Devon is blessed with miles of beautiful coastline to explore, but what are the essential things to do with the kids? Luckily, there are plenty of family-friendly activities for a wet day, from prehistoric caves to the UK’s largest aquarium. Devon attracts thousands of families each year to its miles of beautiful coastline, rolling hills and wild National Parks. Are you looking to spend a Family Day Out in Devon? This destination certainly offers endless opportunities for families who love the outdoors. From trekking the Tamar Trail to sailing in Salcombe. Watersports are a particular highlight here, so don’t forget to pack your wetsuits!
So are you ready to discover our favourite kids-friendly things to do in Devon?
1. National Marine Aquarium
Firstly, the UK’s largest aquarium has over 4,000 animals for kids to marvel at. Even parents will be impressed at the sheer size of The Eddystone Reef tank – the UK’s largest single-tank viewing panel. The Atlantic Ocean tank, home to large nurse sharks, sand tiger sharks and lemon sharks, is also the deepest in the UK.
Secondly, the National Marine Aquarium is a conservation charity with a mission of ‘connecting us with our Oceans’. So by visiting you are helping to protect the marine environment.
There are plenty of family friendly activities happening every day to entertain all ages, including shark feeds, toddler activity sessions, behind the scenes tours and even scuba dive trials around the aquarium.
Address: Rope Walk, Coxside, Plymouth PL4 0LF
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 5pm
2. South Devon Railway
Soak up the sights and sounds of a historic steam train as you travel on the South Devon railway – a seven mile stretch of railway running along the River Dart valley. One of the West Country’s most loved tourist attractions, train passengers can admire the beautiful scenery between the towns of Buckfastleigh and Totnes. Family friendly events run throughout the year including Days out with Thomas and Santa-by-Steam.
Passengers can buy a multi-ticket which gives them a return train ride plus entry to Totnes Rare Breeds Farm and Dartmoor Otters & Buckfast Butterflies.
3. Greenway House
The holiday home of Torquay born author Agatha Christie, this National Trust house is bursting with interesting memorabilia. Christie’s husband was indeed a keen collector, so there’s a great number of artefacts, as well as numerous manuscripts of Christie’s popular books. They were both very keen gardeners too, building up a collection of rare shrubs and flowers in the beautiful grounds, which overlook the River Dart.
Family visitors can choose between the archaeology trail, perfect for older kids, and the animal themed trail which is great for little ones. They can also tick off from the list “50 things to do before you’re 11¾. “
BabyBreaks Tip: The Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt is running every day during the Easter Holidays.
Opening Hours: Open daily March – October , 10:30 am – 5pm. Open weekends only 11am – 4pm from November – Feb
4. Kent’s Cavern Prehistoric Caves
One of the most important Stone Age sites in Europe, this UNESCO Global Geopark takes visitors back to a time when humans lived in caves. You’ll be surrounded by 400 million years of history as your guide walks you through the caves. You will see also inscriptions, examples of the earliest tools ever found in Britain, and the bones and teeth of Ice Age animals.
There are also lots of activities during the school holidays such as the current Dinosaur Quest. So make sure you tick this one off the list of things to do with your kids in Devon.
Address: 91 Ilsham Rd, Torquay TQ1 2JF
Opening Hours: Open Daily From 9am. Cave tours from 10:30 – 4pm
5. Golden Hind Museum Ship
This full sized replica of one of the most iconic ships from the age of exploration has become a family favourite feature of pretty Brixham harbour. Step aboard and find out what life was like on Sir Francis Drake’s famous ship. See where the crew and prisoners slept below decks, marvel at the huge cannons, and learn all about the treasures discovered and pirates encountered on the ship’s voyage.
Kids can walk the plank, have a go at rope tying and rope hauling as well as getting their hands on the full size ship’s wheel!
Address: The Quay, Brixham TQ5 8AW
Opening Hours: Open daily from spring to autumn. Opening times vary, check the website for more details.
Need more ideas for things to do in Devon with your kids?
6. River Dart Country Park
Explore a fun, active family day out within 90 acres of parkland at this campsite and leisure park on edge of Dartmoor. The award-winning River Dart Country Park boasts numerous adventure playgrounds for all ages and loads of activities. Including a high ropes course and kayaking. There’s lots of activities which can be done as a family, so parents needn’t be sidelined, you can get stuck in too! Meanwhile you may simply wish to enjoy the green surroundings and take a leisurely stroll and picnic.
Opening Hours: The park attractions are open all year round, excluding 18th Dec – 3rd Jan. For Camping & Caravanning the park is open from 1st April – 29th Sept 2019.
7. Buckfast Butterfly Farm and Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary
Situated just outside Dartmoor National Park this butterfly farm and otter sanctuary is a really popular attraction for families. Admire beautiful, colourful butterflies in an enclosed rainforest atmosphere and learn all about their lifecycle, before getting up close to three species of otter who love to play and show off. Knowledgeable animal keepers are on hand to explain all about the animals and their specially designed habitats. Finally, you will be guaranteed a great Family Day Out in beautiful Devon.
Opening Hours: Open daily 10am – 5pm
8. Pennywell Farm
An organic farm with views over Dartmoor National Park, Pennywell is certainly a fantastic family day out. Offering free rides, friendly animals indoor and outdoor play areas, plus hands on activities throughout the day. Kids will love watching the pig racing, feeding calves from a bottle and handling baby rabbits. Refuel with lunch at the café, it has a lovely outdoor seating area for those sunny days. Pennywell is really a great activity among things to do in Devon with your kids.
Address: Lower Dean, Buckfastleigh TQ11 0LT
Opening Hours: Open daily from Feb to October, 10am to 5pm
9. Walk the South West Coast Path
Covering four counties (Devon, Dorset, Cornwall and Somerset) and 630 miles, The South West Coast Path is the longest National Trail in the UK. Consequently, walkers from all over the world come here to admire the superb scenery, wildlife and geology along the way. Whether you fancy an afternoon stroll or a challenging hike, there’s a walk that will be suited to your family’s abilities and needs. If you’re travelling with a pram, check out the website below which lists easy access walks – a selection of routes free of stiles and steps along firm and level paths.
10. Day at the Beach
Devon’s beaches are arguably the county’s main attraction, and the reason why so many families choose to holiday here each year. The coastline is dramatically varied so you’ll find everything from craggy coves to wide sandy bays here.
Some of our favourites beaches include:
Saunton Sands -a large idyllic stretch of soft sand, popular with surfers (beginner and intermediate). Dogs are allowed on the beach all year.
Blackpool Sands – a beautiful and much photographed beach, this sheltered bay of shingle has calm waters and an award winning café.
Woolacombe – a spectacular 3 miles of sand, this is regularly ranked as one of Britain’s best beaches. The perfect place for watersports, Woolacombe has its own surf school, and sports centre offering kayaking and kitesurfing. There are also numerous walking trails to explore nearby.
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