Castles in South Devon

9 Must-Visit Castles in South Devon

Castles and Forts in South Devon

Looking for the best castles in South Devon

From protecting the land against sea invasions to safeguarding hilltops, towns, and fortified manor houses, Devon has an array of castles. 

Whether it’s coastal fortifications in Dartmouth, ruins within Dartmoor National Park’s moorland, or ancient sites in historical towns like Totnes, there’s no shortage of castles to explore.

In this blog, we’ve put together a list of some of the must-visit castles in South Devon to help plan your next adventure.

Let’s jump in.

9 Best Castles in South Devon

1. Dartmouth Castle

Dartmouth Castle, located at the entrance to the Dart Estuary, offers stunning views of the coastline. This fortress, built in the 14th century, played a crucial role in defending the area from invaders. 

Visitors can explore the gun tower, and artillery and enjoy the picturesque surroundings, making it a must-visit historical site.

Related: 13 Best Things to Do in Dartmouth

Dartmouth Castle in South Devon

2. Kingswear Castle

While the new castle in Dartmouth was under construction in 1481, a castle was also erected in Kingswear, on the opposite side of the river mouth, to bolster the harbour’s defence. 

Completed in 1502, Kingswear Castle, along with Dartmouth Castle, showcased the cutting-edge military design of their era. 

Within 50 years, the castle became obsolete, manned only during wartime. Left to deteriorate, it was later restored and repurposed as a summer residence in 1855 and is currently utilised as a holiday let.

3. Berry Pomeroy Castle

Nestled in a secluded wooded valley near Totnes, Berry Pomeroy Castle was originally constructed as the residence of the de la Pomeroy family in the late 15th century. 

Ambitiously expanded in the 17th century, it was left unfinished and eventually abandoned. Managed by English Heritage, the castle is renowned as one of Britain’s most haunted sites.

4. Totnes Castle

Totnes Castle, perched high above the town, offers panoramic views of the River Dart and surrounding countryside. Dating back to the Norman era, this well-preserved motte-and-bailey castle provides a glimpse into medieval history. 

Visitors can explore the keep, climb the battlements, and enjoy the picturesque setting, making it a must-see attraction.

Related: 21+ Best Things to Do in Totnes

Totnes Castle - Things to do in Totnes

5. Compton Castle

Compton Castle, currently the residence of Geoffrey and Angela Gilbert and their family, was initially owned by the de Compton family. 

Originally a manor house, it was expanded in the 1450s and fortified following French raids on Plymouth in the 1520s. 

Acquired by Commander Walter Raleigh Gilbert in 1931, the castle and its orchard were restored and are now managed by the National Trust.

6. Okehampton Castle

Situated north of Dartmoor, Okehampton Castle stands as the largest castle ruin in Devon. 

Originally constructed as a motte and bailey castle following the Norman Conquest, it was later transformed into a luxurious residence by the Earl of Devon in the 14th century. 

Managed by English Heritage, the site offers picturesque woodland walks and picnic areas alongside its historic ruins.

7. Castle Drogo

Constructed between 1911 and 1930, Castle Drogo is a country house and mixed-revivalist castle near Drewsteignton, famously the last castle built in England. 

Commissioned by Julius Drewe, founder of Home and Colonial Stores, and designed by architect Edwin Lutyens, it is considered one of his finest works. In 1974, the Grade I listed castle was gifted to the National Trust, becoming the Trust’s first acquisition of a twentieth-century building. 

The gardens are also Grade II* listed on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.

8. Exeter Castle

The original structures on the site, worthy of the name “castle,” were destroyed in 1003. In 1068, William the Conqueror chose the location for a larger, more fortified castle. 

After General Fairfax’s surrender in 1646, the military fortress lost its significance. Nestled in the highest part of Exeter, the castle, known locally as Rougemont Castle, now lies partially concealed by parkland and gardens. 

Under private ownership, the aim is to transform Exeter castle into a lively venue for art, music, food, and drink, open to the public.

9. Powderham Castle

Powderham Castle, a fortified manor house situated 6 miles from Exeter on the River Exe, has been the seat of the Courtenay family, Earls of Devon since 1556. 

The castle underwent significant expansion and alterations in the 18th and 19th centuries, notably by James Wyatt in the 1790s.

Listed as Grade I, the building, along with its Grade II* listed park and gardens, is open to visitors as a historical attraction and wedding venue.

Related: 17 Best Things to Do in Exeter

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Castles in South Devon

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Boat trips in Brixham

Best Boat Trips in Brixham

Brixham Boats Trips, Ferries and Cruises

Looking for boat trips in Brixham? A boat trip is the perfect activity to experience Brixham, Torbay and the English Riviera from one of its most picturesque places.

Whether you’re seeking a sightseeing adventure, a fishing excursion, or simply a leisurely ferry ride across the bay, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for here.

Information About Boat Trips in Brixham

Opening Dates

Boat trips in Brixham are available from April to October during the main season. However, start and finish dates may vary, so we recommend contacting each provider for more details. 

Please note that dates for boat trips on the River Dart may differ based on weather and tidal conditions.

How to Book a Boat Trip

To book a boat trip, there are numerous kiosks at Brixham harbour. You can book in advance or on the day of your trip. 

Ferries to Torquay and Paignton

Ferries from Brixham serve Torbay, connecting to Torquay and Paignton. The Western Lady Ferry Service operates the Brixham to Torquay Ferry, with ticket kiosks located near New Pier in Brixham. 

Paignton Pleasure Cruises also runs ferries between Brixham, Paignton, and Torquay, with ticket offices at each harbour and Paignton Beach.

Boats and ferries in Brixham

Boat Trips, Ferries and Cruises From Brixham

Western Lady Ferry Service

For nearly 70 years, the Western Lady Ferry Service has been a staple of Brixham, shuttling passengers between the town and Torquay. 

You can catch the 30-minute ferry from the New Pier in Brixham.

In addition to the standard ferry service, they also offer wildlife cruises, evening voyages, special events, and chartered fishing trips.

Paignton Pleasure Cruises

Paignton Pleasure Cruises offers ferry services connecting Brixham, Paignton, and Torquay, with ticket offices located at each harbour and Paignton Beach. 

The company provides a range of services, including mackerel and wreck fishing trips, and day-long tours along the River Dart and around Dartmouth. 

Paignton Pleasure Cruises also offers multiple boats covering various routes across Torbay, available for private parties and pleasure boat hire, evening cruises, wildlife cruises, and special events.

Dartmouth Day Cruise

The Dartmouth Day Cruise is an all-day excursion with a scenic cruise along the South Devon coastline, and views of Berry Head and Coleton Fishacre. 

The journey continues with a passage past the Daymark at Kingswear before entering the River Dart and arriving at Dartmouth. 

Dartmouth is a lovely day out for the whole family where you can explore the historic landmarks, shops, restaurants and cafés. There’s plenty of time to explore the town before it’s time to sail back to Brixham.

The Dartmouth Day Cruise is operated by The Western Lady Ferry Service. Departure times for the Dartmouth Day Cruise are 10:30 from Torquay and 11:10 from Brixham. The return sailing departs from Dartmouth at 15:00, with arrival back at 16:15 in Brixham and 16:45 in Torquay.

Independent Boat Companies, Fishing and Diving Trips

Alongside the main boat companies in Brixham, there are other independent fishing and diving trips also available, operating throughout the year.

Some boat company recommendations include:

Wildlife Cruises

Discover the wildlife and sea safaris by experiencing the stunning coastal scenery of Torbay while spotting a variety of wildlife. 

