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10 Things to Do in East Devon with Children

East Devon is a great place to plan a traditional family holiday and with so much to see and do it can never be described as boring. Many of the activities are budget conscious or free to enjoy, so what are you waiting for?
East Devon is a great place to plan a traditional family holiday and with so much to see and do it can never be described as boring. Many of the activities are budget conscious or free to enjoy, so what are you waiting for?

1: Ride the Railway at Beer

Thomas the Tank Engine fans will love a ride on the Beer Heights Light Railway at Pecorama. Considered the finest 7 ¼ inch (18cm) gauge railway in Britain, the ride offers wonderful views over Lyme Bay with the occasional nostalgic waft of smoke from the engine. This one mile track runs through a tunnel, over bridges and past steep sidings. With up to four engines operating at any one time, the signaling system is pretty neat too.

2: A-Mazing Fun at Escot

Nature lovers will enjoy the huge trees, otters, red squirrels and other wildlife in the extensive Escot Estate at Ottery St Mary. There’s a Play Barn, a Letterbox Treasure Hunt, a woodland slide and a world class maze to get lost in.

3: Stroke a Donkey

Make a donkey’s day by giving him some fuss and attention at the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth. The donkeys’ names are on their collars which are blue for male, yellow for female and pink for blind.

4: Take the Tram

Hop aboard the Seaton Tram for a three mile journey through the scenic Axe valley. The narrow gauge tramway has electric trams with an open top deck for the best views.

5: Ice Cream Delight

Taste all that creamy Devon goodness when you choose a scoop of ice-cream at Honiton Dairy, right on the High Street. It has 48 flavours to choose from, so you may have to go back more than once! The ice cream is made on the premises and includes innovative ingredients like white chocolate maltesers and black cherry kirsch. Yummy!

6: Cycling along the Exeter Ship Canal

This easy ride starts from Exeter Quay and is surprisingly rural. Bicycles are available from Saddles and Paddles at King’s Wharf. Follow the well-maintained trails through Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) nature reserves and past the Double Locks to the Turf Hotel. There are plenty of waterfront pubs along the way for refreshments.

7: Jump to It!

Exmouth’s World of Country Life at Littleham has a petting farm, playgrounds, trampolines and big slides at this all-weather attraction.

8: Treasure Hunting

The Jurassic Coastline and chalk cliffs are riddled with fossils, just waiting for sharp eyes and small fingers to find them. Go fossil-hunting on the beaches after stormy weather and you may well find a spiral-shaped ammonite fossil. Budleigh Salterton has sparkling quartzite pebbles to collect, washed down by rivers in Triassic times.

9: Go Underground

If you find yourself in Exeter, children will love the mediaeval Underground Passages. Red Coat Guides take visitors through these 13th century passages off the High Street, which were built to bring fresh water into the city.

10: Make a Splash

If the weather’s warm, cool off at the outdoor swimming pool at Topsham. The water is heated to 28°C and there are giant inflatable and fun sessions.

We know East Devon is crammed with great activities for families with children including our Top 10. Have you enjoyed a family holiday in East Devon? What was your favourite experience as a family?

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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