at Dean Forge, The Orchard kitchen is hosting an autumnal themed evening with hearty wholesome food home based around the rich pickings of an autumn Harvest.
THEATRE: Unlockoctoberfest, Northcott Theatre, Exeter, throughout Oct
The lovely Northcott is is unlocking it’s doors throughout October to allow audiences the chance to see some work-in-development. The festival kicks off with Northcott Associate Artist Jack Dean who is creating a narrative based computer game about who we want to be after the apocalypse entitled Great North Road. Internationally renowned choreographer Richard Chappell will also present a solo performance that will be developed into a full production next year. With electronic music, classical violin and extraordinary dance. The festival includes Starting from Scratch a night of five scratch performances from Northcott Emerging Artists and New Producers and, for an invited audiences only, performances devised by the Northcott Young Company about their experiences of Lockdown and what positive things they want to see and make as a result. A short film, When the Wheels Come Off, made in collaboration with the charity CEDA offers a powerful insight into disabled people’s experiences of lockdown.
BRUNCH: Mean Girls Bottomless Brunch, Revolution Bar, Torquay Sat 3 Oct
Who wouldn’t want bottomless cocktails at brunch times?
COMEDY: Laughter Lounge Online, until Sun 4 Oct
Personally I am really missing our local comedy club so I’m thinking outside the comical box and trying this online event which features live stand up and interactive panel talks, so perhaps the closest thing we can get to an actual live performance for a while. It features quite a few of my favorites too, Kiri Pritchard McLean, Tom Allen, Mark Watson and Angela Barnes.
CAMPING : Oktoberfest, River Dart Country Park, Fri 2 – Sun 4 Oct
This annual camping experience at the River Dart Country Park will inevitably be rather different different to a normal Oktoberfest but It still promises be a chilled camping experience with plenty of opportunity to explore the park and its activities and catch up with friends around the campsite. Take your bikes and your wetsuits and prepare where to admire some much-loved, shiny Volkswagens.
DRINKS: Stir Crazy Cocktail Classes Online, Sat 3 Oct
Good news! The Stir Crazy masterclasses are back on! The experts behind the delicious treats at Exeter’s Dr Inks have been researching new exciting products to add to their make-at-home cocktail boxes. Classes last 40 minutes with a box you either collect or have delivered containing the right amount of booze, mixer, garnish and pick to create 2 separate cocktails.
FOOD: Powderham Food Market, Powderham Country Stores, Powderham Castle, Kenton, 10am-4pm, 3 – 4 Oct
After the understandable cancellation of what would have been Powderham’s 9th food festival, excellent news for those of us who have been missing our favourite stalls. The clever fellows at Powderham Castle are putting on a special food market weekend to give us foodies a treat. And it’s free to attend.
WALKING: Canonteign Falls Half Price Weekend, Christow, 3 – 4 Oct
Gather your ‘bays’ and ‘maids’, the Falls are having a special weekend to celebrate us Devonians. If your postcode is EX, TQ or PL you get half-price entry to the falls and 10% off season tickets for 2021.
FOOD AND DRINK: Cider Making, Courtneys Orchard, Whimple, Thurs 8 Oct
A charming opportunity to have a stroll through some Devon orchards and learn about the best apple varieties for both juice and cider with some hands-on picking and pressing of apples.
YOGA RETREAT: Wild & Free Yoga Retreat, Loveland Farm, Hartland, Fri 9 Oct
This is sooooo what I – sorry I mean you – need! A 3-night Yoga & Foraging Adventure in one of Devon’s most unique and inspiring Eco-Farms, where sustainability comes first but without compromising on luxury. You’ll stay in a stylish Geodesic dome in the Hartland Peninsula (part of North Devon’s UNESCO Biosphere), the perfect escape from the busy modern world. Plus, there’s a private chef to prep all of your meals so you can concentrate on enjoying the beautiful scenery and, of course, the yoga.
FAMILY: Sidmouth Science Festival, online, Fri 9 – Sun 18 Oct
Learn about fossils, dinosaurs, stars, energy, light, weather, boats, rockets and much more: the seaside town’s annual investigation into the science in our every day lives goes online.
FAMILY: Find Wally in the Abbey, Torre Abbey, Torquay Fri 9 – Sat 31 Oct
This October, Wally will be coming to the Abbey as part of Kids in Museums, but will you be able to find him? Find all of the Wally’s hidden around the museum, spell out a spooky phrase and receive a special “I found Wally!” bookmark. Why not go in fancy dress and wear a red-and-white striped shirt and black-rimmed specs to add to the fun?
WORKSHOP: Herbal Boost with Tanya Bryson, Dartington Hall, Totnes, Sun 11 Oct
Spend a day learning about health-boosting herbs and making tinctures and teas to give your immune system a lift this winter. Sounds better than a flu jab, any day.
EAT OUT: Tasting through the Ages, Boringdon Hall, near Plymouth, Fri 16 Oct
As the history of Boringdon Hall stems all the way back to the days of the Domesday Book this 8-course historic tasting through the ages menu has a lot of history to reflect. £140 per adult.
