Though you might think Devon is best enjoyed in the sunshine, there are actually a host of all weather and wet weather activities to keep you entertained as we get into the autumn and the higher chance of a wet day. If you’re planning a trip over the next few months, here are a couple of suggestions of things to do in case you encounter a day or two of bad weather. You don’t have to just sit inside in front of a screen either, there are still plenty of ways to stay active while keeping dry.
For those of you travelling in a group or with kids, add some of the region’s theme parks to your list. Several of them have all-weather rides and activities, so whether you’re 8 or 80, there are things to keep you occupied. Crealy Theme Park is home to the most rides in Devon and has a host of events and activities taking place all year around. For those wet weather days, there are 75,000 square feet of undercover areas full of games and rides – plus it’s easy to get to – though you wouldn’t know it when you’re there, it is just minutes from the M5. If you’re in the North Devon area, you don’t have to miss out, The Milky Way Adventure Park is an award-winning theme park that has won a TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award every year for the past five years. As well as the usual rides you would expect to find, there under cover areas, sci-fi exhibits and the chance to learn some crafts. Nearby is the Big Sheep, which is home to Devon’s largest rollercoaster, as well as the world-famous sheep racing. There are rides and activities for all ages, including 11 hilarious shows, all with undercover viewing areas, so you can stay out of the wind and rain.
In South Devon, there is Woodlands Family Theme Park, near Dartmouth, which is the largest family theme park in the region. It also boasts the biggest indoor play centre in the South West, as well as cute animals to befriend. With a variety of play zones full of rides and attractions, there is something for everyone here. If you like the idea of spending time with animals and having activities and attractions to entertain you all in one place, Wildwood Escot in East Devon is a good choice. Their site has a host of amazing animals, including some rare and endangered species, all alongside soft play, zip lines and more. Nearby, there is World of Country Life where there is an eclectic mix of museums, entertainment and activities both outdoors and undercover, so even if the weather does change during the day, you don’t have to sacrifice having a good time.
Image: World of Country Life
When it comes to animal attractions, there are loads in Devon and they all offer things to do during the bad weather. Pennywell Farm features a host of hands on activities, giving you the chance to get up close with the animals and learn all about farm life, whatever the weather. Similarly, Powderham Castle has acres to explore, in fact, there are so many things to do here that you can come back on another day for free! The castle remains the family home of the Courtenay family who have been the Earl and Countess of Devon for generations. Not far from the castle is Exeter Cathedral where you will also find thousands of years history to uncover. The cathedral has the world’s longest uninterrupted Gothic stone vaulted ceiling and it is one of Europe’s most significant cathedrals – a rainy day is the perfect time to find out more about the city’s history.
If you want to give the kids something to do during the rainy moments, visit China Blue in Totnes where they can let their creativity loose in their craft area. They offer pottery painting parties and plenty of opportunities to personalise gifts for those back home. There is even the chance to do a spot of pottery throwing! For the younger members of the family, take a look at Bear Town, a unique role play experience for children set in an immersive town setting where children can learn through play. There are 12 different play areas, so each visit is a new adventure, regardless of the weather!
Image: China Blue
You could always do a spot of shopping, House of Marbles is a fascinating place to do indulge in some retail therapy. You’ll find homeware, stationery and confectionary as well as fashion accessories and the chance to visit the Teign Valley Glass works where you can join a tour and learn more about the art of glass blowing. The Cider Press Centre features an eclectic range of shops that focus on arts and crafts all within the Dartington Estate. There is a dedicated children’s area too, so the whole family can enjoy themselves.
Not with the kids but still need something to do on a rainy day? The over 18s will love a trip to Plymouth Gin where you can visit the oldest working gin distillery in England. They have been making their flagship gin there since 1793, so it is truly the best place to learn more about your favourite spirit. The building itself dates back to the 1400s and it is believed the pilgrims who set off for America spend their last night before departing England there. Book yourself onto one of their tours and enjoy the chance to create your own flavours and taste some of the popular drinks!
Image: Plymouth Gin
Find more suggestions for rainy day activities here.