One of the great things about taking a holiday in South Devon is there are so many ways to spend your time – whatever the weather and regardless of your budget.
The beautiful Devon countryside offers lots of opportunities for picnics and family adventures. For example you could hike out into the wilderness of Dartmoor, build sandcastles on a wide choice of clean, sandy beaches or cycle along the Exe estuary and enjoy the breathtaking coastal views.
And if it’s a tourist attraction you’re after, check out these five top choices for five perfect family days out in South Devon.
Ideal for animal lovers, Paignton Zoo is a great place to experience a close encounter with all kinds of animals. With new discoveries around every corner you could hear the big cats roar, marvel at the social interaction of the baboons or gaze in awe at the fearsome crocodiles and huge snakes in the indoor swamp. The monkeys and primates are not to be missed and the meerkat tunnel will fascinate younger visitors.
In addition, there’s plenty of indoor and outdoor play for children and lots of picnic spots as well as a selection of cafes and refreshment booths. Add in the Jungle Express train and regular “meet and greets” and talks, and you’ll quickly find you need a whole day to ensure you see everything.
Torquay’s coastal zoo and aquarium is the perfect place to go for a close encounter with penguins and other coastal species.
You can mingle with the penguins as they roam free on “Penguin Beach” and discover more about their habitat and lifestyle during the entertaining and informative talks at feeding time.
Next, watch the fun-loving otters scrambling around their enclosure before moving onto the South America fur seals sunbathing on the rocks. There are even underwater viewing stations where you can see the seals and penguins diving and swimming.
What’s more, Living Coasts is the only zoo anywhere in the world where you can see the rare Bank Cormorant and their beautiful dance routine.
Inside you’ll discover the aquarium and mangrove forest with its collection of interesting species including octopus, stingrays and an array of colourful fish. In addition there’s a fun sand pit and climbing wall for little ones as well as a colouring station and a small play area.
And before you leave, be sure to check out the well-stocked shop. It’s full of pocket-money toys, interesting souvenirs and quality gift ideas.
Pennywell is a multi award-winning Farm Activity Park located just off the A38 near Totnes.
With plenty of opportunities to interact and get stuck in, children (and parents) can have stacks of fun. You could meet a host of friendly farm animals, get lost in the willow maze and enjoy the collection of fun rides including tractor trips around the farm, the Rainbow Railway and the speedy Red Rockets.
Plus, because there’s a new activity to enjoy every half an hour (including animal feeding, pony rides and falconry displays) there’s always something different to try.
Woodlands Family Theme Park
Located near Dartmouth, Woodlands is packed with entertainment for all the family.
From the massive indoor soft play with dedicated sections for toddlers and older children, to the cool selection of exhilarating outdoor water rides, there’s simply no excuse to be bored. And in terms of rides, that’s just for starters!
In addition, the Zoo-Farm allows you to get up close to over 300 birds, insects and animals. And children can get hands-on at feeding time or have a cuddle with the rabbits and guinea pigs in their big comfortable barn.
Woodlands is also the home of an impressive falconry collection. See 33 different birds of prey in the aviaries, or step outside and be wowed by the spectacular flying displays.
Devon’s Crealy Adventure Park:
Located near Exeter, Devon’s Crealy contains over 60 all weather attractions making it an ideal choice – even if it’s raining.
Let the kids run wild as they climb, slide, jump and scramble through the indoor and outdoor play areas. And if adrenaline pumping rides are more your thing, you can get wet on the tidal wave log flume, ride the runaway train or swing to new heights on the pirate ship.
Then when it’s time for something a little calmer, you can head for the animal kingdom, guinea pig village or pets corner. Here you can groom the ponies, enjoy a cuddle with the rabbits and bottle-feed the lambs.
And if one day is not enough – simply visit Reception before you leave and find out how you can get 7 days for the price of 1 (see website for details).
As you can see, South Devon really does have something for everyone.
And if you stay at Welcome Family, you’ll find all of these fantastic days out are just a drive away.
The question is, which will be your favourite?