The chilly season has settled in, with log burners aglow and cozy hats and scarves making their return, signaling the imminent arrival of Christmas!

As per tradition, the Christmas season promises to be a bustling affair here in North Devon. It will be brimming with festive markets, captivating light displays, and a plethora of events for everyone to relish. In the heart of Ilfracombe, our much-anticipated annual “Combe Christmas” celebration is on the horizon. Anticipate a captivating lantern parade, a plethora of street performances, live musical entertainment, delectable food vendors, and a variety of charming stalls.


Prepare for the holiday season by starting your festive shopping early or indulging in something for yourself at Christmas markets throughout North Devon. These markets showcase a wide array of quality crafts, locally sourced goods, and handmade gifts. Market schedules may differ, with numerous towns in the region organizing their unique versions.

As the days draw nearer to the special occasion, partake in the festive atmosphere by attending various light switch-ons. Numerous towns, including Ilfracombe, South Molton, Bideford, and Barnstaple, will host their own gatherings to help you immerse yourself in the joyful Christmas spirit.

Embark on a delightful winter adventure at Arlington Court with their “12 Days of Christmas Carol Trail.” Stroll around the picturesque lake walk and uncover your favorite festive carols, all while singing along with your little ones. Best of all, this trail is eco-friendly, paperless, and takes place throughout the expansive estate. Access to the wider estate is available through the heron gates next to Home Farm.

If you plan to explore the house and gardens, please note that regular admission fees will apply.

Additionally, don’t miss their “Christmas Tree Trail.” In honor of the house’s bicentennial anniversary, they have adorned the pleasure grounds with 200 beautifully crafted and designed Christmas trees, each lovingly decorated by their partners, various groups, volunteers, and local schools. To enhance your experience, grab a leaflet at the reception for a trail guide highlighting the top ten must-see trees.

Participation in the Christmas Tree Trail is complimentary, while standard admission rates apply.

RHS Garden Rosemoor invites you to partake in its yearly “Let It Glow” event, a unique twist on the traditional garden experience. While you can still appreciate the usual garden beauty, there’s an unmissable addition this time. Follow the “Glow Trail” and immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Rosemoor after dark, guided by a spectacular light display.

Explore an enchanting woodland wonderland, witness the mesmerizing “field of fire,” and delight in nightly family entertainment that spans a wide spectrum, including magicians, live music, fire artists, light performers, and whimsical costumed characters.


Pause from your outdoor adventures and seek refuge from the chill at Queens Theatre in Barnstaple. They cordially invite you to partake in their yearly pantomime, this time featuring ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ Join in the fun, clap, sing, and burst into laughter as the enchanting tale of Sleeping Beauty unfolds. With memorable moments such as the slumbering princess and her awakening, you’re guaranteed to leave the theater with your sides aching from laughter by the end of the performance.

As well as its usual family fun, The Big Sheep will be providing a Christmas farmers market this year. This will include all the best local produce that North Devon has to offer with fabulous food and handmade crafts. Perhaps you’ll even find some gifts.

Many of the picturesque walks in North Devon remain open during the colder months. At The Carlton, we not only welcome dogs, but during Autumn and Winter, your beloved four-legged companions can stay with us for free. This way, you can relish the delightful coastal and countryside trails together throughout the festive season.