Christmas in Shaldon and Teignmouth: Top Festive Activities
The festive season is supposed to be all about fun… but with manic shopping trips, family squabbling and a jam-packed social calendar, the run-up to Christmas can take its toll.
Yet in Shaldon and Teignmouth, two sleepy seaside hamlets along the south Devon coast, Christmas is an enviably calm affair. Throughout the month of December, a relaxed festive atmosphere seeps through the winding streets of these idyllic seaside towns, as local pubs and restaurants – draped in fairy lights and decorations – fill up with laid-back revellers. The beach, which remains open for walks, is especially beautiful on a crisp, sunny winter’s day.
Why not escape the city bustle this Christmas and cosy up in a characterful cottage in either Shaldon and Teignmouth. And while you’re there, here are a few festive highlights to enjoy.
Shaldon Singers Christmas concert at St. Peter’s Church & Teign Choral Christmas concert at St. Michael’s Church
December 6 and December 10
Join Shaldon locals in a Christmas tradition at the intimate St. Peter’s Church, a pretty turn-of-the-century stone chapel located on the banks of the estuary between Shaldon and Teignmouth. Listen to the singers performing sacred choral works, including the chorus from Handel’s glorious ‘Messiah’ and Bruckner’s ‘Locus iste’. Toward the end of the recital, you’ll be given the opportunity to join in, belting out some of your own favourite Christmas numbers along with the choir. Across the other side of the estuary in Teignmouth, St. Michael’s Church will play host to a carol concert of its own, which will also feature extracts from Handel’s festive mainstay, ‘ Messiah’.
Teignmouth Christmas Craft Fair, Teign Heritage Centre
Rub shoulders with locals at the Teignmouth Christmas Craft Fair. Browse the handmade crafts on display, many of which are produced by local artists. Pick up gifts, jewellery, cards, decorations and other trinkets. While there, you can also explore the exhibits at the Teignmouth and Shaldon Museum, which is also located on-site at the heritage centre. The displays trace local history, from the area’s maritime heritage to its time as a popular Edwardian seaside resort.
This charity event is one of several held throughout the Shaldon calendar, including an extremely popular regatta in August. The aim of this and the other events is to raise money for Shaldon charities and organisations. A true local event, the winter party is held under canvas at Café Ode, an award-winning restaurant with a focus on sustainable and locally-sourced food. Attendees can get in the festive spirit with a welcome drink, before tucking into a Christmas feast. The merriment will continue late into the night with live entertainment and music upping the festive fun.
Christmas Market, Shaldon
December 13 and 14
The Shaldon Christmas Market is a great place to explore for family gifts and festive food. Taking place in the evening near the picturesque Shaldon Strand, there will be stalls piled high with local crafts and Christmas goodies. Heat up frosty hands with cups of warming mulled wine and soak up the cosy atmosphere. Singers performing live outside the nearby Ferryboat Inn will provide a suitable seasonal soundtrack of carols and Christmas songs.
The Boxing Day three-legged race is an annual Shaldon tradition. The whole community dons their finest fancy dress and entrants race around the village two by two, stopping at each pub for a refreshing drink. Some enjoy a swift half pint, while others stick to soft drinks. Expect a jovial atmosphere and a lot of bright and colourful costumes.
Scrooge! Shaldon Theatre Company, Shaldon
December 27 to January 3
A fixture of the Christmas theatre scene, ‘Scrooge!’ turns back the clock to Victorian times. In south Devon, the Shaldon Theatre Company brings the timeless family tale to life on the stage. Based on Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ and set in dank Dickensian London, this musical version follows the exploits of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge whose hard heart is melted by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. During the interval, warm your cockles with mince pies and mulled wine.
New Year’s Eve at Café Ode, Shaldon
Celebrate New Year’s in Café Ode, a local restaurant that has been instrumental in cementing Shaldon’s place on the culinary map. Critics have praised both its delicious food and its eco-credentials – it was awarded Sustainable Restaurant of the Year in 2012. You’ll be welcomed in with a celebratory gin fizz, before ringing in the New Year in Ode’s stylish converted barn. Snacks and food will be passed around for party-goers and a live band entertains until late.
G.T. Orsman Butchers, Shaldon
The meat is the star of any Christmas table. Buying your Christmas bird from this Shaldon supplier has an array of benefits. Not only are you supporting a traditional butchers, but you can also rest assured that the bird you buy is free from antibiotics and growth promoters, and has been fed a good, wholesome diet. If you’ve got something more meaty in mind for your Christmas feast, they also stock an array of beef, lamb, pork and game cuts, as well as award-winning sausages. And it’s not just the locals who are fans; G.T. Orsman have also been awarded the title of best butchers in the South West from Taste of the West. Pre-order your Christmas meats here to be enjoyed in your comfortable cottage on the big day.
Tea at the Coffee Rush Café, Shaldon
Open every day except Christmas Day
Although not strictly a Christmas activity, tea and treats at the Coffee Rush Café is certainly an enjoyable winter warmer. The café’s baked goods have earned much praise and have even seen them reach the final of Devon Life’s award for Best Coffee Shop and Tearoom. Pull up a chair, order one of their freshly-baked cakes and wash it down with one of their delicious loose leaf teas or their velvety smooth hot chocolate that’s made with real melted chocolate.
Jazz Café at the Clifford Arms, Shaldon
Throughout the year
This much-loved local haunt is known for its smooth and sultry Jazz Café evening, which takes place on Monday nights. Book early to ensure you get a space as they are very popular among locals. They take place throughout the year, but with that festive feeling in the air at Christmas, we’re willing to bet it’ll be even livelier than ever.
Shaldon and Teignmouth are two towns on either side of the estuary of the River Teign. There’s a bridge connecting the two towns (or you can ride the historic Teign ferry) so a visit to either one of these picturesque towns can always include the other. So why not book your Christmas cottage on the Devon coast today with Discovery Holiday Homes.