Look out for Cormorants, Shags, Herons, Kittiwakes, Gannets, and even Peregrin Falcons, as well as Grey Atlantic Seals and Dolphins.

Sunset Cruises

For a romantic evening, consider a sunset cruise, keeping an eye out for dolphins and other marine life. 

Or, book a fish ‘n’ chip cruise where you cruise around the bay for 2 hours, and enjoy a meal along with a drink whilst admiring the Torbay scenery.

Sunset cruise in Brixham

Chartered Fishing Trips

Gather some friends and charter a fishing boat for a chance to catch a large ocean denizen for dinner. Visit the Torbay Fishing site for a list of available boats for day or half-day charters, including wreck fishing. Some boats accommodate large groups, while others cater to smaller numbers.

Scuba Diving

For those with a taste for adventure, Torbay is an excellent location for scuba diving, with the Torbay BSAC offering opportunities for beginners and experienced divers to explore local dive sites, including the popular wreck, the SS Maine.

Discover the Beauty of Brixham with a Variety of Boat Trips

Exploring the English Riviera by sea is a fantastic way to spend a day, offering a splendid perspective of the region’s beauty. 

Instead of driving, consider taking a ferry from Brixham to Torquay and Paignton, or chartering a fishing boat for an exciting day out on the water.


Can I get a boat from Brixham to Dartmouth?

Yes, you can take a boat from Brixham to Dartmouth. Paignton Pleasure Cruises operates day-long tours along the River Dart and around Dartmouth, providing an excellent opportunity to explore the stunning coastal and riverside scenery.

How long does the ferry from Torquay to Brixham take?

The ferry from Torquay to Brixham takes 30 minutes using the Western Lady Ferry Service.

How long does the ferry take from Brixham to Dartmouth?

A ferry will take just over one hour from Brixham to Dartmouth on the Dartmouth Day Cruise.

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Best aquarium in Devon

4 Best Aquariums in Devon

Top Devon Aquariums to Visit

Looking for the best aquariums in Devon

If you’re searching for things to do in or around Devon, a visit to the aquarium is a great way to spend an hour or so getting to know the marine life which can found along the local coastline. 

From the impressive National Marine Aquarium to the charming Ilfracombe Aquarium, the small haven of Fowey Aquarium, and the interactive Lyme Regis Marine Aquarium, we’ve listed the top 4 aquariums in Devon.

So, let’s jump into the list.

Other Guides & Activities for Kids:

4 Acquariums in Devon

1. National Marine Aquarium 

The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth is the biggest aquarium in the UK. 

It’s in Britain’s Ocean City and is part of a charity called the Ocean Conservation Trust with a mission to help people connect with the ocean. 

The large aquarium is like a home to more than 4,000 marine animals including sharks, seahorses, rays, and coral reefs.

When you visit, there’s lots to enjoy – food, a place to grab a drink, a shop, a garden, and a soft play area. So, whether you’re into exploring sea life or just want a fun day out, the National Marine Aquarium has something for everyone.

2. Ilfracombe Aquarium

Ilfracombe Aquarium is a beloved and ever-evolving all-weather attraction, offering a fantastic blend of family fun and education. 

Housed in the Old Lifeboat House on the pier, this quaint aquarium showcases local freshwater and marine species in meticulously recreated natural habitats, complete with feeding demonstrations and knowledgeable fishkeepers on hand to answer any questions. 

The aquarium, established in 2001, continues to serve as a valuable resource for schools, colleges, and extracurricular groups, providing an eye-opening and memorable educational experience. 

Kids can enjoy free quiz trails, feeding demonstrations, interactives, and animal encounters, with experienced guides in attendance. 

The pier café serves delicious, sensibly priced products in a relaxing harborside setting, while the funky fish gift shop offers a range of aquatic-themed gifts and cards. 

Aquarium in Devon

3. Fowey Aquarium

Fowey Aquarium, located in the historic Fowey Town Quay and established in 1952, is a hidden gem that offers a captivating glimpse into the marine life thriving along the Cornish coast. 

Retaining many of its original tanks, the aquarium houses a remarkable array of marine creatures, with fresh seawater pumped in daily at high tide. This practice introduces an assortment of fascinating creatures such as sea squirts and tube worms, albeit at the expense of water clarity at times. 

Visitors, especially children, will enjoy the touch pool, where they can handle starfish and crabs under expert supervision. From tiny gobies to deep-wreck-dwelling Conger eels, the aquarium showcases a diverse range of fish, crabs, and lobsters, all sourced locally from fishermen and anglers. 

The aquarium’s commitment to using local sources for fish food further enhances the authenticity of the marine environment on display. 

4. Lyme Regis Marine Aquarium

Lyme Regis Marine Aquarium is a beloved, family-operated destination that offers an engaging and interactive glimpse into the marine life thriving in our local waters. 

Nestled at the end of the Cobb, Lyme’s iconic harbour wall, they aim to ignite your imagination, foster curiosity, and instil an appreciation for the incredible marine life found along the Jurassic Coast. 

Rain or shine, the aquarium provides a fantastic experience. Despite the compact size, visitors will encounter a diverse display of fish and sea creatures, including bass, ballan wrasse, blennies, lobster, mullet, starfish, sea scorpions, crabs, and dogfish.

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Seaton and the Jurassic coast

23 Unusual Things to Do in Devon

Unique Devon Things to Do

Are you planning a trip to Devon and looking for unique experiences? Look no further! This post covers some of the unusual things to do in Devon

Devon is renowned for scenic coastal towns, rolling countryside, and temperate climate that draws crowds year-round. 

But beyond its postcard-worthy beaches and cream teas, there are several hidden gems for those who veer off the beaten tourist path. 

From ghost walks to gin tasting, and shipwreck snorkelling to underground caverns, Devon has plenty of unusual things to do.

So let’s jump into this list of 23 unusually quirky attractions.

Unusual Things to Do in Devon

1. Travel to Burgh Island on a Sea Tractor

Hop on the unique sea tractor transport – only accessible at low tide – to the beautiful Burgh Island. 

Hear interesting commentary on this ingenious vehicle that has ferried passengers across sandy shores to the iconic island hotel, that inspired Agatha Christie, since 1969. 

Bigbury-on-Sea and Burgh Island

2. Visit the Magical Wistman’s Wood

Take a magical walk through Wistman’s Wood to see hundreds of short, twisted oak trees covered in green moss and dotted with mushrooms. 

These ancient dwarf trees have grown for centuries in a secluded part of Dartmoor, creating a fairytale-like place. 

3. Babbacombe Model Village

See tiny buildings and scenes beautifully created at Babbacombe’s Model Village. Explore incredibly detailed small-scale copies of landmarks, villages, and towns from across England. 

The best miniature attraction allows you to discover exquisite hand-crafted models up close and even become a giant walking through Lilliputian streets! Great family fun imagining yourself shrinking while touring this tiny world.

4. Take a Seaton Tramway Ride

Ride comfortable heritage tramcars along a flat, scenic railway route showcasing beautiful Axe Valley vistas. 

Pass through forested areas, meadows, and the riverside while hearing interesting commentary. Kids will love the family-friendly tram ride revealing the English countryside.

5. Visit the Big Sheep

At this popular family attraction, enjoy sheep-themed shows, walks, zoo exhibits and even sheep racing! 

Learn surprising facts about sheep while feeding, petting or watching sheepdog demonstrations. An amusingly entertaining way for kids and parents to discover sheep husbandry first-hand.

