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Summer Festival and Events in and around Plymouth

We had some guests go to Dartmoor Zoo otherwise known as Ben's Zoo and had a really great time. They had their kids with them who did a lot of "hands on activities" It's nice to see that the Zoo is doing well. I'm told it has a real family atmosphere, so once the Easter break is over and I've got a little more time I shall be up there to see for myself. If anybody's got some events they've been to in Plymouth and the surrounding area and have some good positive feedback let me know and I'll put it on the blog. "You've just got to go to Plymouth Zoo as it's soon to become the most famous Zoo in the world." And this is Why?

Filming has finished for the movie based on the book "We bought a Zoo", written by Benjamin Mee of Dartmoor Zoological park and directed by Cameron Crowe.

The cast are Scarlett Johansson, Matt Damon, Thomas Haden-Church and Colin Ford. Other well recognised names include Angus Macfayden, Patrick Fugit, Elle Fanning, John Michael Higgins and JB Smoove.

Dartmoor Zoological Zoo is at Sparkwell near Plymouth.

Events 2015

February 2015

March 2015

April 2015

May 2015

  • Plymouth Pirate Weekend – 16 and 17 May

June 2015

  • Armed Forces Day – 27 June
  • Royal Navy Volunteer Band Association Festival - 28 June

July 2015

  • MTV ‘Crashes’ Plymouth – July, date tbc

August 2015

  • British Firework Championships - 18 and 19 August
  • Flavour Fest – 15 to 17 August

September 2015

  • Ocean City Festival – 7 to 27 September
  • Plymouth Seafood Festival – 26 and 27 September

October 2015

November 2015

  • Thanksgiving – 26 November

December 2015

  • Christmas in the Waterfront – 6 December

Archived Past Events In Plymouth 

Now the Plymouth Summer Festivities officially starts on May 1st with events on the Hoe, Barbican and around Plymouth.

The main events for the Summer are:

Events 2012

14th January - 14th April    From Plymouth to Pole

13th May                         Sky Ride Plymouth

19th May                           Olympic Torch Relay

19th May                           Lord Mayors Day

26th May                           Disabled Activity Day

26th - 27th May                Visit the Matthew - Pirate Family Fun Weekend on the Barbican. A must see event.

1st - 5th June                     Plymouth Volksfest 2012

3rd June                            Plymouth Half Marathon

3rd June                            Two Handed Transatlantic Race

10th June                           Mega Ride

24th June                           Race for Life

30th June                          Armed Forces Day - National Event

16th - 20th July                  Music of the Night

21st - 29th July                  Port of Plymouth Regatta

27th - 30th July                  Plymouth Clasic Boat Rally

27th-29th July                    Barbican International Jazz & Blues Festival 

14th - 15th August             British Firework Championships

17th - 19th August             Flavour Fest

5th November                   Plymouth Hoe Bonfire Night

11th November                 Remembrance Day Service

15th November                Christmas Light Switch On

Here is a brief summary of what's happening in Plymouth this summer. It will be updated as we go along.

As a city Plymouth is unique in the number and range of events which it hosts throughout the summer months from May until September. To capture the spirit, and help co-ordination of the events for visitors, the Plymouth Summer Festival  was created a number of years ago.

Follow the link to see the headline Plymouth Summer Festival events on their own website.

In 2011 the city will play host to the following events already in the diary:

Events in 2011

26th March        University of Plymouth UDHC Bike Race

29th April            Royal Wedding On the Big Screen - City Centre Piazza

29th -2nd May   Barbican International Jazz & Blues Festival

Free music all over the historic quayside, showing off the local musical talent as well as International artists.

May 7th - May 8th  Plymouth Sail and Power Show - Queen Anne's Battery Marina.

21st May            Lord Mayor's Day

21st - 22nd May   The Bounty returns to Plymouth - Come and explore this fantastic tall ship that featured in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mans Chest, in Sutton Marina on the first stop of her European Tour.

