Sidmouth FolkWeek has a campsite, a dedicated festival carpark, a festival bus service, catering…and lots of other things that will help you to have a great time!
Whether you’re visiting for the first time or have been with us before, we want to help you get the most out of your festival. The info on these pages will help you to find your way round, and tell you all you need to know about getting here and staying in Sidmouth.
Festival Bus Service
The regular ‘Festival’ bus service is being provided by the same popular Hamilton Grays team of the last few years. 2017 bus timetable to be announced soon.
Maps, FolkWeek Car Parking and Public Transport
We advise you to use public transport wherever possible. Stagecoach runs a bus service in the area, connecting Sidmouth with Exeter, Honiton and Ottery St Mary.
If you are camping, then we strongly advise you to use the Festival bus service. Walking on the road to Bulverton can be hazardous, especially in the dark.
Click the image below to see a map of how to get to the Campsite and the Bulverton Marquee.
Click the image below to see a detailed venue map of the town.
If you are travelling into Sidmouth for FolkWeek events in your own car, here is a list of car parks:
Festival Car Park at Bulverton
The Festival car park is situated just above the Bulverton Marquee. It allows direct access to the Marquee and avoids delays of finding parking in the town. Follow the signs from the A3052, down Bulverton Road, past the campsite. Use the one way system (following the ‘diversion’ signs), up Broadway, turn right into Bickwell Lane then left into Higher Greenway Lane. The route is along country lanes, so please drive very carefully, especially when wet. Exit signs will direct you round the remainder of the one-way system back onto the Bulverton Road just below the campsite. To access the town from the car park, walk past the Bulverton Marquee, down the hill to the bus stop just inside the Campsite entrance. Parking costs £4 per car per day for arrivals before 5.30pm and £2 per car per day after 5.30pm, and is free to season ticket holders. The festival car park is NOT suitable for anyone with mobility issues because the walk to the bus stop is uneven and sloping.
The Ham East, The Ham West and Roxburgh short stay car parks (EDDC)
The Ham car parks are on Ham Lane, just off the eastern end of the Esplanade (EX10 8XR).
The Roxburgh car park is on Russell Street.
Charges are made 8am to 6pm daily.
3 hours maximum stay: No return within 1 hour.
7 Day Tickets/Permits: Ticket/Permit valid for one visit only of up to 3 hours in each day. No return that same day.
Annual Parking Permits: Permit valid for one visit only of up to 3 hours in each day. No return that same day.
Manor Road car park (EDDC)
The Manor car park is at the western end of Manor Road, opposite the Westcliff Hotel.
Charging Period: 24 hours daily.
24 hours maximum stay: no return within 1 hour.
7 Day Tickets/Permits: 24 hours maximum stay. No return within 1 hour.
Annual Parking Permits: 24 hours maximum stay, no return within 1 hour.
Cricket Club (FolkWeek Donor)
The Cricket Club operates a car park during FolkWeek: charges are made for the day and part day.
Rugby Club (Diamond FolkWeek Sponsor)
The Rugby Club operates a car park during FolkWeek: charges are made for the day and part day.
Bedford Lawn car park (FolkWeek Donor)
Located next to the Bedford Hotel, on the Esplanade, at the end of the B3176.
Pay as you enter.
A word about motor homes … Each year the Festival organisers consult with the Council, police, fire service and local residents, to ensure that our arrangements are safe and considerate of the local community, as well as meeting legal requirements. We have become concerned in recent years about the growing number of people sleeping in motor homes on the streets, and camping on verges, during FolkWeek. Apart from the disturbance this can cause to residents, it is illegal and may cause a hazard to traffic and put lives at risk. We would therefore ask visitors to the Festival to ensure that you do not put yourself or others at risk in this way. The police have also asked us to warn you that they will be regularly monitoring the situation once again this year.
Please note motorhomes are only permitted to park in East Devon District
Council (EDDC) car parks between 8am to 10pm.
ACCESS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
We try to make the Festival as accommodating as possible to all people. Wheelchair access is available at most venues (see below) and our volunteer stewards are always ready to assist with any special requirements. If special requirements exist, such as the positioning of a wheelchair, it is the ticket holder’s responsibility to contact the venue to make sure that their requirements are known. Venue stewards will do their best to accommodate all such requests.
