Even in the micro-climate of the West Country we experience wet and rainy days but there is no need to despair as Visit Devon has a very handy entertainment guide for families when the raindrops do start to fall. www.visitdevon.co.uk
The dedicated page on the Visit Devon website is a great place to start: www.visitdevon.co.uk/things-to-do/rainy-days
In the North of the County…. if you are a keen surfer you won’t mind getting wet so the glorious surfing beaches of Croyde and Woolacombe are a great place to book a surfing lesson.
If you do want to keep dry then there is a lot to entertain you…at Braunton there is the new award winning Museum of British Surfing which has opened this year. Discover why Agatha Christie and the Duke of Windsor were early surfing fans, along with a fascinating collection of wetsuits, boards, photographs and memorabilia. www.museumofbritishsurfing.org.uk
Ilfracombe Aquarium is an exciting award-winning all weather attraction which gives an insight into the watery world around North Devon. www.ilfracombeacquarium.co.uk. North Devon is also home to two theatres: the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple and the Landmark in Ilfracombe. Both are open for matinees and workshops for children. www.northdevontheatres.org.uk
North Devon’s major family adventure theme parks are the Big Sheep at Bideford and the Milky Way at Clovelly. Both have great areas where you can be undercover. The Big Sheep has Ewetopia a huge soft play area and slides as well as a nursery barn and pets corner where you can feed the lambs etc. www.thebigsheep.co.uk
The Milky Way has Toddler Tastic Fantasy Farm and Toddler Town which offer an astonishing 6573 square feet of fun for the under 5’s with puzzles, soft play, ball pools, mini ride on tractors, sand pits and much more. Little ones love riding in Humphrey the caterpillar around the Big Apple track and then there’s the popular Milky Way train. www.themilkyway.co.uk Barnstaple also has a historic indoor pannier market which has changed little in the past 150 years and it is a wonderful place to enjoy the fascinating mix of local food producers, arts and crafts and antiques.
Westward Ho! has some good old fashioned fun for children with its penny arcades where you can get rid of loose change while keeping the children entertained. The Waterfront Inn at Westward Ho! is a great place for a family lunch, and it has a huge soft play area for the under 12s.
South Molton in North Devon is home to the Quince Honey Farm. It has 1500 hives and at Bee World you can discover all you need to know about bees, and they also have a colony of leaf cutting ants. A new soft play area for children has just opened and there is a café with Devon cream teas and some award winning honey ice cream. www.quincehoney.co.uk
Also in South Molton is a brilliant indoor climbing centre at the Rock and Ride Adventure Centre. It is open seven days a week and has everything to test novice to the more experienced climber. www.rockandrapidadventures.co.uk/
Please visit for further details of all weather attractions and rainy day ideas: http://www.northdevon.com/inspire-me/ Visitors can also download a mobile phone app and search for rainy day ideas and things to do. the app is available on both iPhone and smart phones. For info go to www.findmydevon.com In the Heart of Devon at Exeter families can have fun discovering a unique ancient monument by going underground to explore the city’s 14th century medieval passages under Exeter’s high street. www.exeter.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2914 Exeter also boasts one of Europe’s finest medieval cathedrals and hosts some inspiring classical concerts. It also located next to Exeter’s vibrant Princesshay shopping area with its new boutique shops, fine cafes and restaurants.
St Nicholas Priory in Exeter gives an extraordinary insight into Tudor life as it is presented as the 1602 home of the wealthy Hurst family. It is an award winning museum and it is very family friendly. www.exeter.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=10056
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter has just reopened after a multi-million pound refit and has been awarded the national award of Museum of the Year. It is home to more than a million individual objects and specimens from all over the globe. It stages photography and art exhibitions and has fine collections of everything from archaeology, textiles, fine art and local history. www.rammuseum.org.uk
Reach new heights at the Quay Climbing Centre in Exeter, the South West’s largest dedicated indoor climbing wall. The centre breathes new life into the Old Electricity Works, one of Exeter’s most identifiable buildings where, at over 15 metres at the apex, the atrium provides a majestic space in which to climb. www.quayclimbingcentre.co.uk
Crealy Park just outside Exeter is the perfect family theme park whatever the weather as it has huge indoor barns with and soft play area to keep the young at heart happy. www.crealy.co.uk
Ten minutes drive away from Crealy Park is the delightful Darts Farm, a retail heaven for those who love to shop. With an Aga Shop, Fired Earth, gardens and interior design shops and a fabulous West Country food hall and deli, and cafes. A pilates studio and hair and day spa have just opened. www.dartsfarm.co.uk
Head on to East Devon and savour the delights of travel by tram at the Seaton Tramway www.tram.co.uk or why not try the World of Country Life at nearby Exmouth. www.worldofcountrylife.co.uk For more details of these attractions visit www.heartofdevon.com
Further South in Devon near the heart of the Dartmoor National Park, Ashburton Cookery School offers a huge array of one day and weekend cookery courses at its purpose built state of the art kitchens. Forget the rain and the washing up as all you need to concentrate on here is the glorious food you will have fun producing and eating. www.ashburtoncookeryschool.co.uk
