Dartmoor and the western side of Devon between Yelverton, Morwelham, and Holsworthy offer an enchanting blend of natural beauty, history, and adventure that appeals to adults, adolescents, and families alike. Whether hiking the moors, immersing yourself in history or enjoying a day of thrilling activities, this corner of Devon invites you to create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Plan your next family getaway to this captivating region and discover the magic of Dartmoor and Devon's western wonders. Click on the title to view the website for each attraction.
Banner image photo: Great Bidlake Manor in Bridestowe
Peruse a selection of fine holiday cottages in Dartmoor and West Devon, from large country houses to small thatched Dartmoor cottages.
Begin your journey in the Dartmoor National Park, a sprawling expanse of rugged terrain that beckons explorers of all ages. With its network of walking trails, you can set off on exhilarating hikes that lead to ancient tors, lush valleys, and hidden waterfalls. For families, Dartmoor provides ample opportunities for picnics, wildlife spotting, and even pony trekking. Don't forget to visit the National Park Visitor Centres for educational exhibits and interactive displays that bring Dartmoor's unique history.
Address: Dartmoor National Park Authority, Parke, Bovey Tracey, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ13 9JQ
Phone: 01626 832093
The National Marine Aquarium is located in the city of Plymouth, this expansive aquarium, the largest in the UK, allows you to explore the mysteries of the deep sea. Get up close and personal with a diverse range of marine life, including sharks, turtles, and colourful tropical fish.
Address: Rope Walk
Coxside, Plymouth, PL4 0LF
Phone: 0844 893 7938
Situated near Plymouth, this zoo is a fantastic place for families to observe and learn about a variety of animals, including big cats, meerkats, and primates. It also offers educational programs and interactive experiences.
Address: Sparkwell, Plymouth, Devon, PL57 5DG
Phone: 01752 837645
Tucked within the Dartmoor National Park, this woodland park offers scenic trails that lead to a breath-taking waterfall. The park is a great place for family hikes and picnics, with opportunities for wildlife spotting.
Address: Becky Falls Ancient Woodland Park Limited, Manaton, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ13 9UG
Phone: 01647 221259
Located near Buckfastleigh, Pennywell Farm is a fantastic attraction for families with young children. You can interact with adorable farm animals, enjoy entertaining shows, help with feeding times and even try your hand at mini-pig racing.
Address: Pennywell Farm & Wildlife Centre Buckfastleigh, Devon, TQ11 OLT
Phone: 01364 642023
Take a nostalgic Great Western Railway journey following the bustling River Dart along the southern fringes of Dartmoor. This heritage railway runs between Buckfastleigh and Totnes. It's a delightful picturesque experience for train enthusiasts and families alike.
Address: South Devon Railway, Dart Bridge Road, Buckfastleigh, Devon, TQ11 0DZ
Phone: 01364 644 370
Located in Okehampton, this museum provides insight into the history and heritage of Dartmoor. It's an excellent place for children and adults to learn about the region's past through engaging exhibits and activities.
Address: 3 West St, Okehampton EX20 1HQ
Phone: 01837 52295
Situated near Moretonhampstead, this charming attraction, ‘the gateway to the rich history of Dartmoor,’ allows, amongst other exhibits, children to interact with adorable miniature ponies, explore the animal barn, ride the train, burn off some energy in various play areas and enjoy pony rides.
Address: The Miniature Pony Centre, North Bovey, Moretonhampstead, Devon, TQ13 8RG
Phone: 01647 432400
A stunning National Trust-managed natural attraction, Lydford Gorge offers dramatic, photogenic walks along a ravine carved by the River Lyd. Children will love exploring the woodland trails and viewing the impressive Whitelady Waterfall.
Address: Lydford, near Tavistock, Devon, EX20 4BH
Explore the ruins of this medieval castle in Okehampton. While not as extensive as some castles, This English Heritage-managed castle is an intriguing site for families to discover and imagine the area's fascinating history.
Address: Castle Lodge, Castle Lane, Okehampton, EX20 1JA
Phone: 0870 333 1181
Visit England's highest man-made waterfall just South of Dartmoor near Chudleigh. Canonteign Falls offers scenic walks, nature trails, and the chance to spot wildlife in a beautiful wooded valley.
Address: Canonteign Falls, Christow, Nr Exeter, Devon, EX6 7RH
Phone: 01647 252434
This imposing castle near Drewsteignton is the last castle built in England and is managed by The National Trust. Explore the gardens, enjoy family-friendly activities, and learn about the castle's history and inhabitants.
Address: Drewsteignton, near Exeter, Devon, EX6 6PB
Located in Buckfastleigh, this sanctuary allows you to get up close to butterflies from around the world and observe playful otters in their aquatic enclosures.
Address: Buckfast Butterflies & Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary,
Buckfastleigh, Devon, TQ11 0DZ
Phone: 07761 447219
Discover many entertaining, family-friendly attractions from the North Devon coast to the South Devon coast. Here are a few suggestions that will appeal to all ages.
This cultural hub in Tavistock hosts various family-friendly events throughout the year, including live theatre performances, concerts, and film screenings.
Address: Canal Road, Tavistock, Devon, PL19 8AT
Phone: 01822 611166
Located near Lifton, Roadford Lake offers water-based activities like sailing and kayaking, scenic walks, and a children's play area.
Address: Roadford Lake Activity Centre, Broadwoodwidger, Lifton, Devon, PL16 0JL
Phone: 01409 211507
Discover the history of rail travel in Okehampton at this beautifully preserved 1930s Southern Railway station and its small but engaging Arthur Westlake Museum. You can explore vintage railway carriages and learn about the area's railway heritage.
Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre
Situated in Lifton, this unique attraction showcases vintage fairground rides and games. It's a nostalgic experience for adults and a fun adventure for kids.
Address: Fairground Heritage Trust, Milford Lifton, Devon PL16 0AT
Phone: 01566 783425
Found near Okehampton, this farm park allows kids to get close to a variety of farm animals, learn about rural life, and participate in hands-on activities.
Address: War Horse Valley Country Farm Park, Iddesleigh, Hatherleigh, Devon, EX19 8SN
Phone: 01837 810318
Situated in a new location at The Merry Harriers Garden Centre near Woolfardisworthy (pronounced locally as Woolsery), this unique attraction is a delightful place for children and adults to explore whimsical gnome homes and enjoy the colourful wildflower garden. Admission to the Gnome Reserve is free.
Address: Merry Harriers Garden Centre, Woolsery, Bideford, EX39 5QH
Phone: 01237 431611