For underwater life, the National Marine Aquarium at Plymouth is hard to beat. It is the largest aquarium in the UK and has a 4D cinema for a fantastic surround experience, a discovery zone and many aquaria teeming with marine life.

The Atlantic Ocean tank holds 2.5 million gallons of seawater and is home to sand tiger sharks, nurse sharks and other large fish such as tarpon, barracuda and stingrays which hide in the full-size replica of a sunken World War II seaplane, the Supermarine Walrus. Throughout the day the Aquarium has talks, shows and feeding times. See the Rockpool exhibit, the Turtle and Coral Reef tank and local sealife that resides around the shores of the British Isles, complete with swaying kelp forests.

On a smaller scale the Ilfracombe Aquarium features underwater wildlife found in a fascinating journey from the streams on Exmoor to Ifracombe harbour.

Horse lovers will find a number of opportunities to pat, pet and feed horses and donkeys in the area. The Miniature Pony Centre is located in Moretonhampstead within the Dartmoor National Park. If you are lucky you may see herds of wild Dartmoor ponies feeding on the springy moorland grass as you drive to the attraction. The Pony Centre highlights Shetland ponies and miniature Mediterranean donkeys. In spring and early summer there are plenty of fluffy foals to see, along with the usual Pets' Paddock and Aviary and there's always the chance to enjoy a pony ride.

The Donkey Sanctuary at Sidmouth gives a home to donkeys in distress and works to protect and care for donkeys worldwide. Stroll around the rolling countryside and give the donkeys some fuss and attention which they clearly love. Many of the donkeys are over 40 years old and receive food, shelter in the barn and veterinary care. Admission is free but donations and contributions are welcome for this charitable enterprise.

Devon has two excellent zoos. The Exmoor Zoo is small and friendly with winding paths through the natural enclosures. Learn about the “Exmoor beast”, see big cats from the raised walkways, view penguins, monkeys, cranes, macaws and wallabies and get- up-close with some of the inhabitants with the daily zookeeper events.

Paignton Zoo has thousands of animals in settings as varied as the savannah to the jungle. There are beautiful botanical gardens, a miniature train, a wobbly jungle bridge, keeper talks and play areas, making it a full day out.

More unusual Devon attractions include the Hedgehog Rescue Hospital at Prickly Ball Farm which cares for all injured wildlife including foxes, red squirrels, owls, weasels, badgers and whatever other birds and animals happen to be recuperating at the time. Altogether up to 1500 animals and birds are treated at the centre every year, making it the ideal place to see shy British wildlife.

Other wildlife attractions include the World of Country Life at Exmouth, which has a farm museum, animals, falconry displays and a playground. Shaldon Wildlife Trust runs one of the smallest zoos for endangered species in Europe and is located near Torquay, Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary is a fun place to see these cute animals at play and Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park has many animals in a woodland setting.

With so much to see and do, you will need to spend at least a week discovering Devon's wildlife attractions!

Holiday Cottages in Devon and Cornwall is brought to you by The Jetset Boyz. Sign up now and you'll be the first to know about our latest travel stories, some fantastic travel tips & exclusive content.

Get instant access to the latest travel buzz

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

Holiday Cottages in Devon and Cornwall is brought to you by The Jetset Boyz. Sign up now and you'll be the first to know about our latest travel stories, some fantastic travel tips & exclusive content.

Get instant access to the latest travel buzz

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