Every year hundreds of UK families flock to Devon for a staycation. And with its Blue Flag beaches, family-friendly attractions and great places to stay, who can blame them? I pinch myself daily that we can call Devon home. However, we’re still quite new to the county and often turn tourists to make the most of living in one of the UK’s top holiday destinations. It’s this unique insight that prompted Marsdens Devon Cottages to ask us to share our top reasons why you should choose Devon for a family holiday.
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Why you should choose Devon for a family holiday
Cycling on Dartmoor
There are 350km of bridleways and byways to explore on Dartmoor and routes for all abilities. Families will particularly enjoy the Haldon Forest Discovery Trail, which is on the level and has fun features for children along the way.
We’ve always lived close to the sea but never anywhere with quite the variety of beaches we’ve found in Devon. From rock pools to sand dunes and enchanting coves overlooking crystal clear waters, there’s almost too much choice.
Back inland there’s plenty of Forestry Commission sites and woodland parks to explore. River Dart Country Park near Ashburton is one of our favourites.
Active families will enjoy the tree top experiences, while younger kids have acres of forest playgrounds, a lakeside beach and activity trails to explore.
Awe-inspiring coastal walks
The South West Coast Path offers plenty of walks for families. In North Devon you’ll find easy rambles where the kids can explore rocks and caves, as well as observe nesting birds at the right time of year.
West Country events
See more events in Devon.
Family adventure parks
Devon is bulging with traditional adventure parks that make great family days out.
Woodlands in South Devon has a great mix of indoor soft play, farm fun and adventure playgrounds. Crealy Great Adventure Park near Exeter has rollercoasters, flumes and rides for all the family, as well as indoor play for wetter days.
In the North of the County, The Milky Way has a spectacular falconry show and the chance to try your hand at archery as well as rides and indoor and outdoor play. Then there’s The Big Sheep with plenty of farm-themed fun plus rides and simulators.
See my round up of all Devon’s theme parks.
Heritage steam train rides
Devon boasts no less than five steam railways and train attractions set in some of the south of England’s most beautiful landscapes.
Dartmouth Stream Railway begins its journey close to the historic harbour town of Dartmouth and wends its way along the coast past Agatha Christie’s summer house, Greenway, and on to the traditional seaside town of Paignton.
A bit further inland is another of our favourites, The South Devon Railway, which takes you on a ride between the bohemian town of Totnes and the home of fortified wine-making monks in Buckfastleigh.
Both of Devon’s cities, Exeter and Plymouth, are bursting with history. Exeter was the most south-westerly Roman fortified settlement and is where the last people to be executed for witchcraft were hung in the 1600s.
In the same century, the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for the New World from Plymouth.
Have you been on a family holiday to Devon? If not, what’s keeping you?!
Disclosure: is post is a collaboration with Marsdens Devon Cottages.