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Tavistock Dickensian Evening 2020 - Cancelled

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Tavistock BID has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Dickensian Evening - scheduled to take place on Friday 4th December.


The event, which attracts around 5,000 visitors locally and regionally, is a popular part of the town’s Christmas season and, until 2019, included the Christmas light switch-on ceremony. At the recent meeting of BID Board Directors, careful consideration was given to the potential impact of the event on the safety of the local community, exhibitors and visitors.

Chris Palmer, Chairman of Tavistock BID, said ‘The tradition of Tavistock Dickensian Evening is a really special part of the town’s Christmas season and we are really disappointed to have to cancel it this year. Sadly, in the current climate, we cannot consider hosting an event which focuses entirely on bringing people into the town centre to visit businesses and enjoy an evening of entertainment. The whole spirit of Dickensian Evening would be compromised under current government guidelines and our priority is the safety of those who attend and who work during the event. We will focus now on how we can still make Christmas 2020 special in Tavistock despite COVID-19’.


The event is made possible by the businesses of the town centre who fund it through their BID levy. It not only brings colour and cheer to the town in the lead up to Christmas but also serves an important role in highlighting the integral part the high street plays in the town’s community life.

2019 saw a separate Christmas light switch-on event earlier in November which featured entertainment from a variety of performers and attracted  some 1,000 onlookers. The BID has taken the decision to also cancel any formal switch-on for 2020 for the same reasons around social distancing and public safety. 

Tavistock Mayor, Councillor Anne Johnson said: ‘Dickensian Evening is one of the highlights of Tavistock’s calendar. It is understandable that BID has decided to cancel this year’s event due to Covid-19, I know some people will be very disappointed but we all look forward to seeing it return in 2021 when circumstances should be much safer.’  


Tavistock Local – providing information for locals and visitors on what services are available in the town plus support for all during the COVID-19 crisis

Available on the Apple app store and Google Play

Tavistock BID (Business Improvement District) has released a Town app for all iPhone and Android phone users. As part of the marketing strategy for Visit-Tavistock, it gives locals, as well as visitors, an easy access guide to what services are available in the town. The app has been launched hastily in order to direct and assist people during the current COVID-19 outbreak and provides information and support pages for all, including links to local delivery services and Tavistock Locals Help support group.


The app will direct the user to the closest businesses to them while in town, but services can also be located by searching through the menus. Information, such as COVID-19 support for the general public and BID news for local businesses, is available and will be kept updated throughout the outbreak.


Manager of Tavistock BID, Janna Sanders, said ‘We have worked quickly to establish an app for the town which will guide and support people during this extraordinary time. The app is an easy way to see which businesses are still offering home delivery services, helping those self-isolating or who cannot get to the shops while also encouraging people to use their local businesses. Many high street businesses are facing a really difficult few months ahead and, with lots of them trying hard to adapt their model to the current situation, we wanted to be able to easily communicate what locals can still get from the town centre. The app is also a source of important information for those in need of further assistance, including a link to Tavistock Locals Help’.


Part of the BID recovery plan for the high street after COVID-19, ‘Tavistock Local’ will go on to develop into a permanent Town app with the focus on attracting consumers back to the town centre. Promotion and marketing activity will be high priority as will creating opportunities to enhance customer experience.


Janna added ‘Tavistock has a reputation for its feel-good shopping experience and it will be imperative to concentrate on that to help the town back on its feet. We will need to support those businesses that have been severely impacted and also on encouraging people back onto the high street. We are looking towards Autumn to host a series of promotions and events that will both build on the sense of community that has grown through this crisis and create engaging experiences for visitors. Plans are in the pipeline for a Cream Tea Street Party to celebrate our unique town’.


Businesses featured on the app will be updated regularly and the BID would like to encourage all local Tavistock businesses to register their details so that they feature on it.


For more information contact Janna via email

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Let’s move to Tavistock, Devon:

Dartmoor photobombs every street

Its beautiful architecture is mostly down to a spot of relatively benign dictatorship

What’s going for it? What a joyful town Tavistock is. Is there something in the Tavy? Or maybe it’s the town’s geographical DNA. The up-down topography, perhaps; the rollercoaster hills, Dartmoor photobombing at the end of every street? Its position, on the “other” side of Devon, means it’s rarely rammed with tourists and too far from anywhere much to have succumbed to chainstores and Frankie & Benny’s. Instead its centre is plump with (seemingly) perky shops, pubs, cafes and all manner of enterprises, like Creber’s grocery and Warrens bakery. Every street and alley is a delight, its beautiful architecture mostly down to a spot of relatively benign dictatorship. The Dukes of Bedford dominated the town until the 20th century, and the Bedfords were very partial to a grand design; it was they who commissioned Covent Garden’s piazza in London in the 17th century, bringing classical architecture to barbarous England, and they liberally peppered Tavistock with equally exotic delights. PS: you’re too late to fatten your goose for Christmas; Tavistock’s famous Goose Fair has just finished. What about a turkey crown from Iceland?


The case against Relatively off the beaten track, which has its advantages and its disadvantages. No trains (see below).


Well connected? Trains: not in the town, but, tantalisingly, five miles away in Gunnislake, across the Tamar in Cornwall. Services every two hours to Plymouth (45 mins). Driving: 20 mins to the A30, 25 to Okehampton and Launceston, 30 mins (if you’re lucky) to Plymouth. Buses: several a day connect to Okehampton, Plymouth and Dartmoor.

Schools Primaries: Whitchurch Community, just out of town, is “good”, says Ofsted, and St Rumon’s CofE Infants “outstanding”. Secondaries: Tavistock College is “good”.


Hang out at… The Cornish Arms serves some good upper-crust pub food; cosy, too.


Where to buy The historic centre has some lovely period homes, especially west, on, appropriately enough, West Street, and Plymouth Road up to Watts Road, including some very fine Regency houses; as well as up the hill around Bannawell Street for cottages. Search south of the river around Whitchurch Road, too. Large detacheds and townhouses, £450,000-£900,000. Detacheds and smaller townhouses, £250,000-£450,000. Semis, £185,000-£400,000. Terraces and cottages, £150,000-£275,000. Flats, £125,000-£325,000. Rentals: a few; a one-bedroom flat, £500pcm; a three-bedroom house, £800pcm.

The Guardian Newspaper 2019

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The Cornish Arms in Tavistock is celebrating

yet another culinary accolade

Having once more made it into the top 20 in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs Awards list for 2020.

The Cornish comes in at number 16 in the list, up two places on last year and rubbing shoulders with famous pubs like The Hand and Flowers, owned by Two Michelin starred top chef Tom Kerridge. The Top 50 Gastropub Awards are voted for by top foodies and hospitality experts, ensuring that the list really is decided by the catering industry itself.

As Food and Drink editor Nick Robinson says: ‘Getting on this list is the jewel in the crown for foodie pubs across the UK. It’s the place to be seen.’

Run by John and Emma Hooker, The Cornish Arms also holds a coveted Michelin Bib Gourmand for its high quality food offered at an affordable price.

As the former Chef of the Year in the Trenchermans Awards, John and his talented kitchen team use the best of local, seasonal ingredients in their menu - the pub prides itself on offering great beer and wine alongside its delicious meals.


Tavistock's Guildhall Open

Art Exhibition proves a big hit

Artists from West Devon and across the South West created a variety of pieces depicting their take on the Tavistock mining heritage brief for the exhibition, organised to celebrate the start of the Guildhall Gateway Centre project.


State of the art exhibition bringing Dartmoor's past to life

The free ‘Life, Death and Landscape’ exhibition at the Postbridge Visitor Centre features touch-screen games that allow people to uncover moorland secrets hidden for thousands of years.

Among the treasures waiting to be revealed are the unique goods found in a Bronze Age grave in 2011 on Whitehorse Hill made by Dartmoor National Park Authority archaeologists.