The South West of England does tend to get its fair share of soggy wet days especially in the winter months and these invariably come during the school holidays. However, many of our award-winning attractions are fully kitted out to expect inclement British weather and they know just how to keep their visitors happy and entertained even if its pouring.
Some of our larger sites have big indoor play areas which can keep the children entertained for several hours whilst adults can meet and have a coffee while they work off their energy and have fun playing.
Crealy Theme Park offers a wide selection of indoor play with huge indoor soft & adventure play areas, there is something to do for the whole family, whatever the weather! Indoor attractions include the Lost World of Atlantis, Blue Lagoon, Shark Bay, Dolphin Drop, Adventure Zone, Neptune’s Sea Cup, Jungle Journey, Sooty’s Magic Mirror Maze, the Sooty Show Live, Hall of Fame, The Pier and more.
At Woodlands Family Theme Park even when the sun stops shining the fun doesn’t stop! Indoor attractions include: the huge Sea Monster Zone, a giant soft play centre, toddlers Ice Palace soft play & Mirror Maze. Plus there’s the Circus Drome Zone, Master Blaster, toddlers Big Top Soft Play, Circus Bouncy Castle, & Acrobats Challenge. Action Zone – Hero Ball Pool & Triple Drop Slide. Toddlers Village Zone – Mermaids Ball Pool. Indoor Rides (Empire of the Sea Dragon): Submarine Ride, Trauma Tower, & Dragons Ferris Wheel so the kids are definitely not going to be bored on a wet day!
The Big Sheep have one of the South West’s largest indoor playgrounds… EWEtopia! Perfect for some all weather fun! Activities include: Ball Pits, Rope Bridges, Climbing Areas, the Snake Slide and the Magic Carpet Slide. Suitable for any age group, including Mums and Dads, Grans and Grandads!! Grown-ups can be BIG kids again and join in the fun by playing on the indoor play equipment or they can relax with a coffee in the seating area and restaurant whilst the children let off some steam.
Wet weather is no bother for World of Country Life! They have plenty on offer undercover to ensure the fun still continues – take a look: Exhibition Hall, Appy Angus Fun Farm Frenzy, Hall of Transport, Raceway Electric Cars, Vintage Garage Soft Play, Mini Soft Play Zone, Animal Nursery & Pet Centre and more.
Bicton Park Botanical Gardens have a fantastic range of all weather fun. If it’s raining you can take a ride on the Bicton Woodland Railway or enjoy some great activities in the big indoor play area. Plus there’s the Countryside Museum and the Glasshouses.
The Milky Way is perfect for wet weather and rainy days in North Devon & North Cornwall, with over 110,000 sq ft of indoor activities. From heart stopping slides, to indoor dodgems to ball pools and soft play, they’ve got indoor activities for the whole family to enjoy when it’s raining. The Planet Play is designed for adults as well as children. Small ones will love Little Stars, an innovative play area for 0-6 years, which offers imaginative and adventurous play. Plus there’s pottery painting, laser shooting and a fantastic Sci-Fi exhibit – so you can all enjoy yourselves together!
Quince Honey Farm has the indoor Play Hive. Let the kids buzz around their huge indoor soft play! With climbing ropes, slides and soft play fun, they are sure to have a great time exploring. Meanwhile you can sit and enjoy a hot drink and slice of cake, or a spot of lunch, from the onsite café.Devon’s Top Attractions have some fascinating museums and heritage which are a perfect place to visit on a wet day so head to:
RAMM in Exeter where there are lots of free things to do in the museum, whatever your age. RAMM’s galleries hold over 8,000 fascinating objects. Come and be delighted by fascinating displays of exotic animals, birds and insects, hear stories of Devon and Exeter’s rich history, and immerse yourself in the important world cultures collections. Plus pick up a museum trail, visit the family area, pick up a free Beastie Bag, join a tour or get involved in the museum interactives.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The Dingles Fairground Museum is designed to capture the magic of a bygone age through exhibits, vintage engineering and stunning artwork displays. The Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre is a 50,000 square foot indoor attraction that provides a unique opportunity to view their Fairground Heritage in a beautiful rural location. They have a unique collection of Fairground art, historic rides, fairground organs and of course a collection of operating vintage fairground rides.
To stay dry on a wet day you could also book a ride on a train or tram or on a boat trip!
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.
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.
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, take a bird-watching trip or visit a picture-postcard South Devon town. They are an all-weather family attraction.
Whilst you’re on your visit a stop off for a hot drink and cake or a light lunch completes a visit plus a trip to the gift shop. 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.