Your guide to Christmas in Devon
Temperatures are dropping, the woolly scarves are coming out and mince pies are lining supermarket shelves: Christmas is just around the corner.
In the coming weeks Devon will get well and truly into the festive spirit, with a calendar jam-packed with events – from nativity plays to Christmas farmers markets.
So whether you’re looking for family fun, ways to celebrate the Christmas countdown with friends or just somewhere to do your shopping in style, Devon has it covered.
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Help your guests step into Christmas the moment they reach your door by creating a traditional wreath.
At the magical Killerton House you can learn the ancient art of wreath-making, and take home a decoration you can treasure.
Workshops run on December 1, 2 and 3 in both the morning and afternoon - 10.30am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 4pm. Admission is £16.50, and booking is essential - call 01392 881345.
And why not make a day of it by enjoying a two-course lunch cooked in the Killerton Kitchen restaurant for £12.50?
Click here for more information.
BIG Sheep Christmas Farmers Market
For many of us, Christmas is about enjoying good food – and lots of it! So what better way to spend a day than stocking up on locally-produced culinary delights for the occasion?
At the South West’s largest farmers’ market you’ll be spoilt for choice – peruse more than 50 stalls selling cheeses, free range turkeys, Christmas cakes, seasonal delicacies, smoked salmon and chutneys.
The Christmas markets run on December 1, 8, 15 and 22.
Information about the 2012 market will be published here nearer the time.
Christmas at Pennywell Farm
Christmas, like so many holidays, has in the view of many become too commercialised. So if you’re looking for an event which celebrates what Christmas is all about, this is for you.
Between December 2 and 24 Pennywell Farm will be transformed into real life Nativity scene. There, little ones (and mums and dads) can dress up and star in a performance of Nativity plays.
And after the snow has fallen at the end of the performance, the little ones can meet Santa in his grotto and receive a present. They can even see Santa’s reindeer, Dancer and Prancer.
A Christmas film will be shown in the Farmyard Theatre between performances, enjoyed with home-made Christmas biscuits and squash. For mums and dads there’ll be warm mince pies and mulled wine.
Booking is essential – go to www.pennywellfarm.co.uk or call 01364 642023.
Sail with Santa
For a festive day out with a twist, why not sail the River Exe with Santa Claus?
This December, climb aboard a decorated Stuart Line Cruise ship, where you can enjoy mulled wine and mince pies, and the little ones can meet Santa himself in his grotto and receive a present.
Children can also enjoy face painting, magic and balloon modelling, and help themselves to squash, biscuits and sweets.
Fares are £7 per person, and babies under 12 months go for £4. Booking is essential - visit www.sailwithsanta.co.uk.
Christmas Lights in aid of the R.N.L.I.
Nothing says ‘Christmas’ quite like the warm glow of lights, so watching the illumination of the village of Clovelly isn’t to be missed.
On December 2 a local brass band will lead a procession down to the harbour as Christmas carols are sung by the Torridge Male Voice Choir.
Then enjoy a hog roast, punch and mince pies, before Father Christmas makes a surprise visit.
And the icing on the cake – the village and harbour will be lit up at 5pm, followed by fireworks.
There will be admission charges from 3pm for donation to R.N.L.I.
The date and event content may be subject to change, so visit the website for the latest details
Meeting Santa is the highlight of Christmas for the little ones, so why not make the visit extra special by travelling by tram?
On December 2, 9, 16, 23 and 24
Catch the Seaton Tramway and make your way to Santa’s grotto, where the little ones will meet the bearded jolly man himself and receive a gift. Meanwhile mums can enjoy mulled wine and mince pies.
Tickets for Adult/OAPs cost £9.95, children age 3-16 £7.95 and children under three £4.95.
Booking is essential – click here.
Christmas decorating workshop
Most of us are probably used to decorating our own homes or that of our close family over Christmas, but how many have decked out an 18th century Georgian mansion?
Well here’s your chance - Killerton House is calling on people to help decorate its interior this Christmas. Learn the tricks of the trade as you bring the festive spirit to historic building, which has become one of Devon’s many popular attractions.
The workshops are held on November 27 and 28. The day starts at 10am and runs until 4pm. Admission is £25 each, including a two-course lunch. Booking is essential – call 01392 881345.
To find out more, here.
The 12 days of Christmas
See the pipers piping and lords a leaping in the beautifully decorated 18th century Killerton House.
From December 1 to 23, the House will be brimming with the smells, sights and sounds of Christmas. Warm up by the log fire and embark on the Christmas trail, with twinkling lights and willow reindeer.
Normal admission prices apply but if you book a Christmas lunch in the restaurant, entry is £5 per person. National Trust members go free.
Get in the festive spirit by snapping up tickets to the Mistletoe Ball at The Grand Hotel, Torquay.
Enjoy a champagne reception and a four-course dinner, followed by a charity auction. Then hit the dance floor with live band 3 Bags Full and Adi Byng’s Disco.
Tickets for the December 1 ball are £45 per person. Early booking is essential.