10 Family Friendly Events in South Devon Summer 2018

Who wouldn’t want to visit Devon in the summertime?

Often, it’s referred to as one of the prettiest, and most diverse counties – with wild moors, rolling hills and two spectacular coastlines (because one simply isn’t enough). 

If you find yourself under the South West sun this summer, as beautiful as the scenery is, it isn’t quite enough to entertain the children. If only it were that simple? 


So, you’ve booked yourself a stay in one of our luxury Devon holiday cottages, but already you’re pondering what to do whilst you’re here – a vague worry the little ones will be bored. 


Don’t fret, in South Devon this summer (our patch) boredom for anyone will be difficult to achieve. To save you scouring the Web, at Long Barn Holiday Cottages we’ve rounded up 10 family friendly, fun events for the summer holidays. 


 10 Family Friendly Events in South Devon Summer 201810 Family Friendly Events in South Devon Summer 2018

 1. Brixham Hap’nin (6th – 7th July)

Brixham’s “party in the park” is an ideal event for all ages – a light-hearted summer festival. Taking place in St Mary’s Park annually, it’s a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike. Over two days you can expect all sorts of entertainment, including local bands, touring tribute acts, theatre productions, choregraphed dancing, amateur dramatics and school productions. 

Of course, there’s also a licensed bar, and local food stalls. For a minimal sum of £3 (on the gate) this eclectic little festival is a must this summer. In terms of value for money, it doesn’t get much better. 


 10 Family Friendly Events in South Devon Summer 201810 Family Friendly Events in South Devon Summer 2018

 2. The Big Butterfly Count – Greenway House, Brixham (20th July – 2nd August)

What a lovely thing. 


Most of us were born with an innate fascination of the natural world, and it never really stops. Children particularly, have an untouched inquisitiveness perfect for activities like counting butterflies. 


This is a relaxed, free event – but it may be worth checking the weather. Blue skies are great, but if rain is forecast then perhaps leave the big count to the seasoned entomologists.


 10 Family Friendly Events in South Devon Summer 2018

 3. Pirate Thursdays – Brixham Harbour (26th July)

It could be, if you decide to stay for in South Devon for a while you could attend more than one Pirate Thursday. It’s a question of, how much pirating can you handle?


The bulk of the swashbuckling antics are held under the Old Fish Market on Brixham Harbouside. This is another free event, that you could dip into as part of larger day out – simply stop by. 


Children will love the range of practical fun, including soak the pirate, classic balloon modelling, arts & crafts workshops, fancy dress competitions, puppet shows, live music, pirate photo shoots and more. 


 10 Family Friendly Events in South Devon Summer 201810 Family Friendly Events in South Devon Summer 2018

 4. Gerry Cottle’s Circus – Paignton Green (31st July – 28th August)

There’s nothing so time-tested as a circus for providing a wonderful evening for the whole family. 


Gerry Cottle ran away from home as teenager to join the circus, and over the years has become a legend within the entertainment business. Alongside running his own circus since the 1970s Gerry has known the honour of presenting The Moscow State Circus and Chinese State Circus in Britain. 


Gerry’s circus promises a “high-energy” magical show with roller-skating, juggling, comedy, daredevils and grand illusions. You’ll experience lots of “how did they do that?” moments. 


Oh, and something special – a motorbike high wire. 


The dates above are provisional. For updates please visit the official website


 10 Family Friendly Events in South Devon Summer 201810 Family Friendly Events in South Devon Summer 2018

 5. Torbay Steam Fair – Brixham (3rd – 5th August)

Torbay Steam Fair is quite the event and attracts enthusiasts from all over to the scenic English Riviera. 


This is a family event, based near Brixham – just off the A3022. It’s a rare chance to see some beautiful vintage steam engines in full working order. However, if that’s too steamy there’s also classic cars, a craft & model tent, children’s entertainment and food and beer. 


As a century has passed since the end of WW1 a bonus event, is a special display by the Torbay Steam Fair military section – not to be missed. 


 10 Family Friendly Events in South Devon Summer 2018

 6. The British Firework Championships 2018 – Plymouth Hoe (8th – 9th August) 

The British Firework Championships are truly something else…


This is your opportunity to see awe-inspiring professional firework displays, that are without a doubt the best Britain has to offer. You’ll (probably) not have seen displays like them – lighting up Plymouth Sound in fiery, dazzling colours. 


Each year tens of thousand of visitors make their way to Plymouth for this reason alone, and if you’re staying in South Devon it’ll be worth finding out why. 


The fireworks are reason enough to turn up, but additionally there’s live music organised by Heart FM and a fun fair. 


For more information here’s a link to the website. 


 10 Family Friendly Events in South Devon Summer 201810 Family Friendly Events in South Devon Summer 201810 Family Friendly Events in South Devon Summer 2018

 7. Outdoor Theatre – ‘The Midnight Gang’ – Greenway House, Brixham (21th August)

David Walliams is one of the most celebrated modern children’s authors, and winner of a Specsavers National Book award. 


This summer one of his bestsellers, ‘The Midnight Gang’ which follows an adventurous group of children in a hospital ward is being brought to life. This spellbinding story, with both touching and (of course) comic moments is perfect for the stage. 


Greenway House encourages you to join heartbreak and the gang on a magical journey about friendship and making dreams come true. 


Visitors are welcome to brings chairs, picnics and blankets to complement the fun – and umbrellas (just in case!). 


10 Family Friendly Events in South Devon Summer 201810 Family Friendly Events in South Devon Summer 2018 

 8. Children’s Week – Paignton Seafront (14th – 18th August)

Often festivals are either not really child friendly, or children’s entertainment is an afterthought. Not with Children’s Week in Paignton. 


It’s the UK’s longest running children’s festival and creates a whole week of fun activities for them to get stuck into. 


Most of the workshops and performances will be free, but some have a small charge. It’s a little early, so please keep an eye on the official site for updates on 2018’s programme. 


 10 Family Friendly Events in South Devon Summer 2018

 9. Offshore Powerboat Race – Torbay (26th August)

There’s not a great deal that needs explaining about this one…


Simply find a comfy spot on Vaughan Parade in Torquay or along the seafront and watch some fast (very fast) powerboats skim across the bay. 


 10 Family Friendly Events in South Devon Summer 2018

 10. Dartmouth Royal Regatta (30th August – 1st September)

Dartmouth Regatta is a big deal amongst national regattas, and second in size to Cowes. Established in 1834, it now attracts 100,000 visitors to the South West. 


What’s on in 2018?


Celebrating the River

  • Yacht and local rowing races 
  • Dinghy sailing
  • Stand-up paddleboarding
  • Water polo
  • NEW for 2018 – flyboarding displays

Family events and fun

  • Crab fishing
  • Fancy dress competition
  • Dog show
  • Ice creaming eating competition
  • Treasure hunts
  • Puppet theatres
  • Pavement painting
  • Fireworks display
  • Trolley Grand Prix 

And more…

Around the regatta

  • Music at the bandstand
  • Arts & crafts market
  • Car & boat displays
  • Local food & drink stalls

The above isn’t even everything – there’s too many interesting goings-on to list. Rest assured though, it’s been the highlight of many a summer holiday. 


If you’d like to delve deeper into 2018’s regatta, please visit the website


From Long Barn Luxury Holiday Cottage, all the best and thanks for reading!