6. Visit the Golden Hind in Brixham

Climb aboard a full-sized reconstruction of Sir Francis Drake’s 16th-century ship docked in Brixham Harbour. Walk the decks imagining sailing the high seas during Tudor times. 

Kids can dress up as pirates and take part engagingly in a treasure hunt adventure onboard.

Golden Hind Ship in Brixham, Torbay

7. Visit the House of Marbles

This amazing marble museum lets you explore thousands of beautiful glass and stone marbles spanning centuries. 

Learn about marble history while playing classic marble games. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the vast collection and fun interactive exhibits.

8. Go Underground at Kents Cavern

Descend into the depths of these ancient caves used by Stone Age people. Walk through impressive limestone caverns and winding tunnels created over countless years. 

Marvel at rock formations, archaeological finds, and resident bats while learning about the caves’ long history.

9. The Templer Way Tramway

Trace an early 19th-century granite tramway built to transport clay and workers through the countryside on the scenic Templer Way. 

Follow old rail routes across hay fields, heather moorland, forests and babbling streams until reaching the impressive Stover Canal. Finish at Teignmouth’s beaches exploring this legacy of Devon pioneer, James Templer’s fascinating industrial past.

10. Explore the Valley of the Rocks 

Trek through the unworldly Valley of the Rocks near Lynton to admire its striking volcanic rock formations and cliffs surrounded by the sea. 

Follow winding trails around pinnacle stone spires, steep ravines, small caves, and grazing mountain goats in this geologically fascinating landscape.

11. Attend Brixham’s Pirate Festival

Enjoy pirate-themed family fun at Brixham’s annual Pirate Festival on the harbour! 

See performers enact swashbuckling scenes, sword fights, and pirate character adventures throughout town. With live music, performances, dressing up and market stalls, Brixham’s Pirate Festival promises a high seas good time for pirates of all ages!

12. Take a Ghost Tour in Plymouth

Join a late-night walking tour through creepy alleys and burial grounds of Plymouth’s historic sites. 

Hear chilling tales of resident spirits, haunted mansions, and paranormal encounters from a theatrical guide. Visit dark places linked to tragic events while discovering the city’s supernatural secrets.

13. Go Crabbing at Salcombe

Try catching fresh crabs off the docks and estuary waters of scenic Salcombe. Use simple bait and line techniques used by locals for generations. The perfect activity to keep kids occupied for hours. 

Crabbing in Brixham for kids and families to do, Torbay, South Devon

14. Explore the Jurassic Coast by Kayak

Paddle a kayak along sheer coastal cliffs and secluded coves that reveal 185 million years of geological history. 

This stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site holds visible prehistoric ammonites, fossils, and richly hued rock layers from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods now eroded dramatically by the sea.

15. Attend the Totnes Orange Races

Each March, watch colourfully dressed daredevils sprint while balancing oranges to roll down steep High Street in chaotic annual races. J

oin cheering crowds spurring on runners hoping their orange makes it furthest without falling off in this zany Elizabethan-era tradition.

16. Visit the Bickleigh Castle

Explore the enchanting 800-year-old Norman Bickleigh Castle. Try medieval archery on the sprawling grounds or observe magnificent birds of prey like falcons and owls during scheduled displays of this regal ancient sport.

More Unusual Things to Do in Devon: 

  • Go snorkelling at a WWII shipwreck site in Lyme Bay – Take a guided snorkel tour to see the beautifully preserved remains of ships sunk during a wartime training exercise.
  • Take a Torbay treasure trail – Interesting self-guided walking tours direct you to uncover clues revealing stories of smuggling coves and haunted feats.
  • Watch a performance at the Theatre Royal Plymouth – This local theatre company puts on quirky, avant-garde productions in their historic city centre venue.
  • Take a ghost walk in Clovelly Village – Led by a village historian, hear tales of hauntings and paranormal activity as you climb up and down this picturesquely steep fishing hamlet after dark.
  • Explore the Museum of Dartmoor Life – Discover intriguing artefacts and recreations portraying the rugged, rustic lifestyles of generations past on Dartmoor.
  • Try paddleboarding with dogs – Some providers offer stand-up paddleboarding lessons where eager dogs can ride along on board or swim nearby.
  • Attend a Gin Festival – Devon hosts several festivals each year celebrating unique local and national gin varieties.

Still Wondering What Else You Can Do in Devon?

Looking for more unusual things to do in Devon? Explore the stunning coastline for outdoor activities and breathtaking views. 

Don’t miss the UK’s largest aquarium and indulge in cream teas at traditional tea rooms. Wander through market halls for unique souvenirs, or take a nostalgic trip on the Dartmouth Steam Railway.

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Chicken at a farm in Devon

Top 10 Farms in Devon for Kids

Devon Farm Days Out and Animal Parks

Devon is home to some of the best farm parks and animal attractions in the country. From miniature ponies to creepy crawlies, there’s no shortage of fun and educational experiences to be had. In this guide, we’ve rounded up the top 10 farms in Devon that are perfect for kids of all ages.

So, let’s jump into the list.

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10 Best Farms in Devon

1. Pennywell Farm, Buckfastleigh, South Devon

For a day of family fun, head to Pennywell Farm in Buckfastleigh. This farm park offers a wide range of rare breeds, creepy crawlies, and small mammals to interact with.

With opening times to suit your schedule, you can enjoy a day filled with farm animals, soft play, and outdoor play. If you’re looking to explore more of the area, the National Marine Aquarium and other southwest attractions are just a short drive away.

Pig at one of the farms in Devon

2. Quince Honey Farm, South Molton, North Devon

If you’re looking to learn more about farm animals and the fantastic value of bees, Quince Honey Farm in North Devon is the place to be.

This farm park offers indoor soft play areas, a farm shop, and great value for a family day out. Explore the countryside and woodland, and of course, interact with farm animals to make your day even more special.

3. Wildwood Escot, Ottery St Mary, East Devon

Wildwood Escot in Ottery St Mary is not to be missed. This park offers fantastic family attractions, farm animals, and even a farm shop to explore.

With opening times to suit your needs, you can enjoy a day out with creepy crawlies, guinea pigs, rare breeds, soft play, and outdoor play areas. There’s something for everyone at Wildwood Escot!

4. Totnes Rare Breeds Farm, Totnes, South Devon

Totnes Rare Breeds Farm in South Devon is a great place to witness rare breeds and farm animals, and great value for a family day out. Take in the beauty of the countryside, explore the farm shop, and enjoy soft play and outdoor play areas.

If you’re looking to continue your adventure, sandy beaches and the National Marine Aquarium are just a short drive away.

5. Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park, Ilfracombe, North Devon

For a day of family fun, head to Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park in Ilfracombe, North Devon. This park offers rare breeds, family attractions, soft play, and an outdoor play area to keep the kids entertained.

Enjoy creepy crawlies, guinea pigs, farm animals, soft play, and indoor play areas.

Guinea pig at a farm

6. Woolley Animals, Winkleigh, North Devon

Discover an array of interactive farm animals and a captivating soft play area at Woolley Animals in Winkleigh, North Devon. With rare breeds, small mammals, and fantastic family fun, it’s the perfect spot for an exciting family day out.

7. War Horse Valley Country Farm Park, Hatherleigh, West Devon

Nestled in the picturesque West Devon, War Horse Valley Country Farm Park offers an array of attractions. From farm animals and soft play to a captivating outdoor play area, the park guarantees a fantastic family day filled with fun and great value.

Experience rare breeds and discover the charming farm shop, complete with guinea pigs, making it a delightful visit for all ages.

