Lots to see and do
Beaches, Harbours & Coves
CLOVELLY VILLAGE & HARBOUR
Discover the timeless village of Clovelly, where the steep cobbled street tumbles down past gleaming white cottages to the tiny, deep blue harbour where smugglers used to moor their boats. The walk down through Clovelly to the harbour is fascinating, however it is steep and cobbled, but you can ride back up to the top in the Land Rover after having a meal or a drink in the hotel on the quayside. The infirm can also go down in the Land Rover by arrangement – and meet up with you in the harbour.
A sight to behold – 3 ½ miles of golden sand backed by the rolling expanse of the Braunton Burrows. Plenty of room of everyone, the beach faces west and when the tide goes out it can reveal up to 500 metres more sand. Saunton is also renowned for some of the best surfing in the country. Saunton is currently the only beach in North Devon to have a Landeez all terrain wheelchair. This wheelchair allows those who are less abled to have full enjoyment of the beach as it is able to traverse all areas and to be used in the shallows of the sea. Easy to use and operate, it is available for hire on a half day, daily, or weekly basis. Advance booking is advisable. To book contact Saunton Sands Beach Shop on 01271 890771
Widemouth Bay is a very long bay with a varied and interesting beach. There is a large sandy area which becomes more exposed as the tide goes out, and this gives way to some quite amazing rock formations and rock pools. An area of outstanding interest to children, and indeed grown ups, with an enquiring mind. Facilities are good, with a large car park, a café and toilets. Widemouth Bay also attracts a lot of surfers. Life guards are on duty during the summer.
VALLEY OF THE ROCKS
The Coast Path from Lynton to the famous Valley of Rocks is relatively level and has been surfaced with tarmac to make it easier for everyone to use. Whilst the path description is based on starting in Lynton, the walk can be shortened by starting in one of the car parks in the Valley of Rocks, and just doing the loop. The start point is the famous Lynmouth/Lynton cliff railway which is still to this day, powered by water.
In spite of its picturesque ‘pretty as a postcard’ feel, the historic port of Brixham is still one of the busiest commercial fishing ports in England. Every day dozens of trawlers unload their catch of squid, crabs, lobster, muscles & plaice. Much of the bounty is bought by local restaurants and the rest heads for top hotels and restaurants in London and the Continent. Visitors can view the hustle and bustle of activity and the fish market from an elevated platform on the harbour side. Many of the harbour side pubs are full of local fishermen who are never shy about sharing a few tales with visitors. Because it is a real working port, Brixham has avoided becoming a quaint, twee tourist trap.
Located off the coast of Devon, this granite outcrop lies between England and America and is famed for its marine reserve. Get up early to catch the boat from Bideford Quay for a wonderful day on the island. Very steep walk up from the boat so pre-book the Land Rover to take you up if you are at all infirm. Level enough once at the top.
Dartmoor Zoological Park is a 30 acre zoo near the village of Sparkwell, on the south-west edge of Dartmoor. Originally opened in 1968 it was forced to close in 2006 and was bought by Benjamin Mee and his 2 children who reopened the zoo in 2007, later writing a book about their experiences called 'We Bought A Zoo'. A 2011 film followed looseley based on the book. Featuring Amur Tigers, African Lions, Jaguars and Cheetahs plus many other birds and reptiles.
DINGLES FAIRGROUND HERITAGE CENTRE
Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre is the home of the National Fairground Collection. It is a facility unique in the UK, designed to capture the magic of a bygone age through exhibits, vintage engineering and stunning artwork displays. Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre is a 45,000 square foot indoor attraction that provides a unique opportunity to view and interact with our Fairground Heritage in a beautiful rural location. Come and enjoy All the Fun of the Vintage Fair - our historic rides, shows and stalls operate for your enjoyment, and at a small additional cost. Vintage Penny Arcade, Cafe, Gift Shop. Free Parking. See our website for further information and details of special events
Diggerland is the Ultimate adventure park experience where children and adults can drive REAL construction machinery. With over 15 rides and drives there’s something for everyone at Diggerland. For the daredevil in you, take a ride on ‘Spindizzy’, unique to Diggerland; prepare to feel the ultimate adrenaline rush on this world famous attraction. Want to get some real JCB experience? Try out your excavating skills on our giant dirt diggers, or drive a monster JCB 3CX. Or you can relax and take in the views, from 50ft in the air on our ‘Skyshuttle’.Diggerland is open weekends and every day during school holidays.
