31st January 2022

Guide to a fun-filled family getaway

Experience a charismatic city with a lot to offer during your family adventures. 

The Devon Hotel boasts close proximity to an array of family-friendly days out. Whether you want to stay local to the vibrant city of Exeter, venture to nearby towns or discover coastal delights. Exeter is the city that keeps on giving with a wide range of activities to keep the whole family entertained. 

We’ve put together a guide of things to do and places to visit, that will transform your family staycation into a paradise full of family adventures.

1. Pig cuddles at Pennywell Farm:

A blissful farm experience, escape to Pennywell Farm for a much-needed cuddle. Pennywell Farm is one not to be missed, situated just outside the town of Buckfastleigh in South Devon, less than a 30-minute drive from The Devon Hotel. It’s a leading tourist attraction proving popular for people of all ages, with farmland animals awaiting to capture the hearts of those visiting. 

If you’re an animal lover, Pennywell Farm is set to become your new favourite attraction. There’s plenty to do, with almost every activity involving some kind of farm friend. With opportunities to bottle feed baby animals, race ferrets, meet hedgehogs, pamper the ponies, walk goats, not forgetting having the chance to cuddle their world-famous miniature piglets. To add to the magic of Pennywell Farm, you will be able to cheer and laugh at the Pig Racing, which is a must. It's impossible to think of a more animal-filled day out. 

2. Funsized day out at the Miniature Pony Centre:

The Miniature Pony Centre is a farm attraction based in the centre of Dartmoor National Park, just a 40-minute drive from The Devon Hotel. The Miniature Pony Centre is a great ‘hands-on’ day out filled with heartwarming animal interactions and pony magic for children and adults alike, known as the cutest and cuddliest attraction in Dartmoor.

Discover Dartmoors only known ‘unicorn’ residents, miniature and mammoth donkeys, miniature shetlands and their foals, miniature pigs and piglets and the centres Suffolk punch horse formally known as Harris, who are all waiting to meet you during your visit to Dartmoor National Park.

3. A hay-tastic day out at the Donkey Sanctuary:

Open 365 days a year, The Donkey Sanctuary is sure to captivate you during your visit. Situated near the coast in Sidmouth, approximately a 32-minute drive from The Devon Hotel. This attraction will take you from the vibrant city of Exeter, and transport you to a seaside town known as being the gateway to the Jurassic Coast. We can’t think of a better family delight than interacting with animals, the Donkey Sanctuary is home to donkeys, mules and hinnies. The sanctuary is set to become a day full of meeting the friendly resident donkeys, exploring the indoor attractions including the visitor Centre, understanding the donkey’s zone and Dr Svendsen’s hut. There are also guided walks, scenic trails and a maze to lose yourself in. 

4. Quirky adventures at Peak Hill llamas:

Whilst we’re focusing on the scenic town of Sidmouth, why not discover your new favourite walking companion. Sometimes the best days out as a family, are those where you share a new experience - Peak Hill Llamas, is the most charming opportunity to walk with llamas on the Jurrasic Coast. You’ll enjoy scenic views as you feed, groom, train or walk the llamas depending on the type of experience you choose to do. You’ll also get the opportunity to observe them from the llama-lookout gazebo where you’ll learn all about their gentle and friendly nature. 

5. Explore Haldon Forest Park:

Heading into the great outdoors will always be a family favourite. Unlike most cities Exeter stays true to its countryside surroundings, discover the cities very own forest during your stay. Exeter is home to Haldon Forest Park, made up of 3,500 acres of woodland with an array of trails no matter the type of walker you are, whether you're more of a casual stroller or experienced hiker. There are five walking routes and five cycling trails, all of which can be enjoyed when you head just 15 minutes out of Exeter.

6. Darts Farm adventures:

Reconnect with nature at Darts Farm, situated just 13 minutes from The Devon Hotel. Darts Farm offers a scenic farm to explore in a vibrant city location, take a stroll around the farm, greet the animals, wind your way through the vegetable fields and discover wildlife in the bird hide overlooking the wetlands. All whilst breathing in the beautiful Devonshire fresh air and taking in the delightful views of the Exe Estuary. Depending on the time of year you visit, bask in seasonal delights with summer months boasting sunflower picking at Darts Farm where you can pick your very own bright yellow bunch of happiness.

7. Feel bigger than life itself at Babbacombe Model Village:

A world of wonder awaits you at the Babbacombe Model Village, located in Torquay just a half-hour drive from The Devon Hotel. Discover the sensation of being a giant as you topple over 426 buildings, some of which you’re bound to recognise. Start the experience by stepping through the small entrance and take in the novelty of the experience as a vast miniature world opens up before your eyes.

Explore 4 acres of award-winning gardens showcasing hundreds of model scenes, vehicles and people, including the Royal Crescent, the house on fire, Stonehenge, a fire breathing dragon, the model railway, the football stadium as well as many more for your to discover. We advise you to take your time around the attraction, taking in the details of the models and discover hidden details many people miss. Don’t miss an opportunity to have a round of mini-golf, with this being no extra charge to visitors. 

8. Get your adrenaline pumping at Crealy Adventure Park:

Get rollercoaster ready as you head to Crealy Theme Park & Resort from the Safari express, Crealy Grand Prix and the Twister it will be sure to be a fun-filled day out. Crealy is an award-winning family Theme Park in Devon, discover for yourself why they have been voted as the best day out in Devon for eight years running. With over 60 rides and attractions, spectacular entertainment, live shows and animals galore, there’s something for everyone. Crealy often hosts themed events throughout the year, be sure to check out their website before you visit to see what’s going on during your stay.

Devon is full of family fun so sit back and bask in the glory that we’ve made planning your fun-filled itinerary an easy task. At The Devon Hotel, our family rooms are the perfect addition to your family getaway, explore family delights through the day and retreat to cosy and luxurious surroundings by evening.

South Devon is the staycation destination where making special memories that will last a lifetime comes easily. 

We cannot wait to welcome you on your family vacay.