A feast of summer culture is being served up by the Heart of Devon Tourism Partnership for Summer 2011 which is sure to bring more visitors flocking to the area. Check out the newly revamped website: www.heartofdevon.com. Exeter is already enjoying a cultural renaissance thanks to the £600,000 overhaul of the City's glorious Cathedral Green. Exeter Cathedral is one of Europe's medieval masterpieces and the Green is very much at the heart of the city's cultural and commercial life. Visitors will once again be able to enjoy a unique vista of this vibrant city centre from the Cathedral's rooftop through specially organised tours which run April to September and take place every Tuesday and Thursday at 2pm and Saturday at 11.30am.
Exeter's Georgian business quarter will be the venue for the opening of the luxury boutique hotel in the Grade II listed Southernhay House in June, acquired by Burgh Island owners Tony Orchard and Deborah Clark. Southernhay House is a classic Georgian Townhouse which has been faithfully restored and offers a unique private club experience with its Raj inspired dining room and individually designed luxurious bedrooms.
The ‘Summer in the City’ cultural programme which is being backed by Exeter City Council promises an exciting mix of family theatre, music in the parks, Exeter Fringe and the popular Armed Forces parade and concert, with the highlight being the popular and totally free Midsummer Party on the Quay, held at Exeter Quayside on 17 June from 7pm - 11pm. It consists of free family entertainment with bands, street theatre, dance performance and children’s making workshops and lots of delicious local food and drink.
This year Exeter City Council is backing a number of events as part of the ‘Summer in the City’ programme. This includes the processions and a spectacular finale comprising a water born performance of ‘Wishful’ by Emergency Exit Arts involving pyrotechnics, music and theatre. More information on the ‘Summer in the City’ programme can be had from: www.exeter.gov.uk/summerinthecity .
For those who want to enjoy the glorious gothic backdrop of Exeter Cathedral combined with the heraldic voices of Cathedral Choirs from Exeter and nearby Wells and Bristol, an event is taking place on 18 June at Exeter Cathedral which will allow you to do just that and could include an early evening drink on newly restored Cathedral Green which is proving to be a huge draw to visitors. The Cathedral is staging a Gospel and Jazz weekend on 25 and 26 July. Also staged by Exeter Cathedral is ‘Last Night of the Proms’ on Saturday 2 July, this event is being held by the lake at Coryhill at Combe Raleigh, near Honiton by kind permission of Chris and Caroline Padget. Music will be from the members of Exeter Cathedral Choir, Isca Voices and the Sheldon Singers; Honiton Town Band will be playing from 6pm.
However, Heart of Devon’s Tourism Development Manager, Victoria Hatfield, is keen to point out that there is also much to see and do in the rest of the Heart of Devon. Victoria says, “We have put the cultural campaign at the very front of our tourism focus this summer as the area has so much to offer both residents and visitors to the Heart of Devon. Visitors to our new website: www.heartofdevon.com will be able to see special offers in connection with these events along with the chance to win a 2 night break for two at the ever popular four star Woodbury Park Hotel and Golf Course and tickets to 2 events listed on www.heartofdevon.com during the summer months.
Crowd pulling events include the Budleigh Salterton Music and Arts Festival, running from 16 – 30 July which features two performances of the popular opera “Carmen” by the New Devon Opera Company (St Peter’s Church, (30 July).
From 29 July to 5 August the pretty Regency seaside town of Sidmouth turns itself into a complete festival site, with music throbbing out of doors from a variety of venues from pubs and village halls as well as live performances along the seafront. Sidmouth Folk Week provides an entertaining, eclectic mix which will have non folkies tapping their feet and joining in the fun. Powderham Castle will be the home to two very different musical offerings with iconic rock star Roger Daltry, former lead singer of The Who, performing on 24 July and the bluesy big band sound of Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra bringing their perennial summer sounds to this gorgeous location that lends itself to lazy summer picnics – they are appearing on 30 July.
Visitor who like a spot of drama served up with their music should look no further than the performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance by Illyria at Escot, near Ottery St Mary on 9 August. Escot is also the venue for a production of Great Expectations by Quantum on 7 July. Other dramatic productions include Death of Sherlock Holmes at Killerton House, near Exeter on 21 July.
Heart of Devon promises visitors a rounded cultural experience whatever their preference and other events taking place this summer include the Beer Regatta from 7 – 12 August, promising fun for all ages. There is also the Axe Vale Festival of Gardening and Crafts from 25 – 26 June in Axminster. More arts and crafts plus a great deal more can be found at the Mid Devon Show on 23 July in Tiverton and following that visitors may want to go to the Branscombe Air Day and Classic Car Show on the following day, 24 July.
Finally a visit to Devon wouldn’t be the same without an appreciation of the county’s distinctive agricultural heritage. This will be on show at the Honiton and District Agricultural Show on 4 August.
Full event listings can be found on www.heartofdevon.com
For more information on the work of Heart of Devon, please contact Victoria Hatfield, Tourism Development Manager: t: 01392 265104 m: 07512 245433 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.heartofdevon.com
Jane Adkins, A Head for PR: t: 01935 813114 m: 07960 698089 e: email@example.com
Gail Livingstone, A Head for PR: t: 01823 252415 m: 07767 055595 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Heart of Devon Heart of Devon is the area tourism partnership promoting East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon and parts of Teignbridge to regional and national audiences.
The main aim of the company is to increase the number of day visits, short breaks, longer holidays and business trips to the Heart of Devon for the benefit of the local tourism economy.
Heart of Devon is run and guided by a Board of Directors, which includes 6 non-elected and 5 elected board directors, it is a private-public company limited by guarantee and not for profit.
Heart of Devon is a membership organisation and income received goes 100% into marketing activity – ensuring all revenue is put back into marketing initiatives to promote Heart of Devon. Other funding sources are through advertising income and a local authority grant.
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