Six of the best things to do in Devon for families
Whatever an incredible holiday looks like to your family, Devon has something for you. Packed full of family fun, activities and attractions, you might find it hard to choose what to see and do. To help you decide, here are our top picks of things to do in Devon for families.
Outdoor adventure play: River Dart Country Park
If your family loves outdoor activities and a bit of mud, head to the River Dart Country Park. Set within 90 acres of Dartmoor, the park is packed with activities for toddlers, early teens and everyone inbetween. Get ‘lost’ in the fort maze, walk the plank (balance beam) at the pirate ship and have a race on the assault course. Let’s just say, don’t wear your best clothes.
A day ticket for adults and over 5s is £13.20, 3-4s are £7.50 and under 2s go free. Head to the River Dart Country Park website for more information.
'Real’ outdoor adventure: Tamar Trails
Get your family out to the Tamar Trails for a ‘real’ outdoor adventure. Set in the stunning Tamar Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and once the global centre of the copper industry. Explore the rough and rugged beauty of the area at your own pace or get stuck into some of the local adventure activities. Hire a mountain bike and hit the trails, grab a paddle and head downstream in a canoe, or climb up into the woodland canopy with Tree Surfers.
Prices vary depending on the activity, head to the Tamar Trails website for more information.
Wild animals: Dartmoor Otters & Buckfast Butterflies
Who could say no to getting up close with one of the UK’s cutest animals? For animal lovers, this small, family-run experience is one of the best things to do in Devon. Take a tour to learn about the different endangered otter species and the critical conservation work that help otters return to the wild. To reach the otters, you must pass through the wonderful butterfly house, an amazing exhibition of living, exotic butterflies and moths from around the world.
Adult tickets cost £10.95, children’s tickets (3 - 15yo) cost £7.95 and under 2s are free. Head to the Otter and Butterflies website for more information.
Not so wild animals: Pennywell Farm
A great choice for animal-loving youngsters, Pennywell Farm is home to some of the world’s cutest farm animals. You can bottle-feed lambs, hand-feed the herd of red deer and cuddle the world-famous miniature pigs. Alongside the animals, toddlers will enjoy the indoor and outdoor play areas and older kids will get stuck into the Red Rocket ride, assault course and go-karts. There’s a new activity going on every half hour, so you certainly won’t be bored.
Adult day tickets are £19.95, kids between 3 - 15 are £15.95 and under 2s go free. Head to the Pennywell Farm website for more information.
Magical woodlands: Haldon Forest Park
Fans of children’s author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler will find a magical experience awaiting at Haldon Forest Park in 2023. Amongst the trees, characters from the popular book “Zog” can be found with golden stars waiting to be won. There are activity stations all along the 1.5 mile trail and with the help of the dedicated app, your family will enjoy learning about the forest. Pack a picnic and get ready to explore the trails.
Entry to Haldon Forest Park is free. An all day car parking ticket is £8. For more information, head to Forestry England’s website.
Steam trains: South Devon Railway
If you have an aspiring steam train driver in your family, one of the best things to do in Devon is to visit the South Devon railway. Jump on board the vintage carriages for a 14 mile round trip from Buckfastleigh to Totnes Riverside station through glorious Devon countryside along the River Dart. Stop by at the museum and children’s play area or tie it in with a visit to the nearby Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies.
Adult round trip tickets are £18, under 15s are £12.50 and under 2s go free. Head to the South Devon Railway website for more information.
Bonus activity: House of Marbles
If you have a few hours to fill and everyone is losing their marbles, there’s only one place to go. The popular toy brand House of Marbles is based in Bovey Tracey and now boasts a glassworks studio, a restaurant, a games garden and various museums. Most importantly, there are marble runs like you’ve never seen before!
Free entry and car parking.
Space for all the family at Bearslake Inn
Nestled between the small market towns of Tavistock and Okehampton, Bearslake Inn is the perfect base to explore all of the best things to do in Devon for families. A friendly inn packed full of local history, Bearslake has six spacious en-suite rooms, a beautiful garden and stunning views over Sourton Tor. Make your family holiday complete with a stay at Bearslake Inn.