Canoeing at River Dart Country Park - BIG guide to Holidays in Devon for families
Family travel, UK

The BIG guide family holidays in Devon

Welcome to a little slice of heaven – the place we are lucky to call home and where thousands of people venture each year for family-family holidays. This guide to family holidays in Devon brings together all the great reasons why it is a top choice for a UK staycations.

Whether you’re looking for a beach holiday in the UK, activity holidays, family hotels, self-catering cottages or glamping, there’s a vacation suited to you. There’s even a generous selection of holidays in Devon with dogs, so you can bring the whole family. Hurrah!

If you’d like to know something not mentioned here then leave me a comment and I’ll share what I know.

For more family holiday advice take a look at my family travel tips and holiday checklists.

Grab yourself some inspiration for family holidays in Devon including where to stay, the top things to do, the best Devon beaches and great places to eat #Devon #UK #destination #guide #familytravel #familytravelblog #holidays #thingstodo #restaurants #camping #caravan #hotel #vacation

Where to stay in Devon

Devon boasts many excellent places for a family holiday: from the quintessential seaside resorts of Torquay, Dawlish and Woolacombe to the pretty harbour towns of Salcombe, Clovelly and Dartmouth.

Then there’s the Jurassic Coast destinations of Beer, Seaton and Sidmouth.

Torre Abbey Sands and Torquay seafront - things to do in Torquay with kids

But Devon isn’t all about the sea. There are characterful country towns like Hartland, Bovey Tracey and Tavistock. Devon also has two historic cities – Exeter and Plymouth – and two National Parks – Dartmoor and Exmoor – where families can stay and enjoy outdoor adventures.

Here are some of the best places to stay in Devon with accommodation ranging from campsites to family hotels:

Holiday park and caravan & camping sites in Devon

Devon has hundreds of holiday parks and caravan & camping sites to choose from with all levels of facilities.

If you’re looking for a Devon camping site with a theme park close by then we can recommend Crealy Meadows near Exeter.

If you prefer something with sea views then take a look at Manor Farm Caravan Site in Seaton or Ladram Bay Holiday Park also in East Devon.

Ross Park Caravan Park near Newton Abbot is a great dog-friendly caravan site in Devon, while Andrewshayes Holiday Park is a dog-friendly campsite with swimming pool and clubhouse – perfect for family holidays.

Swimming pool at Andrewshayes - an East Devon holiday park review

If you want to explore Dartmoor then we can recommend Woodovis Park campsite near Tavistock for great facilities and a swimming pool.

If North Devon is your destination then Welcombe X is easily accessible for caravans, right by the Atlantic Highway. What it lacks in peacefulness is made up for with its location near Hartland, which has plenty of merits as a North Devon holiday spot.

If you’re looking for a holiday park then Minehead Butlins offers brilliant family holidays in North Devon.

Glamping in Devon

If you enjoy camping and caravan holidays then you might also be interested in glamping. There’s no shortage of glamping holidays in Devon where you can enjoy the great outdoors in camping accommodation more luxurious than a standard tent.

The Hut shepherds hut at Strawfields campsite - Glamping in North Devon

Here are some locations to for a glamping family holiday in Devon:

Pod glamping at Andrewshayes Holiday Park near Axminster

Safari tent camping at Crealy Meadows in Exeter

Glamping pods at Oakdown Holiday Park near Sidmouth

Glamping at Woodovis Park on Dartmoor

Shepherd huts at Strawfields near Ilfracombe

Shepherds hut at Welcombe X near Hartland

Ensuite glamping pod at Larkworthy Farm – a working farm near Holsworthy

Mongolian yurts at Blackdown Yurts near Cullompton

Read about all our recommended places for glamping in Devon.

Grab yourself some inspiration for family holidays in Devon including where to stay, the top things to do, the best Devon beaches and great places to eat #Devon #UK #destination #guide #familytravel #familytravelblog #holidays #thingstodo #restaurants #camping #caravan #hotel #vacation #TinBoxTraveller #England #ideas

Family holidays in Devon near the beach

If you are looking for Devon holiday destinations that will put you near the beach then take a look at accommodation in Dawlish, Torquay, Paignton, Ilfracombe, and Woolacombe. This is where you’ll find sandy beaches perfect for a traditional seaside holiday.

Ladram Bay Holiday Park has its own private beach.