THE BIG SHEEP - BIDEFORD
Hilarious and entertaining shows include the World Famous sheep racing, complete with woolly jockeys, Horse Whispering, Dog and Duck Trials. Shepherds with a wicked sense of humour will have you laughing out loud as you are introduced to 10 different breeds of sheep who will strut their stuff live on stage to music! Children AND adults can burn off excess energy and play safely on a great selection of slides and imaginative soft play climbing areas, tumble towers, mazes and obstacles in our MASSIVE indoor play area. There are loads of fun packed outdoor activities too. For the adrenaline thrill seekers there are bookable sessions at the Adventure Centre adjacent to the park for Climbing, Low Ropes, Water Zorbing and Mountain Boarding and competitive families can battle it out using state of the art eye-safe laser guns at Battlefield Live Outdoor Combat Zone. You can also enjoy Farm Safari rides, magical lakeside train rides, pony rides, twister chair-o-planes rides, free beer tasting, outside jumping pillows, family splash zone and a chance to feed the baby lambs are just some of the treats in store. During the winter there is a toboggan and ice skating rink too. After an exhilarating day out, browse in our Sheepy Shop and Farm Shop and find local Westcountry products before relaxing with delicious home made scones and a great big dollop of Devonshire clotted cream.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Stairs / lift, Activities for older children, Activities for young children
WOODLANDS LEISURE PARK
Ride the fantastic Sea Dragon Swing Ship. For the scariest white knuckle experience you should rush for the end seats. Make your way up to the Zoo-farm and check out the Dinosaur Farm Ride, meandering through the Jurassic beasts. Massive indoor fun – go wild indoors at Woodlands for non-stop fun on rainy days. 5 floors of fantastic fun, with soft play areas for the little ones, ball blasting arenas, mini feris wheel, 57 exhilarating slides, a circus train ride and much much more.
THE ALPACA PARK - BEAWORTHY
A pleasant morning or afternoon wandering through the quiet shady walk in the woods to teach the Alpacas. Good with or without the children.
THE BIG WHEEL - TORQUAY
Really good fun – can see for miles – especially at night when everything is lit up.
GO APE - EXETER
The classic and original Go Ape experience. We’ll brief you for safety before you fly down our zip-wires, leap off our Tarzan Swing and tackle our crossings whilst enjoying some of Britain’s most breathtaking scenery.
THE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE CENTRE
The Ultimate Adventure Centre offers the most comprehensive range of outdoor activities available throughout North Devon. The recently opened Ultimate Assault adds to the list of exhilarating experiences made possible through the Ultimate Adventure Centre The Ultimate Adventure Centre has grown the activities provided, they now include the Assault, Coasteering, Mountain Boarding, Mountain Biking, High Ropes, Climbing Wall, Kayaking, Surfing & Camping. We are now able to offer Packages to give you the chance to experience more than one activity at discounted rates. Our packages are available to you whether you are coming on your own or as a part of group. They can be enjoyed as part of an adventure day out or a longer activity weekend
FOR CYCLING & DARTMOOR RAMBLERS - THE GRANITE WAY - OKEHAMPTON
A cycling or walking trail on Dartmoor National Park. Get active and hire a bike from Adventure Okehampton (YHA) for only £10.00 per day! Follow the Granite Way, one of the flatter cycle trails in Devon, and you can go straight from the hostel and head out as far as you want to go. We also have direct access onto the moors, so you can explore the Mountain Bike trails in Dartmoor National Park.
HORSE RIDING ON DARTMOOR - FINLAKE RIDING CENTRE, CHUDLEIGH
Finlake Riding Centre is situated in the beautiful Teign valley on the edge of Dartmoor National Park. iit benefits from scenic off road hacking in private parkland and woodland trails. All the bridle tracks have been 'all weather' surfaced so that even in inclement weather under foot remains good. Hacking: All ages and standards of rider are catered for, complete beginners are welcome on our gentle treks around the woodland trails riding well behaved cobs .Experienced riders can enjoy our longer and more exhilarating rides which can include cream teas and evening pub rides. Young children and nervous adults may prefer our half hour stroll where our experienced staff will be able to lead rein anyone requiring assistance. Very small children can ride our tiny miniature Shetland pony 'Diddy mouse' or the slightly bigger 'Tinkerbell' All our horses & ponies are extremely well cared for by our dedicated staff members, the horses welfare and customer safety is paramount. Finlake Riding Stables has something to offer everyone, we welcome any inspection prior to riding.
SHILSTONE ROCKS RIDING SCHOOL
Come and enjoy one of the most beautiful National Parks on horseback. Spoil yourself with a bit of “me time”, share the wonderful experience with a friend or your family.
