What's on in Devon: Events for 2020

Days out, Events, Activity

Devon 2020

If you’re planning a holiday to the South West this year, why not coincide it with one of the fantastic events in Devon in 2020?

Take a trip to Dartmouth for award-winning food, listen to bands by the beach in Croyde, or enjoy a wonderful family day out to the Devon County Show where competitions, stunts and children’s activities will keep you entertained.

Devon cottages

Read through our list of events to find out what’s on in Devon during 2020 and attend a fun festival or day out during your holiday.

Skip to the month of your visit:

Events in May

Brixham Pirate Festival, Brixham

2 – 3 May 2020

Pirate Festival Brixham

One of the UK’s biggest and best pirate festivals! Hundreds of people in pirate gear descend on this charming seaside town each spring for piratical bands, market stalls and skirmishes and re-enactments too. There’s a family area to keep the youngsters entertained and, best of all, the festival is free!

English Riviera Bike Festival, Paignton

2 – 3 May 2020

Taking place on Paignton Green, down by the seafront, this biker’s festival is new for 2020 and is expecting hundreds of enthusiasts to make a trip down for the event, whether for a day or the whole weekend. Live music will be taking place in local bars and pubs and you’ll be right by Paignton’s sandy beach too if you decide to go for a walk beside the sea.

Dart Music Festival, Dartmouth

15 – 17 May 2020

Dartmouth Music Festival

A fantastic event in a wonderful location, the Dart Music Festival offers up free music across a multitude of venues around the town. Spend a relaxed weekend drinking, eating and drifting between the pubs, bars and music venues throughout the area listening to local bands beside the River Dart.

Dart the Dart Foodie Fun Run, Totnes to Dartmouth

16 May 2020

This fun run is not a race but a chance to sample culinary delights and drinks while making your way along the route. Stretching 13 miles from Totnes to Dartmouth, it will lead you alongside the River Dart for wonderful views, and it’s around £40 admission fee to join the run. Expect great scenery, great food and great camaraderie!

Devon County Show, Clyst St Mary

21 – 23 May 2020

Devon County Show

This regional event has a whole host of livestock competitions (of course, that’s what it’s known for) and you’ll get the chance to see the animals awaiting their turn to compete in the tents where you’ll find over 100 rare and minority breeds. There’s lots going on: enjoy the food fair, Craft and Gardens Pavilion, Children’s Garden, see horse show jumping, the dog show and chef demonstrations, vintage tractors and steam engines, and sip delicious craft beers and ciders. Phew!

Events in June

Torbay Airshow, Paignton

6– 7 June 2020

It’s two days of stunts, displays and flypasts - enjoy watching the incredible aerial performances during this event. There’s also plenty of family-friendly entertainment taking place on the ground, including exhibition stands, bars, food stalls, inflatable slides, bouncy castles and fairground rides.

Axe Vale Show, Axminster

20 – 21 June 2020

Axe Vale Show

Enjoy a relaxed day out to this weekend show where there’ll be stalls to peruse filled with food, crafts and plants, and plenty of space to sit and unwind. Events taking place include dog shows, stunts, sheep shearing and music over both days.

Gold Coast Oceanfest, Croyde

20 – 21 June 2020

Taking place in the cliffs over Croyde Beach, this music festival is a top Devon event and great place for you to unwind while in (hopefully!) the summer sun. Chill out on the grass while the music and vibes wash over you or head to the front of the crowd to see great artists perform up close. When you’re ready for a break, head down to beautiful Croyde Beach where you can surf, swim or just sit and chat on the sand.

The Shaldon Festival, Shaldon

25 – 28 June 2020

The Shaldon Festival

This classical music festival aims to ‘provide local people and visitors with access to first-rate, professionally-performed classical music at affordable prices’ and succeeds with a wonderful mix of classical performances taking place in seafront St Peter’s Church. Take a look through the programme to see the concerts over the four-day event; you may even wish to join the Choral Workshop taking place on Saturday.

Events in July

Chagstock Music Festival, Chagford

24 – 25 July 2020

It started as a private festival by a group of friends in 2003 and now is a public, sell-out, 5,000-capacity music festival in the heart of beautiful Dartmoor. Enjoy great music in a scenic location, and there are also food vans and a kids' area with circus skills, drumming workshops and crazy golf that families will love!