SPORT: Devon Duathlon, Bicton College, Woodbury Common, Budleigh Salterton, Sun 25 Oct
So how many Joe Wicks did you honestly do in lockdown? Not enough? Then perhaps this is for you – a 10 km 2 lap run on tarmac & gravel paths and a bike leg of 40 km. If, like me, you thought about exercise far more often than you actually did it then maybe the novice race is more your bag. Age and gender are gloriously irrelevant: the event is open to all. (Note new location/previously called the Dartington Duathlon).
DRIVE-IN: West End Extravaganza, Exeter Racecourse, Sat 17 Oct
Jazz hands at the ready. Stars from London’s glittering West End are here to entertain with classic and contemporary musical numbers, with vocals from many of the West End’s top performers who between them seem to have had lead roles in just about every piece of musical theatre I’ve ever heard of, so something for everyone.
CINEMA: Frida Kahlo, Exhibition on Screen, Pavilions, Teignmouth, Weds 21 Oct
Frida Kahlo, such an astonishingly famous woman in terms of her image, not surprising as she was a prolific self portrait artist and used the canvas as a mirror to all the stages of her turbulent life. If you want to know a little more about the woman apart from her love of good eyebrows, this film is a vibrant and intimate film to get to know the real woman, including her lust for life, men, women and politics.
WORKSHOP: Taste of Sculpture, North Tawton, Weds 21 Oct
This fabulous one day sculpting experience in their new purpose-built school will give you the opportunity to create some small features of the human face in clay which you can take away with you at the end of the session. I am excited to be going myself and I’m hoping that the features on my clay human face will not be as distanced as my fellow pupils will doubtless be.
EXHIBITION: The Lost Words, RAMM, Exeter, Sat 24 Oct until Jan
Exeter’s RAMM is finally re-opening on Sat 24 October and oh my, this could not be a more beautiful way to return. The Lost Words is a collaborative project between writer Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris, celebrating the relationship between language and nature and seeks to conjure the vanishing wildness back into existence through images and writing.
CRAFTS: Creative Craft Show, Westpoint, Exeter, Weds – Sun 25 Oct
Knitting, paper crafting, jewellery, dressmaking, felting – name your new lockdown craft and you’ll find it here, along with the chance to try your hand at a new craft or polish up on an existing skill in the workshop sessions.
KIDS: Seasports Holiday Club – 2 days, Teignmouth, half term
Keep kids busy on the ocean with two days mastering SUP, sailing, windsurfing and kayaking.
CHILDREN’S THEATRE: According to Arthur, Exeter Phoenix, Mon 26 – Weds 28 Oct
PaddleBoat Theatre’s tale of an isolated old man as he re-engages with the outside world, and with the exciting, adventurous life he once led – all brought to life through a blend of puppetry, object play, music, mime and storytelling.
KIDS: Go Batty!, Kents Cavern, Torquay, Sat 24 Oct – Sun 1 Nov
Head into the mysterious underground world of the caves to find the hidden pumpkins – get the right answer and claim your Halloween prize. Get up close to weird and wonderful stalactites and even come face to face with the bones of your ancestors.
KIDS: Spook-Fest, Crealy Theme Park, Exeter, Sat 24 Oct – Sun 1 Nov
Where else can you get a ‘Scarecrow Scare Maze’, Singing Pumpkins, Buddy and Blossoms scare bear show, TikToks terrifying tricks and you heard it here first…. a free pumpkin. Yes free.
WORKSHOP: Face your fears with Alexis Bowater, Plymouth Science Park, Tues 27 Oct
Do your knees get knocky at the thought of giving a best woman’s speech or work presentation? Spend the day conquering your fears of public speaking with ex news anchor for ITV West Country, Alexis Bowater. Plus, psychotherapy practitioner Duncan Little on understanding why your brain is a pain and understanding the trickery of the collywobbles and voice whisperer, Sandra Smith, on how breathing is key.
SHOPPING: Joules Exeter Big Sale, Westpoint Exeter, Thurs 29 – Sat 31 Oct
Grab your big shopping totes! Up to 70% off women, men’s and baby clothes, plus homeware, and you can get your £5 entrance fee deducted from shopping. Booking essential.
CRAFT: Zarzo Basket Weaving, RHS Rosemoor, Torrington, Fri 30 Oct
In this workshop you will make a striking round or rectangular Zarzo basket in a day – this is a recently developed basketry style from Denmark, and you will weave your very own Zarzo using willow of assorted colours . Apparently these baskets are perfect for beginners but due to the way they are created you do need to have a decent level of fitness.
HALF TERM: Halloween at Bodmin Jail, Bodmin, Mon 26 Oct – Sun 1 Nov
Admittedly this is just over the border into Cornwall but I won’t tell if you don’t. Bodmin Jail is going all out to terrify this half term with their terrifying dark walk attraction, not to mention the even more spooky late night ghost walks, scary cinema and paranormal tours. Oooooh! (suitable for 16-plus).
HARVEST: National Trust, Cotehele online Apple Festival
As a big fan of Devon apple festivals, I was sad to be missing them this year so was greatly pleased to find this online from NT Cotehele. As long as you book your ticket in advance you can of course also visit this fabulous property and its orchard perhaps before you join in online for the apple based festivities.
Words by Ashley Tremlett.