Christmas themed events & markets are becoming more and more popular in this country as people look to find ways to get into the Christmas spirit. Dartmoor is particularly beautiful at this time of year, regularly offering scenes of snow-capped hills and tors, providing the perfect winter backdrop for Christmas themed activities. We’ve listed five Christmas activities for the whole family to make special memories together whilst getting into the festive mood.
Setting off from Okehampton Station (Postcode EX20 1EJ) the Dartmoor Polar Express train ride makes a mystical round-trip journey to the ‘North Pole’, inspired by the Warner Bros hit movie The Polar Express. During the journey the characters of the story are brought to life with the conductor punching away at golden tickets, chefs dancing and delivering hot chocolate and cookies, and the strange former worker who calls himself the "King of the North Pole" wandering through the train. The story is read aloud and the music from the movie plays for all the children to sing along. Santa greets each child and presents them with the first gift of Christmas; a silver bell cut from his sleigh. The train ride runs late afternoon/early evening on selected dates and lasts for 1 hour from the time the train departs the station until it returns.
On the western side of Dartmoor Lydford Gorge is the deepest gorge in the South West, with two must see features – the Devil's Cauldron and the spectacular 30m White Lady Waterfall. This National Trust attraction is an amazing place to visit at any time of the year with the river, wildlife, plants and trees providing a stunning show. On Sunday 29 November 15 (11am-3.30pm) the gorge becomes the setting for a Winter Fayre. There will be Dartmoor Christmas trees, garlands, mistletoe and holly for sale along with local produce and unusual gifts. With a 'Where's Rudolph' trail and craft activities for children (small charge) all the family can enjoy the festive atmosphere. Usual National Trust charges apply with no additional cost charged for entry to the Christmas Fayre.
The market town of Tavistock, within West Devon comes alive at Christmas time, attracting 12,000 visitors who flock to be part of the magical Dickensian Evening. Held on Friday 27 November to coincide with the switching on of the town's Christmas Lights, Dickensian Evening is a truly festive experience. All of the shops in the town are open until 9pm for visitors to take advantage of some very different and unique Christmas gifts. The main streets are closed to traffic to allow for a wide range of activities – choirs, brass bands, a woodwind band, a fire-eater, jugglers, Morris dancers and children's rides. Many of the local shopkeepers dress up in Dickensian costume handing out hot mulled wine to their customers.
With a wide range of farmyard animals to see, inside and outside play areas, tractor rides, animal milking and feeding demonstrations and much more, Pennywell Farm is a great family day out on the southern edge of Dartmoor. Christmas at the farm is a special experience giving children and adults the opportunity to star in or watch a nativity play in the barn with the Pennywell animals (booking for this is essential). Costumes are provided turning your little ones into heavenly angels and shepherds watching their sheep. After the performance children will meet Santa in his grotto to receive their Christmas gift, with Santa’s family of reindeer waiting in the farmyard. The on-site café serves a number of seasonal specials such as mulled wine and mince pies to complete the festive fun.
Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre is a facility unique in the UK, designed to capture the magic of a bygone age through exhibits, vintage engineering and stunning artwork displays. It offers 45,000 square foot of indoor attraction that provides a unique opportunity to view its Fairground Heritage at a beautiful rural location in West Devon. On Saturday 12 December 2015 from 10.00am the site is transformed into a Christmas market with food and craft stalls, including 25 stallholders with a good mix of seasonal gifts. The market also has the opportunity to meet Father Christmas, face painting, mince pies and other festive refreshments.
These 5 wonderful Christmas activities and events are all based in or around Dartmoor, for more 2015 Christmas markets and events in rest of Devon visit http://www.devonheavenhampers.co.uk/blogs/news/55602693-2015-christmas-markets-and-events-in-devon.