The story behind the place names


There is always something to see in Ilfracombe Harbour - but once a year, things get truly crazy!


Birdman is a day of celebrating all things related to flying through the air, in the water. It's a commemoration of soaring high, while plummeting downwards. Make sense? Of course not!


The basic idea is that groups of individuals build a marvellous flying machine, generally out of something that is not waterproof - cardboard is a favourite.


After weeks (!) of heavy-duty design work, strenuous engineering (and sellotape), and not a single opportunity for a test flight, they then hurl themselves off the Pier with their invention in the hope that they will fly to Lundy, or at least around the Harbour a few times. 


In a tradition which has spanned aeronautical engineering from the Wright brothers to the Red Arrows, the most important element of flying is looking good. Fancy dress is a must for all Birdman pilots. A ceremonial dance prior to leaping into the uknown with their flying craft is also encouraged.


No expense is spared in the quality engineering
of the flying craft.


At high tide on Saturday 21st August 2021, twenty flights will be made from the Pier. Will our brave aviators soar high? Will they plummet into the chilly waters of the Harbour? Who knows. We cannot possibly guess. But the clever money says the crowds will probably be better off looking down into the water, rather than up!


Birdman is an all-day festival is completely free to enter and offers live music, street food, family entertainment and more all based on the around the Harbour.


It all starts at midday and is set to finish at 10pm. The 'flying' will take place late afternoon when the tide is high enough (just in case some of the flyers land in the water...Surely not!).


If you are a first class engineer, and an A1 pilot, or you are just plain crackers, there is still time to enter a flying team! Leap over to the website for details.


Will he soar high? Of course he will!