The Donkey Sanctuary | Sidmouth | Best Devon Days Out 2024
Family enjoy meeting the giant Poitou donkeys
mother and son stood smiling at a fence petting a brown donkey
Family enjoys day out at The Donkey Sanctuary
Donkeys grazing freely in their paddock
TheDonkeySanctuary_116_7954_EDIT
Poitou donkey coming to greet visitors at The Donkey Sanctuary
Kick back with cake & coffee at The Kitchen restaurant
Try on some theatre scrubs in the Understanding Donkeys Zone
Family discover lots of donkey design items in the Gift Shop
Family enjoy meeting the giant Poitou donkeys
mother and son stood smiling at a fence petting a brown donkey
Family enjoys day out at The Donkey Sanctuary
Donkeys grazing freely in their paddock
TheDonkeySanctuary_116_7954_EDIT
Poitou donkey coming to greet visitors at The Donkey Sanctuary
Kick back with cake & coffee at The Kitchen restaurant
Try on some theatre scrubs in the Understanding Donkeys Zone
Family discover lots of donkey design items in the Gift Shop

No trip to Devon is complete without visiting The Donkey Sanctuary. 

There’s a tranquil corner of the Jurassic Coast near Sidmouth that hundreds of friendly donkeys call home, and they’re all waiting to meet you. 

This free-to-visit, awardwining attraction has something special to offer, whether you’re looking for quality time with the kids, or somewhere calming to kick back with coffee and cake. 

Explore everything the sanctuary has to offer, from scenic walks and award-winning gardens, to a new play area, hedge maze and engaging exhibits. With activities, trails and talks there’s so much to explore with your own herd, whatever the weather. Friendly dogs on leads are welcome too! 

Take sanctuary in the Taste of the West award-winning restaurant and enjoy fresh, local, seasonal produce while soaking in the unparalleled coast and country views.  Or adopt your own donkey in the Gift Shop, where you’ll also find quality donkey design products on every shelf. What’s more, every penny of profit goes towards helping millions of donkeys and mules around the world.   

From humble beginnings as a UK rescue mission over 50 years ago, The Donkey Sanctuary has grown into the world’s largest equine welfare charities.  

Open 7 days a week, from 9am to 5pm. Admission and parking is free, though donations are welcome to help many more donkeys with troubled pasts live a life of total sanctuary. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much is it to get into the Donkey Sanctuary?

It is free admission to the Donkey Sanctuary but you can give a donation online

Are dogs allowed in the Donkey Sanctuary?

Dogs are welcome in the sanctuary but they must be kept on a lead at all times. Dogs are also welcome in The Kitchen restaurant but please keep them under your table and out of the walkway at all times

Is there a cafe in the Donkey Sanctuary?

The Kitchen is our award-winning restaurant open daily from 9am to 4pm serving breakfast from 9am to 11am and lunch from 11.30am to 3pm. Drinks, snacks and cakes are available all day every day. We offer the option of dining in the restaurant or you can purchase a takeaway to enjoy in the outdoor picnic areas

Awards

What's on at The Donkey Sanctuary

mother and two daughters looking at trail sheet
NOW
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02
Jun

Drizzle’s Green Guardians Trail – Spring Hunt

Did you know that the sanctuary is home to thousands of insects, animals and plants? They all rely on Drizzle…

View Event
illustration of treasure chest and donkey
03
Jun
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30
Sep

The Golden Carrot Trail – Summer Hunt

This summer, follow the map to each spot for a chance to collect each of the orange carrots. But watch…

View Event
Tripadvisor Logo

Free to enter and free to park, with a lovely restaurant and countryside. Informative and relaxing with knowledgeable and helpful staff, plus a lot of fluffy sweet donkeys. There’s a play area for kids, a maze and activity trails to follow. There’s also a great walk down to the beach, although would be challenging on the way back for small children I think.

W2233XUsarahv

The sanctuary is beautiful – really well kept and a lovely place for the donkeys. There is a play area and maze as well as a cafe which serves good food and cake. A walk of a mile takes you down to a secluded beach from the sanctuary. Worth taking some durable shoes – we walked it with a buggy not realising and it was a bit tricky with the fences/steps down to the beach but thankfully had many hands. Lovely to do though and back to the cafe after for cake. There is a nice gift shop and as it is free to get in either buying sponsorship of a donkey or some bits in the gift shop for the kids is easy and helps them keep going. Very impressed and would return.

Mads_Kidd

The Donkey Sanctuary might be the epitome of good animal care. I visited with family whilst on holiday, finding the sanctuary to be very lovely, the animals were well cared for, and the scenery was beautiful. Despite the hot weather, we have a great day out, and not enough praise can be heaped on the staff and volunteers for the amount of care they give to the donkeys and the facilities. One volunteer gave us the low-down on the type of care they give, the donkeys they take in, and the sanctuary’s lengthy history. The sanctuary also had a good restaurant with great food. By far, the highest praise has to be to the customer service, who provided a mobility scooter to one of my relatives, making the experience much more easier and enjoyable for him. In a slight con — the hedge maze was near-inescapable!

mrusty5

An amazing place that cares for donkeys, fun and free day out – donations to be made at visitors discretion. Good fun for all the family, really good facilities, it is such a large place! Lovely donkeys and staff. Would recommend, please sponsor a donkey!

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