Go back in time to when dinosaurs roamed
If you could travel back in time to prehistoric Devon, you wouldn’t find the region’s iconic wild ponies grazing on Dartmoor. Instead, you’d come face-to-face with dinosaurs! They roamed the dense woodland that once covered the area.
Tantalising traces of these awe-inspiring creatures – encompassing everything from fossils to footprints preserved for millions of years – have been discovered all around the South West, making Devon a top holiday destination for dinosaur enthusiasts of all ages.
If you fancy walking in the steps of a Megalosaurus or any of the dozens of other British dinosaurs, you’ll love our pick of Devon’s best dino-themed attractions. Not only are they great choices for days out, they’re within easy reach of our 4* Devon holiday park.
Watch Out for the Terrifying T-Rex at Torquay’s Dinosaur World!
Is your family brave enough to venture into the T-Rex Zone at Torquay’s Dinosaur World? Try not to disturb the fearsome female guarding her young. If she spots you, she’ll roar! Escape her and your next challenge will be to put your head in a T-Rex skeleton’s jaws!
Giving visitors the chance to get closer than ever before to life-sized dinosaur models is a major aim of this imaginative, interactive Devon exhibition. Your kids are welcome to sit on many of the reptilian residents, including Derek the Deinonychus, while the whole family can relive the classic scene from Jurassic Park in which Velociraptors invade a kitchen.
What’s more, a day out at Torquay’s Dinosaur World strikes the perfect balance between having fun and learning about prehistoric creatures. Budding palaeontologists can unearth dinosaur bones in the sand of the Fossil Zone, and everyone who completes the exhibition’s quiz is rewarded with a Dinosaur Expert certificate.
Search for Signs of Dinosaurs on the Jurassic Coast
No dinosaur fan on holiday in Devon will want to miss the Jurassic Coast, a natural wonder so amazing that it’s been selected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This spectacular stretch of coastline is nearly 100 miles long. It begins in Exmouth, runs all the way to Dorset and features the world’s most complete record of 185 million years of prehistoric life. Fossils and other signs of Devon’s dinosaurs are often discovered on the cliffs and beaches.
Be sure to stop off at Seaton Jurassic, an incredible, family-focused museum, where you can journey back to the Jurassic period in a special ‘time-ship’… See what the world was like when dinosaurs were in charge, and then return to the present to hunt for fossils!
You may even be lucky enough to see the skull of the Natural History Museum’s iconic Diplodocus at Seaton Jurassic. ‘Dippy’ will come to this Devon attraction in spring 2018.
Discover Dinosaurs’ Sea Monster Cousins at RAMM, Exeter
For more fascinating fossils, dinosaur lovers should head to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum. Its geology collection spans almost 500 million years of life in Devon and beyond.
Many of the items were found on the Jurassic Coast, and some of the most notable ones shed light on what was happening in the sea when dinosaurs ruled the land. The skeletons of Ichthyosaurs and Plesiosaurs, prehistoric marine reptiles, are unforgettable.
Also check out RAMM’s bird exhibits to learn how they evolved from feathered dinosaurs!
Complete the Dino Quest at Kents Cavern, Torquay
The labyrinth of prehistoric caves at Kents Cavern is one of the most significant attractions of its kind in Europe and a key part of the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark. Guided tours help tens of thousands of visitors every year to experience the wonders of Devon’s geological heritage (look out for the stunning ‘chandelier’ rock formation on the ceiling) and learn all about the creatures – and early humans – who called the cave system home.
One of the highlights of Kents Cavern’s 2018 activities programme is the dinosaur-inspired Easter Underground event (30 March – 15 April). Take part in the Dino Quest with your children – complete it successfully and you’ll discover a dinosaur in the Devon caves!
Kents Cavern is also the perfect place to dispel the myth that prehistoric people lived alongside dinosaurs. Humans evolved many millions of years after those formidable creatures walked the earth. Learn what came after the dinosaurs as you examine ancient tools, hear how cavemen hunted for food and make Stone Age-style handprints.