River Cottage Summer Fair, Axminster, Devon (August)

The team at River Cottage know how to put on a good old-fashioned traditional summer fair oozing with family appeal. The setting is beautiful, the views are lovely, so make hay while the sun shines and enjoy a unique taste of foodie Devon (with a bit of nearby Dorset thrown in, too).

Festival Flag flying in field at the River Cottage Summer Fair

River Cottage Summer Fair takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend

If you’re on holiday in East Devon in mid August, the River Cottage Summer Fair makes for a relaxing and delightful day out in the countryside.

With the feel of an old-fashioned summer fête, it’s an unpretentious, family-friendly event.

Serious foodies can make a beeline for the Cookery School to take part in a masterclass. We loved sitting down at long trestle tables in the farmyard and enjoying a delicious lunch followed by cocktails under canvas. Both charming and unique.

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Take a Look at River Cottage

If you’re a fan of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the summer fair provides a great opportunity to have a good look around River Cottage HQ through your own eyes instead of your TV screen.

You can tour the kitchen garden with its rows of vegetables, smell the tomatoes on the vine in the polytunnel, scratch the backs of the saddleback pigs and take a peek at its smart cookery school.


Have a Taste of River Cottage

Start your day with a coffee and a generous slice of cake (the coffee and walnut cake is wonderful). Eat it in the open tea tent and you’ll see children riding by on donkeys, others trying archery or watching a falconry display.

Sit down at the trestle tables in the farmyard and enjoy a tasty vegetarian lunch cooked for you by the happy team of festival chefs. It’s like being at a family celebration.


Pink and orange Festival flag a River Cottage Summer Festival in Devon

Colourful festival flags

Farm Tours River Cottage Summer Fair

Farm tours are run throughout the festival

Discover Local Producers

Although it’s technically in Devon, River Cottage sits very close to the Dorset border. Browse the stalls and you’ll discover unique food producers from both counties who are only too happy to invite you to taste their delicious wares.

Meet the team at Mr Filbert’s who sell raw Dorset honey; Quicke’s who produce delicious cheese; Conker’s Gin and the neighbouring Castlewood Vineyard.


Cake Stall River Cottage Summer Fair Devon

Delicious homemade cakes

Sweet peas in Tea Tent River Cottage Summer Fair Devon

Sweet peas in the Tea Tent

Watch the Pig Race

Don’t miss Farmer Dan rallying the pigs for their annual race along Pig Lane or the highly competitive welly wangling contest (the record is 25 metres).

Have a sit down and let the kids watch the Punch & Judy Show. Adults can relax in the beer tent or enjoy ‘Cocktails Under Canvas’. There’s plenty of musical entertainment, too.


Can’t make it to River Cottage Summer Fair?

River Cottage dining experiences and cookery classes are available to buy from Virgin Experience Days. 

meadowsweet flowers River Cottage Summer Fair Devon

Flowers from MeadowSweet

Young Chef River Cottage Summer Fair Devon

Eat lunch in the farmyard

  • The farm is located down a steep slope so take the tractor-trailer ride from the car park if you have mobility issues
  • Sign up to cookery masterclasses in advance to be sure of securing a place
  • If you’ve had a good time, come back for the Spring Food Fair at the end of May
  • Treat yourself or someone you love to a Full Day Cookery Class at River Cottage

Dog Policy

Mr Hendricks says, “They say they’re sorry but to protect their livestock, dogs are not allowed on the site.”

Netherleigh Bed & Breakfast in Axminster – just a six minute drive from River Cottage HQ, this B&B has three ensuite rooms and is well located for exploring the region.

How to Find River Cottage Summer Fair 

River Cottage Summer Fair

River Cottage Summer Fair

River Cottage HQ 

Trinity Hill Road, Axminster, EX13 8TB

The Foodie Travel Guide

The Foodie Travel Guide

Sally is the founder and editor of The Foodie Travel Guide. She travels around the UK and beyond in search of the best foodie days out, tasting experiences and delicious places to stay. She loves a glass of English sparkling wine, afternoon tea with friends and escaping London for gastronomic adventures.