Festivals & Events
Dartmouth is a town that loves to celebrate and it has peppered its calendar with festivals and special events.
With so many cultural events taking place in the town, it will be hard to decide which time of year to visit! To help you, below is a selection of some of the best events throughout the year.
Dartmouth’s Comedy Festival is one of the popular events that take place every March at The Flavel and other venues throughout the town. Comedians jest, joke, jibe and josh their way to a jolly jovial response. Previous years audiences have enjoyed BAFTA winning comedian Harry Enfield, Robbie Coltrane, Greg Davies and Eddie Izzard. There is something for all the family throughout the festival!
In May each year, the annual Dart Music Festival takes over the town and for three days the streets of Dartmouth comes alive with the sound of music. The Festival, which first took place back in 1998, includes almost every type of music from rap, folk and rock to orchestral, jazz and opera. Solo artists and bands perform in venues all over town, as well as on the main stage of the bandstand in Royal Avenue Gardens.
Dartmouth’s annual Arts & Crafts Weekend takes place each June and sees artists, sculptors, potters and other craft workers take over the Royal Avenue Gardens. Now in its eleventh year, the fun-filled weekend encourages visitors to watch, talk to and buy from the talented and skilled artists while they work.
Enjoy Dartmouth Shakespeare Week, when local thespians The Inn Theatre Company put on an outdoor performance of a Shakespeare play, staged at Dartmouth Castle. Their production in August 2015 will be The Merry Wives of Windsor.
The best time to visit Dartmouth for water-related activities, however, has to be August when the Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta transforms the town into a hub of water-borne festivities. The town’s population at this time swells from 6,000 to100,000 as visitors from all over descend upon Dartmouth to take part in or watch the various rowing and sailing competitions. The party atmosphere is enhanced by the other sporting activities, air displays, fairground rides, live music, competitions, a shopping village and two spectacular firework displays.
Also in August, it’s all about crab in Dartmouth as the Rockfish Crab Party pays tribute to the cracking crustaceans that grace our shores. The first crab festival took place in 2011 at various locations across South Devon and included events, tastings, demonstrations, crabbing competitions and a range of beach events to enjoy, and since then Dartmouth has continued to hold its very own street party dedicated to crab.
October is when artists take centre stage for the annual Galleries Week. Previewing their latest collections during an open studio event, local galleries welcome visitors to come and explore the work on show, much of which is created by local artists.
Showcasing the best that South Devon has to offer, the Dartmouth Food Festival has now become one of the main events on the culinary calendar. Each year in October, the Festival celebrates local produce and food producers as well as local eateries and chefs. Cookery demonstrations, parties, food markets and tasting shacks pop up in the Royal Avenue Gardens, the Market Square and all along the embankment, providing an opportunity for people to discover what’s on offer and try new things.
The Food Festival has a lot to offer, but top-quality food and drink is available all year round. Dartmouth Farmers’ Market takes place every second Saturday of the month in The Old Market Square. Local producers sell a delicious selection of seasonal goods, which they have grown, bred, caught, pickled, brewed or baked, direct to the public.
Showcasing the very best in amateur theatre in the South Hams and the Dart Valley, the Dart Drama Festival is a must visit for all budding thespians. Founded in 2007, the Festival runs over four nights in November and is hosted at The Flavel.
The beginning of December sees Candlelit Dartmouth Festival. Get into the festive spirit as the town comes alive with a candlelit procession and the arrival of Father Christmas by boat. There is a craft market and Christmas Fayre.
Dartmouth Events Highlights...
Who said there are only 12 days of Christmas? The festive spirit actually lights up with Candlelit...
Wednesday 10th December at St Saviour's Church Academy Carol Service at 6.30pm - 8pm
Dartmouth Academy Winter Fayre on Friday 12th December 3pm - 5.30pm. Including : Santa's Grotto,...