View of Ladram Bay beach from the cliffs - Our ultimate wish list for an awesome family holiday

Dog-friendly hotels in Devon

The Grand Hotel in Torquay is a family and dog-friendly Devon hotel by the sea, as is Langstone Cliff Hotel in Dawlish Warren.

If your canine companion would prefer walks on the moor than we suggest taking a look at The Moorland Garden Hotel on Dartmoor.

Tin Box Dog in room at Moorland Garden Hotel - holidays with dogs in the UK

Activity holidays in Devon for families

You’ll find plenty of opportunities for cycling in the Tamar Valley and walking on Dartmoor during a holiday in Devon. Walk 300 miles along the South West Coast Path both in South Devon and North Devon.

Walking the South West Coast Path - BIG guide to Holidays in Devon for families

We can also recommend adding a visit to Haldon Forest Park to your holiday. Here you can tackle the mountain bike trails, swing through the trees on the Go Ape and Go Ape Junior courses and have a go on segways.

If you’d like plenty of activities at the place you are staying then take a look at River Dart Country Park near Ashburton. Here you’ll find canoeing, high ropes, zorbing and adventure play grounds. The country park has a campsite where you can pitch your own tent or bring a caravan or motorhome.

Facilities include a toilet block, shop and restaurant/bar, plus unlimited access to the free activities in the country park. Activities involving climbing or hiring equipment have an additional cost. There’s also a B&B in the manor house during school holidays.

Canoe at River Dart Country Park - BIG guide to Holidays in Devon for families

For more inspiration for holidays in Devon take a look at #TinBoxDevon on Instagram where you’ll find dozens of snippets from our adventures.

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Things to do in Devon with kids

Since moving to Devon three years ago we have notched up dozens of days out on the coast, at Devon theme parks and attractions, at historic houses and in the countryside. For the full picture read my big guide to things to do in Devon with kids.

Find Devon attractions and family activities near where you are staying in this list:

I also have guides to things to do in Devon towns:

And if you’re visiting when the kids are off take a look at these school holiday guides:

Fancy hopping across the county border into Cornwall? There’s plenty of family days out in Cornwall just a short drive from Devon!

Things to do in Devon in winter

When we first moved to Devon I found the winter really tough. Devon is mainly a summer holiday destination and a lot of the obvious things to do don’t seem to be available between autumn and spring.

But after fours years, we’ve pinned down how to have fun in Devon in the chillier months. Here’s some ideas for things to do in Devon in winter, including events, indoor fun and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors too.

Events in Devon

If you’d like to know about the top festivals, regattas, country shows and other family-friendly events happening locally then hop over to my round up of what’s on in Devon this year.

The best Devon beaches 

Devon is blessed with countless characterful beaches. The north coastline faces the Atlantic and has a combination of rocky shores that are great for exploring and long sandy stretches with rollers that make for a surfing paradise. Read more about:

On Devon’s south coast there are plenty of small coves sporting red and golden sand, shingle, and traditional seafront towns. Find out more:

Torquay Air Show viewed from Paignton Beach - BIG guide to Holidays in Devon for families

If you’re looking for some hidden gems then here are some of the lesser known Devon beaches.

Take a look here for more recommended Devon beaches including dog-friendly beaches, Blue Flag beaches and fun places for kids to explore.

Where to eat in Devon

We are big fans of seafront cafes and restaurants in Devon, visiting them during our many dog walks. Here are some of our favourite Devon cafes:

If you are looking for places to dine while exploring Devon’s pretty towns, here are a few we rate highly:

Bar and view in ODE&Co at Coast View Holiday Park

How about a holiday in Cornwall too?

If you want to extend your holiday in the South West of England why not check out my guide to family holidays in Cornwall too? You can see more snippets from our trips to Cornwall with kids and a dog on Instagram.

Have you spent family holidays in Devon? Do you have any recommendations for me or anything else I can write about on the blog? Leave me a comment or get in touch.

Disclosure: we were invited to stay or review some of the places listed in this guide. I’ve included them because we genuinely rate them alongside experiences we have paid for ourselves.

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Grab yourself some inspiration for family holidays in Devon including where to stay, the top things to do, the best Devon beaches and great places to eat #Devon #UK #destination #guide #familytravel #familytravelblog #holidays #thingstodo #restaurants #camping #caravan #hotel #vacation