We’re bringing you the best days out in Devon, and giving you great insights into all the local attractions. We’ve spent time at every single one, and return every year to ensure our reviews are completely up to date and you know what to expect. If we think your visit may be ruined by spoilers, we leave these out, instead concentrating on tips and advice on how to make the most of your day. There are some fantastic places to visit in Devon and we love most of them, find out about all the places to visit in Devon according to certain age ranges now.
These are in no particular order of favourties, however, those that stick in the mind will be mentioned first.
Whether you’re a visitor or a local, you’ll love our local insights into the best days out in Devon.
Watermouth Castle Review
I’d love to say, just go and experience it for yourselves as it’s thrillingly strange but wonderfully wacky and a lot of things rolled into one. It’s amazing and one of our favourite places to visit, again and again. Whether it’s sunny or rainy you’ll love it here, no matter what your age. There’s lots for toddlers and teens, just take a lot of change. It’s amazing. It’s best to go with the flow and simply explore. Go early and take your time. The cafes serve great food, but a picnic by the Maze is one of our favourite things to do.
Please don’t go with expectations of rollercoasters and thrill rides, the beauty of Watermouth castle is in the arcades, the demonstrations and the actual setting. The rides are more suitable for younger children. What are you waiting for?
Watermouth Castle won our award for the best day out in 2015.
National Marine Aquarium Review
We love this aquarium as it has a story behind it, that you’ll learn during a tour. With one of the biggest tanks in the uK, it really is a sight to explore. To ensure you enjoy a full day out, take advantage of activities on the day. You will also enjoy the neighbouring Rock Cafe, my favourite is the Seafood Platter.
Inside the aquarium there’s a small area for small children but the beauty of this gem lies in the talks and the tours. Find out how the National Marine Aquarium gives back to the sea and give a wave to the Lemon Sharks for me.
Make sure you have spending money for the gift shop, as it’s full of unique sea themed gifts.
The National Marine Aquarium also won our award for best day out in 2016.
Crealy Adventure Park Review
Crealy has become quite expensive of late, with prices matching that of Alton Towers. It seems a little strange considering it’s a tenth of the size of a normal theme park. Despite its small size though, there seems to be just enough to fit in a full day of fun, from the farmyard animals to the rides for all ages, and new areas under construction. It’s always clean and the staff are always extremely friendly. We visit quite often, as there’s always something new and a good day out can be guaranteed when planning a day at Crealy.
It’s worth mentioning that you can buy membership for Crealy which gives a good discount on entry and eateries within the park.
Milky Way Review
Milky Way seems strange on a first visit as it’s a huge place with wide open spaces. There’s plenty to do but due to the space it almost looks as if there is nothing there. We actually visit quite regularly now, and more is being added everytime we go. There are a few rollercoasters (one indoor that shouldn’t be missed), the bumper cars, the huge indoor play area, Little Stars for the smaller children, outdoor trampolines and a Bird of Prey Centre. There’s also exhibitions and magic shows. It is a full day out, and an enjoyable one at that, there’s always something going on. Unfortunately it doesn’t win our best day out award as it still has something missing, it needs a bit more, but it’s a great day out all the same.
Big Sheep Review
When we first considered the Big Sheep we wondered just how one sheep could provide a full day’s entertainment. The trick here is to ensure you’re on time for the shows. There’s lots to do from rides to outdoor and indoor play areas, but it’s the duck races and baby lamb feeding that make this a day out unlike any other. Big Sheep is also great at themes, and adding attractions, such as at Halloween and Christmas. You won’t be disappointed with a day the Big Sheep.
Pennywell Farm is a great place to get up close and personal with the animals. You can cuddle goats and feed the sheep and enjoy a pony ride. It’s not an entire day out unless you go when there’s an event on, but it is a lovely place to play and have a picnic.
Dinosaur and Wildlife Park Review
The dinosaur and wildlife park is a wonderful place to visit and we seem to find more everytime we go. A lot of reviews complain that it’s hilly, but we didn’t find the hills a problem and it is in the Devon countryside, it’s to be expected. The paths are fine for pushchairs, we tested them, so not too sure about the reviews here. There’s lots to see and do and you can even swim with the seals if you’re up to it. Make sure you arrive on the hour to see the dinosaurs wake up, and stay for the Wolf talk, one of our favourites of the whole place.
World of Country Life Review
The world of country life is a great place to visit to learn more about country life history. The exhibitions are extremley interesting and we loved getting up close and personal with steam trains and the old interiors. It did seem a little tired on the outside, although the visit to feed the llamas was incredible. It really is a fun day out, just be prepared to take lunch, and to wear wellies for some of the adventures.
Paignton Zoo and Living Coasts Review
Paignton zoo is a nice place to visit, with a lot of animals to see. Unfortunately, compared to other zoos, it did seem a little tired and not too visitor friendly. The dessert area was devoid of anything, the train ride (that you pay extra for) was very disappointing and the food was overpriced and covered in wasps. The play area is ok, and the animals are impressive, noteably, the elephant, the gorilla and lions. We were quite sad to see the elephant banging her head against the wall while the full area didn’t seem to have water, such as a pond or lake for the elephant to spray herself with. We do appreciate she’s blind though. The most notable aspect of the review was the customer service. When we asked if we could visit to do a review, and to promote Paignton to our thousands of readers we were met with complete hostility, when we tried to explain, our email address was blocked. It seemed such a shame. I would suggest buying tickets for Living Coasts and Paignton Zoo and visiting both in a day. Despite our misgivings there is still plenty to see, and the gift shop is one of the very best we’ve seen. The ice cream is also out of this world, while most of the animals have lots of space.
Tarka Pottery near Torrington is a great place to spend an afternoon learning how to make a whole range of pottery, from superheroes to ceramic bunting. Jax Williams is your hostess and is extremely warm and friendly. She handles groups very well and imparts her wisdom with great teaching skills. We visit Tarka Pottery at least once during the holidays, as we can all make something to keep forever. You can join in with the group days or book Tarka Pottery for yourself and your family.
The Gnome Reserve
the Gnome reserve is a wonderful place to visit for children under five, find all the different gnomes and even pretend to be one yourself. Make sure you set your satnav properly, as it’s quite easy to get lost in the Devon countryside if you just follow the brown signs!