Top 5 Things to Do in North Devon This Christmas
28 November 2018
While the shenanigans of Black Friday may leave some people excited for the hustle and bustle of Christmas, prepared with their bargain gifts to wrap up in December and place under the tree, others may have hidden from the towns this weekend, only to come out their homes or country hiding when the last “Black Friday Sale” poster came down.
Luckily, the tranquility of North Devon means that even when the streets are busy with people out doing their Christmas shopping, there is a magical, festive element to the area, rather than a crowded scene that can put the “citiest” of people in a bad mood.
And just when you thought North Devon was all dog-walking, hardcore surfers, spas and muddy coastal footpaths (just these alone are something special in themselves!), you’d be wrong.
With late-night Christmas shopping and charming festive events from local craftspeople, it is no wonder that so many people escape to North Devon over the festive period to enjoy a well-earned break.
In fact, there is a variety of things to do in North Devon this Christmas. Here are just 5 of them:
Woolacombe at Christmas Weekend - (7-9th December)
The Woolacombe at Christmas Weekend is perfect for those looking for a festive weekend indulgence. Think festive beers, a Christmas market, mulled wine, live music and a light-hearted Christmas movie.
The enchanting programme for this year’s Woolacombe at Christmas weekend is as follows:
Friday 7th December
Enjoy irresistible beer, cider and music festival at The Red Barn. Accompanied by live music from the fantastic ‘The Garden Club’ (in the evening). A traditional West Country rock and indie band.
Saturday 8th December
A huge choice of activity is on offer on the Saturday, all of which can be done with a mulled wine in hand.
You can pay a visit to South Street’s very own Christmas Market or browse The Jube Craft Market.
Or indulge in Christmas movies shown at The Jube, ideal for those who can’t resist a festive movie.
There is plenty for the children to get involved in, with free children's fairground rides at The Red Barn and a Christmas treasure hunt too (Christmas wouldn’t be the same without one!).
And for the seniors? Hourly Christmas bingo at The Puffin Cafe.
There will also be traditional carol singing around the village Christmas tree (a real Christmas card moment!), where Anchors Aweigh and Woolacombe School Choir will be singing.
Sunday 9th December
Have an attempt at the Santa Stroll or run (See event number 2 below if you want to find out more).
Afterwards, there will be more beer, cider and music at The Red Barn at lunchtime, accompanied by music from ‘Anchors Aweigh’.
Santa Stroll (or Run!) - (9th December)
While, dog walking isn’t all that is happening in North Devon over the Christmas period, we couldn’t resist mentioning this one.
Part of the Woolacombe at Christmas Weekend, the Santa Stroll (or Run!) is as exciting as an event in its own right.
Raising money for local families whose lives are affected by cancer and other life-limiting illnesses, you can run, walk or skip 3km or 5km (depending on your ability) and bring your dog along for the journey too! Make sure they’re on a lead though (you can purchase an xmas-themed bandana for them too!).
The only catch? You must wear a Santa suit to really get in the mood for the festive celebrations. The santa suit, along with a goody bag and a medal, will be included in you entry fee of £12 for adults, £7 for children (£5 for dogs) and you’ll also get a hot drink and mince pie at The Red Barn afterwards.
Worth it? Of course!
Arts and Crafts Event, Bideford Pannier Market (1st-2nd December)
If you’d like nothing more than to find artisan gifts for family members this Christmas, then Bideford Pannier Market is most definitely worth a visit.
Craftsmen and women will be showing off their festive gifts, including standard things like wood, wool and wax to the more obscure like paper and horn.
Not only will you see craftspeople in action, selling a variety of handmade gifts, you’ll be able to enjoy some local refreshments from the market.
The market is opens 10 am - 4 pm on the Saturday and 12 am to 5 pm on the Sunday. With Santa, live music and various stalls, there is something for everyone.
With free entry and free shuttle bus from Victoria car park included, you’ll have more loose change in your pocket for a coffee and slice of Victoria Sponge.
Did someone just mention cake?
Compare a friendly Christmas market lying right at the heart of North Devon, chatting to talented creatives about their art, enjoying tasty foods and purchasing unique Christmas presents, to queueing in a busy high-street store and struggling to overtake the crowds of pedestrians in your local town.
There’s absolutely no contest.
Christmas Lights in aid of the R.N.L.I (2nd December)
There is something particularly mesmerizing about Christmas lights, and the Christmas Lights in aid of the R.N.L.I event is no exception.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution works all year to save lives at sea and this event celebrates their work and raises money for future efforts.
The Christmas Lights in aid of the R.N.L.I takes place in Clovelly and starts at 3.30pm. The local brass brand leads the procession down to the harbour, along with carols sung by the local church choir.
Christmas Market at The Big Sheep (1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd December)
A name that you could only hear in Devon, the Christmas Market at the Big Sheep takes place on the following Saturdays in December: 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd.
The local food market sells a variety of delicious Devon foods between 9am and 1pm in the barn, and craft sellers will be selling their own unique products in the Marquee between 9am and 4pm.
The BIG Sheep is a family attraction in North Devon. So, if you’re travelling with youngsters, you may want to spend the rest of the day enjoying winter activities in the park too.
Is the coast calling you this Christmas?
Book a coastal winter break at the Woolacombe Bay Hotel before the 13th December and save 25% when staying three nights or more.