Thursday, 10 July 2014

West Country summer festivals

It’s amazing how many events and festivals pop up across the West Country each summer – no matter which week or month you choose to take your holiday, you’ll find yourself choosing from a fantastic selection of things to do. Here are a few to illustrate our point!

‘Lafrowda’ means 'Church of the Good Cross' in Cornish, and the Lafrowda Festival in St Just, from 4th to 19th July is a great community occasion with giant willow floats, stalls, music and merrymaking around the town square. And to top it all, there's Lafrowda pudding served with lashings of clotted cream.

If you’re a seafood lover, try the Rock Oyster Festival at (where else?) Rock on 12th July, where you’ll find a big farmer's market and delicious Porthilly oysters. Or try Dorset Seafood Festival, which takes place around Weymouth's historic harbour on 12th and 13th July. There's Pommery champagne with fresh oysters, live cooking demonstrations, music from the Fishwives Choir, the Exmouth Shanty Men and the great British Whelk Revival.

For something slightly different and absolutely stunning, head along to Somerset Steam Spectacular and Country Fair at Low Ham, near Langport, on 18th July. Here you’ll see no less than 40 steam traction engines plus vintage and classic cars and motorcycles, vintage tractors and displays of steam ploughing. All this, plus a market and craft area, licenced bar and refreshments, fun fair and children's rides.

After all that steam and engine revving you’ll perhaps appreciate kicking back and listening to some music. The Chagstock Festival returns with a Wild West theme for its 5th year on the northern slopes of Dartmoor on 18th and 19th July. This year's line-up includes The Waterboys, The Lightning Seeds and Steve Knightly from Show of Hands. Watch out for the Hatherleigh Ukele Bashers, with vocals, in the Live Lounge.

And finally, for some prehistoric fun, why not become a dinosaur hunter at Eden Project this summer? Thanks to the launch of Dinosaurs Unleashed, the Eden Project will be transformed into a prehistoric world inhabited by the terrifying scaly monsters that ruled the earth some 67 million years ago. Explorer Field Stations are to be set up throughout the venue, where visitors will be able to learn all about some of the famous explorers who have helped us piece together our knowledge of these ancient creatures. Dinosaurs Unleashed is set to open on July 21st and will run until September 2nd, giving you the entirety of the summer holidays to check it out.

To find holiday cottages near each of these locations, go to the Helpful Holidays website or call 01647 433593.