8. Occombe Farm, Paignton, South Devon

Explore Occombe Farm for a day of family fun with interactive farm animals and a soft play area. Witness rare breeds, guinea pigs, and indoor soft play. Don’t miss out on the nearby sandy beaches and national marine aquarium.

9. World of Country Life, Exmouth, South Devon

At World of Country Life, discover rare breeds, farm animals, and family attractions. Enjoy outdoor play areas with a pirate ship, adventure golf, and go-karts. Engage with small mammals, birds of prey, guinea pigs, and ponies.

Explore soft play areas, indoor and outdoor play zones, tractor rides, and animal encounters.

10. The Big Sheep, Abbotsham, North Devon

This award-winning family attraction in North Devon offers a unique farm experience with sheep racing, animal encounters, and exciting rides for children.

The Big Sheep farm in Devon also hosts daily shows and events, making it a fun-filled day out for the whole family.

Sheep on a farm in Devon

Summary About the Best Farms in Devon

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, Devon is the perfect destination for a family day out. This picturesque county in southwest England is known for its beautiful countryside, sandy beaches, and charming farm parks. Whether you’re interested in rare breeds, farm animals, or outdoor play, Devon has something to offer for everyone.

From farm animals to outdoor play areas, these farms offer fantastic family fun and interactive farm experiences. So, pack your bags, put on your boots, and get ready for a countryside adventure like no other!

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Giraffes at a wildlife park Devon

13 Best Wildlife Parks Devon

Top Wildlife Parks & Devon Zoos for Kids 

In this guide, we’ve put together a list of the best zoos and wildlife parks in Devon. These parks offer visitors a chance to observe and interact with animals in their natural habitats, providing a unique and educational experience for all ages.

Whether you’re interested in big cats, exotic birds, or marine life, Devon’s wildlife parks have something for everyone.

So, let’s jump into the list.

You may also be interested in reading:

Best Wildlife Parks in Devon

Devon, located in the south west of England, is home to some of the most diverse and fascinating wildlife parks in the UK, offering visitors the chance to get up close and personal with a range of exotic and native species. 

Here are the top wildlife parks Devon:

1. Exmoor Zoo

Exmoor Zoo is a family-run zoo located in the heart of the Exmoor National Park. It is home to over 175 different species of animals, including rare and endangered species such as the black lemur, the golden lion tamarin, and the white-belted ruffed lemur. 

Visitors can enjoy a range of animal encounters and experiences, including feeding the animals and handling some of the smaller species.

2. Paignton Zoo

Paignton Zoo is one of the largest and most popular zoos in the UK, with over 2,500 animals across 80 acres of parkland. It is home to a wide range of exotic and endangered species, including gorillas, lions, tigers, and rhinos. 

Visitors can enjoy a great day of interactive experiences, including feeding the giraffes and meerkats and watching the daily animal shows.

Tiger at zoo in Devon

3. Dartmoor Zoological Park

Dartmoor Zoological Park is a unique and fascinating zoo located on the edge of Dartmoor National Park. It is home to a wide range of exotic and native species, including African lion, primates, and birds of prey. 

Visitors can enjoy a full day of animal encounters and experiences, including feeding the meerkats and handling some of the creepy crawlies.

4. Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park

Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park is a family-friendly attraction located on the North Devon coast. It is home to a range of exotic and local wildlife, including wolves, sea lions, and meerkats. 

Visitors can also explore the park’s dinosaur trail and learn about the prehistoric creatures that once roamed the earth. Kids can enjoy the themed gigantic Dinosaurus Playzone – the largest indoor  in North Devon.

5. Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth

The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth, Devon, is a renowned animal welfare organisation dedicated to the protection and well-being of donkeys and mules worldwide. 

Established in 1969, the sanctuary provides a safe and loving environment for over 5,000 donkeys, offering them refuge from neglect and abuse.

Visitors can experience the joy of interacting with these gentle creatures, learn about their care, and support the sanctuary’s vital work. The facility also features scenic walking trails, educational exhibits, and a gift shop. 

The sanctuary’s mission is to provide lifelong care for donkeys, and there are also volunteer opportunities for animal lovers who want to play a part in the sanctuary’s important work.

Donkey at wildlife park in Devon

6. Shaldon Wildlife Trust

Shaldon Wildlife Trust is home to a diverse collection of rare and endangered species. Visitors can observe animals in naturalistic enclosures, including tigers, lemurs, and monkeys while learning about conservation efforts. 

The trust’s focus on education and breeding programs contributes to global wildlife preservation.

7. Totnes Rare Breeds Farm

Totnes Rare Breeds Farm provides an immersive agricultural experience, showcasing a variety of rare and traditional farm animals. Visitors can engage with the animals, participate in feeding sessions, and learn about sustainable farming practices. This interactive farm park offers a fantastic day out for families and animal enthusiasts.

8. The Miniature Pony Centre

The Miniature Pony Centre, nestled in the picturesque Dartmoor National Park, is a delightful attraction for pony lovers of all ages. This charming centre allows visitors to meet and interact with adorable miniature ponies, as well as other friendly farm animals. 

Pony rides, grooming sessions, and educational talks provide an engaging and memorable experience, making it a perfect destination for families.

9. Wildwood Escot

Wildwood Escot is a unique wildlife park set in the heart of Devon’s countryside, offering a blend of nature, history, and adventure. Visitors can explore ancient woodlands, encounter native wildlife such as red squirrels and wild boar, and learn about conservation efforts.

The park also features treetop adventure trails, a maze, and indoor and outdoor play areas, providing an exciting day out for nature enthusiasts and families.

10. Pennywell Farm

Pennywell Farm, known as the “home of the miniature pig,” is a popular family-friendly attraction that offers a hands-on farm experience. Visitors can interact with a wide array of farm animals, enjoy entertaining shows, and participate in activities such as pig racing and goat milking.

The farm’s emphasis on fun and education creates a memorable and engaging visit for visitors of all ages, including toddlers. With plenty of indoor and outdoor play areas designed specifically for little ones, Pennywell Farm is a must-visit destination for families with young children.

11. World of Country Life

World of Country Life, situated in Exmouth, showcases the rich agricultural and rural heritage of Devon. The park features a collection of vintage vehicles, traditional farming machinery, and interactive exhibits.

Visitors can also enjoy meeting farm animals, watching entertaining daily shows, and exploring indoor and outdoor play areas. With its nostalgic charm and educational opportunities, World of Country Life offers a captivating experience for families and history enthusiasts.

Aquariums in Devon

Devon is not just home to wildlife parks and zoos but is also home to fantastic aquariums that provide an underwater adventure for the whole family.

Related: 4 Best Aquariums in Devon

Aquarium Devon

1. National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth

Located in the vibrant city of Plymouth, the National Marine Aquarium is the perfect place to discover marine life, otter attractions, sea lions, penguins, educational day activities, animal talks, marine aquarium fun, indoor soft play, outdoor adventure play, marine life encounters, natural attractions, sea lions, penguins, and marine life of the region.

2. Ilfracombe Aquarium

This small, family-friendly aquarium offers the opportunity to explore marine life, otter attractions, sea lions, penguins, educational day activities, animal talks, marine aquarium fun, natural attractions, sea lions, penguins, the marine life of the region, indoor soft play, outdoor adventure play, and marine life encounters. 

Are Your Kids Ready for an Adventure in Devon’s Wildlife Parks?

If your kids are ready for an adventure, Devon offers a wide range of natural attractions and award-winning animal parks that are perfect for all ages. Whether it’s exploring the diverse species at Exmoor Zoo, experiencing life on the farm at Pennywell Farm, or discovering marine life at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, there is something for every young adventurer. It’s an adventure your kids will never forget!