Mid Devon Show, Knightshayes

25 July 2020

Mid Devon Show

Another farm show popular for its livestock competitions, the Mid Devon Show is another rural Devon event where entrants show off prized cattle, sheep, and other more unusual livestock. There are food stalls where you can grab a bite, horticulture to discover, music to create a lively atmosphere and plenty of animals to meet in the tents.

Sidmouth Folk Festival, Sidmouth

31 July – 7 Aug 2020

If you enjoy folk music, this wonderful week-long music festival celebrating all things folk is just the place for you to visit. Attend to see musicians, hear storytelling, take part in workshops and watch dancing take place. There’s even a children’s festival on-site and a youth programme so youngsters can have an excellent time too!

Events in August

Salcombe Regatta, Salcombe

1 Aug – 8 Aug 2020

Salcombe Regatta

Watch boats sail past and cheer on your favourites at the Salcombe Regatta. Taking place in a beautifully scenic location, make sure you find a good spot in a café or pub garden beside the water so you can sit and take in the fantastic spectacle of boats steering about against an exquisite backdrop.

The North Devon Show, Umberleigh

5 Aug 2020

Another chance to see livestock competitions, dog shows, and horticulture exhibitions while browsing stalls of food, drink and crafts; the North Devon Show is a top local attraction and a great family day out. There’s also falconry, axe throwing, horse show jumping and lots of other exciting things to see and do at this North Devon event.

Events in September

Jazz by the Sea, Bude

1 – 4 September 2020

Jazz by the Sea

Taking place across a few different venues in the centre of Bude, Jazz by the Sea is a great chance to listen to iconic and new music in an incredible seaside location. It’s a holiday resort so you can make the most of your time here by seeing a band play, grabbing food in a seafront café then heading down for a stroll along the beach.

Autumn Fayre, Newton Abbot

12 Sept 2020

A real mix of activities take place at this family-friendly autumn fayre in Newton Abbott. Take the children along for face painting, balloons and games. There will be stalls from local vendors for you to peruse and live music to enjoy.

Devon Open Studios, takes place all across Devon

12 – 27 Sept 2020

Devon Open Studios

Organised by the Devon Artist Network, the Devon Open Studios event sees artists from all across Devon open up their studios to the general public, so you can view the latest piece they’re working on, see how their work comes together, and meet and chat to the artists about their techniques and inspiration.

Plymouth Seafood Festival, Plymouth

12 – 13 Sept 2020

Visit the harbour city to celebrate seafood while by the sea! Dine out every night and try new finds during the day as you browse the stalls set up in the Barbican and Sutton Harbour. Cooking demonstrations take place at this foodie festival and you could also match a gin with your salty supper, take kids to a workshop or rent a rowing boat and head out on the water.

International Agatha Christie Festival, Torquay

15 – 19 Sept 2020

Greenway House Agatha Christie

You don’t have to be an Agatha Christie buff to have a fun time at this annual event. Get enraptured in storytelling and performances that occur throughout the festival, and listen to talks by other aspiring writers, artists and murder-mystery lovers. The aim of the festival is to celebrate Agatha Christie and to nurture new voices, so expect a host of new talent as well at this event!

Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival, Budleigh Salterton

16 – 20 Sept 2020

Meet authors you love and discover new ones at this literary festival taking place on the East Devon coast. The events take place at a range of venues across the town so you can explore this coastal gem while you enjoy the festival atmosphere and get inspired by writers and artists attending and speaking.

Abbfest, Newton Abbot

18 – 20 Sept 2020


Taking place on the outskirts of Newton Abbott, Abbfest is a volunteer-run event that aims to raise money for a variety of charities and have fun doing it! Enjoy good food, beer tents and excellent music at this local festival that always draws a crowd and offers up a relaxed and lively atmosphere.

Appledore Book Festival, Appledore

18 – 26 Sep 2020

Visit to see a whole variety of authors, performers, journalists, musicians, poets and comedians speaking at this exciting book-centric event. Taking place in a scenic fishing village on the beautiful North Devon coast, this festival is in a wonderful location and there are plenty of things to do during the event including attending exhibitions and workshops, taking part in guided tours, and listening to a variety of talks and discussions.

