Devon’s Top Attractions ….. Not Just for Families! | Devon's Top Attractions Devon's Top Attraction latest news

There is a hugely varied selection of award-winning venues in the Devon’s Top Attraction group and whilst many of them are a magnet for families and groups with children, there are equally a great number of attractions that can entertain young couples and the older generation too. Don’t be put off by the number of sites that promote to the family market because many places have something to appeal to all ages. Fascinating and entertaining tours, train and tram rides, boat trips, history, heritage, wildlife and workshops are all on offer. There are fabulous cafes for refreshments and gift shops which are always worth stopping off for and enjoying a browse. Below is a list of attractions from across the county which guarantee a lovely day out in Devon whether you come with your partner, a sibling or a parent. We hope to see you soon!

At Dartington Crystal visit the new Visitor Centre and Factory Experience. The new Visitor Experience houses an updated and upgraded Timeline exhibition of Dartington Crystal’s products spanning over 50 years of history from 1967 to the present day. The factory experience invites you into the process of turning glass into handcrafted luxury items and the opportunity to watch the skilled craftsmen and women bring their designs to life. The blowing room, also known as “the hot end”, is the heart of the factory and is where their glass and homeware items begin to take shape.

Factories In Devon

Visit Quince Honey Farm, an award-winning working honey farm based in South Molton. Learn all about how bees make honey, enjoy a honey tasting session and roll your own beeswax candle. There are viewing windows into the honey production areas and you can join a tour to get a close-up look at how honey is extracted from the hive and then bottled in jars ready for sale in the shop. The Bee Shed is where there are interactive hives so you can see millions of bees at work from behind glass and join the popular Beekeeping Demos – will you find the queen bee?! Plus sit and enjoy a hot drink and slice of cake, or a spot of lunch, from the onsite café.

Quince honey Farm sunflower pic

RHS Rosemoor is a public display garden run by the Royal Horticultural Society in north Devon. It is surrounded by over 100 acres of woodland with the River Torridge running along the western border. Nestled in a Devon valley, Rosemoor blends formal and informal plantings to magical effect. The Royal Horticultural Society is the world’s leading gardening charity. They aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place – they are committed to inspiring everyone to grow.

Rosemoor flowers

Photo by Guy Harrop/RHS 19/08/22

Clovelly Village a picturesque, historic, fishing village, steeped in maritime atmosphere and history, and was once owned by the Queen of England. This atmosphere is embodied in a traffic-free, cobbled street with flower-strewn cottages, tumbling down a cleft in the 400-foot cliff to the ancient fishing harbour and 14th-century quay bringing glorious views along the way. Just donkeys and sledges move needed supplies to the village. Once a bustling fishing port, Clovelly was renowned for its herring and mackerel and today for lobster and crab. Clovelly has several popular annual festivals throughout the year.

Clovelly Harbour, Red Lion Hotel

Lundy Island lies off the coast of North Devon, where the Atlantic ocean meets the Bristol Channel with nothing between it and America. It’s a granite outcrop, three miles long and half a mile wide. In the hubbub of the modern world it is a place apart, peaceful and unspoiled. In a place of wide spaces and big skies, without roads, cars or pollution, simply walking is a profound pleasure. Lundy has a milder climate than the mainland, with more sunshine and less rain.

Lundy Island seals

Seals on a rock on Lundy Island

Visit Exeter Exeter is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with 2,000 years of history. Overflowing with stunning architecture and award-winning visitor attractions. A small city that packs a big punch, Exeter is one of the most vibrant, attractive and historically interesting cities in England. Pre-dating the arrival of the Romans in AD 50, Exeter’s history is rich and long and this is reflected in its fascinating visitor attractions.

Exeter Quayside Visit Exeter

RAMM, Exeter’s world-class museum has stunning displays and galleries, fabulous exhibitions and modern amenities. The displays reveal Devon and Exeter’s rich history and global connections. Exotic animals, birds and insects and the World Cultures galleries display stunning items from all over the world. Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) is the largest museum in Exeter. It holds significant and diverse collections in areas such as zoology, anthropology, fine art, local and overseas archaeology, and geology.

RAMM - exhibitions
Powderham Castle enjoys a unique, picturesque setting within an ancient deer park beside the Exe estuary, just south of Exeter. Over 600 years of history can be discovered within the walls of one of Devon’s oldest family homes. Join a guided tour to hear the history of the Castle and the Courtenays. On the Castle tours you will see the many majestic rooms and hear fascinating stories about the Courtenay family as told by knowledgeable and engaging guides.

