Ottery St Mary Tar Barrels

A unique and exciting event in the heart of Somerset on the 4 and 5 November

One name that always embodies the spirit of Bonfire Night is Ottery St Mary. Their annual Tar Barrels event sees more than 80 brave people carry 30 barrels of burning tar through the streets of the town in a festival dating back to the 17th Century. This year the event is on from Monday 4 November to Tuesday 5 November. 

Now the only event of its type in the UK, the Tar Barrels are well-attended and extremely popular in the West Country. It's free to attend, but be aware that it is expected to be very busy and you'll be watching in close proximity to flaming barrels!

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Trains to the Tar Barrels of Ottery St Mary

The popularity of the event means that cars aren't able to access the town on the night, so there's no better opportunity to make use of public transport. Jump on a train to Honiton station and change there for the Stagecoach route 4 bus towards Exeter St Davids. On the day of the Tar Barrels they'll be stopping at Salston Cross, so it's a walk through Strawberry Lane to get to the town.

Honiton is served by regular trains from Exeter, Yeovil, Salisbury, Basingstoke and London Waterloo.

Things to do near Ottery St Mary

Exeter is just a short trip from Ottery St Mary, and a great place to spend a weekend. With its ample history and stunning cathedral, it's a great choice for a getaway. Check out our destination guide to plan your visit.

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