How to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee in East Devon

With the bank holiday weekend only a few weeks away here are a few events to help you celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in East Devon. There’s a mix of ticketed and free events and activities for all ages. Many take place over the four days from 2-5 June while others have specific events running on different days. As always do check with the venue you’re planning to visit to avoid any disappointment.

Fingers crossed that the weather will behave itself. Time to get the bunting out and celebrate this special occasion.

How to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee in East Devon:

1. A celebration of Steam: Pecorama

2. Jubilee Week at Bear Town

3. Exmouth Festival

4. Happy Days Platinum Jubilee Show – Beehive

5. Elizabeth: A Portrait in Parts – Beehive

6. Sidmouth Jazz Festival

7. Exeter Street Party

8. Topsham Jubilee Food Festival

9. Exmouth Platinum Jubilee Trail

1: A celebration of Steam: Pecorama – 2-4 June

Enjoy unlimited rides on all the Beer Heights Light Railway (BHLR) locomotives – steam, diesel, and electric – with demonstration goods trains and mine branch shuttle. Trains will run all day from 10am until 3.30pm and a roving entertainer will offer tricks, storytelling, and much more.

On 2 June you can watch the grand unveiling of the new livery of the BHLR Diesel Loco ‘Jimmy’. 

Why not dress in your best 1950s outfit to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and pre-book a high tea picnic to enjoy in the stunning gardens. Other refreshments can be purchased on the day or bring along your own picnic.

2: Jubilee Week at Bear Town – 28 May – 5 June

Celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at Bear Town by joining the mission to locate the missing jewels and receive a reward. All activities are included in the standard admission price.

For more details and to book head over to

The Exmouth Festival includes music from local and national musicians

3: Exmouth Festival – 2-5 June 

The Exmouth Festival is a free community arts festival featuring live music, from local and national musicians, theatre, circus performance, art and food stalls. Held at the Imperial Recreation Ground there’ll be a variety of different activities across the four days.

Thursday  The festival grounds open at 4pm with food, craft and clothing traders and a bar tent. The entertainment includes Exeter-born singer songwriter and guitarist Sarah Yeo singing country folk music; retro pop trio and Boardmasters favourites Pattern Pusher; alt-folk group The Homing and modern roots reggae group The Barefoot Bandit. The evening finishes with Cut Capers, a nine-piece Bristol band.

Friday – The Big Top opens at 12pm with circus skill workshops and a family cabaret show at 4pm. Over on the main stage RA Dance Fitness will be showcasing some of their dances while La La Choir will sing a mix of a cappella, rock, pop, jazz and soul. There will also be performances from Devon-born artist Chris Ostler; country musician Poppy Fardell; rock reggae group The Papers; Exmouth-based singer/songwriter Ruby May Spencer; and nine-piece indie folk band The Jamestown Brothers. The night closes with gritty, edgy pop band Space.

Saturday – You get another chance to check out the Big Top and family cabaret at the start of the afternoon. Over on the main stage there will be groups including acoustic duo Fritillaries; Exmouth acoustic trio Cadence Road; Slowhand, reuniting for a special performance having entertained in the late 1980s with a mix of original hits and covers of West Coast Rock; Americana duo Rosso and multi-award winning hip hop act The Scribes. The evening closes with the 1980s group Musical Youth.

Sunday – Settle on your picnic blanket and enjoy the Big Jubilee Lunch listening to brass band SW Comms Band. They will be playing traditional brass music with some modern pop songs. The afternoon finishes with All Jazzed Up, Exmouth’s swing, jazz, and party band.

For full details of programme head over to the Exmouth Festival website

4: Happy Days Platinum Jubilee show: Beehive, Honiton –  2 June

The spectacular show Happy Days Are Here Again is a patriotic, uplifting, feel-good show, full of well-known songs that will touch your heart and make you smile. Watch this street party on stage and join in with a good old sing-song. The Happy Days cast will be taking you through the Queen’s decades on the throne with poignant images and recalling significant moments.

The show includes classics from various musical icons from the last seventy years, such as Vera Lynn, Connie Francis, Doris Day, Matt Monro, Frank Sinatra, and Glen Miller. There’ll be an old-fashioned knees-up with songs such as Roll Out the Barrel, Knees Up Mother Brown, and Lambeth Walk.

The atmosphere of the Last Night of the Proms will be recreated with plenty of opportunities to wave flags and join in the singing of songs such as Land of Hope and Glory, Rule Britannia and There’ll Always Be An England.

There are a limited number of special Premium tickets at tables along the front. The ticket price will include a Devon Cream Tea and an exclusive chance to meet the cast before the show. Tickets cost £21 for premium seating, £16 for the rest.

Premium tickets include a Devon Cream Tea

5: Elizabeth: A Portrait in Parts documentary: Beehive Honiton – 3 June

This unique and inventive feature documentary details the life of Queen Elizabeth II. The film is directed by the late, Roger Michell (Notting Hill, The Duke), and is regarded as a nostalgic, uplifting, and fresh modern chronicle of the Queen’s 70-year reign.

For further details and to book tickets head over to the Beehive website

6: Sidmouth Jazz Festival – 2-5 June

Coming to Sidmouth for the first time, the jazz and blues festival will offer ticketed and free concerts over the Jubilee bank holiday weekend.

Headline concerts at St Peter’s Church include blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter Ian Siegal, award-winning guitarist Antonio Forcione, the Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, direct from the famous London jazz club, the enigmatic jazz singer and pianist Joe Stilgoe, and the UK Queen of Soul, Mica Paris.

Additional events include music workshops and masterclasses, a subsidised outdoor performance stage at Kennaway House and Blackmore Gardens with local and regional music talent, free street music at various locations within the town, and live music performances at fringe venues including hotels, restaurants, and pubs.

To purchase tickets and for more information go to Sidmouth Jazz Festival

Bring your own picnic or click and collect from nearby restaurants

7: Exeter Street Party: 2 June: 11am-3pm 

Tables, chairs, and benches will be set up along the High Street for you to join in all the festivities. Bring your own picnic or click and collect from nearby restaurants. And don’t forget to bring your flags, hats, and bunting. Just to note that the consumption of alcohol on the High Street and Cathedral Green is not permitted.

Entertainment will come from the Liberty Sisters and Chris Pope who will be performing on the High Street. There will be various activities on Cathedral Green in the Military and Community Village and other family fun to explore.

The Exeter Jazz Orchestra will be performing at the Princesshay shopping centre while there’ll be other family activities to get involved in at the Guildhall shopping centre. 

8: Topsham Jubilee Food Festival: 2-5 June

Events across the town include a food trail, a food festival with local food stalls, street food, chef demos plus an evening outdoor party of local food, drink, and music.

The weekend will culminate with Nello’s Longest Table celebration – 350 tables along Fore Street, Topsham Quay, and Ferry Road. Sit down and share food and celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee

9: Exmouth Platinum Jubilee Trail – runs until 12 June

The Exmouth Platinum Jubilee Trail is a digital, interactive experience. Visit different story points around the town, collect digital stamps via scanning a QR code and take selfies with some of the characters you meet on the way.

The story trail starts at the Exmouth Leisure Amusements where you can visit seven of Sir Barnaby Beacon’s friends and learn about the history of the town and facts from the decades of the Queen’s reign.

For full details head over to the Exmouth Platinum Jubilee Trail website

If you’re planning to visit East Devon for the Jubilee Weekend do check out our Eat and Visit pages for more to do while you’re here.

Picture credit: Floral bunting (main picture): Photos by Lanty on Unsplash

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