Alongside the county’s two national parks, five Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and eight Blue Flag beaches, there are dozens of festivals in Devon that showcase its unique culture, innovative industries and beautiful environment. Every year, businesses, residents and visitors come together to celebrate local food and drink, live music, literature and, of course, wormcharming (yes, you read that correctly!). There are so many annual and one-off events and festivals in Devon that you’re sure to find plenty to enjoy, almost regardless of the month in which you arrive. Here are some of our favourite festivals in Devon to look forward to in 2019. Check back soon, as many more are usually announced as the year progresses.
Our favourite festivals in Devon in 2019…
- Exeter Festival of Winter Ales
18th – 19th January
Head to St James Park in Exeter (the football ground) to escape the winter blues and enjoy the 28th Exeter Festival of Winter Ales.
- South West Food and Drink
4th – 6th May
Follow your nose up the A38 to Exeter for the city’s annual Festival of South West Food and Drink. It’s a great chance to get to sample the best the region has to offer, amongst the beautiful surroundings of Exeter Castle and Northernhay Gardens.
- Salcombe Crabfest
2016 saw the first ever Salcombe Crab Festival (‘Crabfest’) opened by Mary Berry, CBE. The event raised over £10,000 for local charities and featured over 40 exhibitors, so it comes as no surprise that Crabfest will return in 2019. This time, the organisers promise it will be even bigger and better.
- Dart Music Festival
10th, 11th, 12th May
Every year, the friendly harbour town of Dartmouth plays hosts to the Dart Music Festival, a volunteer-organised free event that features over 100 performances. This is a great time of year to get to know Dartmouth at its liveliest and most welcoming.
- Sea Change Music Festival
24th, 25th, 26th May
With extra programming and some very exciting new spaces, Sea Change Music Festival is set to be even bigger and better in 2019. A three day festival celebrating the arts, the festival is held across Totnes town and the 14th Century Dartington Hall Estate.
Expect fancy dress, live music and – yes – some serious wormcharming at the Blackawton International Festival of Wormcharming, a family-oriented fun event.
- Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival
Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival serves the ‘food of love’ to those with a passion for food. Expect an eclectic range of live music performances alongside dishes from all your favourite local food producers.
- Let’s Rock Exeter
Let’s Rock Exeter is retro rock and pop festival with a distinctly 80s and early 90s feel. In this year’s iconic pop line-up, there will be The Human League, Billy Ocean, Belinda Carlisle and Nik Kershaw, amongst other well-known blasts from the past.
5th & 6th July
Deep in the depths of the Devon countryside a little piece of magic happens. Set within a beautiful green field backed by mystical Dartmoor, sitting beneath the shadow of Denbury Hill, you will find a unique collective of artists, entertainers, poets, workshops, and sumptuous food and drink. A popular, family-friendly festival, this is a must visit for those that who a safe, happy and colourful weekend of fun!
- Dartington Ways with Words
5 – 15th July
The next Devon event on our list lowers the volume, with the annual Dartington Ways with Words festival. This 10-day festival features many of the most critically and commercially successful authors of our time. The genres covered range from popular fiction through cookery books all the way to weighty political works. Previous events hosted such illustrious names as Sr Alice Roberts, Melvyn Bragg and George Monbiot.
19th – 20th July
Chagford, situated on Dartmoor, hosts an annual music festival Chagstock, which Adrian Edmondson renowned as ‘the best little festival in The South West’.
- Tunes on the Sands
12 – 14th July
New to South Devon for 2019, Tunes on the Sands is a three day music festival set to be held in the stunning location of Blackpool Sands, bringing both national and international artists to the region! Super early bird tickets are already on sale, with acts to be announced soon, so snap them up quickly. Find out more on their website.
- Salcombe Town Regatta
5th – 12th August
Salcombe Town Regatta is one of the most prestigious events in the South Devon calendar. As well as the sailing events and competitions you’d expect, there are also air displays, fireworks, fancy dress, a a sandcastle building competition and plenty of fun activities for both children and grown ups!
- Beautiful Days Festival
16 – 18th August
The award-winning Beautiful Days Festival is a family-friendly, three-day celebration of music. This year’s line-up hasn’t yet been announced, but previous festivals have seen performances by the Levellers (who founded the festival), the Happy Mondays and Idlewild. Beautiful Days, firmly established as one of the biggest festivals in Devon, takes place near Fairmile, between Exeter and Honiton.
- Dartmouth Royal Regatta
29th, 30th, 31st August
One of the biggest events on the South Devon social calendar, the Dartmouth Royal Regatta is a fantastic festival with something for everyone – not just sailing enthusiasts. There are air displays which usually include the Red Arrows, there’s a funfair and you can expect dozens of food and drink stalls catering to every taste.
- International Agatha Christie Festival
The ferry ride from Dartmouth to Greenway, the former holiday home of the late Dame Agatha Christie, provides one of South Devon’s most enchanting days out. But did you know there is also an annual festival in her honour? The International Agatha Christie Festival takes place in various venues around Torbay, including Greenway itself. Expect talks from popular crime writers, live shows, workshops, children’s events, parties, dances and an evening ball.
- Dartmouth Food Festival
18th – 20th October
Not just one of the best festivals in Devon, the Dartmouth Food Festival has established a national reputation is a top-10 celebration of all things culinary. Fill up on local delights and pick up some cooking tips directly from the country’s most renowned chefs at this hands-on festival of food.
- Candlelit Dartmouth
An annual event, Candlelit Dartmouth was conceived 11 years ago by the Dartmouth Chamber of Trade. A two day event welcomes the ceremonial switching on of the Christmas lights and the arrival of Santa by boat at the Quay. What’s more, there is a Christmas market, entertainers and musicians, carol singing, seasonal craft workshops for children and the famous lantern procession.
Please be advised that all dates are subject to change and that Coast & Country Cottages cannot be held liable for any inaccuracies in the information below: