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Get set for a season of winter magic at royal william yard

Posted on: 25 Jul 2018

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Alex Ryley
Site Editor
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From Pumpkin Challenges to yoga, children’s spooky Halloween activities to literature festivals – the award-winning ex-Naval Victualling Yard’s autumn and winter calendar has something for everyone.

The fun kicks off on October 23 when the restaurants and businesses at the Yard are challenged to make and display the best pumpkin for Halloween. Pumpkins will be posted on social media with #YardPumpkin. Best pumpkin wins a prize!

On Oct 28 Ocean Studios opens its (creaky, slightly spooky) doors to the little ones on for loads of children’s Halloween activities set to delight and terrify in equal measure.

The weekend of Oct 28-29 Lit Fest lovers and word fans everywhere are invited to Plymouth’s very own Literature Festival, where at Ocean Studios there’ll be two days of fascinating exclusive talks and workshops with local writers, poets and academics, including University of Exeter English lecturer Felicity Gee and Plymouth thriller writer Laura Quigley. On Sunday special guest speaker and actress Sarah Winman will be talking about the success of her bestselling 2011 debut novel ‘When God Was a Rabbit’

Illuminate, an event marking the anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, takes on a stunning new location in Plymouth’s historic Royal William Yard on Nov 24-26. For the first time ever, the former victualling yard will be lit up with dazzling light installations, immersive visual art and light projections, being linked to the Barbican through the travelling of light.
December brings a remedy Xmas present-buying fever, when the Yard’s hugely popular Sunday Good Food markets will go weekly for three weeks - Dec 3, 10 & 17 - for Christmas featuring local produce including turkey, mince pies and all the trimmings.

On December 3, thanks to the RNLI, Santa will arrive by lifeboat at the Yard's first Christmas market to meet the City's children. He'll be joined by a performance from the Kings Men Barbershop Chorus http://www.kingsmen.org.uk/

On Dec 16 & 17 Ocean Studios will also be throwing open the doors with the ultra hip Native Makers locally sourced creative market. Market go-ers will also be able to explore the creative goings-on at Ocean Studios, which provides affordable studios and workshop facilities for talented artists.

And Sunday, Dec 17 the special Christmas Good Food Market will feature a festive singalong on the Green, accompanied by local schoolchildren and choirs, kicking off at 3:30pm.

  • Pumpkin Challenge – 23 Oct – 1 Nov (#yardpumpkin)
  • Children’s Halloween activities – Oct 28
  • Plymouth Literature Festival – Oct 28 – 29 (#plymlitfest)
  • Good Food Market – Nov 5
  • Illuminate - Nov 24-26
  • Christmas Good Food Market – Dec 3, Dec 10 & 17
  • Native Makers market open studios – Dec 16 - 17 (@nativemakers)

Those wanting to really enjoy Christmas are also encouraged to There are also several regular events and restaurant offers running all the way up to Christmas.

Le Bistro Pierre is offering a six course set meal – Soiree Gastronomique - on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month for £22.95 and a two or three course dinner with wine on the first and third Wednesdays, from November 8, for £27.95

There’s a special pre-Christmas cheese and wine sampling evening at Le Vignoble on November 11 and a Carnival Christmas themed event at Las Iguanas for a South American yuletide feast on November 14.

The Grade 1 listed ex-Naval Victualling Yard is also home to a wide range of amazing restaurants and bars including Wagamama, Prezzo, Wildwood, Column Bakehouse café & stores @ Ocean Studios, Seco Lounge, Las Iguanas. Not forgetting Royal William Yard’s fantastic retail and beauty offering at ID Fashion and Envy. The Yard offers many creative spaces and art gallery’s including Martin Bush's spectacular gallery and Ocean Studios where visitors can buy artwork as well as a engage with courses and workshops in Photography, jewellery making, ceramics, glass and printing.

People who want to enjoy a fantastic Festive lunch while at the market, can also use the new Yard Card, launched for the public and regular visitors to receive exclusive discounts from many of the restaurants and retailers inside Royal William Yard. Yard Card sign up can be done on our yard card page - cards will be received in the post, followed by regular exclusive offers, deals, discounts and competitions.

The Yard is free to enter. Come by bike, boat, bus or walk and join in the fun.