Family Attractions in North Devon
North Devon’s countryside is full of things to do. You can place a bet on a sheep race (really), ride a roller coaster and just about everything in between. Families love visiting our two biggest (and best known) themed parks, The Big Sheep and The Milky Way, where there are rides, animal encounters and all kinds of all-weather activities. The Big Sheep also has a high ropes course and a mountain boarding centre nearby as well as The Ultimate Wipeout, an assault course based on the popular TV show. The Milky Way is home to, among other attractions, North Devon’s only rollercoaster. Both are located on the A39 west of Bideford.
Torrington has its share of attractions too. At Dartington Crystal you can see how crystal is made and watch talented glass blowers at work. At Torrington 1646 Centre you can meet the characters who took part in the last battle of the English Civil war. A less turbulent façade is represented here too: the gardens at RHS Rosemoor are delightful, whenever you visit.
Barnstaple has a great museum and a state of the art tennis centre and leisure centre. You can also take walking tours of the town to see alms houses and the crooked spire of St Peter’s. The Strand and Rock Park is lovely for a riverside walk and an ice cream on sunny days. On wet days Funderzone is a massive indoor play area for the kids.
Outdoor activities are big in North Devon. Kayaking and canoeing are popular on the River Torridge and you can hire your craft in Bideford for an afternoon out on the water. You can hire bikes from here too, if you fancy a jaunt on the Tarka trail, an off-road cycle track that runs from Braunton to Peters Marland. Cruising along the river for an ice cream at Instow is a great way to spend an afternoon. The Tamar Lakes are also great for watersports as well as nature walks and rambles. At the South West lakes Trust activity centre you can learn to sail or kayak under expert instruction.
If bees make you buzz then South Molton is the place to go. The Quince Honey Farm will give you an insight into the lives of these most marvellous – and essential – of our creatures. Mind you, if it’s close encounters you want, then step aboard the Oldenburgh at Bideford and take a cruise to Lundy, where a snorkelling tour will bring you up very close to some of our friendliest residents – the seals of Lundy Island.
There's plenty of award winning attractions, zoos, aquariums that provide fun for all the family, whatever the weather - when you are staying at one of our cottages in North Devon and Exmoor.
For more ideas, events and local attractions, please visit northdevon.com
Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park
The Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park is home to many exotic birds and animals but also watch out for the dinosaurs! Feed the lions, meet the sea lions plus there are plenty of daily shows and displays to keep everyone entertained. And new for 2015 is the Dino Express Train and new dinosaurus playzone. Higher Leigh Manor, Combe Martin, Ilfracombe, EX34 0NG, Tel: 01271 882486
Watch live glass making demonstrations and discover the history of over 40 years of Dartington Crystal at their factory tour. Open all year round. Dartington Crystal, Torrington, Devon, EX38 7AN, Tel: 01805 626262
Home to some of the most beautiful and exotic animals in the world. Exmoor Zoo allows visitors to view the animals in a relaxed and friendly environment. With over 160 species in the zoo, we can assure you there's much to see! And it's the only place you are guaranteed to see the elusive Exmoor Beast. Exmoor Zoological Park, South Stowford, Bratton Fleming, Barnstaple, North Devon, EX31 4SG, Tel: 01271 328328
The Funder Zone is North Devon's largest and most well known indoor soft play centre! The massive four storey play frame is a great play area that's full of slides, rope bridges and spiders webs for anyone aged 3 and up(even adults can play too). For the younger children there's a dedicated area with added safety. Unit 4, Whiddon Valley, Barnstaple, North Devon, EX32 8RY, 01271 328328
