What’s on in the West Country this week (1 Sept 2016)

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There is so much going on this week in the West Country including agricultural shows, festivals of local culture, cider, music, craft, food and even hats, outdoor theatre productions, cliff top shepherding and walking festivals in beautiful scenery. Here’s our guide to the top events in the South West from Thursday 1 September to Wednesday 7 September 2016.


River Cottage Summer Lunch

Friday 2 September 2016

Indulge in a lazy summer lunch in River Cottage’s 17th century barn. The day starts with a tractor and trailer ride to River Cottage HQ, where you can enjoy seasonal drinks and explore the idyllic surroundings. Your chef will introduce the menu, then sit back and relax as you tuck into three courses featuring the freshest summer produce picked from the garden, followed by petits fours and coffee. Children of all ages are welcome. Ticket prices: adult £55, child £10.

Bridport Hat Festival

Saturday 3 September 2016

The gloriously eccentric Bridport Hat Festival returns for all you mad hatters out there! Browse hat and millinery trade stands, dance to music acts throughout the day including a Ceilidh, and make sure you get in the mass hatted photo at 1pm. Wear your finest hat and you may win one of the fun hat competitions; with awards for Best Lady’s, Best Gentleman’s, Best Boy’s, Best Girl’s, the Most Elegantly Hatted Couple, and Best Hatted Dog up for grabs. See the pros in the Town Hall, where there will be a display of entries for the Milliners & Hatters Open Competition. And of course, the Bridport Hat Hurling Challenge. Ticket prices: Free event

Dorset County Show, Dorchester Showground

Saturday 3 – Sunday 4 September 2016

It’s the 175th Dorset County Show and it’s going to be better than ever this year. Come and see beautiful animals compete to be best in show, tractors and vintage cars, carriage driving, show jumping, and country sports. There will be a fun fair, lots of shopping and a huge array of local food and drink in food halls, cookery demonstrations, and beer tents. Ticket prices: £13 in advance, £16 on the day, under 16s free.

Food Rocks Festival, Lyme Regis

Saturday 3 – Sunday 4 September 2016

Food Rocks is an annual festival which celebrates the very best in food from Lyme Regis and the surrounding areas. Catch demonstrations by big name chefs like Mitch Tonks, enjoy masterclasses with local traders, or get in on one of the crab and mackerel supper clubs hosted by celeb chef and event organiser Mark Hix. Musically talented guests are asked to bring a guitar with them to try and help break the record for most guitarists playing one song together.

Waterfest, Weymouth

Saturday 3 – Sunday 4 September 2016

Celebrating the unique maritime history of Weymouth, this free festival features sailing, diving, crafts, delicious freshly caught seafood and traditional sea shanty music. This year will also see Waterfest host its biggest collection of historic vessels to date, from all around the world.


Rare Breeds 100 at Haynes Motor Museum

Rare Breeds 100 at Haynes International Motor Museum, Sparkford

Sunday 4 September 2016

Discover some rare and beautiful machines at this annual show at the Haynes International Motor Museum. For one day only, see 100 exceptional vehicles on display, hear about their history and see them running on the museum test circuit. There’s no need to book in advance – the show is included in your museum admission. Ticket prices: Adult £13.95, child (aged 4 – 15 yrs.) £8.25, child (under 4 yrs.) Free

Murder on the Pier, Weston-Super-Mare

Friday 2 September 2016

You may have visited the Grand Pier before, but have you ever solved a murder mystery there? With live actors and a three course dinner included in the price, this is an evening of fine food, fun and sleuthing in the beautiful surroundings of the Grand Pier at night.

St Bartholomew’s Street Fair, Crewkerne

Friday 2 – Saturday 3 September 2016

Without a doubt one of the oldest fairs in Somerset, St Bartholomew’s dates back to Saxon times and was mentioned in the Domesday book. Nowadays, the fair features a massive street market selling produce from local retailers as well as lots of rides, stalls and activities for children.

SheppyFest Cider & Music Festival, Taunton

Saturday 3 September 2016

Cider and music? Count us in! Sheppyfest Cider and Music Festival at Sheppy’s Cider Farm looks to be a fun day out to for all the family. There’s live music from Joey The Lips, Mangledwurzels, One Step Behind and many more, delicious food, cider and beer, and great entertainment for children. Ticket prices: £20 per person, additional £10 per person for camping

Peter Pan at Tyntesfield

Saturday 3 September 2016

Watch the adventures of Peter Pan, Wendy, Michael and John Darling, in the wonderful grounds of the National Trust’s Tyntesfield in North Somerset. The Chapterhouse Theatre Company presents a brand new adaptation, with original music and songs, and beautifully designed costumes. Ticket prices: adult £16, child £8, family tickets available.


Shepherding Experience at Morthoe

Shepherding Experience Walks, Mortehoe, near Woolacombe

Thursday 1 September 2016

Watch the Borough Farm sheepdogs in action surrounded by some of the most stunning coastal scenery in the country at the National Trust’s Morte Point. On this two hour tour, you will hear all about shepherding life, the sheep and training the sheepdogs. The top dog ‘Fly’ will be on hand to give a demonstration on the cliff tops, through the rough terrain and working far into the distance. Ticket prices: adult £10, child (aged 5-15) £5, child (under 5) free.

