With the summer holidays in full swing, Devon is buzzing with holiday makers basking in the sun and exploring the region after a difficult year in lockdown. And with wide range of family days out that include theme parks, zoos, castles and much more, the county is so popular amongst families holidaying with children. So, to make things easier for you ahead of your visit to the South West, we’ve listed our top ten family days out in Devon!
Crealy Theme Park & Resort, Exeter
Crealy Theme Park & Resort is an award-winning family Theme Park in Devon that boasts over 60 rides and attractions, with spectacular entertainment, live shows, and animals galore. It’s no wonder that Crealy Theme Park & Resort has been voted as the best day out in Devon for eight years running!
The resort offers the ultimate Devon family holiday with a fantastic range of accommodation including five star luxury hot tub lodges, themed glamping tents and over 100 fully serviced camping and touring pitches, all included with what warm Devon welcome. Located just minutes off Junction 30 off the M5 Exeter and with plenty of free parking, the team at Crealy have everything you could want from the biggest Theme Park in Devon.
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 – from little kids to adults, there’s something for anyone and 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. 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, Christmas Grotto and shows throughout the summer.
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!
Diggerland Devon, Collumpton
Diggerland is the ultimate theme park experience where children and adults alike can ride, drive and operate REAL diggers, dumpers and other full- size construction machinery. Get to grips with real JCBs and Komatsu excavators, take a head-reeling turn or two on Spindizzy, rise to lofty heights and enjoy the views on the Skyshuttle, enjoy an off-road ride on the Groundshuttle, or have a go on the Dodgems and Go-Karts!
There are indoor and outdoor play areas, coin operated rides and much more where younger visitors can let off steam while their parents can just sit back, relax and watch the fun… or join in! All parks boast a Diggerland Goodie Store where visitors can mark their day with a memorable souvenir as well as buy gifts, toys and other merchandise, and there are cafeterias that offer a wide selection of hot and cold snacks, meals and beverages.
Splashdown Quaywest, Paignton
Ideally placed in the English Riviera, with incredible views across the water and eight adrenalin-pumping water flumes and sides, it’s no wonder that Splashdown Quaywest is the biggest and most popular outdoor waterpark in the UK. Jump on a tyre and ride the visitors’ favourites Surf Lagoon and Raging Rapids which are likely to launch you of your rubber rings and send you flying down the flumes. If you’re with a toddler or fancy something a bit calmer than rapid waterslides, then relax in the swimming pool area which has plenty of space for sun bathing, let your little ones splash about in Tiddlers’ Lagoon and the Submarine Adventure slide – a mini flume ride they’ll love.
Castle Drogo, Exeter
Castle Drogo is situated high above the Teign Gorge. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens for self-made millionaire Julius Drewe. It looks ancient, but this remarkable building was only constructed 100 years ago, the last castle ever built in England! As a National Trust site, visit 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.
Paignton Zoo, Paignton
With over 2,500 animals across 80 acres, visitors to Paignton Zoo are in for a wild time! Located in Devon, Paignton Zoo is one of the South West’s most exciting visitor attractions. it’s a place to roam, discover and get in touch with your inner animal. And as registered education and conservation charity which is part of a worldwide network of zoos which breeds rare species, visitors to are helping Paignton Zoo to continue their important work for wildlife!
Go Ape Haldon, Exeter
Fly through the treetops against the backdrop of Dartmoor at Go Ape Haldon Forest which is great location for thrill seekers and family adventurers with 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. There are a children’s play area and a number of trails to entice the children into the forest including the Discovery Trail which has lots of fun features, regular resting points and the promise of stunning views along the Jurassic Coast. 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.
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.
The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth
No trip to Devon is complete without visiting The Donkey Sanctuary! There’s a tranquil corner of the Jurassic Coast near Sidmouth that hundreds of rescue donkeys call home, and they’re all waiting to meet you. The resident donkeys love to meet new people and their unique characters and stories are all ready to be discovered. This free-to-visit, award-wining attraction has something special to offer, whether you’re looking for quality time with the kids, or somewhere calming to kick back with coffee and cake.
Explore everything on offer at the sanctuary – all year round, whatever the weather. With activities, trails and talks, there’s so much to explore with your own herd. Friendly dogs on leads are welcome too!
Otters and Butterflies, Buckfastleigh
Buckfast Butterflies and Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary offers a great, enjoyable, educational experience, and for those with an interest in nature and wildlife, it’s a must! You will be able to get amazing photographs of the butterflies and also the otters who love to show off. Don’t forget your camera, as you’ll get amazing opportunities to snap 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!