Devon diary

What’s on near our Devon eco lodges

Local pubs: The Kings Arms in Winkleigh is open – not closed as some websites still say. The Seven Stars is another friendly pub in the village.

The New Inn, Sampford Courtenay, about 10 mins drive from the lodges and cottage. Good food. 01837 82247

The Lymington Arms, Wembworthy. Just 2 miles away – from the end of the drive keep turning right and you’ll get there. Ring for opening times 01837 83572 – Good restaurant.

What’s on near our Devon eco lodges in April 2017

Until 17 April RHS Rosemoor has a Lindt trail for kids. Solve all the clues to be rewarded with a Lindt chocolate treat. Free with normal garden entrance.

Similarly, nearly all National Trust properties will be running Easter kids events. Properties within 30 miles of the cottage and eco lodges include Finch Foundry, Arlington Court, Killerton House Lydford Gorge.

From 3-7th and again from 10-13th April Rosemoor has craft workshops Easter fun craft workshops dailiy at 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm. the one on 5 April makes paper anemones and poppies. Free with normal garden entry.
Rosemoor is 11 miles from the cottage and eco lodges (and on the bus route – combine with a trip into Torrington or a walk along the Tarka Trail.

On Friday 7 April Dila V and The Oddbeats are performing at the Plough Arts Centre in Torrington from 8pm. This is what the promo material says: “The Odd Beats unfailingly deliver an exhilarating, exuberant and intercontinental sonic journey. Their Bosporus-straddling blend of Turkish folk, psychedelic flair and irresistible Balkan dance beats comes with sinuous hints of Greek Rebetiko amongst other tasty world music flavours.” Gracious me! This is a standing (dancing?) gig but if you want to sit you can book seats on the balcony. Box office 01805 624624. Tickets £12. Torrington is about 13 miles from the cottage and lodges.

On Sunday 9 April Nashville-based roots music hotshots Woody Pines are at The George in South Molton (about 15 miles from our Devon farm). These Muddy Roots Records stars have won fans around the world. BBC Radio 2 presenter Bob Harris is a fan and regularly features tracks on his show. This is a collaboration between The George and the Plough Arts Centre Torrington, so you can get tickets via the Plough Box Office on 1805 624624 or via The George on 01769-572514. If you want to eat at The George ring and book ahead.

On Tuesday 11 April at 4pm Three Half Pints will have families giggling at the Plough Arts Centre, Torrington. Bad Guys is a high energy, interactive comedy show full of songs, silliness and slapstick. Derek, Ernie & Dick are really bored of being good. It’s just GOT to be more fun being a baddie. But being an evil scientist, pirate or cowboy is trickier than they thought. Can the bumbling brothers learn how to stay out of jail and be real Bad Guys? Perfect for families with children aged 5 – 11. Cost £7 per head for families with young kids. Box Office on 1805 624624. Torrington is about 13 miles from the eco lodges.

On 14 April the Hollocombe Music Club hosts an excellent 8-piece jazz ensemble ready to scintillate your senses. This band features a strong brass section plus guitars, drums and double bass and as several young players, including the irrepressible Jess Laver on vocals. This is mainstream, approachable jazz at its most vibrant. Don’t miss out. 7:30pm start in the Winkleigh Community Centre, Castle Street. Take your own drinks and a donation (£6+ please) towards costs.

Need more Jazz? Alan Barnes, Gilad Atzmon and The Lowest Common Denominator join forces for a fabulous jazz night at the Plough in Torrington on 15 April. They promise to give the American songbook a good shaking, dropping fruits of bop and post-bop and fermenting with outrageous originals from deep in the barrel. An evening of humour and superb music by a hand-picked band of stars. + Workshop 3.00pm – 5.00pm: composition and improvisation. All instruments and none. For all people who want to explore creativity. £10 (£6 for evening ticket holders). Main performance £15.

On Thursday 20 April it’s comedy night at the Plough when Steve Gibbins tells the real story of the railway in ‘Shunted Again!’. Gather all your worst journeys and expect much more. It’s the antidote to Michael Portillo. Who’d have thought the most difficult three words are not “I Love You”, but “Bus Replacement Service”? Tickets £12. Show starts 8pm.

On Friday 21 April there’s a Gallery Gig at the Plough (£5, 8.15pm). Debbie O’ Shea’s haunting and passionate vocals with Ania Job’s extraordinary versatility as a flautist combine with Rich Malfait’s powerful song-writing and vocal style. Playing an eclectic mixture of music including Americana, blues, folk and self penned songs and melodies, their music and harmonies will mostly touch the soul, but with the newly added skills of Colin on bass, there should be something to get your foot tapping too!

On 29th 30th April (and 1 May) there’s a craft fair at RHS Rosemoor where you can browse amongst stalls of beautiful and unusual hand crafted items showcasing a wealth of West Country creative talent. There’s also DevonArtPop, a group of professional artists collaborating together to bring pop up galleries across Devon. This exhibition celebrates the county of Devon and how inspirational it is for a wide range of art.

Coming up soon near our Devon eco lodges in 2017

On Saturday 6 May the Barnstaple branch of the Devon Wildlife Trust is organising a circular walk around Baggy Point (Croyde, about 28 miles from the cottage and eco lodges). The walk, which runs from 11:00am – 3:00pm, will explore past events as seen in the landscape. The walk is free, but a donation is always appreciated. Sorry, no dogs on this walk. Take a packed lunch. Call Paul, the organiser, for more info: 01271 812617.

The 7th May is International Dawn Chorus Day. Just open your windows early!

Also on 7 May there’s a guided walk to see the bluebells at the Devon Wildlife Trust’s Halsdon Reserve. It’s free, but a donation is always welcome. Meet at Ashwell car park – Grid ref: SS 557 132 for a 2pm start. Sorry, no dogs on this one please. If you want more info, ring Kevin on 01837 811030. Halsdon is about 8 miles from the eco lodges, just beyond Dolton village.

Some like it hot… RHS Rosemoor has a Devon Chilli Fair on 20 and 21 May with 30+ of the top chilli producers offering chilli plants, chilli sauces, chilli chocolate and fudge and chilli preserves to try and to buy. There will also be talks, live music and children’s activities. Rosemoor is 11 miles from the cottage and eco lodges.