What’s On Events, May Half Term 2017 Devon, Dorset & Somerset
Welcome to my roundup of What’s On Events this May Half Term in East Devon, West Dorset and South Somerset. Here on the border of these counties we have a huge range of days out and activities to choose from. You can take your pick from a full on day out at one of the local big tourist attractions or why not head to a nature reserve or the beach for a calmer time, exploring the wildlife or searching for fossils.
So for this post, true to my blog aims, I have focused on outdoor events, wildlife activities, fetes and local fairs. However it’s also good to know what’s on offer at the bigger attractions so I have added links to their websites as well. Happy planning.
Local Nature Reserves and Wildlife Events
East Devon Countryside Team Events
Once again our local Devon Nature Reserves are accessible for all sorts of events from bird identification to muddy river walks and pond dipping. You can book these events online here and they are great value. Seaton Wetlands is also pushchair friendly.
Over in South Somerset there is a popular woodland area at Yeovil Country Park where you can try your hand at making a Willow Bird Box on 27th May or take part in the Fairy Adventure Trail from 30th May – 2nd June.
Although there are no events listed, Chard Reservoir is a lovely place to explore and makes for a great pushchair friendly walk. Only downside is that dogs are limited to certain areas (i.e not around the actual reservoir due to the birds).
Wildlife Discovery Day
On Friday 2nd June join Blackdown Hills Natural Futures team at Forde Abbey near Chard for a day of discovery, exploring the natural world! A host of local experts will be on hand to help you and your children seek out and learn about animals and plants.
Hunt for butterflies, mini-beasts and reptiles; take a closer look at moths; do a spot of bird watching and learn how to identify plants and wildflowers. Try your hand at river dipping to explore fascinating freshwater creatures. If you feel like getting creative there’ll be plenty of nature-themed craft activities too.
This is a free event and you can drop in any time during the day from 10.30am – 3.30pm, but booking is required. Suitable for all ages. Children must be supervised.
Follow the link to the Blackdown Hills Nature Reserve website
Down on the Beach
Fossil Hunting is loved by locals and visitors alike and you will be surprised how engaged even quite young children will be once they are set off on a fossil hunt. It really is worth joining an organised walk. There are a number of local organisations and individuals who run fossil walks. From Charmouth you can support the Charmouth Heritage Center which also has an interesting little fossil display and shop.
Rockpooling is another favourite activity for my girls. If you want some help identifying and knowing where to look for sea creatures, then join in with a guided event to explore life beneath our waves. These are being run daily by Seaton Jurassic.
Numbers are limited. Sadly not suitable for pushchairs or wheel chair users.
If you are in West Dorset you could head for the lovely Kimmeridge Bay where Dorset Wildlife Trust are running a rockpool ramble on Saturday 27th May. There is also a recently opened fossil museum in the village called The Etches Collection. Please note there is a toll road to Kimmeridge.
Fetes and Fairs
River Cottage Spring Food Fair
We have yet to try this but are planning on going this year. The event runs for 3 days from 27th -29th May. It promises lots of fun for foodies with demonstrations from RC chefs and tasting sessions, as well as gardening talks. River Cottage fans have a great opportunity to have a look around the HQ. It looks good for the kids as well with children’s workshops, donkey rides a falconry display and lots more – under 16s are free to enter.
Tickets must be bought in advance, more detail on the River Cottage website.
Exmouth Festival is a vibrant and contemporary, FREE, community Arts festival, now in its 21st year. Now attracting big names in the world of Music and Arts, there is also a large emphasis on supporting new and emerging artists from the world of music, art, culture and community projects.
With more than 50 music acts on offer as well as plenty more to enjoy, such as children’s activities, circus skills, theatre, arts and crafts, workshops, food stalls, bars, and a fairground. There are also a couple of open Mic sessions.
Events run from 26th May – 3rd June with more details on the Exmouth Festival website.
A traditional village fair held every year on Bank Holiday Monday in the glorious East Devon countryside. An afternoon of family fun, traditional stalls and games of chance, rural crafts, food stalls and music. More details and directions on the Stockland Village website
Ottery St Mary Food and Families Festival
Now in it’s 5th year, this community organised festival is a celebration of local food. A full day of all things foodie on Saturday 3rd June.
There will be a festival food market as well as cookery demonstrations at a main marquee plus, events at various locations around the town as well as cookery sessions for children. More details to follow on the Ottery St Mary Food and Families Festival website.
Local Attractions Half Term Events