With temperatures set to soar as summer truly begins, Devon’s golden beaches, glorious countryside and diverse range of events and festivals make Devon the ultimate UK destination for Summer 2012.
Devon is home to the UK’s best surfing beaches, as well as the Jurassic Coast and also where you can escape the crowds and enjoy the freedom of the unspoilt wildernesses of Exmoor and Dartmoor. Go wild camping or “ glamping “ in a Yurt under a bright canopy of stars, experience trekking with lamas, surfing with your dog, walk the Granite Way or why not take in the inspiring views from the outstanding South West Coast Path. And then relax in Devon’s new pop up hotel at River Cottage opening in August.
The summer months in Devon are also chocked full of exciting activities and events which will keep family and friends happy and entertained. Check out late availability and seasonal offers on accommodation at www.visitdevon.co.uk
Summer Events Get your claws into the 2012 South Devon Crab Festival (30 July- 5 August) for a week-long series of crab inspired community events all across South Devon involving the area’s top celebrity chefs, crab experts, fishermen, award-winning hotels, restaurants and cafes. Get cracking and enjoy the delights of this wonderful seafood at one of the festival street parties, Dawlish Warren and Teignmouth (3 August), Dartmouth Crab street party (5 August), learn about their habitats and the importance of sustainability in crab fishing, or take part in one of the crabby activities around the region. www.visitsouthdevon.co.uk/crabfestival
The fishing village of Clovelly in North Devon is a picture perfect place with cobbled streets and thatched cottages and where Lifeboat Weekend, takes place Saturday 31 July - Sunday 1 August, held in aid of the R.N.L.I. To get the fun going on Saturday there's a sponsored swim to Bucks Mills and back. Sunday is packed with entertainments, including a hilarious race of men dressed as women, a tug-of-war and, of course, the ever popular slave auction in which young local men are 'sold' to the highest bidder to do their chores for a day. And there are stalls galore. Check out www.northdevon.com for more details.
Dartmoor is one of the few places in the UK where you can go “wild camping” but its inspiring landscape also provides the perfect retreat for families who want to get away from it all and explore the local landscape.
Family Camp with Wildwise 3-9 August at Mortonhampstead gives families access to wildlife, bush craft skills and a spirit of adventure. Expert tutors give advice on a diverse range of outdoor activities in a creative and convivial atmosphere. Go to www.dartmoor.co.uk for more details.
The elegant Regency coastal town of Sidmouth in East Devon is now the venue for one of the UK’s premier folk events with the Sidmouth Folk Festival 3-10 August. Top folk bands such as Show of Hands take over this elegant Regency coastal town with a week long series of live concerts and gigs. The festival is given an inspirational start with best selling War Horse author Michael Morpurgo and musicians John Tams and Barry Coope come together for an extra special performance of War Horse. www.sidmouthfolkweek.co.uk www.heartofdevon.com
One of the largest food and drink festivals in the South West, Flavour Fest takes place in Plymouth from 17-19 August. Three days of live cookery demonstrations are promised with celebrity chefs such as Chris and James Tanner. There is the fun and entertainment promised for all the family in the Food is Fun tent where you can get really hands on with food. Visit www.visitplymouth.co.uk for more details.
The Torbay Royal Regatta 25-28 August is now in its 199th year! It is one of the most popular events on the English Riviera. The Regatta is a fantastic chance for the whole family to enjoy themselves without having to take out a second mortgage to pay for it; it’s affordable, friendly and brilliant fun!
