Christmas is just around the corner and everyone is gearing up for a season of gifts, fun, excitement and adventure. If you are thinking of where to go with your family for Christmas, there is no better place than Devon in South West England.
Christmas in Devon is magical. Just because the days are colder and shorter is no reason why you should not have fun with your family. There are many events to participate in and places to visit all across the county; from the spectacular Devon Christmas markets to craft events, singing choirs, trains, ice rinks and feast, not to forget an exciting Father Christmas experience; it is safe to say that Devon is one of the best places to celebrate the most popular holiday of the year.
If you have ever visited Devon, you will agree that the area is popular for its stunning coastlines, pristine white beaches and rugged moorland. If what you fancy is a quiet trek after a hectic year in the big city, you will find what you want on the picturesque footpaths and hiking trails. There is no better way to become one with nature than taking a walk along the tranquil woodland trails and soaking in the essence of this beautiful region; at the end of your walk, you can warm up in any of the many friendly neighbourhood pubs all over the county. In fact, Devon is one place in all of England that is beautiful all year round and a good place to spend some time, whether a brief weekend or a long holiday.
If you plan to visit Devon for the Christmas holiday, you will not be disappointed. There is a huge variety of family activities for all weathers, including market events and attractions that will keep your entire family entertained all through the Christmas period.
Christmas in Torquay
During the warm winter months, Torquay is the epitome of the perfect English seaside resort, but when winter comes, the English Riviera becomes a place where sleigh bells replace the beach umbrellas.
During the Christmas holiday, many restaurants in Torquay serve the traditional English Christmas dinner and lunch so you will be sure to feel at home. The town’s pubs are not to be outdone when it comes to Christmas themed entertainment, food and drinks. There are also family pantomimes at the Princess Theatre in the city.
Another exciting Christmas activity to look forward to in Torquay is the Brixham Christmas Carnival. The family fun event includes dozens of people parading around town in costumes.
If you are visiting with children, then you will want them to have a wonderful Father Christmas experience, and nothing beats the joy of seeing the Dartmouth Steam Railway converted into the Santa Express. This magical ride departs Paignton on selected dates throughout December, carrying gifts for children and special delicacies for adults.
Christmas market at Exeter Cathedral Green
Every year, the Christmas market at Exeter holds against the stunning backdrop of the city’s awe inspiring cathedral. In fact, all over Devon, there is no better or prettier place to hold a Christmas market than Exeter Cathedral Green. The market kicks off mid November and ends about a week before Christmas.
During these days, the beautiful cathedral is converted into delightful stalls that showcase the best of locally crafted Christmas gifts and tasty local delicacies. There will definitely be local bands and choirs singing carols. You don’t need your ipod for this shopping as there is live entertainment to accompany you from stall to stall.
Just outside the city centre, the Westpoint centre will be transformed into a delightful winter wonderland. In just four weeks, from the last week of November to the last week of December, you will find virtually anything you need in what is known as the most popular Christmas fayre (fair) in the region.
RHS Rosemoor Christmas Food, Craft and Design Fair
If you like the taste of good food, or like trying out new dishes, then you may want to arrive in Devon a few weeks before Christmas. Starting from November 23 and ending 2 days later, the RHS Rosemoor Christmas food, craft and design fair is a must for food lovers. This is also the place to be if you love arts, crafts and design as there will be a huge variety of interesting items on display.
If you already live in Devon, this could be a great opportunity to do your Christmas shopping in advance. Even though the fair will be ending officially on the 25th of November, you can still visit and see what they have to offer on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays up until the 5th day of the New Year. This will be a great opportunity for those who will not be able to make it in November.
A Dartmouth Christmas
If there is one thing children love about Christmas, it is the opportunity to visit Santa. Even adults enjoy the experience as it triggers beautiful memories. But the Santa at Paignton is not the one found in grottos, or the one that descends down the chimneys, rather the steam railway in Dartmouth turns into Santa Express for the Christmas celebrations.
All through the month of December, Santa Express will leave Paignton on selected dates and visit town for a time with the children.
But that is not all Dartmouth has to offer for Christmas, for two whole days, starting on November 30, there will be live entertainments all over the city. Christmas lights switched on, carol songs and a visit from Santa will keep the whole family entertained.
From December 16 to 24, you can visit Paignton Zoo. Visiting the zoo during the Christmas holiday is a lot different from visiting on a regular day. For one thing, Santa and his reindeers will be present. You can take the kids to visit Santa in his cabin right there in the zoo, where they will receive gifts from Santa and if they are lucky, spot a couple of hidden elves.
There are lots of fantastic things to do in Devon for the Christmas holiday and it is sure to be an exciting time for the whole family. Whether you decide to visit a Christmas themed park, or ride the Santa Express, or take a walk amidst the hustle and bustle of the stalls brimming with Christmas delight, you will definitely have a great time. If you don’t know anybody in Devon, there are lots of beautiful hotels and holiday cottages that would serve as the perfect place to lay your head.
Christmas is a time to leave all the stress of the city behind and indulge in special fun at Devon; you will find all of these and more. It is never too early, nor too late to start planning your Christmas trip to Devon, and don’t be surprised if it seems as though the whole county came all out to welcome you.