5 Reasons to visit Devon in the Autumn

  1. Autumn Walks and Cycling

Autumn sets Dartmoor ablaze with incredible burnt orange colours. The low rainfall at this time of year is perfect for going out on crisp, sunny days and walking across the moor (see here and here). You can also take on one of the numerous cycling adventures (see here and here) close to Melrose Cottage.

  1. Halloween Events

Halloween is such an atmospheric time of year to be out in the beautiful Devon countryside. Crealy Adventure Park’s “Spook-fest” runs from Saturday 23rd to Sunday 31st October 2021. It includes a witches trail, a scarecrow scare maze, “escape the creaky hotel” experience, a book of spells live show and even a free pumpkin for every child!!!

I love going to Strawberry Fields Lifton for their delightful afternoon teas, served on quirky miniature picnic tables. You will get right into the Halloween spirit if you go along to their pumpkin fest and pick your own pumpkin. Just don’t get lost in their spooktacular Halloween Maize Maze!

There is a full programme at RHS Rosemoor with their Autumn Carnival over half term 2021, you and your family will love exploring the grounds by taking part in the autumn garden trail, pumpkin painting, crafty leaves, sow and grow, and Halloween live disco!

  1. Bonfire events

Here in Devon, we don’t take bonfire night lightly – one of the most iconic Devon events in the Autumn is the Tar Barrels in Ottery St Mary. Taking the West Country tradition of torchlit processions to new heights, on 5 November each year, full-sized tar barrels are set alight and carried down the streets of Ottery St Mary.  This tradition is hundreds of years old. The exact origins are unknown but it is thought to have started after the gunpowder plot of 1605.  A similar, but slightly lower key, event is held in Hatherleigh which is slightly closer to Melrose Cottage and may be easier to manage if your children are younger as it gets less busy!

  1. Food and Drink festivals

Food is always a focus here at Melrose Cottage (take a look here for the perfect foodie itinerary), and Autumn is no different! If you like food, you will love Powderham Food Festival, just a short drive away at Powderham Castle. This features local food producers, cooking demonstrations, competitions, entertainment and activities. Or for something a bit different you could try Oktoberfest at Exeter Castle – with authentic German beer, delicious German street food and a traditional Bavarian oompah band!

  1. Great surf

The water is still warm in the autumn (yes, really!), the summer sunshine has warmed it up nicely for you to enjoy. The days are sunny with intense sunsets over the beautiful Devon beaches. The summer holiday crowds (and traffic) have left, leaving you to enjoy the waves without worrying about it being too busy. Ocean swells are much more consistent at this time of year, and in my humble opinions the biggest waves are always Autumn waves when the moon is working its magic on the sea! Beautiful white sand beaches at Bude and Widemouth Bay are within an easy drive for an exciting day trip from Melrose Cottage. Several excellent providers offer surf lessons for all ages and abilities, such as Big Blue Surf  or  Atlantic Pursuits.