Powderham in grounds

Killerton is a family home and great estate with a glorious landscape garden surrounded by parkland with a fine 18th-century house. It’s historic parkland has extensive woodland and an ancient Iron Age fort. The garden is of historic significance, famous for its collection of shrubs and specimen trees containing the Bear’s Hut, a curious thatched structure in the garden, nestled between the trees, that was once home to the family pet bear. There are many dog friendly trails to enjoy.

snowdrops at Killerton

Becky Falls is set within a spectacular ancient valley. Dartmoor’s famous Becky Falls has been attracting visitors since 1903, and no trip to Devon would be complete without a visit. Take time to explore over 50 acres of woodland and streams which are rich in wildlife. There is a choice of trails. Choose the Blue Trail for a gentler walk along the Becka Brook and through the ancient oak woodland. The Red Trail is where you will discover a stunning waterfall and its dramatic 70ft drop at the heart of the park and finally to the Purple Trail for views of the beautiful lower falls on more rugged terrain. Becky Falls is dog friendly.

Becky Falls Devon

Canonteign Falls. Get ready to discover an unforgettable day at Canonteign Falls which is nestled in Devon’s heart, where nature’s beauty meets family fun! Explore the South West’s highest waterfall, playgrounds, trails, and surprises spread across 90 acres.  If you’re looking for tranquility, then you’ll find that too. The moss-covered streams, lakes, ancient woodlands and meadows offer the perfect peace in a world of excitement. Explore this unique combination of adventure and serenity. Canonteign Falls is a dog friendly attraction. Plus you can come in free of charge to their café and giftshop.

Canonteign falls labyrinth

Haldon Forest Park – whether you want a gentle stroll or an exhilarating mountain biking experience, there’s something for every interest to connect you with the great outdoors at Haldon Forest Park which is open 364 days of the year. The Park offers endless activities and miles of different trails ideal for families, runners, walkers, and cyclists of any age and ability. The Forest Park is set in the heart of beautiful Devon with some amazing views of the surrounding countryside. Discover easy going trails and a choice of stunning picnic spots, or head deeper into the forest for a more challenging hiking adventure. Haldon Forest has won Devon’s Top Attractions Dog Friendly award two years in a row.

Two mountain bike riders on a technical singletrack forest trail

PIC © Andy Lloyd

Buckfast Abbey forms part of an active Benedictine monastery at Buckfast that has a sense of serenity on the edge of Dartmoor. The Abbey is home to a working community of monks and visitors can enjoy the extensive grounds; including the award-winning Millennium Gardens. A highlight during the warmer summer months is the Lavender Gardens boasting 50 varieties of the colourful plant. The Abbey Church is a centre of musical excellence and hosts choirs and performers from near and far, whilst being a haven of peace. Well behaved dogs are welcome on a lead.

Buckfast Abbey National Trust

Escape the Everyday with a visit to the English Riviera. With 22 miles of coastline and 20 beaches on offer, there’s something for everyone. The warmest of welcomes awaits you on the English Riviera, South Devon’s beautiful coastline. Surrounded by stunning coast and countryside, Torquay, BabbacombeCockingtonPaigntonGoodrington and Brixham offer fantastic year round holidays with lots of things to do for everyone!

Princess Pier English riviera

Kents Cavern is one of the most important Stone Age sites in Europe and one of Britain’s best showcaves. On your visit you’ll go back to a time when the cave was home to ancient humans, sheltering from extreme weather, making fires, shaping tools and hunting Ice Age animals. As you walk through the extensive labyrinth of caverns, you’ll be surrounded by 400 million year old rocks and spectacular stalagmites and stalactites.

Kents Cavern

Bygones is a must-see attraction for visitors to St Marychurch and Torquay where you can walk freely through a wide variety of interactive displays with over 2000 genuine artifacts from yesteryear and find the unexpected! Wander back in time, visit the authentic life-size Victorian street including forge and sweetshop. Imagine yourself in the nursery, kitchen, parlour or the dentist! Arrive in the Twentieth century, take a break in the station cafe.