Where Should You Visit When Staying in Devon, England?

When staying in Devon, England, you should visit some of the top wildlife parks in the area. Some highly recommended parks include Dartmoor Zoological Park, Exmoor Zoo, and Paignton Zoo. These parks offer a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of wildlife species.

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Coastal walks in Torbay, South Devon

15 Best Coastal Walks in Torbay, Devon

Walking Routes in Torquay, Paignton & Brixham, South Devon

Torbay, also known as the English Riviera, is a stunning coastal area in the heart of South Devon, England. With its beautiful beaches, picturesque coves, and impressive coastline, Torbay offers a paradise for nature lovers and hikers alike.

Exploring the great outdoors is one of the top reasons to visit South Devon. With hundreds of miles of footpaths and trails crisscrossing the region, you’ll find stunning walks in Torbay right outside your accommodation door thanks to the area’s many villages and towns.

South Devon’s ancient tracks and coastal routes allow you to experience both the rugged granite tors of Dartmoor and the shimmering seascapes along the coastline. A short stroll down a country lane can lead you straight into breathtaking scenery and landscapes steeped in heritage and culture.

Take a look at our recommended walks in Torbay and ideas to help you decide. So, lace up your walking shoes, pack a picnic, and get ready to explore the natural wonders of Torbay.

Exploring the South West Coast Path

The South West Coast Path, a national trail, is a major highlight of the Torbay coast and the South Hams. Stretching over 630 miles, it is the longest marked footpath in Britain, offering breathtaking views of the coastline from Lyme Regis to Plymouth.

Walk the entire route or just a small section to discover rocky cliffs, secluded coves, sandy beaches, and plentiful wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, basking sharks, and other coastal creatures along the way.

Regardless of how much you choose to take on, the Coast Path is one of the most popular walks in Torbay. Soak in the area’s diverse natural beauty, habitats, and rich history at your own pace.

Coastal walks in Torbay

15 Best Walks in Torbay

1. South West Coast Path: Babbacombe to Maidencombe

Enjoy stunning coastal views on this 4-mile trail. Starting at Babbacombe Downs, the path winds along cliffs, offering glimpses of secluded coves. Perfect for nature lovers and those seeking a moderate coastal walk.

2. Anstey’s Cove to Daddyhole Plain

This 2.5-mile trail boasts diverse landscapes, from woodlands to rocky shores. Starting at Anstey’s Cove, the path leads to Daddyhole Plain, providing a mix of nature and history. Ideal for a shorter, picturesque stroll.

3. Berry Head Nature Reserve

Explore this designated UNESCO Global Geopark on a 6-mile circular trail. The route includes the dramatic cliffs of Berry Head, home to diverse wildlife. A longer walk for those seeking a more immersive nature experience.

4. Cockington Country Park Circular Walk

Step into a timeless village on this 3-mile circular walk. Passing through Cockington’s thatched cottages and country park, the trail offers a blend of cultural and natural beauty. A family-friendly option with tea rooms en route.

Cockington Country Park has been honoured with the renowned Green Flag Award from Keep Britain Tidy, a recognition that it has consistently upheld on 23 occasions since its establishment. This achievement sets it apart as one of just 5 locations throughout the entire UK to have accomplished this distinction.

5. Torquay to Paignton Seafront Promenade

Enjoy an easy 4-mile walk along the seafront, connecting Torquay and Paignton. This flat trail provides panoramic sea views, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a family outing. Take advantage of the coastal amenities along the way.

6. Greenway and Dittisham Circular Walk

This 5.5-mile circular route combines lush landscapes with a ferry ride. Starting at Greenway Quay, walk through woods and fields to Dittisham, then return via ferry. A delightful mix of riverside charm and countryside serenity.

7. Brixham to Kingswear Coastal Path

One of our favourite walks in Torbay is this 8-mile coastal adventure from Brixham Harbour to Kingswear. Passing through secluded coves and offering vistas of Dartmouth, this trail is for the avid hiker seeking a longer, more challenging coastal experience.

8. Goodrington to Broadsands Circular Walk

Ideal for families, this 2.5-mile circular walk hugs the coastline from Goodrington Sands to Broadsands. With sandy beaches and park areas, it’s perfect for a relaxed outing and impressive views. Explore the vibrant marine life at the Seashore Centre along the way.

Walking along Goodrington beach with steam train behind

9. Babbacombe Cliff Railway and Oddicombe Beach

A flat and easy 2-mile seaside walk with stunning coastline views. Takes in the charming cliff railway and Oddicombe beach.

10. Kent’s Cavern to Anstey’s Cove

3-mile moderate walk through woodlands to a gorgeous rocky cove. Offers a glimpse of the prehistoric Kents Cavern cave.

11. Dyer’s Wood Nature Reserve

Relaxing 2-mile easy walk around this tranquil ancient woodland full of oak trees near Brixham.

12. Occombe Farm Trails

Choose from several easy nature trails through peaceful woodlands at this scenic farm estate. Great for families.

13. Torre Abbey Gardens

Right in the heart of Torquay is the easily accessible Torre Abbey Gardens offers a beautiful and relaxing walk. Meander along level pathways through these historic gardens dating back to the 1200s, which were once part of an abbey. This is an easy-level walk.

14. Corbyn’s Head

A moderate 4-mile walk with superb coastal scenery culminating in this impressive headland lookout.

15. Broadsands Beach

A relaxing and flat 2.5-mile walk on sandy beaches with striking red cliffs en route to Goodrington.

Broadsands beach walk

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Best Walking Trails in Torbay?

Some of the best walking trails in Torbay include the South West Coast Path, Berry Head Nature Reserve, Anstey’s Cove to Meadfoot Beach, and Cockington Country Park. These trails offer stunning coastal views, picturesque landscapes, and a chance to explore the natural beauty of Torbay.

Can you walk from Paignton to Torquay along the beach?

Yes, you can walk from Paignton to Torquay along the beach, offering a scenic coastal walk of approximately 3 miles. The walk takes around 1 hour to complete and provides stunning views of the English Riviera coastline. However, it’s important to note that the walk is not suitable for people with mobility issues or strollers, as there are some steep sections along the route.

If you prefer a different route, you can also take Cockington Lane, near the Livermead House Hotel, which leads you to Cockington Village. This alternative path adds variety to your coastal walk and allows you to explore the charming Cockington Country Park. Additionally, beyond the roundabout, you will see a gate leading into the water meadows, an enchanting one-mile woodland walk which leads to the picturesque thatched village of Cockington.

Where do you walk from Lyme Regis?

Lyme Regis, a beautiful seaside town on the Jurassic Coast, offers a number of scenic walks to explore the stunning coastline of the area. From Lyme Regis, you can walk along the South West Coast Path, which stretches along the coast of Dorset, offering breathtaking views of the sea, cliffs, and countryside.

A popular walk from Lyme Regis is to Charmouth, which allows you to enjoy the beauty of the coast and the impressive rock formations. Another recommended walk is to Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast of England, offering panoramic views of the coastline and across Lyme Bay to Portland, Dorset.

Is there a coastal walk from Torquay to Babbacombe?

Yes, there is a beautiful coastal walk from Torquay Harbour to Babbacombe. This 4-mile route offers stunning views of the coastline and takes around 2 hours to complete. Along the way, you’ll pass by landmarks like Daddyhole Cove and Oddicombe Beach.