Requests may be made via Sidmouth TIC, in writing (Sidmouth Tourist Information Centre, Ham Lane, Sidmouth, EX10 8XR ) or via the phone (01395 577952), for a Carers ticket, by, or on behalf of, a disabled person requiring a carer to be able to attend events. Once approved, a carer’s ticket will be free of charge and gains entry to all events that the cared for person attends. (The Carers ticket does not gain entry to other events.)
All Saints Hall
All Saints Road. Wheelchair access.
Anchor Inn and Garden
Old Fore Street. Wheelchair access to the Garden.
Station Road. Wheelchair access.
Esplanade. Access is via three steps. A wheelchair ramp is available from the hotel management.
Access from Blackmore Drive or through the parish churchyard. Wheelchair access over grass.
See separate section.
Situated just opposite the Festival car park (for directions see Festival Parking) on the way from the Festival car park to the Campsite bus stop. Alternatively there is access by foot from Station Road (B3176) opposite the Campsite (steepish walk up lit pathway).
Carinas To be confirmed.
Chapel Street Hall
Chapel Street, off Church Street. Wheelchair access.
Esplanade. Wheelchair access.
Ham Concert Marquee
End of Port Royal. Wheelchair access over grass.
Adjacent to Ham Marquee. Wheelchair access over grass.
Pedestrianised area. Wheelchair access.
Festival Box Office
Next to the swimming pool and Tourist Information Centre. Wheelchair access.
Kingswood and Devoran Hotel
Wheelchair access via back door and via front of hotel and lift down to Kingswood room.
Corner of Manor Road and Station Road. Wheelchair access.
(Church, Church Hall, Lower Hall and Upper Room)
High Street. Lift into the Church and Upper Hall. Level access to the Hall. Short flight of stairs to the Lower Hall.
Heydon’s Lane. Access via stairs only.
Sidmouth C of E Primary School
(Vicarage Road Site)
Stowford Rise Community Centre
Chambers Close. Wheelchair access.
St Teresa’s Hall
Vicarage Road. Wheelchair access is available via doors on Temple Street.
Corner of All Saints Road and High Street. Level access, but narrow doorways.
Temple Street. Wheelchair access to bars and the garden.
Station Road. Wheelchair access.
Sidmouth is a small Regency seaside town in East Devon, between Exmouth and Lyme Regis. Surrounded by red sandstone cliffs and the green hills of the Sid Valley, it is a beautiful place to spend a few days, or a whole week, especially in the summer.
Sidmouth is a little gem, with well-preserved architecture and lots of little meandering streets and lanes to explore. It still contains old fashioned grocers, traditional butchers and bakers, and many charming shops where you’ll find one-of-a-kind jewellery, art pieces, and gifts. There are also a number of delis, sandwich shops (for that all-important crab butty!), ice cream parlours and wonderful pubs. Many of these local businesses are Festival Sponsors; our sponsors’ page and the Festival programme will tell you who they are. Please support them – they are vital to the Festival’s continuing success!
When you’ve shopped and need to drop, there are beaches to lie on, rock pools to explore and the sea to paddle in. Most visitors have great intentions of venturing further afield on the lovely World Heritage Jurassic Coast, but few actually get round to it!
Nearest railway stations are at Exeter and Honiton, and there are frequent bus services from both.
One of the best ways to enjoy the festival is to use the Official Festival Campsite. Bring your tent or caravan/motor home and set up on the Campsite with views across the valley, fresh air and a community spirit for a true festival experience.
The Campsite is located about 1.5 miles from the seafront, on Bulverton Road, B3176, and is open from noon on Wednesday 2nd August, until noon on Saturday 12th August. All-In-One and Week Ticket holders and Camping Passport holders can purchase camping throughout this period. Weekend, Day and Event Ticket holders can purchase camping for the appropriate night(s). Children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Camping is free for children under 12. The Campsite Family Deal is available for two adults and up to three youths.
For 2017, further enhancements will be made on the Festival Campsite including a revised campsite Hub area with box office, festival food, campsite office and general meeting area. Further washing up sinks with running hot and cold water are being installed, and there is a redesign of the toilet and shower areas as well.
We are also creating a Pedestrian Only area on the campsite for those campers wishing to have a quieter space in which to camp with no vehicular access. This will need to be confirmed on your booking form at for this year is only available to tented campers. Campers using this space will be able to drop and collect on arrival and departure at the top of the campsite and then free car parking is available at the festival car park adjacent to the Bulverton Marquee. The Pedestrian Only area comes as a response to guest comments wanting a camping area away from vehicles and roadways whilst still in the very middle of the campsite.
