Father’s Day is coming up on 20th June and while not everyone celebrates, if you have a father figure, grandfather, uncle, brother or step dad in your life that you want treat this Father’s Day, here are some suggestions of things to do while in North Devon.
For the adventurous
If you have a thrill seeker, there are some great places in North Devon for you to explore. You could head to Exmoor for a ramble or get out on the waves at one of the many coastal resorts and see how you get on with a surf board or paddleboard. Alternatively, if you need something for the whole family, the Milky Way Adventure Park really has something for everyone. It is one of the most popular theme parks in the region and features a whole host of rides and activities – just make sure to book before you travel, as they are still operating under Covid safety measures.
Another family friendly option is a trip to the Big Sheep, home to the world famous and often hilarious sheep racing! There are a number of shows, animal attractions and rides which offer a fun day for the whole family. Like most attractions, you will need to book before you arrive to make sure there is space for you!
Image: Milky Way Adventure Park
For a range of activities including quad biking, battlezone archery and the chance to drive off road really fast, take a look at what is on offer at Keypitts Offroad Adventures. Located in Ilfracombe, this family run business has a whole host of adventure activities that can involve the whole family! Who else doesn’t love seeing the father figure in their life giddy as a child with a bow and arrow in hand after all?!
For those that like history
There are several historical and heritage attractions in the region where you can spend a few hours immersing yourself in days gone by. One option is visiting the village of Clovelly, which is traffic free and features the cobbles streets, a historic harbour and pretty thatched cottages.
Another immersive historical experience is booking a trip on the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway, the UK’s only fully water powered railway. Built in 1888, it is still the world’s highest and steepest fully water powered railway and is one of only three left in the world. The track is 862 ft steep and has an elevation of 500ft – something for thrill seeking history fans perhaps? If trains are more your thing, the Tarka Valley Railway is a good choice, with plenty of chances to learn more about heritage rail as well as find out more about their two diesel shunters.
Image: Tarka Valley Railway
For a different kind of historical experience, you could always take a day trip to Dartington Crystal, the UK’s only remaining glass factory. Sadly, the factory tours don’t operate on a Sunday, so this is an IOW kind of trip, or something to do before or after Father’s Day, but it is a truly fascinating place for anyone interested in glass making or the history of glass production. Plus, the onsite shop gives you the chance to grab a gift or two if you’d forgotten!
Hartland Abbey and Gardens is a stately home in a stunning setting just a mile from Hartland Quay and features fascinating interiors and décor, as well as woodland walks, gardens and parkland. As well as being a well-used film and television set, it is also an important heritage attraction in the region, having been a family home for a number of years. The house itself was built in the 12th century and has connections to Henry VIII – so is a must visit for history buffs!
For those that like the great outdoors
Sometimes there is nothing better than having a wonder around a garden or park and just taking in the smells and sounds of the great outdoors. If you’re in North Devon and have enjoyed a trip to Clovelly Village, why not stop off at Clovelly Court Gardens? They are a lovely example of a walled Victorian style garden and there are a number of exotic plants to be found and enjoyed there.
If a day out in a beautiful garden sounds like the sort of thing that would go down well, visit RHS Rosemoor. Located in Great Torrington, RHS Rosemoor is spread over 65 acres with formal and informal plantings throughout. The gardens host a range of activities and special events throughout the year, so make sure to keep an eye on their events calendar and to book in advance if you see something you like the sound of!
Image: RHS Rosemoor
In the Bideford area, you’ll find Northam Burrows Country Park, a beautiful expanse of land that is surrounded by spectacular scenery and is within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, this along with Braunton Burrows, are great places to spend a few hours if you just like being outdoors. The world famous Royal North Devon Golf Club is also on the site, ideal for the dads that like to play a few rounds and as it is a Site of Scientific Interest, there are plenty of wild birds and flowers to look out for as you explore.
If you like the outdoors, you’ll likely also be a big fan of wildlife, so if you decide to spend the day on Exmoor, stop off at Exmoor Zoo which is right on the edge of the National Park. The zoo features a range of interactive activities, where you can find out more about the animals that call the park home. Of course, it’s also something that the whole family can get involved with too!
For those that like to relax
Look, sometimes the best way to show someone you care is to just let them relax and there are plenty of ways to do that in North Devon. The Saunton Sands Hotel, which is based right on the seafront, has excellent leisure and spa facilities perfect for anyone who needs a break.
Whoever you want show your appreciation for this Father’s Day, you can find more inspiration on our website. If you do spend time in North Devon this June, let us know what you get up to!