If you’re planning a trip to Ottery St Mary this month, make sure to time it around 22nd June for a chance to see one of the town’s best loved traditional events.

Pixie Day is taking place on 22nd June and whether you believe that pixies once lived in the town causing mischief or not, it is something you need to experience!

So, what is Pixie Day?
Well, simply put, it is a day celebrating the banishing of the town pixies. There is a re-enactment and plenty of fun and games to be had throughout the day!

Traditionally, Pixie Day takes place on the Saturday nearest to Midsummer’s Day and has been running since the 1950s. The celebration was established by a pamphlet written by novelist, R F Delderfeld for the 500th anniversary of the installation of the bells of the Church of St Mary and mentioned the legend of the town’s pixies.

The story goes that Ottery St Mary was once the home to community of pixies and spirits, long before Christianity came to the region. Then a local bishop decided to build St Mary’s church and commissioned a set of bells to be created and installed, he was so concerned about them being damaged or stolen, that they were escorted by a team of monks to make sure they reached their destination.
On hearing about the  church being built, the pixies knew that it would be the end of their rule over the land. So they cast a spell over the monks so they and the bells would fall over the cliffs at Sidmouth. The spell was broken and the bells made their way to Ottery where they were installed in the church. The pixies weren’t deterred though, they kidnapped the bell ringers and imprisoned them in Pixie’s Parlour. The bell ringers were rescued and the pixies banished and the church bells have rung without incident ever since. Now as part of Pixie Day, local children re-enact the event by rounding up the bell ringers and parading them to Pixie’s Parlour, before returning to town to enjoy a day of fun and games!

This year’s Pixie Day takes place on 22nd June so organise your trip to Ottery today so you don’t miss out!

Can’t make it for Pixie Day? Don’t worry, you can still visit Pixie’s Parlour, there are several walking routes which take you down to the cave. You can find things to do and places to stay in and around Ottery St Mary here.