Buckland Abbey near Yelverton was originally a Cistercian monastery and which was also the home of one of England’s greatest heroes, Sir Francis Drake. It has ancient buildings to explore, craft workshops and many exhibitions to enjoy. You may also discover the legend of Drake’s drum! http://www.dartmoor.co.uk/what-to-do/buckland-abbey-p133193
Morwellham Quay Historic Port Farm and Copper Mine is an award winning museum and visitor centre at Tavistock situated near the Devon/Cornwall border. Costumed guides and craftsman are on hand to give a great insight into the Victorian world of Morwellham Quay. A tramway will take you into a copper mine and the whole panoply of Victorian life will unfold before your eyes. http://www.dartmoor.co.uk/what-to-do/morwellham-quay-historic-port-farm-and-copper-mine-p137403
For more on these attractions please visit www.visitdartmoor.co.uk
Highlights in South Devon include Pennywell Farm which is home to the famous mini pigs. Plus lots undercover here to delight all ages, from piglets and rabbits to ferret racing at the indoor theatre along with its charming puppet shows. If your visit coincides with rainy weather, Pennywell Farm will give you a ticket to come back to the attraction for free on another day. www.pennywellfarm.co.uk
A `’must do`’ South Devon experience is a trip with the Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat company. Take a journey back in time on the vintage steam railway through the rolling hills and glorious coastal towns of South Devon. Or hop on a boat to cruise down the River Dart. An award winning round robin ticket will not disappoint. www.dartmouthrailriver.co.uk
A visit to the 600 year old Powderham Castle is an enchanting day out as the castle is one of the oldest family houses in England. A visit to Powderham reveals secret doors, stunning castle rooms and intriguing stories which really bring history to life. Don’t forget to visit the recently restored Victorian Kitchen when you can imagine the life of a Victorian servant below stairs.
Why not create a unique souvenir of your trip to Devon at China Blue, the paint-your-own ceramic studio at Totnes in South Devon. It is the largest attraction of its kind in the South West and it will fill you full of artistic inspiration whatever the weather. Its pottery painting fun for everyone, they provide the setting, you provide the imagination! http://www.visitsouthdevon.co.uk/lots-to-do/china-blue-p276003
The House of Marbles at Bovey Tracey is a working glass and games factory set in a historic pottery. Visitors are entertained by the wonderful collection of marble runs and the new giant floating marble as well as many other unusual but fun attractions. Entry is free and there is free parking and a fabulous restaurant and café for refreshments.
For more on these attractions please visit: www.visitsouthdevon.co.uk
The wonderfully restored home of prolific crime novelist Agatha Christie at Greenway can be accessed by boat from the River Dart. If you visit in September, you will be able to enjoy a whole range of events. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/greenway. www.englishriviera.co.uk
You can also explore the fantastic and pre-historic Kents Cavern which is part of the UNESCO European and Global Geopark. Be amazed by the awesome beauty of the caves. www.kents-cavern.co.uk
Alternatively discover the underwater world of the Seashore Centre at Goodrington at Paignton. www.countryside-trust.org.uk. Or pop over to Plymouth to the delights of the National Marine Aquarium which is the UK’s biggest aquarium and it is right on the waterfront at Plymouth and close to Sutton harbour and the historic Plymouth Hoe and the Barbican area. The aquarium takes you on an underwater journey across the globe to the shores of Plymouth sound.www.national-aquarium.co.uk
The Royal William Yard at Plymouth is another great place to visit whatever the weather. The Grade 1 former Royal Naval victualling buildings are now the vibrant venue for a wide range of cafes, bars, restaurants, museums and art galleries. The River Cottage team has just opened their latest canteen there and there is a brilliant community bakery to enjoy homemade and artisan bread. www.royalwilliamyardharbour.co.uk
There is also the Plymouth Life Centre which is ideal for the ultimate sporty family, and £46 million has been invested in this newly opened top- flight leisure facility. Plymouth is the home of Olympic diver Tom Daley and the centre has 3 swimming pools to keep Tom happy, plus, squash courts, Badminton Courts, indoor bowls, gym and fitness suite. www.everyoneactive.co.uk
Plymouth Pavilions boasts an ice rink and swimming pool and it is also a great venue for a night out with the family as it hosts the UK’s best entertainment acts and comedians.www.plymouthpavilions.com .
Finally Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery has lots of free children’s activities throughout the year. www.plymouthmuseum.gov.uk . For more details of these attractions please visit:www.visitplymouth.co.uk
For more information about the Devon Tourism Partnership, contact: Jess Whistance Mob: 07748 635869 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Devon Tourism Partnership The Devon Tourism Partnership (DTP) comprises Devon County Council and the following Area Tourism Partnerships: North Devon Plus, English Riviera Tourism Company, Visit South Devon, Plymouth City Council, Dartmoor Partnership, Heart of Devon Tourism Partnership and also Devon Association of Tourism Attractions. The role of the DTP is to protect and promote the Visit Devon brand, enabling the growth of the Devon tourism sector. The key objectives of the partnership are; • The promotion of the Visit Devon brand through co-ordinated marketing and PR campaigns as well as the provision of a Visit Devon website. • Creating a Tourism Strategy for Devon which sets out the framework to develop Devon as a visitor destination. • Ensuring that there is a quality product on offer to visitors, through accreditation, skills and awards. • Monitoring the performance of Devon as a major tourism destination.
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