We have created a list of Local Events you may be interesting in. Please click on the individual Events to find out more information.
May Bank Holiday Weekend
An undeniably unique event in the Combe Martin Calendar. Banned in 1837 for licentiousness and drunken behaviour, the Hunting of the Earl of Rone was revived in 1974. Nobody knows how old this custom is, but the exploits of the central character, from which the custom takes its name, can be traced back to 1607. The custom may be considerably older, even predating Celtic and Christian influences. Over the four days, the Grenadiers, Hobby Horse, Fool and villagers hunt through the village for the Earl of Rone, finally finding him on the Monday night. The hunt starts on Friday evening around the village, Saturday is the juniors day, led by children from Combe Martin School. the hunting continues on Sunday afternoon with the addition of a band. Monday evening sees the last hunting when the Earl of Rone is finally captured. He is mounted back to front on a donkey and paraded through the village accompanied by hundreds of villagers, reaching the beach at sunset. He is frequently shot by the grenadiers and falls from the donkey, only to be revived by the hobby horse and Fool, re-mounted on the donkey and carried onwards to his fate. At the final shooting on the beach, he is not revived but thrown into the sea.
Second week of August
During the past 30 years, Combe Martin Carnival week has earned many superlative comments of endorsement from a nationwide following who make the annual pilgrimage. The week starts with the crowning of the carnival queen and includes the huge main parade, wheelbarrow race, raft race, live music and events for all ages. The main parade is on the Friday and is an evening of excitement and fun, attracting thousands of onlookers and featuring a procession of colourful and imaginative floats. The Carnival Parade is the highlight of the week and offers a wide variety of family-orientated fun, with floats, varying in size, theme and history some, like the Uncle Tom Cobley, which has entered the parade since 1911.The parade starts at the top of the village at the bottom of Nutcombe Hill for judging and finishes at the seaside where the party begins. Carnival week concludes on the Friday night with a spectacular fireworks display (funds permitting).
First Sunday in June
The traditional start to the strawberry season is earyly June. Combe Martin was, at one time, a large producer of strawberries. Grown and packed for resale, the strawberries were sold all over Devon and further afield. The tradition of holding a Strawberry Fayre on the first Sunday in June remains and will be taking place on Bowling Green where dozens of colourful stalls are erected to display and sell all types of homemade food and local crafts and of course, large helpings of Combe Martin Strawberries and cream with many a punnet taken home for Sunday tea. Celebrating a long history of market gardening in a sheltered village and a reputation for world famous strawberries, the fayre is as ever expected to be bursting with strawberry treats.
August bank holiday
The Legendary Grand Tour is unlike any other motoring event in the country because it is not confined to a field but let loose on the roads of North Devon. What makes this event so special is that the Minis do not drive off in groups of 20, or 1 every 3 minutes, but in a convoy one after the other. A spectacular sight of 250 Minis in convoy travelling at 30mph, it is nearly 10 miles long and can take 15 to 20 minutes to pass by. The convoy passes through many different towns and villages of North Devon, including Combe Martin. Thousands of people line the streets to watch them go by, waving flags and homemade banners and raising a glass or two; filling lay-bys and standing on bridges to watch them pass. Over the last 20 years, the Minis have been taken into the hearts of the people of North Devon raising money for local charities as they go. A sight not to be missed!
Every Third Saturday of the month
Combe Martin Shammick Farmers Market is a real treat! Our village market offers all sorts, from local crafts, homemade preserves, pies, fresh vegetables and fruit, fresh meats, eggs, preserves, cakes, flans, pies, plants and so much more. It is held in the Village Hall every third Saturday of the month, from 9.30-12.00 midday.
Saunton D-Day event takes place on Saunton beach and is the only living history event of its kind in the UK. It takes place in a historical location amongst the dunes and on the beach where 10,000+ American GI’s trained and planned for their assault on Omaha and Utah beaches during World War II.
Braunton Burrows was home to the Assault Training Centre between September 1943 and April 1944. Within this huge sand dune area, remnants from the training facility exist in the form of concrete landing craft, bazooka wall and the ruins of a Matilda tank.
Saunton D-Day is a FREE show to the public and 2019 promises to be a very special event as it marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Highlights of the show include: Aircraft landing and taking off on the beach, Vintage Vehicle Parade, Major Battle Display, Interactive Camps, War Room, plus an interactive history trail. Don’t miss it!
North Devon’s premier Agricultural spectacle. This annual event is a celebration of North Devon’s agricultural roots. A host of livestock classes occupy the arenas throughout the day with Alpacas, Cattle, Goats, Horses, Sheep, Show Jumping and Open Dog Show. Attractions, displays, demonstrations and trade stands for all.
The show site is a completely level area of approximately 50 acres with plenty of parking and good access to the A377
Second Week in June
Ilfracombe has been a holiday destination for many years, not least during the Victorian era. Whether you live in Devon or are holidaying, you are welcome to join Ilfracombe Victorian Celebration by dressing up in Victorian clothing, participating in events, or just being an observer and transporting yourself back to yesteryear.
The South West Birdman Competition sees crazy aviators and would be pilots hurl themselves off Ilfracombe Pier into the icy waters below – all hoping to ‘fly’ the furthest and be crowned champion of the event.
Organised by Ilfracombe Round Table the day-long event attracts thousands of people to the town and raises money for local worthy causes.
As well as the main flying event, the South West Birdman Competition also includes a live music stage with great music throughout the day, a mixture of food, craft and charity stalls, children’s entertainment and much more besides.