Nourish Festival, Bovey Tracey

Saturday 3 September 2016

Bovey Tracey’s festival of music, craft and food returns for its third year. There will be a huge array of delicious West Country produce and freshly cooked street food, craft events and wonderful local makers, as well as a series of concerts on the first three days of September to celebrate the occasion.

Newton Abbot Autumn Fayre, Newton Abbot

Saturday 3 September 2016

Get a taste of traditional Devon life at this year’s Newton Abbot Autumn Fayre. As well as the classic pasty procession from the town hall, there will be a variety of local craft stalls and a cheese curling competition. There will also be a “Bake Off” style competition to find the best cake in Newton Abbot!

Kingsbridge Show, Kingsbridge

Saturday 3 September 2016

The Kingsbridge Show is celebrating an incredible 134 years in business, with a show that includes everything from field gun displays to pony club games, terrier racing and falconry. There will also be donkey rides, a display of vintage tractors and a petting zoo corner, making this event a perfect family day out as well as a great way to discover more about Devon’s agricultural history.

Dartmoor Walking Festival

Til Sunday 4 September 2016

Dartmoor National Park is an awe-inspiring place and this Walking Festival is a great way to explore it. There are many different types of walks for all abilities, including a walk for children at Castle Drogo, ghost and night walks, Accessible Dartmoor Day, Nordic walking, hike with overnight camping, and ‘Search for the Hound’, where you can explore the area made famous by Conan Doyle’s ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’. Some of the walks need to be booked in advance, see website for details.

Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

Isles of Scilly Food Festival

Taste of Scilly Food and Drink Festival

Thursday 1 – Friday 30 September 2016

A must for foodies, the inaugural Taste of Scilly Festival is a month-long celebration of the very best local food and drink from the islands. There’s plenty going on from food trails and foraging walks to wine tastings and beach barbecues. Local bakers, brewers, fishermen, foragers and chefs will whet your appetite so get your tastebuds ready!

Bude Jazz 2016

Tuesday 30 August – Friday 2 September 2016

Enjoy jazz by the sea in Cornwall at the Bude Jazz Festival. The festival caters for all tastes, from traditional to modern, with plenty of swinging dance music at the Parkhouse Centre if you’ve got your dancing shoes on. All venues are within walking distance of the town centre, and you can buy a one day stroller ticket for £22.

The Big Autumn Market, Truro

Saturday 3 September 2016

The Truro Farmer’s Market is great all year round, but the Big Autumn Market has more stalls than ever so you can sample all of the great local produce that the city has to offer in just one location. Sample and buy snacks, meat, cheese and sweet treats for a truly Cornish foodie experience.

Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture, St Keverne

Saturday 3 September 2016

Celebrate Cornwall’s distinctive cultural identity and Celtic heritage at the annual Gorsedh Kernow Esedhvos Festival of Cornish Culture. At this free event, you can watch the Grand Procession of Bards from St Keverne Primary School to St Keverne Playing Field then witness the impressive Gorsedh Kernow bardic ceremony as new bards are installed. There will be plenty of stalls offering Cornish crafts, foods and drink, and you can even learn about Cornwall’s native language, Kernewek. The day finishes with a Gala Concert in the Parish Hall (tickets £5) and a Cornish singalong at The White Hart Hotel.


Bradford on Avon town bridge

Bradford on Avon Walking Festival

Friday 2 to Sunday 4 September 2016

The historic riverside town of Bradford on Avon is the perfect spot for walking, with both the Kennet & Avon Canal and The Macmillan Way passing through the town. And what better way to explore the area than taking part in the Bradford on Avon Walking Festival. Grab your walking boots as experienced guides lead the walks, which include opportunities for bird spotting, Nordic walking, wild food foraging, detecting bats and an evening ghost walk. A full programme of the different walks is available on their website, and advanced booking is essential.

Swindon and Cricklade Railway Murder Mystery Evening

Friday 2 September 2016

All aboard for the ever-popular Murder Mystery Evening on the Swindon and Cricklade Railway. Sharpen your little grey cells ready for an evening of deduction. Your ticket also includes a two course hot buffet with tea and coffee, and there is also a bar available. Advanced booking is essential.


Moreton-in-Marsh Agricultural and Horse Show

Saturday 3 September 2016

Here at Cartwheel Holidays we love agricultural shows and this one at Moreton-in-Marsh is one of the country’s biggest one-day shows. Showcasing the best of the area, you can try your hand at country pursuits such as fly fishing and shooting, watch the ‘Lamb National’ (yes, that’s right, there are racing sheep), see birds of prey and even fancy dress ponies. There will be some fine vintage tractors, and the world-famous Tractor Ted will be visiting for the day. Make sure you see the livestock and horse riding competitions then wash your hands, loosen your belt and head to the Country Larder Food Hall for a taste of local food and drink.

By Emma Holcombe

If this has whetted your appetite for a spontaneous break in the West Country, take a look at our last minute holidays for some great deals!