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Things to Do in North Devon in May 2019

26th April 2019

Categories: Visitor News

Things to Do in North Devon this May

The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining (well, sometimes) and May Day celebrations are up and coming - that’s right, summer is officially just around the corner!

But as the days slowly grow longer and the weather (hopefully) gets that bit warmer, we’re in for another month packed full of fun here in North Devon. From live music and art exhibitions, to family entertainment, we’ve got it all. Keep reading as we unpack all of the May highlights for you.

w/c 29th April

Lynmouth Harbour by Jennifer Schamotta

Firstly, May 1st is your very last chance to check out the North Devon Arts Group spring exhibition at the White Moose Gallery. Actually, it’s your last chance to visit the White Moose for a while, as they’ll be taking a well-deserved break over the next few months (although drop-in portrait sessions with Hester Berry will continue on Tuesdays).

Excitingly, Choirworx Westcountry Festival of Choirs will take place near Collumpton over this weekend, led by esteemed composer Scott Stroman, and complete with choir performances and workshops. If you’re into a different style of music, DJ Fresh will be live at the Jube in Woolacombe, playing a mixture of everything from hip hop to house.

Got the kids to think of? No worries - you’ll both love Devon’s Magic Festival over at the Big Sheep! Expect magic shows, street magic and workshops from a series of talented magicians and sleight of hand performers. Get booking - early birds can get a free DVD copy of ‘Gorgon’s Magic - The Magic Hands of Mystery!’

May Day will of course be taking place, so expect festivities all over North Devon. However, Torrington Mayfair is always renowned as a wonderful day, and will last right up until the weekend, with a Carnival, the crowning of the Carnival queen, and much more family friendly entertainment. Ilfracombe’s ‘Jack-in-the-Green’ event takes place on Sunday the 5th, featuring the town’s famous parade.

w/c 6th May

Chiggypig live at the Red Barn, Woolacombe

We’re very pleased that live music will continue to be hosted at the Red Barn in Woolacombe, and May will see a whole host of fantastic acts - including the Honey Traps, Spaced Invaders, Chiggypig, and Church of the Quivering Brethren, playing a range of different genres.

Rosemoor has a couple of fantastic fairs this week; firstly, the Spring Design for Living Fair, which starts on the 4th and ends on the 6th, will have stalls of beautiful handcrafted items and showcases supreme West Country talent. The Plant Heritage Spring Fair takes place the following weekend, with a variety of rare and unusual shrubs, trees and perennials on sale.

The art lovers among us will adore the Ilfracombe Art Trail also taking place at the weekend, showcasing some of the finest local talents and allowing visitors to view their homes, galleries and studios. It’s also the perfect chance to buy or commission some new work!

At the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, the Spring Steam Weekend will see a celebration of days gone by, with marquee attractions, real ales and unlimited rides in the Victorian carriages - as well as craft stalls and a BBQ. Sounds good to us!

w/c 13th May

Pigstock Festival at the Big Sheep

The more artistically inclined will enjoy one of Arlington Court’s several crafty events, such as a paint along session across the grounds of the National Trust site.

From there, expect a very busy weekend. Firstly, Rosemoor kicks off a whole host of fantastic live entertainment for the rest of the month with Mad Dog Mcrea. Followed by more performances over the weekend by the Animals & Friends and Show of Hands, the festivities continue into the next week with ABBA and the Beach Boys tribute acts.

Then of course it’s Pigstock over at the Big Sheep - North Devon’s famous family friendly festival. Saturday will see a selection of live music, as well as a separate stage dedicated to entertaining the kids. The next day is Chill Out Sunday, complete with comedians, music, and a tasty selection of food and drink.

If your little ones are more interested in all things scientific, they’ll have a blast at Saturday Science Club at Barnstaple Library for some hands-on experimentation. And for the ladies who feel a bit charitable, the Nightwalk in aid of the North Devon Hospice is 80’s themed this year - don’t forget to get involved!

Then on Sunday the 19th, Westward Ho!’s famous Festival of Kites takes place, reminding the world it’s the very best beach for kite flying. Meet experts, view demonstrations, fly your own kites or even join in an exciting kite fight challenge and try to win the trophy!

w/c 20th May

Clovelly Seaweed Festival

You’d think after all the entertainment we’re busy with the previous week that things in North Devon would calm down, right? Wrong, there’s still plenty going on.

The world’s best Bon Jovi tribute is coming to the Factory - Bon Giovi have been performing for 19 years across 27 countries, and will perform on May 25th. Don’t miss out; book tickets now for what will undoubtedly be a great event.

Kids will absolutely love Unicorn and Dragon Week at the Big Sheep, coming just in time for May half-term on the 25th. Kids (and adults!) can get dressed up in their best unicorn and dragon costumes for the chance to win a prize in the fancy dress competition. Meet Dreckly the Dragon or the Big Sheep Unicorn and her magical unicorn handler in the stables - plus, there’ll be the usual attractions and shows on offer.

Your little ones can have the chance to get their thumbs green at Rosemoor with Get Set Grow, which will also run through half term. On offer there will be creative play, drop-in craft workshops and opportunities to learn a little bit about gardening.

More opportunity for a unique education is available at Clovelly Village, with the annual Seaweed Festival taking place on May 26th in aid of the North Devon Hospice. Promoting the nutritional benefits of seaweed, experts will be giving talks on its health properties as well as demonstrations. Seaweed products will be on sale, with advice available for any seaweed brought from home. In addition to all of this, there will be crafts, stalls, live music and street entertainment.

w/c 27th May

Alice in Wonderland at Rosemoor Gardens

Arlington Court will be hosting a day to celebrate bees - it’s all about making your garden bee friendly, the Great British Bee Count, and you can even make your own bee mask.

Finally, jump down the rabbit hole at Rosemoor with a live theatre performance of Alice in Wonderland. This show will be full of songs and dances that are designed to encourage children to get involved and interact with the characters and should be a lot of fun, so it isn’t one to miss.

We’re certainly going to be busy over the next couple of weeks! Make sure to let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram if you’re planning to attend any of these fantastic events - or if there’s any other exciting entertainment that we’ve missed!

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