While the sailing takes place out to sea during the coinciding Torbay Week championships, the action is mainly onshore during the Regatta. There’s a fun fair on Torquay seafront, a 10K road race, a fabulous firework display and a performance from Regatta favourites the Red Arrows. There’s also the West of England rowing championships along the coast. www.englishriviera.co.uk
Great holidays are made of great memories and the British Firework Championships 14-15 August is an unforgettable experience. It is the most anticipated event in the city’s annual events calendar which will see thousands of spectators heading for Plymouth Hoe for two evenings of spectacular fireworks displays. www.visitplymouth.co.uk
Stop Press…. New Pop Up Hotel at River Cottage in East Devon
The Pop-Up Hotel is the latest innovation from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and the River Cottage team which provides luxury accommodation with great service. The concept blends the romance and thrill of camping with the luxury and service you would expect at a top boutique hotel. It is situated in the beautiful fields in front of the Cottage, enabling guests to enjoy food from the River Cottage kitchen, cook school classes, River Cottage tours and so much more. Lunch and cottage tour packages will also be available to pre-booked visitors and it is opening this August.
For those who don’t want to sleep under canvas this summer then try the “Contemporary wonderland” that is the Magdalen Chapter Hotel which has just opened in Exeter. Take a step inside this iconic building, formerly The West of England Eye Hospital, to see how this striking hotel unfolds. Historic walled gardens create the backdrop for a very special experience. Check out www.heartofdevon.com for more details.
Finally summer would not be summer without a Devon cream tea and here are Devon’s Best Tea Rooms as recommended for 2012 by Visit Devon:
Rose Cottage Tea Gardens is situated in the centre of Cockington Village, Torquay, English Riviera, South Devon. http://www.englishriviera.co.uk/eating-out/rose-cottage-tea-rooms-p1300363
These gorgeous tea gardens are awash with warm sunshine and ablaze with blooms. Piano jazz often fills the air from the lakeside pagoda while ducks play on the ornamental ponds. Thatched roofs and painted stone cottages of the preserved village peek through the curtain of green trees - just the perfect spot to relax.
Otterton Mill, Otterton, nr Budleigh Salterton, Devon www.ottertonmill.com. Otterton Mill is situated next to the beautiful River Otter in a picturesque coastal valley in East Devon. As well as being a working mill which produces over 12 tons of flour a year Otterton Mill has an award winning café-restaurant serving delicious food all of which is sourced locally. Their cream teas are spectacular and have been placed within the Top 10 in Devon and Cornwall.
Café Green Ginger in Ashburton, Dartmoor - Good old fashioned home baking in a delightful café in the renowned foodie town of Ashburton. www.cafegreenginger.com
Tea on the Green, Westward Ho! North Devon. 1950’s style tea room; all cream teas and cakes are home produced by local food hero Alison Partridge. The six Cream Teas (3 sweet, 3 savoury) are named for the stars - "The Hepburn", "The Sinatra" etc. While daughter Charley runs the friendly front of house team, Alison beavers away in the kitchen producing delicious and wholesome home cooked light lunch dishes, scones baked fresh every day, and tempting and indulgent cakes and pastries. www.northdevon.com/food-and-drink/food_heros_alison_partridge.aspx
Boringdon Hall, Plymouth. Historic Boringdon Hall near Plymouth dates back to 1086 and the Domesday Book. The hotel has charm and character in abundance, just the place after a walk on Dartmoor to flop in front of a roaring log fire and indulge in an afternoon Devon cream tea. www.boringdonhall.co.uk/restaurant/afternoon-tea
For more information about Devon and the Devon Tourism Partnership, contact: Jess Whistance Mob: 07748 635869 or email email@example.com
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The Devon Tourism Partnership The Devon Tourism Partnership (DTP) comprises Devon County Council and the following Area Tourism Partnerships: North Devon Plus, English Riviera Tourism Company, Visit South Devon, Plymouth City Council, Dartmoor Partnership, Heart of Devon Tourism Partnership and also Devon Association of Tourism Attractions. The role of the DTP is to protect and promote the Visit Devon brand, enabling the growth of the Devon tourism sector. The key objectives of the partnership are; • The promotion of the Visit Devon brand through co-ordinated marketing and PR campaigns as well as the provision of a Visit Devon website. • Creating a Tourism Strategy for Devon which sets out the framework to develop Devon as a visitor destination. • Ensuring that there is a quality product on offer to visitors, through accreditation, skills and awards. • Monitoring the performance of Devon as a major tourism destination.
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