Saltram House and Gardens
Close to Plymouth, Saltram House has over 500 acres of grounds and is itself a exquisite Georgian mansion full of interesting history and original objects. The house offers an insight into country estate life through the centuries with many impressive collections to discover such as paintings and marvellous interiors. Visitors can take themselves back in time by dressing up in Georgian and Regency costumes in Lord Morley's bedroom.
Located in the shadow of Dartmoor, Buckfast Abbey is a tranquil refuge for visitors. This is a working monastery where a group of Benedictine monks live and they welcome visitors from all around the world. At the centre of the site is the Abbey Church. The extensive grounds are enjoyable to walk around and the Grange Restaurant is on hand for tea and homemade cakes.
For over 600 years, Dartmouth Castle guarded the narrow entrance to the Dart Estuary and the port of Dartmouth and it is also one of the most beautifully located fortresses in England because of this. There is plenty to do at the castle including climbing to the top of the battlement for fantastic views of Dartmouth town, visiting the lower floor where the chain would have been stretched across the estuary, enjoying a home-made cream tea and taking a ferry ride to or from the castle which is perfect for wildlife spotting.
Home to the world famous Pennywell Miniature Pigs, Pennywell Farm is great for a family day out. There are different animal activities, shows and displays every half hour plus many seasonal events. Visitors can enjoy the Run Rabbit Go Carts or take tours of the enclosures where hedgehogs and race ferrets can be met plus bottlefeeding lambs and goats.
Woodlands Leisure Park
Devon's largest family theme park, Woodlands Leisure Park is a great day out for kids young and old! The park is home to one of the largest indoor play areas in the South West, fantastic water rides, a zoo farm plus lots more to entertain everyone.
Kingsbridge and District Light Railway Co
This little train that gave rides to adults and children between 1969 and 1991 is running again along the estuary during the summer months.
Set in 33 acres of stunning woodland with fantastic views of the surrounding countryside, Dartmoor Zoo is a unique and family owned zoo with a wide array of animals. The zoo also inspired the Hollywood movie We Bought a Zoo. The zoo has many animals to visit such as tigers, lions, jaguars, wolves, bears plus many more!
National Marine Aquarium
Located in Plymouth, this is the UK's largest aquarium which is dedicated to raising awareness of the ocean and the challenges they face. Discover mysterious sea creatures and be amazed by the Eddystone Reef tank which is home to the UK's largest single-tank viewing panel. The aquarium is also home to tanks of the Atlantic Ocean which house large nurse sharks and three species of rays! Finish the journey at the Great Barrier Reef tank which is home to Zebra sharks as well as Cooper the Humphead Wrasse and Samson the Giant Grouper!
Tucked away above Salcombe, this hidden paradise is waiting. The subtropical garden is bursting with colour and filled with exotic and rare plants in the gardens which surround the seaside home of scientist and inventor Otto Overbeck. Visitors can also go inside the house to see Otto's eclectic collections such as his Rejuvenator (which was once believed to cure all ills).
Mount Edgcumbe Country Park
Home to the former house of the Earls of Mount Edgcumbe, Mount Edgcumbe House is set in Grade I Cornish Gardens and part of a 865 acre country park. Perfect for family outings and group visits, the park is jointly owned by Cornwall Council and Plymouth City council whilst also being one of the most visited tourist destinations in the region. Visitors are encouraged to explore, enjoy and learn wandering through the vast grounds.
Take a balloon flight over the beautiful Devon and Cornwall countryside and take in the sights from above.
Beach Schools South West
This organisation works with parents to inspire outdoor learning for children on beaches. The work ties in with the national curriculum and is especially effective for children who find it difficult working in classrooms.
Venus Riders (Bigbury-on-Sea)
Situated right on the beach at Bigbury-on-Sea, Venus Riders offers water sports hire and tuition such as windsurfing, surfing and kayaking. Located next to the sandy beach, there is also the eco-friendly Venus Cafe which offers a delicious menu with locally-sourced food.
This is a family-run fishery which is situated in a rural hamlet in Start Bay. The ponds contain a wide variety of fish including carp, bream plus many more and are also positioned in a quiet location. In the summer months, they are a peaceful sun trap which is great for enjoying South Hams countryside and the wildlife such as Canadian geese, moorhens and occasionally kingfishers.
East Portlemouth to Salcombe ferry
This privately operated foot passenger ferry carries visitors between Salcombe and East Portlemouth and also provides a link to the Coast Path and access to East Portlemouth's sandy beaches
Newton Ferrers Equus Riding Stables
Located in the pretty countryside of South Hams, Newton Ferrers Equus offers a wide range of riding activities for all abilities. Riders can hack from the stunning countryside, take on woodland treks or even enjoy day rides on the beach or through Dartmoor. The stables have a large riding school, a small outdoor arena and also an indoor arena. Children can also partake in the 'Own a Pony' day where they will spend an entire day with a resident pony and learn stable management skills.
Sharpham Vineyard produces classic English wines which are award winning. Wines are produced at at this thousand year old farm which is located on the banks of the river Dart. Visitors can enjoy tours and tutored tastings plus can also sample the wines and award winning cheeses within the cafe and shop.
A Blue Flag awarded beach, Bigbury-on-Sea is the perfect spot for a family day out with gently shelving sands and safe swimming away from the river. Canoeing and windsurfing are popular activities here and then the tide is out, kite buggies swing around the sands of the bay. At high tide, the sea tractor takes people to Burgh Island which is a unique experience to have.
One of several locally owned sandy beaches owned by the National Trust, Thurlestone Sands attracts both families and water sports enthusiasts. Backed by a nature reserve, visitors can also spot rare and exciting birds in the area. The South Devon Coastal Path runs behind the beach and so those looking for some exercise can take walks and take in the delightful views. Water sports can also be found on the beach including kayaking, windsurfing and diving. Visibility is good in the clear water and there are more than 30 wrecks in the area with some being able to be explored.
South Devon Railway
Ideal for a traditional family day out, South Devon Railway takes you through the beautiful and unspoiled countryside on one of the longest established steam railways in the south west. The line runs for 7 miles from Buckfastleigh to Totnes and takes you along the beautiful valley of the river Dart. There are plenty of things to do at each end of the journey too.
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