This week’s focus is on East Devon, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) with its Jurassic coast, rolling countryside and charming towns.
Something for the children
When searching for the next destination for your family holiday, making sure there will be places and activities for the children is always important. We have outlined some of the fantastic activities that are on offer in East Devon.
Up first is the wonderful Donkey Sanctuary, open 365 days a year this lovely attraction allows you to meet and pet their donkeys. The Donkey Sanctuary is a British charity founded in 1969 that aims to improve the welfare of donkeys around the world. They have many sites across the country, but Sidmouth is where they started. This visitor attraction enables you to meet and pet the donkeys, learn about the life of a donkey and what the charity does. Additionally, while visiting, you can enjoy scenic trails, walk around their award-winning ‘Donkeys Matter’ garden, enjoy events put on by the attraction and refuel at their family-friendly restaurant.
Seaton Jurassic takes you on a journey back in time. A tourist attraction that showcases the Jurassic world through interactive equipment, fossils and more. As well as learning about the Jurassic period the attraction boasts an array of other activities on offer such as craft-making sessions, Time Traveller trails and live history shows.
If you are looking for a day of adventure, then Wildwood Escot is a perfect choice. There is everything from wild animals to a 40m zip line with something to keep the whole family amused. It is located only 15 minutes east of Exeter on the A30 between Ottery St. Mary and Honiton. The perfect spot for families holidaying in East Devon. Wildwood Escot homes animals that include Wolves, Lynx, Wildcat, Red Squirrels and Birds of Prey. The play areas include both an indoor soft play and outdoor adventure play which includes trampolines, drop slides and more.
Crealy Theme Park will provide you with a day to remember, filled with laughter and fun. The award-winning family theme park boasts over 60 rides and attractions including indoor rides, outdoor rides, indoor soft play and farm and zoo animals. In addition to all the rides and attractions, the theme park provides spectacular live entertainment shows to keep the little ones entertained.
Something for the Shoppers
When it comes to towns, East Devon has lots on offer, from towns filled with scrumptious food to charming local villages. Seaton is an idyllic town to visit, its natural beauty and calm waters make it the perfect destination for sports enthusiasts, with water sports, cycling and walking being enjoyed everywhere. If you are a food lover, then Topsham should be on the cards with its wide variety of great restaurants, bars and cafes. Honiton is a lively market town, known for its lace and pottery. It has great eateries and can be accessed via train direct from London, Woking Salisbury and Exeter. Finally, Sidmouth is a town that should be on your list. The town boasts clean beaches, friendly shops and beautiful gardens.
If you are one to enjoy art then the Thelma Hubert Gallery, Honiton, is a wonderful choice. An award-winning public art gallery showcasing contemporary art and craft exhibitions alongside a permanent collection of artist Thelma Hulbert’s work. In addition to the exhibitions, workshops can also be enjoyed where you can get your hands dirty and get involved.
Lyme Bay Winery is the perfect stop for those who enjoy the taste of good wine, cider and spirits. The winery is now allowing viewings of the vineyard, the harvesting process and of course a taste of the scrumptious produce.
For those of you that want to escape to Devon and learn a new skill than The Old Kennels, Dunkeswell may be just what you are looking for. Courses range from drawing to stone carving and everything in between. The Old Kennels is renowned for its relaxed atmosphere and excellent tutors. It is the ideal place to indulge in your creative side.
If food is on your agenda, then where better to learn and taste than River Cottage Head Office itself. River Cottage holds a range of events to attend including the likes of River Cottage Festival and Christmas at River Cottage. They also hold a range of cookery classes to learn more about how to cook and enjoy seasonal food.
If you enjoy getting outdoors and enjoying the fresh air, then East Devon is a brilliant choice for you. East Devon has many places that are Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) making it a beautiful countryside escape. Seaton Wetlands is a great stop with over 4km of level trails and boardwalks that are suitable for wheelchairs, bikes and pushchairs. The beautiful marshland is home to an abundance of wildlife to be enjoyed.
Beer Beach is set in the picturesque fishing village of Beer. Surrounded by limestone cliffs the beach is sheltered making for a lovely beach day. In addition to the town and beach, Beer is renowned for its caves! Beer Quarry Caves provides you with guided tours of the 2,000-year-old man-made caves. This is an interesting attraction that delves into the history of Beer.
Bicton Park Botanical Gardens is another fantastic tourist attraction to get outside and enjoy nature. Set in 64 acres of land, this 300-year-old park and garden is home to many rare plant species collected from around the world. One spectacular section of the garden is the Palm House, made from over 18,000 panes of glass and built 20 years before Kew Gardens Palm House. The Palm House is home to a whole array of Palms. In addition to the gardens, you can investigate the Countryside Museum which contains a huge collection of interesting tools from bygone days. Bicton Park Botanical Gardens also has a large indoor and outdoor play area’s to keep the children entertained while the adults can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee from the cafe.
Continuing with the love of gardens, Knightshayes National Trust is another beautiful attraction. A 19th-century parkland grand Gothic Revival home, the big house is surrounded in acres of glorious gardens and parkland. The formal and woodland gardens are one of the most varied plant collections in the country with over 12,000 plants species.
If East Devon is now a place that you just have to visit, Devon Farm Holidays is here to help. With a variety of holiday accommodation which includes high quality, relaxing self-catering cottages or charming Bed and Breakfast. There is accommodation to suit all in East Devon with Devon Farms.