Inside Bygones

You don’t need to bring children to enjoy all the animals at Paignton Zoo! The zoo is home to over 2,000 animals and countless amazing plants across 80 acres of beautiful, spacious grounds, you’re in for an inspirational day out. Located in Devon, Paignton Zoo is one of the South West’s most exciting visitor attractions. It’s a place to roam, discover, learn and get in touch with nature. A registered charity and support a number of projects in the UK and overseas that aim to conserve wildlife and protect rare and endangered species.


Paignton Zoo tiger..


At South Devon Railway a trip recreates the golden days of travel between the 1930s and 1960s as it takes you on a trip back in time on a traditional Great Western Railway branch line running from Buckfastleigh and Totnes Riverside.

South Devon Railway Bubblecar

Blackpool Sands, an award-winning beach set in a sheltered bay surrounded by evergreens and pines, is one of south Devon’s most beautiful natural treasures. It’s turquoise blue sea gives it an almost Mediterranean feel. It’s a shingle beach and has been awarded the much coveted double… the International Blue Flag and Seaside Award! The beach benefits from RNLI Lifeguard patrol no dogs in the summer, has safe superb swimming in clean water and good disabled facilities plus you can hire out kayaks, paddle boards, wetsuits and deckchairs. The Venus Beach Café serves a range of delicious hot and cold food, has a take-away and a well-stocked beach shop

Best Beaches In Devon

Time at The Box is time well spent, particularly if the weather is grim outside. They have two different buildings for you to explore – the main building where you’ll find collections galleries, exhibitions, the Cottonian Research Room, shop and The Box Kitchen & Bar. Plus there’s the beautifully restored St Luke’s church where they also display exhibitions throughout the year. Best of all, The Box is free to visit with no need to book in advance!

People and Place: Art Collection Showcase at The Box

At Seaton Tramway start your journey at Seaton and ride inland to Colyton, one of Devon’s hidden jewels, or start at Colyton and arrive at Seaton, the gateway to the Jurassic Coast. The three-mile route runs through East Devon’s glorious Axe Valley, between the coastal resort of Seaton, the small village of Colyford and the ancient town of Colyton. The journey takes half an hour from end to end. You must alight from the tram on arrival but may return on any tram thereafter. Open toppers or enclosed saloons operate according to weather conditions.

Seaton Tramway - Bird watching tram

Stuart Line Cruises have boat trips sailing the coast around Exeter, Exmouth, Torquay and Sidmouth and they give hundreds of thousands of happy passengers the chance to see the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, cruise the beautiful River Exe or visit a picture-postcard South Devon town. They are an all-weather attraction.

Stuart Line cruises

No trip to Devon is complete without visiting The Donkey Sanctuary. This free-to-visit, award–wining attraction has something special to offer. Explore the scenic walks and award-winning gardens, play area, hedge maze and engaging exhibits. With activities, trails and talks there’s so much to see, 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 or adopt your own donkey in the Gift Shop, where you’ll also find quality donkey design products on every shelf.


Pecorama at Beer, one of East Devon’s leading visitor attractions, is the home to the famous PECO Model Railway Exhibition and the Beer Heights Light Railway. The Exhibition hall displays wonderfully detailed railway layouts, in many different gauges. Outdoors, a fleet of miniature steam locomotives pull passenger trains on a mile-long route through the grounds, over bridges, through steep-sided cuttings and a long, dark tunnel!  Pecorama’s award-winning gardens also feature the Millennium Celebration Garden, a series of five celestially themed garden ‘rooms’. The individual garden names of Sun, Moon, Rainbow, Roof and Moat Garden reflect the nature and colour of the flowers, shrubs and trees found in each. The site is also now dog friendly!

Pecorama - Devon's Top Attractions - a-personal-pecorama-experience

Bicton Park Botanical Gardens is Devon’s most magnificent historic gardens with over 60 acres of beautiful gardens and soft sweeping lawns, elegant water features, fragrant English borders and formal Gardens to explore. Take a tranquil walk and meander through the arboretum among some of the most majestic trees in the country. The magnificent Palm house has a fantastic collection of palms and tropical plants. Discover the little house of shells, the romantic Hermitage, the secret garden, the lake, streams and woodlands. Dogs are welcome on a lead.

Bicton Park Botanical Gardens Devon

If you are a member or annual pass holder the added bonus of course is that you can visit multiple times to really make the most of your membership. During the winter especially it is worth checking individual websites in advance as the opening dates and times can vary and some attractions are closed on certain days or have reduced opening hours.