By Liz and Dave King
Devon is heaven for foodies in October with Devon Celebration of Food events throughout the county including the Dartmouth Food Festival, 20th to 24th October. Entry to the main Dartmouth Food Festival is free of charge, but there is a charge for the evening events. Many local producers take part and the aim is to showcase the best that South Devon has to offer – from Riverford Farm produce through to Sharpham wines, Shute Fruit jams and South Devon crab. It’s a lively and bustling event, especially at the weekend. www.dartmouthfoodfestival.com
If eating out on the cheap is on your menu, then believe it or not, various eateries are offering Eat Out for £10.00. For more information visit www.celebrationoffood.co.uk
Darts Farm Shopping Village on the outskirts of Topsham is a farm shop, with a café and fish shed. It’s food lover’s haven with homegrown vegetables, artisan cheeses, organic bread, local wines, sauces, preserves, cakes, cordials, biscuits and an on-site master butcher, fishmonger and cider maker. www.dartsfarm.co.uk
Autumn is a great time for getting out and about to see the changing colours and landscapes. Pack your walking boots and your bike as the moorlands, Dartmoor and Exmoor, contain stunning walks and hikes to high spots from where you can view nothing but a great outdoors and see the famous Dartmoor and Exmoor ponies. Great places to walk or bike include Haldon Forest Park, South West Coast Path, Tarka Trail and the tors of Dartmoor.
If you fancy city life, Devon’s cities have modern shopping malls packed with favourite high-street brands, like Plymouth’s Drake Circus. www.drakecircus.com and Exeter’s Princesshay. www.heartofdevon.com/shopping Trago Mills in Newton Abbot is a huge shopping outlet. www.trago.co.uk
Devon has its fair share of smaller independent and specialist outlets. Exeter’s Historic Quayside has a mix of independent stores located in old cellars and warehouses beside the river. Bickleigh Mill, near Tiverton, has a range of gifts, clothing, art pottery and crafts on sale in one of Devon’s largest rural shopping, eating and recreation destinations housed within an 18th century working water mill. www.bickleighmill.com
If antiques are your fancy, then you must visit Honiton, not just renowned for lace-making but a high street with antiques, art and second-hand books.
If you want to be spooked, then remember Halloween. There will be special tours of Exeter’s famous medieval Underground Passages to coincide with half term. Children can explore under the city’s streets on guided tours and discover ingredients for magic spells. Using the ingredients found, the budding witches and wizards will be challenged to concoct their own magic spell and enter it into a competition with the opportunity to win a fantastic prize. On Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st October, the tour guides will be running special ‘Gory Story Tours’. Children can have a go at writing their own ‘Gory Story’ and again have the chance to win a prize.
The visit includes an opportunity to experience an exhibition packed full of interactive exhibits, archaeological finds and a full scale passages model. Access for children under 5 years, wheelchairs and pushchairs is to the exhibition only. www.visitdevon.co.uk