The quaint village of Spreyton offers a picturesque spot from which to explore the delights of Dartmoor, with easy access to both the North and East Devon coasts.
The quaint village of Spreyton, just to the north of Dartmoor, is ideally located for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders to explore the rugged wild beauty of the Dartmoor National Park.
Dartmoor, characterised by its distinctive granite tors, and rising in parts to over 2000 feet, offers a wonderful variation in landscape, from the barren remoteness of the higher moorland, to the rivers rushing over granite boulders down to deep wooded valleys and traditional farms.
The Tors are huge granite outcrops left standing after the last glacial period and it is these that are the centre of attention in the famous 10 Tors walk, which hundreds of school children compete over as part of the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.
Other nearby attractions include Okehampton Golf Club, the dramatic Castle Drongo National Trust overlooking the Teign Gorge, the bustling seaside town and gateway to the Jurassic coast at Exmouth, the cathedral city of Exeter, and the picturesque North Devon clifftop town of Lynton and pretty harbour village at Lynmouth.
A holiday cottage in Spreyton offers a picturesque spot from which to explore the delights of Dartmoor, with easy access to both the North and East Devon coasts.
For those looking to bring a little extra excitement to their South Devon holiday, Go Ape in Exeter, with its views over Dartmoor National Park, is something of an adventure playground. Complete with zip wires and tree top adventures – you may be interested to know that it’s the first of its kind in the South West. Leap off Tarzan swings and tackle the high ropes in one of the most beautiful forests in the country or head off on a bike or walk and enjoy the scenery. Think tunnels, bridges and ropes, all suitable for guests aged 10 years of age and over and a minimum of 1.4 metres tall. Anyone aged 16 and over is able to supervise themselves, but younger children will need to be accompanied by an adult. Some attractions have other age and weight restrictions so for full details take a peek at the website. Prices start at £18 for ‘Mini Tarzans’ and go up to £45 per person depending on your activity.
Europe’s first Clip ‘n Climb climbing centre is one of those activities that welcomes guests of all ages and is a fantastic opportunity to learn, face and overcome the physical and mental challenges of climbing in a safe environment. It also makes for a wonderful rainy day activity when you’re on holiday in South Devon. Climb commando style in the Jungle Gym, reach new heights on the Skyscraper, take the speed climbing challenge or sign up for the Leap of Faith. The centre welcomes families, birthday parties and school trips as well as individuals. Kit is provided along with a safety briefing. Sessions last for 90 minutes, and you’re advised to wear comfortable clothing and trainers, but avoid heels, sandals and open toed shoes. Children must be at least four years old to participate.
A magical family home in the heart of Devon, Powderham Castle is brimming with history to tell and things to do. It has a mention in the Domesday Book, came into the de Courtenay family in the dowry of Margaret de Bohun in 1325, and has subsequently fallen into the hands of all the Courtenay Earls of Devon. The Medieval building has changed a little over the years between the family feuds and general wear and tear of time, but through battles, wars, beheadings and politics, the property has remained, and these days it makes for a beautiful Devonshire day out. Wander around the gardens, have tea, cake and lunch, and let little ones join in fun and games around the grounds with a kids play area and pets corner to visit. Guided tours are available, tickets start at £8.50 for adults and £6.50 for children, and the estate is open for visitors from March until October, although dates vary from one year to the next, so do keep an eye on the website!
An award winning family attraction in Exeter, Crealy Great Adventure Park is set in 100 acres of Devon countryside and offers something for kids of all ages. Easy to get to off the M5, the park is home to more than 100 animals, 30 outdoor attractions and other activities including rides, soft play, animal petting and seasonal events and shows. There’s a dog kennel that guests can use for the family pet for a £20 key deposit, but do bring your own bowls, blankets and toys and remember to book in advance. There are lockers available for personal items, wheelchairs for hire, and you can validate your ticket to give you a free six-day return ticket for the week following your initial visit.
In an exceptionally beautiful attraction, Dartmoor Otters and Buckfast Butterflies is a friendly place to visit for the whole family while you’re on holiday in South Devon. Learn about tropical butterflies in their specially designed habitat, feel the rainforest atmosphere, and see the butterflies’ life cycle unfold. Over at the Otter Sanctuary there are three species of otter to see including the native British otter, the Asian short clawed otter, and the North American river otter. The sanctuary is also home to terrapins, leafcutter ants, and reptiles with lots of events available to see throughout the year, including feeding time with the otters! It is located just outside the southern border of Dartmoor National Park between Exeter and Plymouth, there’s free parking, a café, picnic areas and lots to see and learn, all while supporting the wonderful work of a team who strive to preserve the wildlife of the planet and ensure sustainable breeding and rehabilitation of otters and butterflies. Opening times are seasonal to keep an eye on the website for more information.
A stunning 12th century former monastery and manor house now a popular hotel, bar and restaurant. There are plenty of places to eat and drink with a choice of two bars and two restaurants along with a large terrace and garden with fantastic views. Choose from a lunch or evening menu with daily specials along with coffees and afternoon cream teas.
Exmouth Beach is a bustling two mile stretch of golden sand at the mouth of the Exe Estuary backed by a promenade of shops and restaurants. Old meets new here, with traditional seaside donkey rides, swing boats and crazy golf alongside volley ball courts and a huge selection of modern watersports including jet skis, kite surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding and windsurfing.
If you’re looking for some peace and quiet you can find that here too at the far end of the beach, where there are also some rock pools for children to explore. Exmouth is known as the gateway to the Jurassic Coast and its cliffs are teaming with fossils and geological finds. The coastline is also part of the South West Coast Path with the beach and surrounding cliffs providing some excellent long and short walks.
Dogs are welcome all year on parts of the beach and on the main beach from October to the end of April. Dog bins are provided.
A picturesque two mile pebble beach backed partly with cliffs, with plenty of space and lovely clean clear water. Along the esplanade there are beach cafes and a car park and it is only a short wander into the village for toilets, shops and pubs. Care should be taken swimming towards the eastern end of the beach where there can be strong currents due to the River Otter, and there are no lifeguard facilities.
By the seaside town of the same name, Sidmouth Beach is a long stretch of pebbles that stretches from the River Sid at the east of the town, West to Chit Rocks and Jacobs Ladder Beach and beyond. From the town you go over a footbridge and a number of steps down to the beach, however there are also access points along the sea front esplanade. There are a number of car parks close by, most of which are a few minutes’ walk from the beach itself, and it benefits from nearby facilities, cafes, restaurants and shops. Dogs are not allowed on the beach from 1st May to the 30th September, however there is a small area at the East end of the beach where dogs are allowed all year round. It’s a delightful spot for swimming sailing and surfing if the weather permits it, but you do have to take your own equipment.