Whatever the season, there is always plenty to do in Devon. And whether you’re a visitor or a local, picking the best thing to do in Devon with family can be trick, with so much to see and do.
If you’re planning a family vacation or a day trip in this beautiful region, look no further! In this guide, we’ll take you through the top family days out in Devon.
From the beauty of Lydford Gorge to engaging with the animals at Totnes Rare Breeds or testing your nerves at the adrenaline packed Crealy Theme Park , Devon offers a wide array of exciting experiences for the whole family.
Dartmoor National Park
Embark on a journey through Dartmoor National Park, a treasure trove of natural wonders. From its majestic tors to ancient woodlands, the park is an adventurer’s paradise. Discover family-friendly walking and cycling trails, ideal for exploring the charming moorlands.
Don’t forget to pack a picnic to savour and enjoy amid the breathtaking scenery. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Dartmoor’s unique wildlife!
Lydford Gorge, offers a different kind of experience. Carved by the River Lyd, this National Trust-managed site boasts stunning waterfalls and densely wooded areas, creating a sense of wonder and tranquillity. Follow the well-maintained paths, crossing rustic bridges, and take in the sights and sounds of this natural wonder.
Like Dartmoor, Lydford Gorge presents ample opportunities for wildlife spotting, birdwatching, and photography. Both are a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a connection with nature’s raw beauty.
Get ready to go on a global safari at Paignton Zoo, where over 2,500 animals from around the world await your visit. This award-winning zoo offers captivating animal encounters, educational talks, and feeding sessions for both kids and adults. The youngsters will love exploring the play areas and engaging with the fascinating creatures that call Paignton Zoo their home.
Paignton Seafront and Pier
While the zoo is a fantastic day out Paignton itself is a vibrant seaside resort town on the English Riviera, which beckons visitors with its iconic seafront and lively pier. The seafront promenade is a hub of activity, boasting amusement arcades, ice cream parlours, and traditional fish and chip shops. Take a leisurely stroll along the sandy beach, feel the warmth of the sun, and listen to the gentle lapping of the waves.
Paignton Pier offers an old-fashioned seaside experience with funfair games, thrilling rides, and a nostalgic charm that appeals to all generations. The pier also hosts events and entertainment during the summer months, making it a lively spot to visit.
Totnes Rare Breeds
Visiting Totnes Rare Breeds is a delightful experience for animal lovers and families alike. Situated in the heart of Devon, this charming farm offers a unique opportunity to interact with a variety of rare and heritage breeds of farm animals. From fluffy alpacas and adorable miniature ponies to friendly goats and quirky rare chickens, there’s plenty of fascinating creatures to meet and learn about.
The farm promotes sustainability and environmental consciousness, offering a glimpse into traditional farming practices and their importance in preserving biodiversity. The picturesque setting of rolling green hills adds to the overall ambiance, making it a memorable day out in the countryside.
Crealy Theme Park & Resort
For an action-packed day out, head to Crealy Theme Park & Resort near Exeter. This family-friendly park boasts a delightful mix of rides suitable for all ages, indoor and outdoor play areas, and even a water park during the summer months. Whether you choose the Maximus Rollercoaster, The Flying Dutchman or The Twister get ready for an adrenaline-fueled adventure with the little ones and enjoy a splashing good time in the water park!
National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth
Dive into the wonders of the deep blue sea at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, the largest public aquarium in the UK. Your family will be captivated by the mesmerizing marine life and interactive exhibits. The daily shows and educational displays will leave everyone with a newfound appreciation for ocean conservation.
Immerse yourself in the world of wildlife conservation at Exmoor Zoo in North Devon. This charming zoo is home to a variety of fascinating animals, including cheetahs, wolves, and meerkats. Engaging talks and animal encounters will provide an educational and entertaining experience for the entire family.
Babbacombe Model Village
Want to feel like a giant for the day? All you have to do is head down to Babbacombe Model Village in Torquay and experience the wonder of a tiny world. This enchanting attraction features intricately crafted miniature scenes and buildings. Kids and adults alike will be amazed by the attention to detail in this delightful model village.
The Big Sheep
Join the fun and laughter at The Big Sheep in Bideford. This unique family attraction offers a mix of animal experiences, indoor and outdoor play areas, and the renowned sheep racing! Whether you brave ‘The Rampage’ or opt for a more leisurely time on the Swan Lake Pedalos there is something for everyone. All the family can look forward to a day of thrills, cuddles, and smiles at this entertaining farm park.
Get hands-on with farm life at Pennywell Farm in Buckfastleigh. Here, you can get up close to friendly farm animals, participate in activities like goat milking, and cheer on your favourite pig during the pig racing extravaganza. A day at Pennywell Farm guarantees fun and learning for the entire family.
Step back in time and explore over 600 years of history at Powderham Castle near Exeter. With its magnificent gardens, deer parks, and fascinating castle tours, this family-friendly attraction offers a delightful blend of history and adventure.
River Dart Country Park
If it’s an action-packed day surrounded by nature you’re looking for, head to River Dart Country Park near Ashburton. Enjoy thrilling activities such as canoeing, zip lining, and a high ropes course. There are also gentler activities for the younger ones, including a pirate ship play area. Adventure awaits the whole family!
Salcombe, a picturesque sailing town on the coast of South Devon, offers an idyllic setting for exploration and relaxation. The town’s sheltered estuary and sandy beaches attract boating enthusiasts and sunseekers alike. Stroll along the charming waterfront, lined with pastel-coloured cottages, boutiques, and seafood restaurants, as you soak in the maritime atmosphere.
If its history and culture you’re after, visit Salcombe’s Maritime Museum, which delves into the town’s maritime heritage and local traditions. Take a boat trip around the estuary or try paddleboarding to get closer to the natural beauty and marine life that grace these waters.
Salcombe’s coastal paths and headlands present fantastic opportunities for scenic walks, with panoramic views of the sea and surrounding countryside. Whether you choose to spend a day on the water, explore the town’s shops and galleries, or enjoy a leisurely hike, Salcombe promises a delightful escape for all.
Devon Coastal Walks
Now that we’ve touched on coastal walks while exploring Salcombe’s treasures, it should be noted that the whole of Devon’s coastline is nothing short of spectacular (and that’s official). This part of England offers an array of coastal walks that captivate hikers and nature lovers alike.
The South West Coast Path, which stretches across the county, takes you on a journey of rugged cliffs, sandy coves, and sweeping vistas of the sea. As a part of that route you might venture along the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where millions of years of geological history are exposed in dramatic cliff formations and fossils.
You could also wander along the seemingly endless expanse of beaches around Saunton Sands in North Devon. Or alternatively you might find yourself strolling in awe amongst the beautiful scenery of Berry Head Nature Reserve.
Regardless where you choose Devon’s coastal walks will lead to charming seaside villages and towns, where you can indulge in fresh seafood and traditional cream teas. Breathe in the salty air and let the crashing waves create a soothing soundtrack as you embrace the beauty of Devon’s coastline.
Devon truly shines as an exceptional destination for family days out, offering a rich blend of natural wonders, engaging wildlife encounters, and thrilling adventures. Whether you prefer exploring the great outdoors in Dartmoor, marvelling at the exotic animals in Paignton Zoo, or delving into the deep blue sea at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, there’s something for everyone in this picturesque county. So, pack your bags, bring your sense of adventure, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the best family days out in Devon!