Thanks to our lively local communities, there’s an impressive programme of annual events in our region, from quirky village festivals to major regattas. Here’s a quick guide to what’s on in South Devon in 2018, focusing on the region’s biggest events. For a more comprehensive at-a-glance listing, please see our Events page.
Salcombe Crab Festival (Sunday 6th May)
The first major event in our guide to what’s on in South Devon is also one of the newest to join the annual calendar. After the success of the first two Salcombe Crab Festivals, a third is planned for May 2018. Usually shortened to ‘Crabfest’, this one-day celebration of local crab and seafood features workshops, talks, kids’ activities, and plenty of opportunities to taste this delicious Salcombe speciality.
Learn more on the Crabfest website.
Dart Music Festival (11th – 13th May)
Over 100 live acts perform in this family-friendly three-day event, for which an array of indoor and outdoor spaces throughout the town are repurposed as music venues. Free to attend, the Dart Music Festival features some of the best upcoming and established musical talent in the region.
Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival (tbc, usually June)
The Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival combines mouthwatering street food with a line-up of live music on Squares Quay. The purpose of this free event is to throw a party for visitors and residents of Kingsbridge, which is a pretty market town in the South Hams.
Merlin Rocket Week (8th – 13th July)
Races of this class of sailing boat in Salcombe became so popular that a separate regatta was set up to accommodate all the entries. Find out more about this week-long event from the Salcombe Yacht Club website.
Kingsbridge Fair Week (21st – 28th July)
Kingsbridge Fair Week is the oldest festival in the region, with roots going back to the early 13th century. Events include a raft race, 10k run, carnival procession and lantern parade, along with the coronation of the Kingsbridge Fair Week Queen and Princesses. There’s lots more information on the Kingsbridge Fair Week website.
Dartmouth Shakespeare Week (25th – 29th July)
Every summer, the Inn Theatre Company performs Shakespeare at a stunning spot by Dartmouth Castle. Last year, audiences were treated to a powerful performance of Othello, and in 2018 the group will return to comedy: A Midsummer Night’s Dream will run from 25th to 29th July. (Note that, in the event of rain, performances are moved to the adjacent church so there’s no need to let the weather put you off!)
Find out more about last year’s Dartmouth Shakespeare Week here.
Totnes & District Agricultural Show (29th July)
A traditional agricultural show with a 100-year-old history, this one-day show is one of the biggest in the county. There’s lots of information on the Totnes Show website.
Salcombe Yacht Club Regatta (5th – 10th August)
Salcombe Yacht Club Regatta comprises a week of entertaining races across a wide range of classes. For those interested in entering a race, the Yacht Club has put together a detailed FAQ here.
Salcombe Town Regatta (11th – 18th August)
Salcombe Town Regatta is the biggest annual event in this popular holiday destination, featuring street food, live music, lots of kids’ activity, races on and off the water, and a firework display to finish it all off.
Find out more about the Salcombe Town Regatta.
Frogmore Regatta (19th August)
This little creek-side village hosts its own regatta every year, with competitions on and off the water, some taken seriously and some rather less so! There’s lots of information about this regatta on the Frogmore village website.
Dartmouth Royal Regatta (30th August – 1st September)
Hope Cove Weekend (24th – 27th August)
Look forward to a weekend of family-friendly fun on the beach in beautiful Hope Cove this August. See pictures from last year’s Hope Cove weekend on the official Facebook page for information about what to expect.
Kingsbridge Show (1st September)
Another South Devon event that’s very much rooted in tradition, Kingsbridge Show goes back over 130 years. Go along for a full day of activities, attractions, competitions and live entertainment that celebrates the countryside.
Dartmouth Food Festival (19th – 21st October)
The Dartmouth Food Festival consists of three days of culinary workshops, demonstrations, talks and opportunities to taste the best of the South West. Featuring some of the biggest names in food and drink, including writers Jay Rayner and Suzy Atkins, the festival has been called a top-10 UK food event by the Guardian newspaper.
Read our article on the Dartmouth Food Festival here.
Candlelit Dartmouth 30th November – 1st December (tbc)
Start the countdown to Christmas on the right foot, with this atmospheric event that takes place around Dartmouth’s Royal Avenue Gardens. The highlight for kids is the arrival of Father Christmas by boat at the Quay, while the mulled wine always goes down well with the adults.
Kingsbridge Celebrates Christmas (1st December)
Kingsbridge’s answer to Candlelit Dartmouth is this one-day event featuring a farmer’s market and array of festive stalls – the perfect occasion to kick off your Christmas shopping in this friendly market town.
We hope you’ve found our guide to what’s on in South Devon in 2018 useful. Why not time your break around one of these fantastic events? Or if you’re visiting at another time, check out this article on things to do in South Devon throughout the year.
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