Step into summer with these activities and events throughout the South West

Penned on the 20th March 2019

Step into summer with these activities and events throughout the South West

Take a peek at our pick of what's on for May half term and bank holiday in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and the Isle of Wight...

Once we make it to May, the summer is nearly upon us and the sun is (hopefully!) shining – meaning the half term and bank holiday are the perfect time to get out and about. Whether you’re looking for some super-fun family-together activities in the great outdoors – which we are lucky to have a lot of in the West Country – or a local festival for just the two of you to enjoy, taking in the sights and sounds of somewhere new, that slowly but surely starts to feel like a real home-from-home, we’ve picked out the best of the bunch:

Cornwall
From art exhibitions to folk and music festivals to guided walks and family-friendly shows, here’s our lowdown of the best May events for you to enjoy whilst on a glamping holiday in the charming county of Cornwall. That is, of course, if the plentiful beaches, rugged moors and pretty towns/villages aren’t enough for you! Not to mention the water-sports (surfing and stand-up paddle boarding to name a couple) and scrummy local specialities (including Cornish pasties and cream teas)…we could go on and on!

Open Studios Cornwall - 25th May to 2nd June 
A one-of-a-kind event where 293 artists, craftsmen and designers open their studios and workshops to the public. 

Fal River Festival - 24th May to 2nd June
Established in 2006, this fantastic festival includes over 150 events such as music and drama, the arts and heritage, gig racing, swimming, walking and more.

Dick V Dom at the Eden Project – 25th May to 1st June
A fun-filled event including all of the usual Dick and Dom shenanigans, including a live show and a whole host of fun activities.

Bude and Stratton Folk Festival – 24th to 27th May
Concerts, sing-arounds, sessions, folk club, barn dance, open mics, fringe events, storytelling, workshops and a handful of kiddies events/activities are on offer at thus cheerful feel-good festival.

The Great Estate Festival at Scorrier House - 31st May to 2nd June
From major headline acts to camel racing, secret gin gardens and woodland silent discos and much more, there is lots to do at this exciting festival.

Looe Island Guided Walk – 1st June
Take a boat over to Looe Island Nature Reserve and join the warden for a fascinating guided walk, with the chance to spot wildlife (such as grey seals and great black-backed gulls) along the way.

Devon
Whether you fancy going to a festival or want to learn about some local wildlife, we have picked out the best events for you to attend whilst on your glamping holiday in delightful Devon. Perfect for mixing in with the year-round must-see attractions/destinations such as the various beaches, renowned World Heritage Jurassic Coast (who can find the most fossils?), historic towns, stunning English Riviera and rugged National Parks (Dartmoor and Exmoor). 

River Cottage Spring Food Fair - 25th to 26th May
This is a must for foodies and gardeners alike, chock-full of activities and family fun from chef demos to live music and foraging tours.

BrixFest, Brixham - 25th to 29th May
One of Brixham's top festivals, there is something for everyone here, including a grand fireworks display not to be missed!

Get hands on with history at Dartmouth Castle – 26th to 31st May
There is plenty to keep the kids entertained at this swashbuckling event.

Poltimore Festival - 26th May
This festival at the gorgeous Poltimore House is back for its second year, showcasing the best music, theatre, art, film and spoken word from the South West.

Medieval Madness at Powderham Castle - 29th to 31st May
Enjoy The Knights of Royal England for a jousting display not to be missed and many more activities to keep the children entertained.

What’s that bird at Seaton Wetlands – 1st June
A chance to explore the wetlands at Seaton, learn about the birds that call it home and more with the East Devon Countryside Rangers.

Somerset
Due to its fantastic location, bordering with many other counties, there is so much to see and do when on a glamping holiday in Somerset. It has both its own charm of permanent year-round places and attractions to visit, such as striking open countryside, wonderful beaches, ever-popular Cathedral City of Bath, Exmoor National Park and seaside towns such as Weston-Super-Mare, as well as a variety of events for all ages and interests, from fitness challenges to festivals and exhibitions.

Cadillacs and 'Copters at The Helicopter Museum - from 12th May
A must-see for any classic car enthusiasts, the display includes an array of classic American cars.

Wildflower wander family trail at Hestercombe Gardens - 25th May to 2nd June
Follow the trail and discover the stunning wildflowers in bloom, drawing each one along the way to fill in the gaps and complete your daisy chain. 

The Bath Festival – 17th to 26th May
There’s something for everyone at this fun-filled event, a celebration of music and literature with a varied programme of over 120 events!

Charcoal Burning Day at Hestercombe Gardens - 28th May
Join the estate’s team in the woods, who will be up in the woods using their restored burner to make charcoal – use it to draw or toast some yummy marshmallows, the choice is yours. 

Steam and Cream Tea on the West Somerset Railway - various dates
An enchanting ride on a steam train through the delightful coast and countryside whilst enjoying a traditional West Country cream tea - bliss!

Mendip Challenge - 2nd June
A great event to challenge yourself and raise money for charity at the same time.

Dorset
Well known for its two natural landmarks, historic Durdle Door and the layered cliffs of Lulworth Cove, beaches, untouched countryside and idyllic towns, Dorset is a great place for a glamping holiday. Just a few hours drive from some of the home counties so easily reached from London, there are lots of exciting events put on throughout the year too, from countryside county fairs to kayaking, fishing and foraging trips – something for everyone!

Lyme Regis Jazz and Blues Festival - 24th to 27th May
A must for any jazz and blues fans alike, this lively festival aims to deliver the best of live music, both new and traditional.

Blanford Forum Camera Club exhibition - 25th to 26th May
There will be over 300 images on display but which one will get the prize?

Sherborne Castle County Fair - 27th May
With a range of things to see and do, from music and dance to dog shows and dragon boat racing, you won't want to miss out.

Kayak, fish, forage and feast at Middle Beach, Studland – 25th May
The title says it all! Go sea kayaking and fishing along the beautiful Dorset coastline with an expert guide, before stopping at Old Harry Rocks to forage for sea vegetables and seaweed and taking part in some wild cooking skills.

Isle of Wight
Just a couple of hours from London and easily reached from the home counties too, where better for a get-away-from-it-all glamping break than the Isle of Wight. Feel the stresses and strains of modern life escape you as soon as you drive onto the ferry, ready to set sail. The island may be well-known for its beaches, seaside towns, fossils and the infamous ‘Needles’, but there are also plenty of events on through the year to keep you entertained.

Wild Flower ID trail at Bembridge Windmill - 25th May to 2nd June
Spend time in the great outdoors following trails and learning about some of the wild flowers found nearby.

Spring Gala at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway - 25th to 27th May
A rare opportunity to see a large variety of railway vehicles as well as a chance to take a ride round the sidings.

Wild West Week at Blackgang Chine near Ventor – 25th May to 2nd June
Have a rootin’ tootin’ time with activities for all ages, including wild west dance workshops and live cowboy show. 

Fancy a glamping getaway? Take a look at our offering of unique retreats and find your perfect base for exploring from.

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