28th May             Half marathon Fun Run and Schools Competition

29th May             Plymouth Half Marathon

4th - 6th June              Scott Centenary - Commemorating Robert Falcon Scott. A number of events have been planned to celebrate 100 years since Captain Scott's final birthday dinner.

University of Plymouth.

Captain Scott was born in Plymouth and lived in the City until he joined the Royal Navy at the age of 14. There are a number of sites in the City associated with him and his fellow explorers, most natable the National Scott Memorial at Mount Wise, Devonport.

The University are involved in a number of activities for this event. Please visit the website:

or email:

or Telephone: 01752 586005

On the 4th June 2011 a Conference Dinner will take place at Jury's Inn.

12th June            Mega Ride, The Hoe

18th June            Plymouth Summer Festival Gala Concert. Peninsula Arts music extravaganza at St Andrew's Church.

18th June            Operation Checkmate 

Men's Health Event

June 20th - July 3rd   Wimbledon on the big screen. City Centre Piazza.              

25th June            Armed Forces Day

June 25th - July 1st    National Squib Championships. Royal Western Yacht Club will host the National Championships with the race course set in Plymouth Sound.

7th -10th July             Plymouth Race Week.  A Waterfront extravaganza will be centred on Sutton Harbour.

22nd - 26th July   Plymouth Classic Boat Rally. Come and see all the boats that will be moored in Sutton Marina.

24th July                Vintage Bus Rally on Plymouth Hoe. A display of vintage and modern buses with other entertainments and stalls on the Hoe for its traditional annual event.

30th July - 7th August Port of Plymouth Regatta

Plymouth's biggest annual sailing event ,Activity afloat will be matched by a full supporting shoreside programme, with a daily prize giving and draw, and live music on both weekends.

August                 English Open Golf -St Mellion

16/17th August  British Firework Championships

The most anticipated event in the city's annual events calendar will see thousands of spectators heading up to the Hoe for two evenings of entertainment culminating in spectacular fireworks displays from six companies seeking the coveted title of British Firework Champions.

19 - 21st August    Flavour Fest

Plymouth’s local produce extravaganza Flavour Fest returns to the City Centre

19 - 21st August Finish of the Rolex Fastnet Race. Plymouth is once again the finish point of this prestigious event.

20th August        Sea Cadet National Band Contest

21st August         Classic car show on Plymouth Hoe. These classic American cars and Bikes can be seen on display throughout the day on Plymouth Hoe Promenade in this annual event in support of the Devon and Cornwall Ambulances.

3rd - 11th September   It has now been confirmed that the America's Cup is to be held in Plymouth. The event will be held from September 3rd 2011 to September 11th 2011 and will feature both fleet and match racing.

4th Sept               Devonport Park Fun Day and Victorian Fair. Celebrating the reopening of Devonport Park with activities including farmers market and petting Zoo.

17th Sept- 4 Dec British Art Show

The British Arts show will be  shown at five locations in Plymouth - Penisula Arts, Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, Royal William Yard and Plymouth College of Art

5th November     Bonfire Night

Bonfire and firework display Plymouth Hoe

17th November   Christmas Lights Switch On

Plymouth City Centre



University of Plymouth UDHC Bike Race - 26 March


Barbican International Jazz and Blues Festival

The Barbican - April 29th - 2nd May 2011

The 2011 Barbican International Jazz and Blues Festival will take place from April 29 through to May 2, we've just announced.
We'll be putting free music all over the historic quayside quarter of our beautiful city of Plymouth, showing off the music talent we have in this city as well as bringing international musicians to perform here.
We will be linking venues and eateries in a network across the Barbican, spreading the Festival further and creating a great atmosphere for all the family and highlighting the heritage of the Barbican.

For information about times and venues visit the Barbican International Jazz and Blues Festival website.


Lord Mayor's Day

The Hoe and Armada Way - Saturday 21st May 2011

The Lord Mayor's Day event is a sparkling celebration of Plymouth and its diverse people and will be jam-packed full of fun activities for every age, including a range of colourful floats, bouncy castles, charity stalls, music, various displays and much much more.