The Campsite provides for both tents and caravans/motor homes, although space is limited for caravans and motor homes so book in advance and early to ensure a space! There is a supplement for caravans and motor homes.
Please refer to the map at the Campsite entrance before pitching your tent, and follow the instructions from the Campsite volunteers. All campers must complete a registration sheet, giving their ‘road’ name and nearest plot number.
We continue to invest in the infrastructure of the campsite with hot showers, toilets and running water at various points across the site. Please do not leave taps running. There are toilet cassette emptying facilities at the bottom gate toilet complex. Additionally, the Campsite main walkways are lit with fairy lights at night to ensure your safety and make getting around the site that bit easier.
Because the Campsite is on the edge of the town we also lay on a great value bus service to enable you to get safely from and to the town. We would strongly recommend the bus, as the roads near the Campsite do not have pavements or street lighting so extreme care is required if you do decide to walk. If you really want to walk, please ask our volunteers on site who will give directions for the safest route into town.
We want to continue to make life safer and cleaner for campers during the week and also reduce the impact of any rain on the Campsite (occasionally, even in sunny Sidmouth we get the odd shower!). If you want to park your car by your tent, then please do NOT move your car for the duration of your stay. If you want to use your car during the week, then please park it in the Festival Car Park at the top of Bulverton Hill (a 5-minute walk from the campsite, and FREE to All-In-One, Week, Weekend and Campsite residents). Cars are allowed on site for unloading and then for loading up at the end of the stay. Should the weather be particularly inclement, campers will be asked to unload/load their tents etc on the designated hard-standing areas at the entrance of the Campsite; we will provide a limited supply of wheelbarrows to assist in the transportation of your equipment to your pitch.
Please DO NOT park your vehicle in local housing estates or the narrow lanes bordering the Campsite as this can lead to bottlenecks for local residents.
FAMILIES: we have a designated quieter family camping area; please keep the noise to a minimum after 10:30pm in this area.
A covered marquee is provided on site at the campsite for those guests looking to continue socialising later into the night. This includes a covered smoking area and is adjacent to the food concession.
A food concession will provide breakfasts and late night snacks as well as items throughout the day.
We do our very best to make the campsite as accessible as possible to all guests. If you have any specific requirements in regard to disability provisions, please do not hesitate to contact us prior to arriving.
We want to keep the rules for the campsite to the absolute minimum but if you could adhere to the guidelines below, it helps us run a better and safer site for all.
- Whilst we understand that groups of friends often want to camp together, the reservation of large areas of space by people (often those who arrive earliest on site) is not felt to be in keeping with the spirit of the Festival. Accordingly, the reservation of space for large groups is not permitted.
- Campers will be expected to comply with fire regulations. Please note that it is a condition of our licence that the lit roadways in the campsite remain clear at all times and that adequate space is maintained between tents at all times. We recommend 3 metres between tents, excluding “pup” or children’s tents pitched next to the family tent.
- Rubbish and recycling bins are provided at the top of the campsite, by the entrance and between the two fields. Please keep these areas tidy. Please don’t leave litter for others to collect.
- Fire buckets and barrels will be distributed across the site. Please DO NOT use these for depositing rubbish; you put both your safety and the safety of fellow campers at risk. Incidents requiring more than very minor remedies should be reported to the Campsite Manager.
- Dogs are permitted on site if kept on a lead and under control at all times. Please exercise your dogs away from the camping areas and clean up after them.
- For security reasons, access to and presence on the campsite is limited to those who hold tickets for the festival valid for the time you are on the campsite.
- For safety reasons petrol/diesel generators are NOT allowed on site. If you require power for a mobility scooter etc please contact us for advice.
- Gazebos are permitted but additional caution must be exercised if yours does not have a BS Kite Mark label attached, as it is likely that it will not comply with any fire-rating regulations. Additionally gazebos MUST be securely anchored down. Should gazebos come loose and cause damage to fellow campers’ property, the owner of the gazebo will be liable for any damage caused.
- All tents/caravans/motor homes must be sited as directed by the campsite staff. Please ensure that you do not set up outside of your designated area.
- Campfires and ground-level barbeques are not allowed. Barbecue units are only allowed after discussion with the Campsite Manager, so please check before buying food.
- Anyone behaving in a threatening, offensive or otherwise unacceptable manner will be removed from the campsite.
