Don’t ask us where the summer disappeared to, because we don’t know either… we just know that it flew by! And now here we are in the blustery month of October, looking ahead at what we can do across Devon this autumn. The good news is, there’s much to do, whatever the weather! From theme parks, to National Trust sites, museums, aquariums, and even caves! Here are some of our favourite family days out across Devon this Autumn!
Woodlands Theme Park, Totnes
Woodlands Family Theme Park is the largest theme park in Devon and promises a fun filled family day out for everyone! With one of the largest and best indoor play areas in the South West, amazing water rides, a zoo farm and much more, there’s fun to be had rain or shine this autumn. If you’re looking for a range of different events to keep you busy through the year, then there’s plenty of opportunity at Woodlands. Events include special ticket discounts, Halloween themed rides and events, and a Christmas Grotto.
If you have more than one day and fancy staying at Woodlands, then check out their family campsite which is just a stone’s throw from the park and surrounded by beautiful countryside. With its own general store, gift shop, café and more, they’ve got everything you’ll need for a great family holiday, plus you get FREE entry to the theme park!
Castle Drogo, Exeter
Castle Drogo is situated high above the Teign Gorge. Whilst the castle looks ancient, it was only constructed 100 years ago, making it the last castle ever built in England! Visit the National Trust site with friends and family, spend the day strolling around the gardens that are buzzing with flowers and colour throughout the seasons.
With an on-site restaurant, shop, information centre and the stunning Teign Valley just around the corner, there’s plenty to keep you busy at Castle Drogo. Adults pay £8.00 for entry, whilst children pay £4.00, or opt for a family ticket for £20.000.
Go Ape Haldon, Exeter
Fly through the orange treetops at Go Ape in Haldon Forest. This is a great spot for thrill seekers and family adventurers with its hilltop to hilltop zip wires, and daring high level crossings. You may find yourself deep in the forest, but the 360-degree views from your treetop vantage point are spectacular!
With its many walking and cycling trails, it’s a busy park, popular with mountain bikers and walking groups. Take your pick from four walking trails and five high-adrenaline cycling trails, bike hire is available at the site. If the younger members of your group are new to two wheels, it’s also a great trail for beginner cyclists. Make a day of it – there are a number of picnic areas or grab a drink and bite to eat in the Ridge Café!
Otters and Butterflies, Buckfastleigh
Buckfast Butterflies and Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary offers a great, enjoyable, educational experience. For those with an interest in nature and wildlife – it’s a must! You’ll be able to get amazing photographs of the butterflies and also the otters who love to show off. Chat with David, Chloe or Keira who are pleased to help you make the most of your visit. Don’t forget otter feeding times at 11.30am, 2.00pm and 4.00pm!
The House of Marbles, Bovey Tracey
The House of Marbles is a splendid place to visit in Bovey Tracey, just off the A38 on the outskirts of Dartmoor. With no charge for admission and free parking, hours can be spent watching the many fantastical marble runs in action. Seek out new and exciting treats in the gift, game and homeware shop. It is a unique site with plenty for all ages and the whole family to see.
Explore the museums, learn about the history of pottery and view the bottle kilns that are still standing today. Be amused by the spiffing games of old, ponder the many generations who’ve played with the antique marbles on display and catch a glimpse of the history of glass before watching it being crafted in the onsite working glassworks. Stay for a bite to eat in the licensed Old Pottery Restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch with choices from the Chef’s specials board, or afternoon tea!
The National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth
Based in the Ocean City of Plymouth, The National Marine Aquarium is an Ocean Conservation Charity dedicated to connecting people with our seas. Their fun & engaging Ocean experts run the largest Aquarium in the UK and can’t wait to help you have a great experience. Your Aquarium visit will take you around the world’s Ocean, so get ready to connect with the deep blue from Plymouth. Explore the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef and everywhere in between! Their exhibits feature stunning underwater habitats and the animals that live there.
Kents Cavern, Torquay
Kents Cavern is Britain’s Oldest known prehistoric home. You are led by a guide through a labyrinth of underground natural passages used by Neanderthals and the very first Britons who occupied the caves. Here, Victorian explorers combined geological time and fossil remains to reveal the antiquity of humanity. Open daily for guided tours. See natural caverns, amazing formations, remains of mammoth, woolly rhino, sabre-toothed cats.
There’s an Ice Age woodland trail quest, shop and restaurant with views over the Ilsham Valley. Based in Torquay, the caves are part of the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark, 1.5kms from Torquay Harbour, close to the South West Coast Path. The caves inspired writers like Agatha Christie, Beatrix Potter and more recently folk-horror writer Adam Nevill.
Bygones is three floors of pure nostalgia for al ages! Whether it be History, Railwayana or Militaria, you will reminisce! Wander back in time, visit their authentic life-size Victorian Street, see the Blacksmith hard at work, smell the treats of the Sweetshop, listen to the hustle and bustle of Victorian life. Imagine yourself in the nursery, kitchen, parlour or even the dentist…
As you meander up to the top floor, hop on the 27-ton steam engine en-route, arrive in the 20th Century, take a break in their Station Café for a range of cakes and refreshments. Marvel at the completely refurbished model railway themed around English villages in WWI and WWII. Consider your ancestors in a WWI trench or taking cover in a WWII Anderson Shelter.
The Milky Way Adventure Park, Bideford
With acres of indoor fun and acres of outdoor activities, The Milky Way Adventure Park is a fantastic all-weather family experience! The park has a fantastic NEW 2020 addition – the Ninja Stars games arena with Tag Active scoring, designed to be fun for the whole family. Save Planet Earth on Ziggy’s Blast Quest, an interactive ride that’s a huge hit with all ages. Ride the Cosmic Typhoon roller coaster, whizz down the Gravity Rider donut slide, have a bumping good time on the Droid Destroyer dodgems, negotiate the maze and go wild in the Time Warp, North Devon’s biggest indoor adventure play area.
Watch top live shows featuring Merlin from Britain’s Got Talent, as well as fantastic displays from the North Devon Bird of Prey Centre. Little ones will love the Little Stars play centre, huge bouncing pillows, Cosmic Caterpillar ride, pottery painting and the mini-train.