Devon, the English county, is a brilliant spot for an family holiday all through the year. Though the warmer days from spring through autumn are better. That is, if you prefer t-shirts to raincoats. In the busy summer months, the region is buzzing with families enjoying a wide range of activities. Here are some ideas:
Spend some time at Woolacombe Bay
This beachside family holiday camping park gives you loads of opportunities to wear the kids out having fun. There’s the beach, just downslope from the main park, which on a summer’s day is busy with kids of all ages.
If you need a change, head for the water park or the health spa for mum. The sports area lets you try out wall climbing, volleyball, tennis and more. Or try out the surfing school, which will both provide lessons in surfing and laughs from watching mum and dad trying to remain standing.
Should the weather turn more ‘English’, there’s also an indoor heated pool, shows in the evening and restaurants and shopping to make the time pass by. You’ll have a choice of renting a holiday home or camping while at Woolacombe.
More on www.woolacombe.co.uk
Explore Exmoor Zoo
This zoo, which won the award for Best Small Attraction for the South West in 2013, is unique among zoos.
Exmoor isn’t a wildlife park or city zoo, but is a more personal experience where you can get up close and personal with many of the animals. There’s the opportunity to touch a snake, or feed a wallaby during one of the talks and feeding times taking place several times a day.
Exmoor Zoo is located in a valley in North Devon, out in the deep countryside by the side of Exmoor National Park.
More on www.exmoorzoo.co.uk
Dartington Crystal tells the story of glassmaking
Both exciting and educational for the kids, and an intriguing look into a traditional craft for the adults. Dartington Crystal tours take in glassmaking demonstrations and the skilled handiwork of master glass engravers.
And after the tour, you can bring home a beautiful souvenir from the on-site glass shop.
More at www.dartington.co.uk/visit-us/
Victorian life at Watermouth Castle
Watermouth Castle could be said to be an experience in two parts.
First the educational look back into Victorian times as seen in the period kitchens, dungeons, and mechanical robot organ.
Then you have the gorgeous Victorian gardens that have been filled with animated fairytale scenes and the country of little people: Gnomeland.
Merry-Go-Land offers up fun-rides, a hedge maze, and a steam ride for the younger kids. And there’s much more in Adventure Land and the Watermouth Fayre.
More on www.watermouthcastle.com
The Devon Railway Centre
Children of all ages love trains. In fact, I think the above 40s love them more than the under 10s! The Devon Railway Centre, near Tiverton, offers up a host of in and outdoor railway themed attractions.
Children can clip passenger tickets and wave the conductor’s flag to start the train, and there are unlimited train rides around the centre all through the visit. A very interactive day, the centre will keep kids interested for hours.
More on www.devonrailwaycentre.co.uk
Photo by John Shardlow on flickr
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