It’s suitable for all fitness levels, although some parts can be challenging. This lovely scenic walk allows you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Torbay area, with breathtaking views of the sea and the charming Beacon Cove.

If you’re looking for accommodation close to all of the walks in Torbay, take a look at the Quayside Hotel in Brixham. Brixham is a popular fishing harbour, on the English Riviera, close to Paignton and Torquay.

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2 kids in an inflatable tube at the best water park in Devon

5 Best Water Parks in Devon

Devon Water Park Near Me

Welcome to the ultimate guide to the best water park in Devon! If you’re looking for an exhilarating and refreshing day out for the whole family, look no further. 

In this article, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of some of the most thrilling and family-friendly water parks that Devon has to offer. From adrenaline-pumping water slides to relaxing lazy rivers, there’s something for everyone.

So, get ready to make a splash and discover why the best water park in Devon is a must-visit destination for water enthusiasts.

You may also be interested in reading:

Best Water Park in Devon

1. Splashdown Quaywest, Paignton, South Devon

Splashdown Quaywest water park is a haven of aquatic thrills and family fun, perfectly located adjacent to the stunning Goodrington beach on the idyllic English Riviera.

The park boasts a fantastic selection of twisting tyre rides and slippery waterslides that will leave you exhilarated and wanting more. From twisting turns to sudden drops, each slide promises an unforgettable experience.

Splashdown Quaywest caters to visitors of all ages, making it a fantastic destination for families seeking a day of laughter and adventure during their Devon staycation. Whether you’re a daredevil seeking high-speed slides or prefer a more leisurely float along the lazy river, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Mum and child at outdoor waterpark in Devon

2. North Devon Wake Park, Higher Clovelly, North Devon

Located in the beautiful region of North Devon, North Devon Wake Park is a hidden gem that offers an exhilarating water park experience like no other. Nestled amidst picturesque surroundings, this park combines the thrill of wakeboarding with the excitement of a water park, making it a must-visit destination for adventure enthusiasts and water lovers alike.

The centrepiece of the park is its cable system, which allows wakeboarders to be pulled along the water without the need for a boat. The cable system is suitable for riders of all abilities, offering different speeds and challenges to accommodate individual preferences.

Apart from wakeboarding, North Devon Wake Park offers a range of additional attractions and amenities to enhance your visit. Take a break from the water and relax at the park’s scenic lakeside beach area, where you can soak up the sun, unwind, and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.

For those seeking a bit of adrenaline off the water, the park also features the popular inflatable obstacle course, where you can test your balance, agility, and endurance.

3. Finlake Falls Water Park, Exeter, South Devon

Finlake Falls water park is a hidden gem that offers a splashtastic experience for all ages. Located within the Finlake Holiday Resort, this water park is a haven of aquatic fun and adventure. 

At Finlake Falls, visitors can enjoy a range of exciting attractions that will leave them soaked and smiling. The centrepiece of the park is the impressive outdoor heated pool, complete with thrilling water slides, cascading fountains, and interactive water play features. Whether you’re zooming down the slides or getting drenched under the waterfalls, there’s no shortage of excitement at Finlake Falls.

For those seeking a more relaxing experience, the park also offers a serene indoor pool area, complete with a tranquil hot tub and a separate toddler pool for the little ones. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy some quality family time.

Kid on a slide in Devon

4. Ultimate Adventure Centre, Bideford, North Devon

Located in Devon, the Ultimate Adventure Centre is an action-packed destination that offers thrilling outdoor experiences for adrenaline junkies and adventure seekers. Based in Abbotsham, North Devon, the Ultimate Adventure Centre, has been providing a comprehensive range of outdoor activities since 2011. 

With a wide range of outdoor activities, including high ropes, zip lines, assault courses, and archery, this centre is the perfect place to unleash your inner adventurer. Whether you’re conquering obstacles on the assault course or soaring through the air on the zip line, the Ultimate Adventure Centre guarantees an unforgettable experience. 

Inspired by the popular TV show Total Wipeout, the Ultimate Assault Course adds to the list of exhilarating experiences made possible through their North Devon centre. Other activities include the Ultimate Assault, Surf School, Coasteering, Mountain Boarding, High Ropes, Climbing Walls, Kayaking, Archery, SUP & Log Cabin/Barn Accommodation & Adventure Camping.

5. Waves Leisure Pool, Torquay, South Devon

Experience the ultimate aquatic adventure at the Waves Leisure Pool in Torquay. Dive into a world of fun and excitement with a range of thrilling attractions and family-friendly facilities.

Enjoy the fun of the wave machine, and the sloping beach-style entry which invites you to wade into the water, making it easily accessible for everyone. Get your adrenaline pumping as you slide down the flume, twisting and turning through the rushing water. 

For the little ones, there’s a dedicated children’s play area with interactive water features, ensuring hours of giggles and splashes. Watch as their faces light up with joy as they explore this water wonderland.

At Waves Leisure Pool, safety and enjoyment go hand in hand. Lifeguards are on duty to ensure a safe environment for all visitors. Plus, with spacious changing rooms and a welcoming atmosphere, the indoor water park is perfect for families and all ages. 

Child having swimming lessons at indoor water park and swimming pool

Summary About the Best Water Park Devon

Devon, South West England, is home to a fantastic selection of water parks that cater to all ages and preferences. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping slides or gentle water-based fun for the little ones, these top 5 water parks have it all. 

So, pack your swimsuits, gather your loved ones, and embark on a splashtastic adventure in Devon’s best water parks

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Devon, take a look at the Quayside Hotel located in Brixham, on the South Coast. The hotel is located on the harbourside close to all of the main attractions, stunning beaches, shops, and restaurants. 

Child going down a water slide

FAQ about the Best Water Park in Devon

Does Devon have a water park?

Yes, Devon is home to several fantastic water parks such as Splashdown Quaywest in Paignton and North Devon Wake Park which also includes an inflatable obstacle course.

What is the largest aquapark in the UK?

The largest aquapark in the UK is Sandcastle Waterpark, located in Blackpool, England. Spanning over 18 slides and attractions, including thrilling water slides, wave pools, and a lazy river, it offers an extensive and exciting water park experience for visitors of all ages.

Does Torquay have a water park?

No, Torquay does not have a dedicated water park. However, Torquay is home to several other water-based attractions, including the popular Splashdown Quaywest water park located nearby in Goodrington. Torquay itself offers beautiful beaches, such as Torre Abbey Sands and Meadfoot Beach, and the Waves Leisure Pool.

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Things to do in Devon with a dog

20+ Things to Do in South Devon with a Dog

Dog-Friendly Activities in Devon

Looking for things to do in Devon with a dog?

Devon, located in the southwestern part of the UK, is a stunning county known for its picturesque landscapes, charming villages, and rich history. The region offers an abundance of activities and attractions for visitors, including those who are accompanied by their furry friends. 

Devon is a very dog-friendly part of the UK with many families bringing their pet friends for a holiday or weekend staycation. Bars, restaurants, and shops are geared up for dogs, with many providing water bowls and treats.

In this article, we’ll explore the best things to do in Devon with a dog. As a family with a four-legged companion, we know it can be a challenge finding days out so we’ve ensured these activities are memorable and enjoyable for everyone.

Things to Do in South Devon with a Dog

Torbay and South Devon boast a range of pet-friendly attractions where your dog can join in on the fun. Here are a few recommendations.

Paignton Pier

Paignton Pier is a vibrant hub of entertainment and excitement, and dogs are welcome to explore the pier alongside their owners. 