- Anyone found with illegal drugs will be ejected from the campsite and the substances concerned confiscated and handed over to the police.
- Finally, please remember that the site is returned to agricultural use after the Festival. Please try not to leave metal tent pegs or other debris and rubbish that can cause harm to the cattle that normally live there!
The Campsite office is staffed 24 hours a day throughout the event; if you need advice please don’t hesitate to ask.
Sidmouth Victoria Hospital provides a Minor Injury Unit available from 10am to 6pm daily including weekends. Overnight First Aid is available on the campsite at the main entrance.
Sidmouth FolkWeek is committed to the safety of all who attend and the campsite has been designed with your safety in mind.
Sidmouth FolkWeek has a fantastic reputation for a safe family holiday but please use common sense and ensure you keep your possessions and yourself safe when here by following the handy tips available on line at www.devon-cornwall.police.uk
There is a range of accommodation available in Sidmouth, from hotels and B&B to self-catering cottages.
Sidmouth Tourist Information Centre has information on local accommodation: (01395)516441
Here is a selection of links to hotels, B&Bs and cottages which you may find helpful, even for last minute bookings.
Help us plan for the future – Become a friend of Sidmouth FolkWeek
In 1955 a group of enthusiasts from the English Folk Dance and Song Society organised a folk dance festival to run during the first week in August in the Devon seaside resort of Sidmouth. About 100 people came. From these modest beginnings the event known by locals as Folk Week has developed, attracting visitors and participants from the UK and the rest of the world. Over fifty years later the Festival is still a vibrant and innovative event. The challenges we face The Festival is based mainly in the town, with a huge variety of events reflecting the diversity of the folk arts, including dancing, singing, music and storytelling. There are concerts, dances and ceilidhs with leading artists, and we provide an extraordinary range of workshops to carry on these traditions, with participants of all ages. Since the Festival was relaunched under new management in 2005, we have had financial support from many sources, including local authorities and businesses. Now we are looking to recruit support from individuals and groups with an interest in the folk arts.
By becoming a Friend of Sidmouth FolkWeek, you will help to make a contribution to the continued existence of the Festival and towards its development in future years. We are hoping to establish a community of people who value what FolkWeek has achieved in the past and want to see this continue into the future for others to enjoy in years to come. The money raised by the Friends will be put into a fund administered by Sidmouth FolkWeek Limited, a registered charity. It will then be used for specific events and projects such as showcasing young artists and the provision of workshops in the many aspects of the folk arts. Friends will be kept fully informed by email about how money from the fund is allocated. We are hoping to organise events for members during the year.
With an eye to the future, Sidmouth FolkWeek aims to reduce the environmental impact of the festival. We have put in place a number of initiatives so you can help us by doing your part, while still having an enjoyable, safe and comfortable festival experience. Since 2013 we have strived to continually improve our recycling standards and reduce power needs.
2017 will continue to see Sidmouth FolkWeek work towards minimising its environmental impact. From using energy efficient lighting and sound systems in our venues to working alongside a local waste contractor focused on a reduce, reuse, recycle model of waste management ensures Sidmouth FolkWeek takes its environmental standards seriously.
Many of our suppliers are sourced as locally as possible to reduce travel for deliveries and collection.
Recycling & Waste
Sidmouth FolkWeek has a dedicated team on site from the start of the event right through to the end of the dismantling phase working hard to provide additional waste bins, litter pick and generally ensure that the town keeps looking its best throughout the event. We provide over 120 additional bins across our venues to ensure everyone can deposit their litter responsibly.
All our bins accept different formats of waste, this is then sorted off site to reclaim items that can be recovered and recycled. This has led to a huge reduction in what we send to landfill with approximately 95% (Coastal UK Data) being recovered and recycled in 2016.
We work hard to engage contractors within the region rather than sourcing from outside the area. This means the local economy benefits and our delivery and collection transport is reduced as much as practicable. This also reduces our impact on the environment through reduced emissions through transport needs.
2017 sees the return of an old friend to the festival with SLX (previously Stage Electrics) returning to the role of technical supplier to the Ham and Bulverton venues. Their depot in Exeter allows easy access and minimises travel time. Having been involved since the 1980’s with the event it is great to see them back in Sidmouth.
Coastal Recycling are also based in Exeter and Limegreen Electrical are based in Ottery St Mary just 6 miles away.