10 Amazing Days Out at Christmas in Devon for 2023

Christmas in Devon is a wonderful time for a day out. From the Polar Express to the Christmas Garden Illuminations, there are plenty of activities to help you feel festive at this magical time of year…

Christmas in Devon

Christmas is a magical time and there is no better place than Christmas in Devon, to experience all the magic. There is so much to see and do in Devon in the run-up to Christmas, from exploring the merriest Devon Christmas markets to meeting Santa himself! 

This guide will give you 9 wonderful Christmas events in Devon, to add a bit of festive sparkle during the Christmas period.

Whether you are a Devonshire local or you are visiting on a winter break to experience Devon in all its Christmas glory, you’ll be sure to find a special festive activity to suit you. 

Days Out for Christmas in Devon

All times, dates and confirmations for these Devon Christmas days out correct at date of last update (October 2023). Please double check and pre book before you leave the house!

1. Have plenty of Christmas fun in Plymouth

4th November – 17th December 2023

Most years Plymouth puts on the Plymouth Christmas Show, and while this may still happen in 2023, nothing has been confirmed at the time of writing. If you still want to get into the yule-tide spirit in Plymouth though, there’s plenty to do:

  • Visit the Warm Up To Christmas Market on Saturday 4th November from 10am ’til 4pm. This market is in its 11th year, so they’ve perfected the ideal festive day out; get your Christmas shopping done with stalls carrying everything from beautiful jewellery to cookware to handcrafted decorations and much more. It’s free entry, taking place at Tavistock Town Hall.
  • See the Christmas Lights Switch-On on the 16th November in the city centre, which also has a great range of family-friendly entertainment… all for free!
  • Another great event is the Barbican Christmas Lights Switch-On taking place on the 18th November, where the whole family can enjoy the celebrations and help light up the Barbican for Christmas.
  • If you want even more Christmas markets, Plymouth Christmas Market is running from 30th November to 17th December 2023 in the city centre, with over 50 traders selling lots of goodies in cabins covered in fairy lights.

And if you’ve got the day to enjoy in the city, check out our day trip itinerary for Plymouth.

2. Take the Polar Express Tram Ride with Seaton Tramway

24th November to 24th December 2023

Take a magical tram ride through the North Pole to Santa’s house on a specially decorated tram at the Seaton Tramway during November and December. Enjoy a hot chocolate and a treat as you watch the pretty lights pass and get the chance to chat with Santa in his grotto. The kids will even get to take home a small gift from Santa himself on this Devon Christmas day out.

If you like a sing-song you can also enjoy some classic Christmas carols on the tram back. A round trip lasts around 2.5 hours and there are a limited amount of seats per tram so book early to avoid disappointment. 

Book your Polar Express Tramway Tickets here.

3. See the Christmas Garden Illuminations at RHS Garden Rosemoor

16th November onwards through to 30th December 2023

Christmas Garden Illuminations at RHS Garden Rosemoor

See the beautiful gardens come to life at the spectacular night-time light display at RHS Rosemoor Glow for Christmas in Devon. All the family can enjoy the stunning gardens and follow the Glow trail that incorporates both light and sound to bring merry fun to the grounds of Rosemoor. 

Experience a galaxy of stars, a tunnel of lights, and the Orchard shelter lit up at this wonderful Christmas event. You can even grab a tasty snack or hot drink and do a spot of Christmas shopping at any of the food and craft stalls that will be lining the trail. 

Ticket prices differ depending if you are a member, and should be booked in advance. Check the website for the dates that the light display runs.

4. Feel festive at the Mole Resort

20th November to 26th December 2023

Santa is coming to North Devon along with cocktail and wreath making workshops, Christmas carols, festive cheese and wine tasting and Yuletide campfires. All of these activities are in addition to the 125-acre countryside ‘playground’, which offers everything from indoor and outdoor swimming and woodland walking trails to a dedicated kids’ play are when you stay over.

The Mole Resort has also announced its Christmas Day Lunch (£95 per adult and £45 per child), Boxing Day Supper (£45 per person and £25 per child) and Festive High Tea (£18.50 per person) menus for guests to enjoy locally-sourced and inspired Christmas dishes during their visit.

So if you’re looking for a festive quiz night in Devon, some carol singing and festive entertainment for all the Christmas feels, visit the Mole Resort!

5. Check out Lanterns, Lights, and Luminations in Brixham

24th and 25th November 2023

Lanterns, Lights, and Luminations in Brixham

Brixham celebrates its annual Christmas lights switch-on with a festival that typically includes a large Christmas market, live entertainment, musical performances, choirs, and a lantern parade. Although none of the lanterns are launched, this popular Christmas event is full of festive cheer and after the big Christmas light switch on there is a fireworks display over the harbour. 

