What's On in Ashburton

Being the largest town in the Dartmoor region and home to several West Country traditions that date back to the days of the tin mines, Ashburton is a real cultural hub in the centre of a beautiful National Park.  

Regular historical events 

Ashburton is home to one of the oldest surviving carnivals in Devon, the Ashburton Carnival takes place from the end of June to the beginning of July and is believed to date back to the mid 1880s. Originally, it was created to help raise funds for a new hospital and to this day continues to raise money for local charities.  

Other regular traditional events include the Ancient Ale Tasting and Bread Weighing Ceremony which takes place in the summer. The ancient tradition is kept alive by the town’s Portreeve – a historical, official role that only remains in a handful of towns across the UK. The ceremony dates backs to the 13th century and these days involves a bread auction, a town procession in medieval dress and street theatre. Naturally, there are lots of opportunities to taste local bread and ale too!  

Live music and more 

There are regular music events held in the town at various venues as well as festivals taking place throughout the year. Tinners Moon which takes place in May is a week long programme of entertainment held in the centre of town, while Mardi Gras in February features the traditional music, costumes and food of New Orleans.  

Dartmoor’s answer to Glastonbury takes place in July and Ashburton’s annual Food Festival every September is the place to go for amazing food and drink.