Follow an aquatic journey from the source at Exmoor to the Atlantic Ocean to discover the many species of fish and sea life that can be found locally in North Devon. It's a great all-weather, family attraction to be enjoyed by all. The Old Lifeboat House, The Pier, Ilfracombe Harbour, Ilfracombe, EX34 9EQ
Ilfracombe Princess - Taste of the Coast
The Ilfracombe Princess cruises is somewhat of a gem within Devon. The fully licensed 100 passenger boat, allows travelers to see the wonderful coastal features and sea life that Devon has to offer including seals, dolphins and porpoises in a comfortable and safe manner. Number 1 Pier Kiosk, The Quay, Ilfracombe, Devon, EX34 9EQ, 01271 879727
Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway
This Victorian Water Powered Lift offers the best and most unique way to travel between the two picturesque towns of Lynton and Lynmouth. Everyone will enjoy the most spectacular views as you travel up and down its tracks. No visit to these two towns would be complete without a ride on the Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway. The Cliff Railway, The Esplanade, Lynmouth, North Devon, EX35 6EQ, Tel: 01598 753486
Lynton & Barnstaple Railway
The Lynton and Barnstaple Railway offers a taste of a narrow-gauge rail experience at its Woody Bay station in Exmoor National Park. It is part of an exciting project to fully restore and rebuild the original railway line. Dogs welcome. Lynton & Barnstaple Railway, Woody Bay Station. Martinhoe Cross, Parracombe, EX31 4RA, Tel: 01598 763487
The Milky Way
There’s something for everyone from the innovative new Little Stars play area designed just for babies to six years to the Cosmic Typhoon roller coaster, droid destroyer dodgems and spectacular bird of prey displays. Your adventure awaits…are you ready? The Milky Way Adventure Park, Clovelly, Bideford, EX39 5RY, Tel: 01237 431255
North Devon Wake Park
North Devon Wake Park is now officially open for bookings! From beginners to expert boarders, prices start from £32 per session. The Milky Way, Bideford, North Devon, EX39 5RY
MV Balmoral Excursions
Motor vessel Balmoral is a classic coastal excursion ship providing cruises around the UK coastline, including afternoon cruises from Ilfracombe Pier to view either the dramatic Exmoor coastline or the beautiful Atlantic coastline of North Devon towards Hartland. Facilities on board include a restaurant, bar, gift shop and comfortable lounges. A trip on MV Balmoral will be a highlight of any North Devon holiday.
Quince Honey Farm
Visit the 'Beeworld', an impressive exhibition of everything about 'bees'. Plus there is The Happy Bee Play Hive, a large indoor soft play area with its Critter Cabin, home to lots of creepy crawlies. A fun and educational day out for all. Quince Honey Farm, South Molton, Devon, EX36 3AZ, Tel: 01769 572401
Rock and Rapid Centre
The Rock and Rapid Adventure Centre offers an exciting range of outdoor courses, activities and expeditions that includes an indoor climbing wall, abseiling, rock climbing, kayaking and coasteering. Rock and Rapid Adventure Centre, Hacche Mill, South Molton, EX36 3NA
Tiverton Canal Co, is well worth a visit if youre looking to enjoy a unique family day out. This Canal Tourist Attraction, has lots to do, from taking a ride on one of the last Horse-Drawn Barges in the UK, to offering visitors the chance to hire boats and explore this beautiful waterway, or just relaxing on the Ducks Ditty floating Café Bar, moored on the canal at Tiverton. The Wharf, Canal Hill, Tiverton, Devon EX16 4HX, Tel: 01884 253345
The Gnome Reserve
A guaranteed fun day out, visit over 1000 gnomes and pixies at the reserve whilst walking through the stunning gardens situated in the beautiful countryside between Bude and Bideford. Bring your camera along and explore the gardens, they’ll even lend you a free gnome hat. West Putford, Nr Bradworthy, Devon, EX22 7XE 01409 241435
Watermouth Family Theme Park and Castle
In a stunning location overlooking Watermouth Cove, this family attraction offers a Victorian castle with beautiful landscaped gardens and a theme park, packed full of rides, play areas and entertainment for all. Watermouth Castle, Berrynarbor, Ilfracombe, Devon, EX34 9SL, Tel: 01271 867474