Enjoy a leisurely walk along the waterfront, play classic arcade games, or indulge in some traditional fish and chips while taking in the picturesque views of the coastline. A perfect activity for the whole family. 

Tavistock Pannier Market

Tavistock Pannier Market is a vibrant indoor market where you can find a variety of goods, including fresh produce, arts and crafts, and antiques. Well-behaved dogs are welcome to join you as you browse through the stalls, but it’s important to keep them on a leash and be mindful of other shoppers.

Babbacombe Model Village

Babbacombe Model Village is a miniature world that showcases intricate and detailed scaled-down replicas of buildings, landscapes, and people. This enchanting village allows visitors to immerse themselves in a tiny world filled with imagination and wonder. Explore the streets, marvel at the tiny houses, and appreciate the meticulous craftsmanship and witty humour. It’s a delightful experience for the whole family, including your furry friend.

The Golden Hind

The Golden Hind, located in the centre of Brixham in the harbour, is a full-size replica of Sir Francis Drakes’s Golden Hind. This famous ship was the first ship to sail around the globe and has now become a museum. Small dogs on leads are allowed on the ship.

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South Devon Railway

The South Devon Railway is a fantastic heritage railway that takes you on a journey back in time. Hop aboard a beautifully restored steam train and chug through the stunning South Devon countryside from Buckfastleigh to Totnes. It’s a nostalgic experience that transports you to a bygone era. 

Dartmouth Steam Railway and River Cruises

The Dartmouth Steam Railway and river cruises are dog friendly and the perfect activity for the entire family. The steam train rides between Paignton and Kingswear and the boat trips run along the River Dart from Dartmouth to Totnes. Take in all of the beautiful views of Dartmouth, Paignton and the surrounding areas of Torbay.

Coleton Fishacre

Coleton Fishacre gardens is a hidden gem located near Kingswear, Devon. This picturesque garden is a delight for nature lovers, with its lush greenery, vibrant flowers, and breathtaking coastal views. Take a leisurely stroll along the winding paths, breathe in the fresh air, and let the tranquillity of the surroundings wash over you. A perfect retreat for peace and serenity with your pup.

Exploring Torbay’s Trails and Parks

Torbay offers a variety of trails and parks that are perfect for dog owners seeking an outdoor adventure. Here are some options:

Berry Head Nature Reserve

Berry Head Nature Reserve is a scenic coastal area that welcomes dogs on leads. Explore the rugged cliffs, and grassy meadows, and enjoy panoramic views of the English Channel. With its diverse wildlife and captivating history, this reserve offers an enriching experience for both you and your canine companion.

Cockington Country Park

Cockington Country Park is a dog-friendly haven nestled in the heart of Torbay. This sprawling parkland boasts picturesque gardens, tranquil woodlands, and serene lakes. Take your furry friend on a leisurely stroll through the park, revelling in the natural beauty and stopping by the dog-friendly café for a well-deserved treat.

Related: Best Things To See & Do In Cockington

Canonteign Falls Waterfall

Canonteign Falls is located within the Canonteign Estate near the village of Christow on the eastern edge of Dartmoor National Park and is considered one of the most magnificent natural attractions in the region. The waterfall is the highest is Devon with a drop of 70 metres, and is surrounded by beautiful woodland and stunning views.

Related: 6 Best Waterfalls in Devon to Visit

Bicton Park Botanical Gardens

Situated between Sidmouth and Exmouth, Bicton Park Botanical Gardens is an award-winning world heritage place to visit. With its manicured lawns, exotic plants, and peaceful atmosphere, it’s an ideal place to unwind with your dog by your side. The gardens are open to the public all year round.

Devon’s Historic Sites to Visit with Dogs

Devon is steeped in history, and there are numerous historic sites that welcome dogs and offer a glimpse into the county’s fascinating past. Here are some noteworthy attractions:

Torre Abbey

Torre Abbey is a historic landmark that welcomes dogs on leads in its beautiful gardens. Established in 1196, the popular landmark is a museum of history and art housed in an Ancient Scheduled Monument on the beautiful South Devon coast.

Take a stroll through the abbey’s meticulously maintained grounds, soak in the tranquil atmosphere, and admire the stunning architecture. You can also explore the art galleries and exhibitions that showcase the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Dartmouth Castle

Perched on the banks of the River Dart, Dartmouth Castle is a medieval fortress that has guarded the town for centuries. Take a leisurely stroll around the castle grounds with your furry companion and admire the breathtaking views of the estuary. Dogs are allowed on leads and can explore most outdoor areas.

Powderham Castle

Located beside the Exe estuary, just south of Exeter, Powderham Castle is a grand, picturesque country estate that dates back to the 14th century. Dogs are welcome as you explore the castle’s beautiful grounds, including the ancient deer park and gardens.

Totnes Castle

Totnes Castle is a fascinating historical site nestled in the heart of Totnes, Devon. This ancient Norman castle stands proudly atop a hill, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area. Step back in time as you explore its ruins, climb its tower, and imagine the stories that unfolded within its walls. A must-visit for history buffs and castle enthusiasts!

Exploring Devon’s Coastal Trails and the South West Coast Path with Dogs

One of the most appealing aspects of Devon is its breathtaking coastline, which stretches for miles, offering stunning vistas and scenic walks. 

The South West Coast Path is a renowned long-distance trail that runs along the entire coastline of Devon. With its rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and panoramic views, this path offers an unforgettable experience for both humans and dogs. Remember to keep your dog on a leash and clean up after them to preserve the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Dog-Friendly Beaches

Dog-Friendly beaches in Devon

Torbay is renowned for its breathtaking coastal beauty, and there are several dog-friendly beaches and walks where you can embrace the seaside charm.

Take a look at our guide for more beaches: 15 Dog-Friendly Beaches in South Devon

Here are a few recommendations:

Saunton Sands

Saunton Sands is another magnificent beach that welcomes dogs and provides a wonderful setting for a family day out. With its vast stretch of sandy shore, dunes, and rolling waves, it’s an ideal spot for long walks, picnics, and even a game of fetch with your furry friend.

Goodrington Sands

Goodrington Sands is a fantastic destination for families and their furry friends. This dog-friendly beach offers a vast expanse of golden sand, crystal-clear waters, and even a designated dog exercise area. Enjoy a game of fetch, take a leisurely walk along the promenade, or simply relax and soak up the sun while your dog enjoys the sights and sounds.

Dawlish Warren Beach

Dawlish Warren Beach, near Teignmouth, is a dog-friendly beach where your furry companion can enjoy running freely and splashing in the waves. It’s important to note that some areas have seasonal restrictions, so be sure to check the signage and guidelines before visiting.

Related: 5 Best Beaches In Teignmouth

Babbacombe Beach

Babbacombe Beach is a delightful spot where your dog can enjoy the sand, sea, and sunshine alongside the whole family. This small, shingle beach provides a tranquil setting for leisurely walks, beach games, and even a refreshing swim. Make sure to check the local regulations and signage for any restrictions.

Related: 10 Best Things to Do in Babbacombe

Dog friendly places to visit in Devon

Summary about Things to Do in Devon with a Dog

We hope this guide has given you some great furiendly ideas for your Devon getaway! Devon is a remarkable destination for dog owners, offering a wealth of activities, beautiful landscapes, and warm hospitality. 

From exploring coastal trails and embracing nature in parks to delving into the county’s rich history and enjoying vibrant markets, there’s something for every dog and their human companion to enjoy. 

So pack your bags, grab your furry friend, and embark on an unforgettable adventure in Devon.

