The pretty market town of Holsworthy is situated in the Torridge area and surrounded by green rolling hills and wooded valleys. With a number of walking, cycling and riding trails on its doorstep, Holsworthy makes a great base for exploring, or if water sports are more your thing, you’ll find the South West Lakes Trust venues nearby for sailing, kayaking and windsurfing, along with a number of coarse or trout fishing destinations too.

The town is just a short distance from the Hartland Peninsula and its beautiful, dramatic views and is an ideal base for visiting the various National Parks including Dartmoor, Exmoor and Bodmin in neighbouring Cornwall.

Find top local produce

As the heart of the local Ruby Country (named after the famous ruby red cattle), Holsworthy’s reputation for top local produce has solid foundations in its agricultural heritage. Historically, the town has always been the centre for livestock having one of the largest livestock markets in the south west having held one somewhere in the town since 1904. The main livestock market might now be on the outskirts of the town, but that doesn’t stop Holsworthy from being the centre of the Ruby Country and for being known for its sustainable farming methods.

As well as regular livestock markets, the town also hosts a weekly Farmers’ Markets where local farmers and producers showcase the wide range of incredible local products that really helps promote the hard work done in the region to maintain a high quality of products. It isn’t just at the farmers’ markets that you can sample the locally sourced food, Holsworthy’s local cafes, pubs and accommodation options also use local suppliers.

Town traditions

You’ll find a vibrant and welcoming community atmosphere in Holsworthy, with many enjoyable events throughout the year – from traditional fairs and carnivals to fun runs, agricultural shows and steam rallies.

One such traditional event is the St Peter’s Fair, which is held over four days every July. Each event starts with the town crier reading the charter granted to the town for a fair back in 1614. At noon on the first day of the event, the “Pretty Maid” is presented to the town. The identity of the maid is kept secret until she emerges from the church tower to be greeted by the fair’s attendees. This tradition came about following a legacy made in the will of a former Reverend who stipulated that some of the money paid to the parish church should be given to a young single woman under thirty.

Holsworthy also has an annual carnival held in November which has run since the 1900s and the Holsworthy Vintage Vehicle and Engine Rally, which started in 1987 and over the years has grown into a major event. Spanning over two days, the rally is held on the last Saturday and Sunday in June and attracts visitors from all over the UK.

Like most of the towns and villages in North Devon, Holsworthy has a rich local history. During the second world war, there was a POW camp based in the town. The town’s church of St Peter to this day displays a crucifix that was carved by a German POW and two of the church’s stained glass windows were hand painted by Italian POWs.

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