April is a great time to book a holiday cottage in Devon and there’s loads of fabulous things to do that are not available later in the year. Fancy a scenic traffic-free bicycle ride or a walk on a deserted sandy beach with your dog? How about a nature walk amid acres of surreal bluebells or daffodils, or spotting flocks of rare waterbirds?

Our top 10 things to do in Devon in April also covers a beer festival, Brixham Pirate Festival, and where to find the best Easter egg hunt (you’re never too old for that!) If that’s not enough, we discover the best places to bottle-feed newborn lambs and where to enjoy the best vintage fairground rides. It’s all right here in Devon in April!

1

Lend a hand and bottlefeed lambs

April is the month when thousands of baby lambs are born and many twins or orphaned lambs need bottle-feeding. Pennywell Farm is Devon’s number one animal attractions and they have plenty of lambs and kids (the baby goat variety!) that demand regular bottle feeds and cuddles. You can also enjoy farm rides, met the alpacas, pamper ponies and pat miniature pigs. On a rainy April day, the attraction has acres of indoor space.

Another top place to find newborn lambs and farm animals is The Big Sheep near Bideford. It also offers masses of things to do in Devon’s countryside including sheep races, duck trials and humorous live animal shows.

2

Join an Easter egg hunt

Easter generally falls in April and families visiting Devon will find plenty of Easter egg hunts over the Easter weekend. The National Trust is always a good place to find family-friendly events at its main Devon locations throughout the Easter school holidays. Arlington Court, Buckland Abbey, Castle Drogo, Killerton Estate, Knightshayes, Saltram, Greenway and Coleton Fishacre usually provide youngsters with an Easter egg hunt. Enrol, pick up your trail pack and enjoy the exercise with edible prizes for everyone who participates. Check out National Trust properties near your Devon holiday cottage and join the fun.

3

Crealy Theme Park at Easter

Crealy Family Theme Park always has a great event to keep all ages amused on their visit. Put your heads together to solve the riddles on your quest to find dino eggs across the park. There’s a chocolate reward, of course. You can also enjoy over 60 superb outdoor rides (something for all levels), play adventure golf, bounce around in the soft play area and visit the petting farm with over 200 animals to feed and stroke.

4

Go birdwatching

April is one of the best months to go birdspotting in one of Devon’s outstanding AONB. Devon Wildlife Trust has 58 nature reserves; Axminster Marshes, Dawlish Warren and the Exe Estuary are among the best birdwatching sites in the UK. In spring, many birds migrate back to their summer feeding grounds so you’re likely to see flocks of birds resting on meres and lakes during their spring passage.

From herons and grebes to grouse and birds of prey, Devon attracts a wide variety of species. April is the height of the nesting season, when birds wear their brightest and finest plumage. Spot birds carrying twigs and moss to their nesting site where they intricately weave the materials into surprisingly robust nests. Binoculars are a good way to spot birds sitting on their eggs, but keep your distance to avoid disturbing them.

5

Visit a fairground

April can be a tad uncertain weather-wise, so it’s best to plan a few things to do indoors, just in case. Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre is perfect. Centrally located near Lifton, Devon, the 25,000 sq.ft. indoor attraction is part museum, part fun palace. Adults can appreciate a trip down memory lane admiring historic fairground rides and traditional games while kids get to ride the vintage attractions to their heart’s content. Payment for rides is by a token system while the arcade uses modern-day coinage, from pennies to pounds. Even the prices are yesteryear!

6

Go cycling safely off-road

Devon’s narrow lanes are not ideal for cycling, but the county has miles of excellent cycle trails, mostly on traffic-free routes. The 180-mile Tarka Trail in North Devon incorporates the longest, continuous off-road cycle path in the UK. Rent bicycles or bring your own and explore ancient woodlands, wooded valleys, scenic riverbanks and spectacular views of Dartmoor and Exmoor. Other excellent cycle trails can be found in the Plym Valley, Stover Country Park and Haldon Forest Country Park and Tamar Trails.

7

Ahoy there! It’s Brixham Pirate Fest!

One of the earliest festivals in Devon to kick off a loaded calendar of events is the Brixham Pirate Festival. It takes place over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend, but this often includes the last day of April. (In 2022, it runs from April 30 – May 2!) Don an eyepatch, hoop earring and a bandana and you’ll blend right in. The festival takes place right on the harbour front with the replica Golden Hind adding to the authentic ambience.

There’s live music, street entertainers, living history exhibits and lively re-enactments. These include impromptu street skirmishes between pirates, loud bangs and cannon fire. Blackbeard himself would be proud!

8

Enjoy Devon’s wild flowers!

From mid-April the mild climate in Devon sees the first bluebells creating a breathtaking blue haze in many shady woodlands. Best places to see bluebells and other wild flowers such as primroses include the steep slopes of Lydford Gorge. If daffodils are your delight, Heathercombe, Manaton offers 30 acres of daffs, narcissus, bluebells, azaleas and other early blooms within Dartmoor National Park. Yelverton’s Garden House has an iconic acer glade with a carpet of crocuses, snowdrops, primroses and cyclamen followed by rhododendrons, magnolias and showy camellias.

9

Enjoy a beer festival

Devon has more things to do than just beaches and nature (excellent tho’ they are). How about booking tickets for Tucker’s Maltings Beer Festival which usually takes place in April at the brewery in Newton Abbot. This three-day event supplies around 280 real ales (pace yourself!) and is supported by SIMA and CAMRA. Like all good beer festivals, this fun event includes food, cider and musical entertainment. What better reason is there for visiting Devon in April than this?

10

Hit the beach

April in Devon has been known to have heatwaves, so don’t dismiss a day on one of Devon’s beautiful beaches. More likely than swimming and sunbathing, you’ll be enjoying a pleasant walk along the firm sand at the water’s edge. It’s one time when you might even have the whole beach to yourself. If you have a dog, many Devon beaches ban dogs in summer. However, most places lift the ban from October to April, so you can enjoy a bracing walk in the salt-laden sea breeze with your four-legged friend by your side.

We’ll see you in Devon

We bet you can’t wait to head down to Devon in April, so why not book yourself a holiday cottage in Devon and look forward to an amazing Easter break!

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Get instant access to the latest travel buzz

Holiday Cottages in Devon & Cornwall is brought to you by the Jetset Boyz