The theme for this year's Lord Mayor's Day will be 'To be annonced'

There will be a carnival event around the city centre will include a costumed or uniformed walking procession with entertainment zones in the Piazza, Guildhall and Civic Centre areas. Live music performances, displays, demonstrations and family activities as well as charity stalls and community group stands will all feature.

The Bounty returns to Plymouth

Sutton Marina 21st - 22nd May  2011

The Replica HMS Bounty will be in Sutton Harbour for a couple of days during  Lord Mayors day. She has been used in a number of films including Pirates of the Caribbean.

Plymouth Volksfest

Newnham Park - 27th May - 30th May 2011

The fourth annual Plymouth Volksfest will feature live music, trade tents and an exhibition of VW cars.

Music will be provided by some national performers as well as showcase the best in the city's live music talent.

For more information visit the Plymouth Volksfest website or email


Half marathon Fun Run and Schools Competition

The Hoe - Saturday 28th May 2011 • 15:45

In the weeks leading up to the 28th May 2011 you need to complete 12.1 miles which can be achieved

in set distances of a quarter/half a mile and verified at school.

You complete the last leg of your Half Marathon Journey on Saturday 28th May 2011 - on The Hoe.


NEW FOR 2011

60 Metre Sprint Challenge Finals

Registration at 13:00 Preliminary rounds at 13:30 Finals at 14:30

(e.g. U11G, U11B, U16G, U16B).

Each school entering the Schools Challenge are to hold heats creating Schools Champions

for both Boys and Girls in the above age groups.

These school champions will then compete on Saturday 28th May 2011

over 60 metres on Plymouth Hoe Promenade.

One boy and one girl from each age group to enter


Plymouth Half Marathon

The Hoe - Sunday 29th May 2011

There will be 5,000 competitors in this year's Plymouth Half Marathon, well established as one of the top events of its kind in the UK. There is also a fun run and schools challenge.

For more information visit the Plymouth Half Marathon website.



Plymouth Mega-Ride

Plymouth Hoe - Sunday 14 June

The Plymouth Mega-Ride is probably the UK's largest charity motorcycle ride with thousands of motorcyclists taking part. This year sees the fifteenth Mega-Ride leaving Lee Mill Industrial Estate and finishing on Plymouth Hoe where a range of entertainments and stalls will be based.

For more information visit the Mega-Ride website.


Operation Checkmate - 18th June 2011

Plymouth Hoe - Sunday 18 June

Operation Checkmate is a special men's health and leisure event organised jointly by our Events Team and NHS Plymouth.

The event will feature entertainment, prizewinning challenges and loads of tips, information and demonstrations on how to stay healthy and improve your fitness.

The Master of ceremonies for the day is comedian Mr John Ryan and activities get started in the morning.


10.30am: Plymouth YMCA fitness fusion

11am: Official opening

11.15am: Band of lads - dance display

11.30am: The girls - aerobics display

12 noon: Army fitness demo

12.30pm: Sports team quiz

1.30pm: Virtual cricket on the big screen

2.30pm: Band of lads - dance display

3pm: The girls – aerobics display

3.30pm: John Ryan - comedian

4pm: Plymouth YMCA fitness fusion

4.15pm: Prize giving for challenges

4.30pm: Close

For further information on what is taking place nationally please visit the Men's Health Forum website.

Plymouth Armed Forces Day 2011

City Centre and Plymouth Hoe

Saturday 22 to Sunday 28 June

Details: A week (22-28 Jun) packed with events to include ;

Tue 23 1930 - Gala Mess Dinner HMS DRAKE for Serving Personnel and Veterans (bookings in April).

Thur 25 1200 - Door of Unity Service Church of St Andrews. All welcome Sat 27 0930-1730 Veterans Centre in the Plymouth Guiildhall. Formally opened by the Lord Mayor of Plymouth at 1000.

Sat 27 1100 - Armed Forces Day Service Church of St Andrews. All welcome.