Events in October

Powderham Food Festival, Kenton, Exeter

3 – 4 Oct 2020

Powderham Food Fest

Spend all day eating and snacking on tasty treats in another fantastic Devon location – the impressive and beautiful Powderham Castle. Try chutneys and cheeses, lunch on BBQ, sip a beverage from the Beer, Cider & Ale section, and relax on the grass while the atmosphere washes over you.

Apple Day, Clovelly

28 Oct 2020

This fun, unique, family-friendly festival is a great way to discover the ancient fishing village of Clovelly while enjoying a day out. There’s an excellent mix of things to do from the Harvest Hunt, Garden Tour and cookery demonstrations to a range of crafts and activities for kids – they’ll love getting up close and petting animals with South West Animal Services.

Dartmouth Food Festival, Dartmouth

23 – 25 Oct 2020

Dartmouth Food Fest

From the same crew who organise the Dart the Dart Foodie Fun Run, the Dartmouth Food Festival is a staple in the local calendar and a fantastic chance to fill up on a range of tasty goodies. Celebrity chefs make an appearance and there are demonstrations, classes and cookery contests to enter. Little ones can get involved with the children’s activities and, of course, there are plenty of food shacks and stalls too.

Events in November

Herring Festival, Clovelly

15 Nov 2020

This unusual seaside village hosts a range of fun events throughout the year and the second one that’s made this list is the Herring Festival. This wonderful food festival hosts exhibitions and demonstrations, and there are street entertainers, an art workshop, food and drink tasters and music throughout the day.

Torquay Christmas Carnival Procession and Christmas Lights, Torquay

21 Nov 2020

Torquay Christmas Carnival

There are plenty of exciting Christmas events taking place across Devon, but if you want to get in the Christmas spirit, the Torquay Christmas Carnival is a great place to start! Watch a variety of decorated floats pass you by as well as dancing groups and bands too. Father Christmas will be in his grotto and there’s the Christmas Lights Switch On that evening too.

Events in December

Christmas at the Model Village, Torquay

12 – 24 Dec 2020

Babbacombe Model Village is always a great family attraction during a visit to Devon but, when winter arrives, so do the Christmas-themed sets! Find Santa among the sets, enjoy the mini-panto and watch the Christmas lights dazzle in the dark afternoons.

The Exmouth Christmas Day Swim, Exmouth

25 Dec 2020

The Exmouth Christmas Day Swim

Are you brave enough to jump into the freezing cold waters of the English Channel this Christmas? People flock to Exmouth Beach on the big 25th December to take part in this invigorating event. Test yourself, take in the fantastic social atmosphere and return to a welcoming, warm cottage ready for a well-deserved Christmas lunch.

Teignmouth Boxing Day Swim, Teignmouth

26 Dec 2020

If you are busy for Christmas then don’t worry - there are plenty of Boxing Day swims taking place across Devon too! Teignmouth draws over 200 people each year so you can be sure to join a big crowd and it’s for a good cause – a donation of £5 is suggested by the organisers which goes towards the Teignmouth RNLI Lifeboat.

Events in January 2021

New Year’s Day Fancy Dress Dip, Westward Ho!

1 January 2021

Westward Ho! New Year's Day Fancy Dress Dip

And if you can’t make either Christmas or Boxing Day, welcome in the new year with a New Year’s Day Fancy Dress Dip with all the other local revellers. Dress up in your best fancy dress (no wetsuits allowed!) and dive into the chilly waters at this beautiful beach location on the phenomenal North Devon coast.

Attend an event in Devon in 2020

Whatever you are hoping to get up to this year, there’s a whole host of Devon events in 2020 to seek out and this county is an unforgettable place to visit for an exciting holiday. Discover rural Devon at one of the bustling summer county shows where you can meet animals and watch top entertainment, or venture down to the coast and feel invigorated with a winter swim in chilly British waters!

Want more inspiration? To find out more about what’s on in Devon, head over to our blog on top 10 things to do in Devon or take a look through our guide to fun-packed activities you can do in Devon.

Browse our collection of cosy cottages and find the perfect place to stay near one of these events for a wonderful holiday getaway. Discover our cottages in Devon today.

Devon cottages

Posted by Kate W on 6th January 2020