Friday 31st May, 10.00am
Exmoor’s coast, with its rocky beaches and spectacular tides, has some great spots to search for tidal critters. Combe Martin beach has some of the best rock pools along this coast. Join a local expert to discover more about the inhabitants of these wonderful pools.
Hunting the Earl of Rone
Spring Bank Holiday
An undeniably unique event in the Combe Martin Calendar. Banned in 1837 for licentiousness and drunken behaviour, the Hunting of the Earl of Rone was revived in 1974. Nobody knows how old this custom is, but the exploits of the central character, from which the custom takes its name, can be traced back to 1607. The custom may be considerably older, even predating Celtic and Christian influences. Over the four days, the Grenadiers, Hobby Horse, Fool and villagers hunt through the village for the Earl of Rone, finally finding him on the Monday night. The hunt starts on Friday evening around the village, Saturday is the juniors day, led by children from Combe Martin School. the hunting continues on Sunday afternoon with the addition of a band. Monday evening sees the last hunting when the Earl of Rone is finally captured. He is mounted back to front on a donkey and paraded through the village accompanied by hundreds of villagers, reaching the beach at sunset. He is frequently shot by the grenadiers and falls from the donkey, only to be revived by the hobby horse and Fool, re-mounted on the donkey and carried onwards to his fate. At the final shooting on the beach, he is not revived but thrown into the sea.
1st Sunday in June
The traditional start to the strawberry season is early June. Combe Martin was, at one time, a large producer of strawberries. Grown and packed for resale, the strawberries were sold all over Devon and further afield. The tradition of holding a Strawberry Fayre on the first Sunday in June remains and will be taking place on Bowling Green where dozens of colourful stalls are erected to display and sell all types of homemade food and local crafts and of course, large helpings of Combe Martin Strawberries and cream with many a punnet taken home for Sunday tea. Celebrating a long history of market gardening in the sheltered village and a reputation for world famous strawberries, the fayre is as ever expected to be bursting with strawberry treats. The popular fruit will be available fresh by the punnet with cream, jam and all manner of tasty delicacies. Adams Hay/Bowling Green..Lots of exciting stalls including Charities, Gifts, Food and Crafts..Childrens Entertainment, BBQ, Raffle and of course the famous Combe Martin Strawberries!
Combe Martin Carnival
Early to mid-August
During the past 30 years, Combe Martin Carnival week has earned many superlative comments of endorsement from a nationwide following who make the annual pilgrimage. The night offers a wide variety of family-orientated fun, with the Carnival Parade as its highlight. The main parade is on the Friday and is an evening of excitement and fun, attracting thousands of onlookers and featuring a procession of colourful and imaginative floats, varying in size, theme and history some, like the Uncle Tom Cobley, which has entered the parade since 1911.
August Bank Holiday
The Grand Tour will be out on the open roads with the people of North Devon and Exmoor. The rally is great fun to watch with over 300 cars and raises money for the Childrens Hospice South West.
3rd Saturday of the month
Combe Martin Shammick Farmers Market is a real treat! Our village market offers all sorts, from local crafts, homemade preserves, pies, fresh vegetables and fruit, fresh meats, eggs, preserves, cakes, flans, pies, plants and so much more. It is held in the Village Hall every third Saturday of the month, from 9.30-12.00 midday.