Sat 27 1930 - Armed Forces Day Concert Plymouth Guildhall.

Sun 28 All Day Plymouth Hoe- A salute to the Armed Forces and veterans who served in the Royal Navy, the Army, the Royal Air Force and the Merchant Navy. Displays, aircraft, warships and military bands.

Sun 28 1100 Plymouth Hoe. The RAF and Allied Air Forces Monument Service.

Contact -------- Name: CDR C.W.CRICHTON OBEWRN (RET)

Phone: 01752 307172





Plymouth Race Week

The Yachtsman's Regatta

Plymouth 7th - 10th July


The Round Britain and Ireland, the Rolex Fastnet and OSTAR and IRC SW Championships are just some of the prestigious sailing events that the Royal Western Yacht Club is proud to host. It’s this experience and heritage for first class race management that makes the RWYC’s new biennial event, Plymouth Race Week, so exciting. Billed as ‘the yachtsman’s regatta’, the four day sailing event is set to emerge as the South West’s most competitive sailing event, attracting amateur and professional sailors from across the UK.

For competitors, sailing out of Plymouth will be hard to beat. The more sheltered conditions of the Sound give way to open sea and minimal tidal influences around the waters of Plymouth create the perfect conditions for close, competitive racing. International Race Officer, Mike Pearson, will head up Plymouth Race Week’s race management team, setting challenging courses both inside and outside of Plymouth Breakwater. By including a white sail class, PRW11 also welcomes sailors that have less regatta experience, but would still like the opportunity to race in a first class regatta.

Timed to coincide with Plymouth Summer Festival, a full calendar of dazzling events will ensure that the shore side entertainment is every bit as spectacular as the sailing. The Red Arrows display team, fireworks night, Naval displays and a dedicated race village are just some of the attractions planned. Crew facilities are first class with competitors berthing in Sutton Harbour, Queen Anne’s Battery and Plymouth Yacht Haven marinas - right at the heart of the on shore action.

Our full racing and events programme and on-line entry form will be launched in September 2010. In the meantime, please register your interest if you’d like to get latest news and information as it happens.




Plymouth Regatta

30th July - 7th August

Plymouth's biggest annual sailing event ,Activity afloat will be matched by a full supporting shoreside programme, with a daily prize giving and draw, and live music on both weekends.

The British Firework Championships

Plymouth Hoe - Tuesday 16th to Wednesday 17th August

The most anticipated event in the city's annual events calendar will see thousands of spectators heading up to the Hoe for two evenings of entertainment culminating in spectacular fireworks displays from six companies seeking the coveted title of British Firework Champions.

Plymouth Flavour Fest

The Piazza, Armada Way, Plymouth - Friday 19 to Sunday 21 August 2011

One of the most eagerly awaited events in the Westcountry food and drink calendar returns to Plymouth again this year for a packed festival of great food, drink and entertainment.

Sea Cadet National Band Contest - 20th August - 2011



The America's Cup

10th - 18th September 2011.

It has now been confirmed that the America's Cup is to be held in Plymouth. The event will be held from September 10th 2011 to September 18th 2011 and will feature both fleet and match racing. The America's Cup is the oldest trophy in the international sport and is one of the world's leading sporting competitions - featuring the best sailors on the world's fastest boats, the wing sailed AC45 and AC72 catamarans.

The event will be televised internationally and is therefore an opportunity to expose millions of people to the sport and also to the natural beauty of Plymouth Sound and the vibrant culture of the city.

Here's to a fantastic summer for the Waterfront in Plymouth. Thanks to all those involved in making this happen - Plymouth City Council, Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, Conference Plymouth to name just a few.


University of Plymouth Graduation

University of Plymouth Graduation Ceremonies will take place on Plymouth Hoe from Monday 19th to Saturday 24th September 2011 inclusive.


British Art Show - 17th Sept - 4 Dec 2011

The British Arts show will be  shown at five locations in Plymouth - Penisula Arts, Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, Royal William Yard and Plymouth College of Art



Athenaeum Lodge guest house images