Cuddles, karts and castles

Brave over 60 rides and cuddle the farm animals at Crealy Theme Park. Kart the fast straights and flowing corners at Raceworld. Or build sandcastles at Ilfracombe. Grown-ups can shoot clay on site, stargaze on dark-skies Exmoor, kayak on Wimbleball, or soak up the views from Dunster Castle.

Couple kayaking together. Couple kayaking together. Couple kayaking together. Couple kayaking together.

Country kids

Let’s start with the big stuff: Devon’s biggest theme park, Woodlands, featuring the largest and best indoor play areas in the South West, amazing water rides, and a zoo farm. Or how about Crealy Theme Park and Resort, with over 60 rides plus cuddly farm and zoo animals?

Keep the action going for over-11s with a trip to Raceworld, indoor karting on a 400-metre track with fast straights, flowing corners, technical corners, and a flyover bridge. Tackle the wicked off-road grounds on 350cc Yamahas at Devon Country Pursuits. Or chill a little, meeting endangered animals at Exmoor Pony Centre.

Head to Plymouth, Britain’s ocean city, to the National Marine Aquarium, home to over 4,000 ocean animals, with daily talks and shows including ‘Meet the Sharks’. Scale new heights at Quay Climbing in Exeter. Or ride 20 miles of heritage railway through stunning countryside and coast on the West Somerset Railway.

Meet donkeys, ponies, goats and llamas at Doniford Farm Park, then refuel in the café with cream teas, and exit through the gift shop. Cuddle the pigs and goats, watch the pig-racing, bottle-feed the lambs and dip the ponds at Pennywell Farm. Or just pack buckets and spades for lovely beaches at Minehead, Ilfracombe, and Lyme Regis.

Friends enjoying themselves in a swimming pool on a sunny day.

For the grown ups

Shoot some clay or arrows on site with Brian Bland. Keep up your fitness at Exe Valley Leisure Centre in the workout studio or pool. Shoot some golf at Oake Manor, nestling between the Quantock, Brendon and Blackdown hills. Take a circular trail walk from the village. Or head to Exmoor to walk Gallox Bridge, Tarr Steps or Nutcombe Bottom.

Stay on Exmoor for stargazing in the National Park, designated as an International Dark Sky Reserve. Or how about quad-biking, axe-throwing or a 4×4 Land Rover experience all in the same place, though not all at the same time? You’ll need Keypitts Offroad

Watch kingfishers, little grebes and even red deer as you wait to bag carp in excess of 30lbs at Hacche Moor Fishery. Canoe, kayak, paddleboard, sail, row or windsurf on Wimbleball Lake. Trek the lanes or hills with bikes from Abbotswood Cycle Hire. Or Go Ape high up in the trees of Haldon Forest.

Slow the pace with manicures and massages at The Salon in Bampton. Pop out to historic sites such as Dunster Castle, offering dramatic views and subtropical gardens, or Knightshayes, with its 19th-century parkland and Gothic Revival architecture. And don’t miss Exeter Cathedral’s clandestine corners and hidden histories.