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Torbay, take a look at the Quayside Hotel located in Brixham. The hotel is located on the harbourside close to all of the main attractions, beaches, shops, and restaurants. 

FAQs about Things to Do in Devon with a Dog

Can I bring my dog to all beaches in Devon?

Yes, some beaches in Devon are dog-friendly year-round, while others have restrictions during certain months. It’s advisable to check the local guidelines and signage before visiting a specific beach.

Are there any dog-friendly accommodation options in Devon?

Absolutely! Devon offers a wide range of dog-friendly accommodations, including hotels, cottages, and campsites. Many establishments provide facilities and amenities to ensure a comfortable stay for both you and your furry companion.

Are dogs allowed in pubs and restaurants in Devon?

While many pubs and restaurants in Devon may allow dogs, it’s always best to check with the establishment beforehand. Many places have designated dog-friendly areas or outdoor seating where you can enjoy a meal with your canine friend.

Can I take my dog on public transport in Devon?

Yes, dogs are generally allowed on public transport in Devon. However, there may be specific rules and regulations depending on the mode of transport. It’s advisable to check with the respective transport providers for more information.

What are some popular dog-friendly hiking trails in Devon?

Devon offers a plethora of scenic hiking trails that welcome dogs. Some popular options include the Exmoor National Park, Dartmoor National Park, and the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Always ensure you follow the designated paths and keep your dog under control.

Are dogs allowed in Paignton Zoo?

Unfortunately, dogs are not permitted in Paignton Zoo, with the exception of registered assistance dogs.

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Best waterfall in devon to visit and walk to

6 Best Waterfalls in Devon to Visit

A Guide to Devon’s Waterfalls

Looking for the best waterfall in Devon? In this article, we’ve put together Devon’s most stunning and picturesque waterfalls.

Waterfalls have a captivating beauty that draws people from all walks of life. Devon, a county in Southwest England, is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and rich natural beauty. 

Among its many natural wonders, Devon boasts an impressive collection of enchanting waterfalls that attract nature lovers and adventure seekers from near and far. From majestic cascades to hidden gems tucked away in lush woodlands, each waterfall in Devon is beautiful in its own right.

Whether it’s the family-friendly charm of Becky Falls or the awe-inspiring grandeur of Speke’s Mill Mouth waterfall, each waterfall provides a unique experience.

So, put on your walking shoes and get ready to explore some of the best waterfalls Devon has to offer.

The Best Waterfall in Devon

From the towering Canonteign Falls, the highest waterfall in Devon, to the hidden gems tucked away in Dartmoor National Park, there is something for every nature lover. Read on to find out which are our top six waterfalls to visit.

1. Watersmeet Waterfalls

Nestled within the picturesque valleys of the Exmoor National Park, Watersmeet Waterfalls is a true gem of Devon. As the East Lyn River cascades down a series of rocky ledges, it creates a mesmerising spectacle that delights the senses. 

The lush green surroundings and the soothing sound of rushing water make this waterfall an ideal spot for relaxation and tranquillity.

Canonteign Falls

2. Lydford Gorge Waterfall

Prepare to be awe-struck by the spectacular Lydford Gorge Waterfall near the village of Lydford. The steep but rewarding circular walk takes you to the 30-metre-high Whitelady waterfall deep in the gorge. 

The moderately challenging route takes an average of 3 h 45 min to complete and is very popular with walkers and hikers.

3. Canonteign Falls

Canonteign Falls is located within the Canonteign Estate near the village of Christow on the eastern edge of Dartmoor National Park. It is considered one of the most magnificent natural attractions in the region. 

The main waterfall has a total drop of around 70 meters (230 feet), making it the highest waterfall in Devon, and was created in 1890 by diverting a stream over the edge of a cliff. It is surrounded by beautiful woodland and offers stunning views, making it a popular destination for visitors and nature enthusiasts.

4. Becky Falls

Nestled amidst ancient woodlands, Becky Falls is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts. This picturesque waterfall, located on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, showcases the untouched beauty of Devon’s wilderness. 

Follow the winding trails, witness the cascading waters of Becky Falls, and be enchanted by the natural wonders that await around every corner.

5. Tarr Steps Waterfall

Tarr Steps Waterfall, situated on the River Barle in Exmoor, offers a unique and enchanting experience. The picturesque stone clapper bridge, dating back to prehistoric times, adds a touch of historical charm to the surroundings. 

Whether you are a seasoned hiker or someone who enjoys a leisurely walk, Tarr Steps is an excellent destination for those seeking to discover the wonders of Exmoor National Park.

You can take the long circular hike from Dulverton to Tarr Steps (12 miles) or walk down a 400m path to the Tarr Steps Bridge from the car park. 

6. Speke’s Mill Mouth

Situated on the Hartland Peninsula along the North Devon coast, Speke’s Mill Mouth waterfall is a picturesque natural attraction. The waterfall plunges approximately 50 meters (164 feet) down a rocky cliff into a rocky cove, creating a stunning display of cascading water. 

The area surrounding Speke’s Mill Mouth is also known for its rugged beauty, coastal cliffs, and scenic coastal walks. It is a popular spot for nature lovers, hikers, and photographers seeking to capture the beauty of the North Devon coastline.

Accessibility & Safety When Visiting A Waterfall in Devon

While Devon’s waterfalls offer a captivating experience, it’s crucial to consider accessibility and safety. Some waterfalls may require walking or hiking along uneven terrain, so it’s advisable to wear appropriate footwear and be mindful of your physical abilities. 

Always follow designated paths and respect any safety signs or guidelines provided at each location. It’s also recommended to inform someone about your plans and carry essential supplies such as water, snacks, and a first aid kit.

Best waterfalls in devon

Best Waterfall in Devon Summary

Devon’s best waterfalls offer a captivating blend of natural beauty, tranquillity, and adventure. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a nature lover, or simply seeking a serene escape, Devon’s waterfalls will not disappoint. From the thundering Lydford Gorge Waterfall to the hidden treasures of Watersmeet, these cascading wonders are a testament to the awe-inspiring power of nature.

These are our favourite waterfall walks in Devon. Book direct with us at the Quayside Hotel in Brixham for the best rates during your South Devon getaway. 

FAQs about the Best Waterfall in Devon

What is the highest waterfall in Devon?

The highest waterfall in Devon is Canonteign Falls.

How long is Canonteign Falls?

Canonteign Falls has a total drop of approximately 70 meters (230 feet).

Does Dartmoor have waterfalls?

Yes, Dartmoor does have waterfalls. While Dartmoor National Park is more known for its rugged landscapes, granite tors, and open moorland, there are indeed several waterfalls within the park. Some waterfalls in Dartmoor include Becky Falls, Canonteign Falls, and Venford Falls.

How many waterfalls are in Dartmoor?

There are several waterfalls in Dartmoor, but it is difficult to provide an exact number as they can vary in size and some may be seasonal.

Which is better Becky Falls or Canonteign Falls?

Both Becky Falls and Canonteign Falls are unique and offer their own distinct charms.
Becky Falls, located on the eastern edge of Dartmoor National Park, is known for its natural beauty and tranquil surroundings. It offers a more intimate and immersive experience, with several walking trails that allow visitors to explore the woodland, discover wildlife, and enjoy the cascading falls up close. 

On the other hand, Canonteign Falls, situated near the village of Christow, boasts the title of the highest waterfall in Devon. It offers a more dramatic and grandiose sight, with a total drop of approximately 70 meters (230 feet). The falls are set within the Canonteign Estate, surrounded by beautiful woodland and gardens.

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