Get down to Totnes Rare Breeds Farm for a family-owned attraction that brings kids within hugging, stroking, patting and cuddling range of all the animals. Order refreshments from The Garden Café. Or have a day out with Thomas the Tank Engine on the South Devon Railway.
Get a little bit grisly with a trip to Dartmoor Prison Museum, with over 200 years of turbulent history and artefacts that include intricate bone carvings made by French Prisoners of War, confiscated weapons and escape items. Or stay on the moor for a one or two-hour hack with Shilstone Riding Centre.
Watch an afternoon vanish at Ashburton Swimming Pool, a heated 21-metre outdoor pool with swings and a sunbathing lawn for spectators. Or see free-flying butterflies and moths in a tropical landscaped garden, plus birds, fish and terrapins at Buckfast Butterflies and Otter Sanctuary.
At Pennywell Farm, you can meet the world-famous Pennywell miniature pigs, see a different animal activity, show or display every half hour and take a family train adventure. Or examine buildings, signs and monuments on the Dartmoor Mystery Treasure Trail to answer the clues and discover whodunnit.
This is Devon and the coast’s never far away, so get down to Bantham Beach or Bigbury-on-Sea to try surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking or coasteering. Contact providers such as Bantham Surfing Academy and Adventure South. Or get up high on Dartmoor’s rocks with the expert climbing instructors from Crag2Mountain.
There’s plenty of history to go around in these parts and you can stir in a little bit of adventure, too, when you visit Coleton Fishacre, a National Trust house and garden with a steep path down to the cliff. The view is worth every step. Or see the perfect romantic ruin, Berry Pomeroy Castle, with its colourful, intriguing history.
Walk 114 acres of woodland, heathland, grassland, lake and marsh at Stover Country Park and spot a variety of wildlife. Visit Buckfast Abbey, home to Benedictine monks, who live lives of prayer, work and study. Enjoy the beautiful, spacious gardens and restaurant.
Head down to the coast to Salcombe Distilling Co., nestled among traditional boat builders. As well as producing excellent handcrafted products, this is one of the world’s only distilleries directly accessible by boat. Or how about the Gin Nest in Torbay? Learn to distil your own craft gin with a copper still and take your creation home with you.