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Annual Barnstaple Events

Barnstaple is the social hub of North Devon.  There are lots of events in the area throughout the year.  If you want to know what events are happening or want to know when to book Your Devon Escape to be in Barnstaple for a certain event, keep reading!


This historic event has been running for seventy-five years with the first Fair held in 1931.  The Fair is officially opened on the Wednesday of Fair Week and runs until the Saturday.  To close the Fair, a carnival happens each year with stunning floats.  The opening ceremony of the Fair is held at the Guildhall, followed by a procession through the town.  There are various events that occur throughout the Fair week alongside a fun fair to enjoy.  Be sure to check out their website to find out more about the events happening during one of the annual Barnstaple events.


This enchanting evening is focussed on the illumination of Barnstaple with the turning on of the Christmas lights.  It is a beloved civic tradition for locals and visitors.  Gather with friends and family to countdown the Christmas lights switch on and watch as the streets begin to glow with Christmas cheer.  This event, however, is more than just the lights.  Enjoy a local choir, a food festival in Pannier Market, Santa’s Grotto in the Guildhall, and more.  Explore the stands of local food, drinks and crafts and maybe grab a few bits to take home and enjoy through your Christmas celebrations or to simply remember Your Devon Escape.


Celebrate Devon’s best gig teams going head-to-head in a day of fun but intense competition.  Gig rowing has become increasingly popular over recent years and this regatta is a great one to witness.  For those who haven’t been to Clovelly before, be sure to check out the village whilst you are there.  Step back in time and experience this other world in the private village.  Soak up the history and culture before or after watching the exhilarating racing.  If you find yourself in the area, head to Clovelly, cheer on the crews and enjoy a thrilling day of sea rowing.


The Dark Skies Festival is held on Exmoor each year.  It consists of a host of events for families, amateur astronomers and anyone who feels inspired by the outdoors and night.  Events take place all over the National Park for all ages and interests.  Enjoy a dusk wildlife safari, astronomy lectures, stargazing, guided walks, night time yoga and more.  There is so much to get involved in, be sure to check out the website and book the events that interest you!


North Devon Beer Festival is held at Barnstaple Pannier Market each year.  It is a two- day event offering some of the best alcoholic beverages that North Devon has to offer.  Try a selection of beers, ciders, gins, and local food all whilst listen to great entertainment.  This is a free event for all to wander but, if you would like to try a tipple or two, you will need to purchase a wristband.  If you are looking for lively annual Barnstaple events, this is one to check out on Your Devon Escape.


The North Devon Show is a traditional one-day show celebrating all things rural.  The main aim is to support agriculture and provide a shop window for anyone involved in the economy of North Devon.  Held at Umberleigh Barton Farm, explore all that is on offer at this wonderful event.  Since its existence, the show has built a reputation for North Devon’s agricultural economy, growing support for the local business community.  Explore and learn about the different farm animals, sample, and buy local produce and enjoy the show.  If you are looking for annual Barnstaple events that showcase the local area, this is one to check out on Your Devon Escape.

For more ideas for what to do on Your Devon Escape, why not check out our journal for recommendations.  Or make us all jealous on Your Devon Escape by sharing your adventures with #yourdevonescape or tag us on Facebook @YourDevonEscape, on Instagram @your_devon_escape or TikTok @yourdevonescapeltd.

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