Christmas in Ilfracombe is always a very special time of year, as the community come together to celebrate the festive season at a host of family-friendly events with something for all ages to enjoy.
It is also a great opportunity for visitors to enjoy a few days away and experience the spirit of a community Christmas for themselves too, with local accommodation providing a variety of festive season packages.
Whether at a hotel, B&B or self-catering, why not escape to Ilfracombe this Christmas and leave your cares at home, or perhaps treat yourself to a few days away for ‘Twixmas’ between Christmas and New Year?
Christmas is about to kick off
The big event that kicks off Yuletide in Ilfracombe is most definitely Combe Christmas with three days of festive cheer beginning with the showcase gathering of the community on the High Street on Friday, November 25.
The evening starts with a wonderful Lantern Parade at 6.30pm, plus there will be carols sang by the cast of White Christmas, pop-up musical performances, stilt walkers and street performers throughout the evening.
Take in the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas as you stroll along with a mulled wine or mince pie, enjoying the festive displays in our fantastic local shops which will be open throughout the evening for late night Christmas shopping. There will be plenty of craft and community stalls, mouth-watering street food and of course all the Christmas lights lit up to create a very magical evening.
Combe Christmas continues on Saturday, November 26 and Sunday, November 27 at The Landmark Theatre with a Christmas market, live music and plenty of stalls from 10am to 4pm each day.
Over the weekend there is also a Christmas Tree festival at Pip & Jim’s Church on the seafront where you can wander around a celebration of trees decorated by Community groups of Ilfracombe.
Then at 5pm on the Sunday, all are invited back to Pip & Jim’s for a Community Carol Concert with a brass band to round off the weekend.
White Christmas the Musical
Soak up the spirit of Christmas with this all-singing, all-dancing cracker of a show based on the classic hit movie starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye.
With a three night run at the Landmark Theatre from Thursday, December 1 until Saturday, December 3, White Christmas is packed with fun, laughter, huge production numbers plus a dazzling score featuring Irving Berlin’s well-known standards including Blue Skies, I Love A Piano, Sisters and of course, White Christmas.
Presented by the talented crew of Small Pond Productions by permission of Concord Theatricals.
For more information and tickets, CLICK HEREChristmas shopping extravaganza
Ilfracombe has some brilliant independent stores which should not be overlooked when thinking about your Christmas shopping, with a huge choice of gifts and local arts and crafts to suit all tastes and budgets. Make sure you pick up an Ilfracombe Advent Calendar and get it signed by some of the many local independent retailers who are taking part this festive season, and be in with a chance to win a voucher to spend on the High Street in the New Year.
Calendars are available from The Gift Gallery, Combe Emporium, Mike Turton Butchers or Ilfracombe Tourist Information Centre.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without chocolate and Ilfracombe Chocolate Emporium is a rare treat for anyone with a sweet tooth!
There is a huge selection of handmade artisan chocolate, as well as a Chocolate Museum (complete with six foot tall chocolate man!) plus fudge and sweets, gift hampers and the opportunity to join a workshop to make your own chocolate – all perfect Christmas gifts!
The Gift Gallery offers oodles of unique gifts to suit all budgets from jewellery and homeware to decorations, lamps, candles, handmade bags, artwork and much, much more. It is definitely worth a browse to see what gifts you might find for those difficult-to-buy-for friends and family members!
For the personal hand-made touch, head to Fortythree in Fore Street which is Ilfracombe Artisan Shop, a collective space where local crafters and makers display and sell their unique creations. The range includes paintings, prints, textiles, glasswork, ceramics, paper crafts, jewellery, soaps and candles. There is also a wide range of hand-made greetings cards.
In the centre of the High Street, Chas N Pedlar – or more simply known as Pedlar’s – remains true to its roots when it opened as a department store 100 years ago this year, with an astonishing range of goods and gifts under one roof, from hardware, tools and practical items to household goods, clothing and exquisite porcelain. Plenty of time to browse is definitely in order!
Don’t forget the harbour and seafront area too – The Ilfracombe Art & Craft Gallery on the seafront will be open right up until January 2, 2023, except Christmas Day, and is a great place to visit to view and buy a huge range of artwork and crafts from well-known local artists and groups, as well as schools and clubs. They are offering 20% off during Combe Christmas weekend too.
For the full range of Ilfracombe’s many fantastic independent business and boutique stores, CLICK HERE and get shopping!
Eat, drink and be merry
Ilfracombe’s wonderful hotels, restaurants, eateries and pubs will be full of seasonal cheer in the run up to Christmas, so even if you prefer to be at home for the big day itself, why not treat yourself beforehand to a great Christmas lunch with all the trimmings at a variety of fine establishments?
Enjoy a couple of days away or catch up with old friends over turkey and stuffing (other roasts are available!)
In the countdown to Christmas, many of Ilfracombe’s pubs will be featuring live music and carol sessions, so pop down to enjoy a sing-song or simply listen.
To find out more, visit Eat & Drink – Visit IlfracombeJack & the Beanstalk – it’s panto time!
Christmas is not complete without a visit to the panto, so why not visit nearby Barnstaple for a rollicking giant good time at the Queen’s Theatre for its Christmas pantomime of Jack & the Beanstalk?
The shows runs from December 14 to 31 with a mix of matinee and evening performances.
Join Dame Trott and her son Jack for a packed show full of humour, songs and a very big beanstalk…
Will Jack marry his true love? Will good conquer all? Will Daisy the Cow have to be sold? How much did those beans fetch on eBay?
For tickets and information CLICK HERELots to see and do for Christmas in Ilfracombe and North Devon
Ilfracombe Museum is open daily right up until December 23 and is a great opportunity to while away a few hours by delving into the town’s past, as well as browsing through some fascinating – and often bizarre – exhibits and displays.
The museum often hosts events and family fun workshops too, so visit their website to find out more.
Don’t miss the Christmas Day Dip for the RNLI which takes place on the harbour at 11am. Come on down in fancy dress or a silly hat or a wetsuit or just come down to cheer everyone else on and help raise funds for Ilfracombe RNLI.
The region is packed full of Christmas events and activities that are well worth a visit and if you haven’t been to any before, perhaps this year is the time!
Get into the Festive Spirit at the National Trust Victorian house at Arlington Court. From wintery walks to after hours tours of the beautifully decorated house, there is something for everyone this festive season.
The Big Sheep is hosting Christmas Farmers Markets on December 3, 10, 17 & 22 from 9am to 2pm.
For a magical time, visit the Clovelly Christmas Lights on December 4, in aid of the RNLI. Starting at 3pm, a brass band leads the procession down to the harbour, accompanied by carols.
The Magic of Christmas is coming to the Milky Way Adventure Park on December 10, 11, 17 & 23. Visit Santa’s Christmas Cottage, journey through the snowy woods, get creative in the Elf Emporium and ride the Festive Train!
For steam buffs, Christmas and new year trains will be running on several days at Woody Bay Station, on the Lynton and Barnstaple heritage railway. Santa may well be around too! Visit their Website to find out more.
An evening at RHS Rosemoor in Torrington is a delight where you can immerse yourself in a magical trail of light and sound at their RHS Glow 2022 event.
Happy Christmas from all at Visit Ilfracombe
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