This is a great Devon Christmas day out to get in the holiday mood for all the family.

Follow the Lanterns, Lights, and Luminations Facebook event page for updates, and more information closer to the time. 

6. Catch a Christmas Play at Stiltskin’s Soapbox Children’s Theatre in Plymouth

2nd December until 24th December 2023

Create some magic and immerse your little one in the wonder of theatre with a spectacular Christmas play at the award-winning specialist Stiltskin’s Soapbox Children’s Theatre. The Stiltskin’s Soapbox Children’s Theatre is a great place to take your children to create some brilliant memories with a choice of two Christmas-themed plays. 

This year, ‘Penguin and Bear’ is suitable for children under the age of 8 years old, whereas ‘Igloo’ is suitable for ages 6+ and will be fun for the whole family. 

7. Listen to Carols in the Caves at Kents Cavern in Torquay

28th November to 14th December 2023

Experience Christmas underground at a unique candlelit carols service held in the depths of prehistoric caves at Kents Cavern. This unique Christmas experience is suitable for children and adults and includes a bewitching Christmas carol concert by the ‘Yours in Harmony’ group and the ‘Torbay Police and Community Choir’.

Once you’ve finished enjoying the concert in the Vestibule Chamber, you can take a candlelit tour around the caves before ending your adventure with hot chocolate or mulled wine in the Great Chamber. Tickets are on sale on the Kents Cavern website here.

READ MORE: Best Paddleboarding Spots in Devon

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8. Enjoy Festive Afternoon Tea with Santa at Boringdon Hall

18th December to 19th December 2023

Take the little ones to Boringdon Hall for Christmas in Devon, where they’ll enjoy a Christmassy afternoon tea and then have the opportunity to meet Santa in his grotto. The experience means each child will receive a gift from Santa himself, making this an extra special day out for the whole family.

Dates are limited for the Festive Afternoon Tea at Boringdon Hall, so pre-booking is advised. 

9. Go to the Christmas Toddler Takeover at Big Sheep Farm in Abbotsham

1st to 4th December 2023

One for the kids – head to the Big Sheep Farm in North Devon for Christmas Toddler Takeover. Join the ‘Jiggy Wrigglers’ for some singing and dancing to Christmas festive favourites, and even enjoy an indoor snowball fight, dance in the snow and meet the Jiggy Wrigglers Christmas characters.

This lovely farm based in Abbotsham also has sheep, goats, pigs, and ducks that you can wave hello to while enjoying the festive cheer. The farm hosts Christmas markets in the run-up to the big day and you can also buy your Christmas tree from the farm. 

10. Tuck in to a Boxing Day BBQ on the beach in Clovelly Village

26th December 2023

Enjoy a Christmassy day at a Devonshire beach at the Boxing Day BBQ held annually at Clovelly Village for Christmas in Devon.

Each year there is usually a huge hog roast and live music, with free access to the picturesque fishing village, which usually charges for entry. A brilliant way to walk off the feast of Christmas day and get a breath of fresh air while enjoying a mulled cider or a delicious hot chocolate. Before, of course, going to stuff your face all over again at the BBQ!

Also, Clovelly is without a doubt one of the prettiest villages in Devon too, and if you’re looking for some cosy glamping in Devon there are some great places!

Here are a few ideas for some of the best things to do on Boxing Day in England.

Christmas in Devon

There are so many wonderful Christmas activities in Devon to experience that the whole family can enjoy.

Devon at Christmas

Whether you are a Devon local looking for something different to bring some extra Christmas cheer, or you are enjoying a Devonshire festive break, there are so many different ways to celebrate.

From fancy afternoon tea with Santa to a Boxing day beach barbeque, whatever you choose to do in Devon, it will no doubt be a great Christmas memory. 

Quick List: 9 Amazing Days Out at Christmas in Devon for 2023

  1. Have plenty of Christmas fun in Plymouth
  2. Take the Polar Express Tram Ride with Seaton Tramway
  3. See the Christmas Garden Illuminations at RHS Garden Rosemoor
  4. Check out Lanterns, Lights, and Luminations in Brixham
  5. Catch a Christmas Play at Stiltskin’s Soapbox Children’s Theatre in Plymouth
  6. Listen to Carols in the Caves at Kents Cavern in Torquay
  7. Enjoy Festive Afternoon Tea with Santa at Boringdon Hall
  8. Go to the Christmas Toddler Takeover at Big Sheep Farm in Abbotsham
  9. Tuck in to a Boxing Day BBQ on the beach at Clovelly Village


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