Devon is a wonderful choice for a family holiday. It’s sunny, safe and absolutely jam-packed with things for kids to enjoy. There’s something here for everyone; here are just a few of Devon’s host of attractions.
Devon’s seaside resorts are family holiday paradises. There’s Torquay, with its elegant promenade and activities to enjoy whatever the weather, and Paignton with its superb curve of safe, soft sand and the added attraction of a train ride back into the past on the steam railway line to Kingswear and Dartmouth. In the north, there’s charming Ilfracombe and the fascinating steep streets of Clovelly to explore. Devon enjoys some of the best weather in Britain, but even on a rainy day there’s sure to be something for the kids to do here.
Who could resist a collection of cute animals? Devon isn’t short of those! Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is one of the largest wildlife reserves in Britain, with animals ranging from fearsome tigers to towering giraffes and entertaining orangutans. Meanwhile, Sidmouth is home to The Donkey Sanctuary, where abused and neglected donkeys find love and affection from both staff and visitors. There’s also the Buckfastleigh Butterfly Farm and Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary.
Nifty National Parks
The county boasts two National Parks, Dartmoor and Exmoor, both of which make fabulous places to take the family. Dartmoor is the wilder, with some of the most extraordinary scenery anywhere in southern England. It’s important to treat such wild places with respect, so why not let your kids combine fun and learning at one of the county’s many outdoor activity centres? They can learn how to use maps and compasses, and then put those skills to use in orienteering challenges. Exmoor is a little less remote, yet still has plenty of beautiful scenery for everyone to enjoy.
Intriguing Inland Devon
Fantastic as the area’s beaches are, don’t neglect inland Devon, where you’ll find plenty more great things to do. Marvel at the graceful glides and daring dives of eagles, hawks and owls as they swoop and wheel in the regular displays at the Yarak Birds of Prey Falconry Centre in Cullompton or explore the ancient history of the region at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter. You could also enjoy a train ride along the stunning Tarka Line between Exeter and Barnstaple – look out for historic manor houses and mysterious follies along the way!
Diggerland in Cullompton is a theme park with a difference – here, you and your kids can enjoy driving JCB diggers! That’s not all, though: there are also dumper trucks, mini tractors and even robots to control! If prehistoric play is more your thing, then head for the Dinosaur Park at Combe Martin – complete with “Petasaurus Corner”! Devon doesn’t lack for thrills and spills either, with plenty of rides on offer at the Milky Way Adventure Park in Bideford and the Exmouth Fun Park.
Image credit: David Gibbeson Photography