Things To Do In East Devon
We love our little corner of the world! Within just a few miles of our family friendly Devon holiday cottages you’ll find there’s a multitude of things to see and do – we like to think of it as a mixed bag, with something for everyone because in this neck of the woods there are fantastic family attractions, beaches, museums and galleries, activities to do, towns to browse, and of course acres of glorious rolling countryside to explore.
We’re tucked away in the hills here at Stonehayes Farm, but just five minutes down the road is Honiton, an East Devon town famous for its associations with the lace making trade (Queen Victoria’s wedding dress was trimmed with Honiton lace). Three times a week a market lines the wide High Street, bringing a lively atmosphere to the town, but you’ll also find one-off shops, antique centres, an art gallery and some very good places to eat, like Bella Pizza, JK’s Bistro and The Holt.
Exeter isn’t far either; spend a day discovering the city. The shops are diverse and range from big names to kooky independents, likewise the cafes, pubs and restaurants. The magnificent cathedral is a must, and if you have time you should take a tour of the medieval Underground Passages and visit the RAM Museum where you can see an Egyptian mummy and meet Gerald the Giraffe. Down at the quay the more active among you will enjoy Clip n Climb and Saddles and Paddles.
Families can take their pick! Just a few miles away is Wildwood Escot where you can see the animals, have a go on the zip wire, explore the maze and visit the Saxon village; there’s also Axe Valley Wildlife Park, which is particularly good for younger children, and The Donkey Sanctuary, home to over 500 happy donks, a farm themed play area, nature walk and café. Go to Beer and ride the land train at Pecorama or see the underground caverns at Beer Quarry Caves; at Seaton you can ride the tram to Colyton or have a prehistoric adventure at Seaton Jurassic, and one of the biggest attractions in the South West, Crealy Theme Park is only half an hour away.
Same with the beach, 30 minutes at the most, the very most. There are quiet bays like Branscombe where there’s an Old Bakery, a working Forge and the Sea Shanty Café right down by the sea. Beer is lovely too, a peaceful fishing village where you can spuddle about in the rockpools, enjoy a crab sandwich at Ducky’s Beach Café, and hire a self drive boat. At Sidmouth the sandy Jacob’s Ladder beach is great for families, or a little further is Exmouth, great for watersports and for World of Country Life. Just over the Dorset border is Lyme Regis, famous for its historic harbour wall, known as The Cobb. Out the end there’s a small Marine Aquarium, and you can catch a boat for a mackerel fishing trip; back in town play crazy golf, go to Dinosaurland Fossil Museum, or eat fish and chips on the beach.
If you have National Trust membership, you’re in luck; nearby are Killerton House, Knightshayes, the quirky A La Ronde, and Barrington Court. If you can’t keep off the green, you’ll find some very good courses around here, like Honiton Golf Club, Axmouth Golf Club and Sidmouth Golf Club; all welcome visitors and have friendly clubhouses for a post game drink. Fishermen will find good sport on the River Otter with Deer Park Fly Fishing.
There is so much to do! Put the pedal to the metal at Dunkeswell Raceway, try pursuits like clay shooting, paintballing and quad biking at Devon Activity Centre, see the countryside on horseback with Devenish Pitt Farm Riding School, go for something completely different with Little Orchard Alpacas or Peak Hill Llamas. See the stars at The Norman Lockyer Observatory, move the earth at Diggerland, cheer on the nags at Exeter Racecourse, play Tarzan at Go Ape Haldon Forest Park, or take a cruise along the Jurassic Coast with Stuart Line Cruises. Phew!
If you’re planning a walking holiday in Devon you’ll be chuffed to bits with the spectacular countryside that we have right here on our doorstep. We’re right in the Blackdown Hills so there are countless footpaths, bridleways and winding lanes to explore; climb to the top of Dumpdon Hill just up behind Stonehayes Farm and you’ll be astounded at the far reaching views over the Otter Valley. Culm Beacon, Hembury Fort and Fire Beacon Hill are marvellous for the views too, whilst Seaton Wetlands offers an entirely different landscape. Walk along the East Devon Way or the South West Coast Path, or go down to Tiverton and stroll along the Grand Western Canal; you might see one of the few remaining horse drawn barges in the country whilst you’re there, and you can have refreshments at the Canal Tea Rooms & Gardens, or on board Duck’s Ditty Floating Café Bar. If you fancy making a day of it, head off to Exmoor or Dartmoor and take in the rugged moors, the heather topped heaths and lush river valleys – both brilliant walking country.
So you see, there’s no shortage of things for you to do on your holidays in Devon, and you'll find plenty more inspiration on our Things To Do pages. On the other hand, you needn’t go far at all because don’t forget, we have 15 acres here that’s all yours to wander as you wish; go and play, have picnics, take a stroll, lie in the sun; it’s your holiday, it’s up to you!