Here at Shilstone Rocks Riding Centre we offer horse riding over Dartmoor and lessons in our outdoor menage all tailored to your experience. We have a range of horses and ponies to suit all abilities from the beginner to the experienced rider. The Riding Centre, established in 1962, this year, celebrates its fifty first birthday and continues into its second generation. It is British Horse Society Approved and has the Local Authority Licence.
There is an archery centre right opposite our property, Arms of Old. Two qualified teachers give a personal level of teaching. They also have a shop for all your archery needs. Book in advance. - 01409 231171
INTERNATIONAL FIREWORKS CHAMPIONSHIPS - PLYMOUTH
More than four tonnes of fireworks will be set off over Plymouth Sound, lighting up the skies as the country’s top pyrotechnics companies battle it out for the coveted national title.
Plymouth’s Hoe offers the perfect viewing platform for this truly incredible sight and thousands of Plymouth residents and holiday makers are expected to turn out for the event.
Believed to be Britain’s most spectacular fireworks display the British Firework Championships offer a visual treat not to be missed!
Take a blanket and a picnic and settle down on the grass to watch a most spectacular show.
TAVISTOCK GOOSEY FAIR
Held on the 2nd Wednesday of October every year. Market traders come from all over the country to sell their wares and provide entertainment. Stalls and side shows are set up in the centre of the Town, and some 200 spaces are let by the Town Council for traders and community groups.
Houses, Castles and Stately Homes
MEETH QUARRY NATURE RESERVE - HATHERLEIGH
Meeth Quarry is unlike any other Devon Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve. Its industrial past has dramatically shaped its present. For nearly 100 years it was a series of busy clay quarries and mines. The legacy of this industry has created a very diverse landscape. Today, two enormous lakes and massive clay spoil piles dominate its features. Elsewhere there are ponds, woodlands, bogs and grasslands. Together these make Meeth Quarry Nature Reserve a home for a diverse range of wildlife and a wonderful place for people to explore.
With an enchanting mix of children's activities and nostalgic blasts from the past, Watermouth Castle appeals to kids from 1 to 100 years of age! Welcome to one of Devon's premier tourist attractions.
A Magnificent castle – the youngest in the country. Built by the founder of Home and Colonial Stores. Walk along the river to Fingle Bridge. Although apparently at the moment there is restoration going on so access is limited.
Powderham Castle is located in a unique, picturesque setting just outside Exeter, beside the Exe estuary. Six hundred years of history are contained within the walls of one of England's oldest family homes. Sir Philip Courtenay began building it in 1391 and it has remained in the same family to this day, currently home to the 18th Earl & Countess of Devon. The magical setting and convenient location makes it the perfect venue for all manner of events including wedding receptions and business functions. For locals and visitors to Devon it is a 'must see' and with its many attractions - a wonderful family day out!
Magnificent late Victorian country house with gardens and wooded estate
Lanhydrock is the perfect country house and estate, with the feel of a wealthy but unpretentious family home. After a devastating fire in 1881 the Jacobean house was refurbished in high-Victorian style, with the best in country house design and planning and the latest mod cons. Discover two sides of Victorian life: from the kitchens, nurseries and servants' quarters, which offer a thrilling glimpse into life 'below stairs', to the luxurious family areas, elegant dining room and spacious bedrooms which reveal the comforts of ‘upstairs’ living. Make sure you take a stroll around the extensive gardens and enjoy their year-round colour. There are beautiful herbaceous borders, a fabulous formal parterre and colourful higher gardens filled with camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons.
RHS GARDEN ROSEMOOR
If you are looking for inspiration and a relaxing day out, come to RHS Garden Rosemoor and stroll around our enchanting 65-acre garden. Rosemoor is a garden of intoxicating beauty, meticulously crafted and planted, retaining the essence of rural North Devon within a dramatic backdrop of steep wooded valley sides.Whatever the season, the exciting colours, scents and textures mean that all your senses will be stimulated, and with both formal and informal gardens - as well as woodland walks, water features and open spaces - there is something for children and adults alike to enjoy time and again.
National Trust walk through the gorge, along the river. Beautiful waterfall.
For more ideas about things to do around Dartmoor, have a look at the VisitDartmoor website.
Sun, sea, countryside, fresh air and lots things to do...
Devon knows, we've got it all!
"Coming from Essex, we wanted peace and quiet, and that is what you get, just the sounds of the countryside!"
Mr & Mrs Parfitt