Crediton is surrounded by gorgeous countryside dotted with picturesque villages, each with its own unique and vibrant community. In the first of a series of articles we invited Cheriton Fitzpaine resident, Becky Smith, to tell us what makes her village so special.
Nestling in a quiet Mid Devon valley and perfectly situated for access to the local market towns of Crediton and Tiverton, Cheriton Fitzpaine is an attractive and lively village with an excellent variety of clubs, activities and amenities.
Two pubs host great events throughout the year, including live music, drinks festivals and quizzes. If great locally-sourced food served in a warm and friendly atmosphere fits the bill, head to The Ring of Bells. For the local pool, darts and skittles leagues, and regular folk music sessions, pop into the Half Moon Inn
The historic church of St Matthew’s and the Methodist Chapel both offer a welcoming and inclusive space, hosting coffee mornings, exhibitions and arts events alongside regular services, Craft & Care sessions, Fellowship meetings, bell ringing, lace making - and Messy Church and Grans & Grumps for the youngsters.
The author Jean Rhys, best known for her novel Wide Sargasso Sea, spent her final years in Cheriton Fitzpaine and is buried in the churchyard of St Matthew’s. You can read more about her in this article.
Recently refurbished, the well-equipped Parish Hall puts on a full and varied yearly programme as well as being available to hire at very reasonable rates. Regular events include community breakfasts, bacon baps and a cuppa, seasonal fayres, an annual quiz,wine tasting, film nights and rural tours of comedy, dance, theatre and music.It also hosts the community defibrillator and the twice-weekly Post Office.
Right in the middle of the high street, the Community Shop an excellent range of necessities and locally crafted gifts as well as providing great opportunities for volunteers to up skill and meet people. The village is also extremely fortunate to have both a GP practice and dispensary part of the Mid Devon Medical Practice and an associated Friends group.
The list of village organisations, clubs and activities is long and varied. As well as those mentioned above, these include Short Mat Bowling, Card Club, various Book Clubs, Tai Chi, Garden Club, Drama Club, Bonfire & Fireworks Club, Carnival Club, Twinning Association, Welcome Club (lunches and outings), Walking Groups, Cheriton Ladies Evening Organisation (CLEO), Village Allotments and the village Football and Cricket Clubs (both with well-equipped club houses). A monthly newsletter is published to keep locals up to date!
The mobile library comes once a month, and a book shed in the Hayes is well-used by both adults and children. For families, there is the Under 11’s playground and Jack’s Acre, a central open space well-tended by the Parish Council, which is perfect for ball games and picnics. The thriving village school, part of the Exe Valley Federation, is centrally placed in a purpose-built building with great outdoor space. Owlets toddler group meets there in term time and the PTA put on regular events to which the whole community are welcome. Rainbows and Brownies also meet weekly in the Parish Hall.
For other culinary treats, the Wood-fired pizza van parks up weekly and the Thai van monthly. Thorne’s Farm Shop & Cafe is just a short drive away (or a decent walk over the hill!) serving food all day and locally-sourced produce and gifts. Thorne’s also hosts a number of events throughout the year.
Cheriton has a very healthy walking and dog community, with a number of public footpaths, outstanding views and quiet lanes. Excellent and varied accommodation is available within the village and just outside, providing a great base for exploring Mid Devon and for hosting over spill visitors or family!
For more information and regular updates about village events follow:
Facebook : What’s On in Cheriton Fitzpaine
Facebook : Cheriton Fitzpaine Parish Council