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A ‘Sun-sational Summer’ for Devon!

Hurray, summer days are here again, school’s nearly out and there are six long weeks of Summer holiday fun ahead of us!

So, let’s all make hay while the sun shines and start planning some fun-filled days of family fun and adventure.

‘Devon’s Top Attractions’ have a sizzling summer of non-stop fun and entertainment waiting to be enjoyed. Our 42 members are top visitor attractions which are spread right across the county.

And, whether you live locally or you’re on holiday, there’ll be a selection of great visitor attractions nearby offering a great day out for you and your family.

This summer is set to see some NEW and exciting rides and attraction developments launched with thrills and spills promised for everyone. You’ll be able to reach new heights at Woodlands Family Theme Park on their new awesome ride called ‘VERTIGO’, reaching a mighty 15 metres high!


At Crealy this Summer, you can experience the all new High Dive Show, direct from the USA that is set to ‘wow’ the crowds. Watch in awe as the troupe perform intricate and tricky dives from high above the small pool below.  

Also new at Crealy this year is their ‘Pop in the Park’ and ‘pop-tastic’ Sundays with live music spots from exciting tribute acts, including Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran and Little Mix, which are all included in the admission price.

‘Devon’s Top Attractions’ aren’t just offering a great day out, they are also offering all sorts of special events too and, with hundreds of events to suit all ages and all tastes, they will certainly have a special day out waiting for everyone to enjoy. See the choice on their website

Some of these events offer special days out with appearances from your child’s favourite characters such as ‘Peppa Pig’, who will be making a star appearance at the Big Sheep on 27th August, and ‘Titan the Robot’, who will be making a special visit to Woodlands Family Theme Park on 15th August plus the Woodlands Fizz Pop science shows which are back on several dates throughout the summer holidays too.

There will be themed weeks galore - perfect for children to get lost in their imaginations.  Over the next few weeks at Powderham Castle, there will be a Knights and Dragons week, a Faerie Folk Week, a Robin Hood Week and a Pirates and Mermaids week, all provided by the fantastic Pocketwatch Theatre crew.        


Children can enjoy some NEW and exciting additions to the summer calendar out at Seaton Tramway and enjoy one of three new especially themed children’s experiences: ride on the ‘Pirate Tram’ following the Axe Estuary with lots of swashbuckling fun and adventure, or ride the ‘Dinosaur Tram’ with music, stories, fossil dig and dinosaur activities. And, on a more girly theme, you can ride the NEW ‘Fairy Tram’, stretch out your wings and brush up on your spells as the fairy Godmother takes you on a magical journey.

And there are lots more farmyard fun and animal encounters at Devon’s other top Farm and animal visitor attractions too! 

Why not head to Pennywell Farm this Summer for six sizzling weeks of Summer holiday fun, with a full day of hands on animal action, a different activity, show or display every half hour, hundreds of friendly animals and four FREE rides. Blast off on the ‘Red Rocket’ ride, race your friends on the ‘Run Rabbit Go’ karts or hop aboard the ‘Rainbow Railway’.  Plus, the 'Big Show' twice daily in Pennywell's theatre featuring family entertainment, including falconry, clowns, magic, juggling, and 'sing-a-longs' with Poco Drom'.

At the Big Sheep this summer, they have a summer full of family fun and excitement. Ride ‘RAMpage’ - Devon’s biggest, highest and fastest rollercoaster  and enjoy live shows, including the famous sheep racing. Cool off in the ‘splash zone’, jump on the ‘giant jumping pillows’ and see the adorable animals in the indoor animal barn. A full day out whatever the weather.


Summer is a superb time to get out and about in the great outdoors. Why not enjoy some outdoor theatre, set in the beautiful grounds of a National Trust property at Killerton, Castle Drogo and Arlington Court? Enjoy the open-air cinema at Powderham Castle, see the ‘Lion King’, ‘Grease’ or the ‘Italian Job’, whilst picnicking with family and friends. What could be better?

Pay a visit to Buckfast Abbey this summer and let your children enjoy one of the half day children’s clubs. The sessions are aimed at 8-11 year olds and will focus on art and drama with an emphasis placed on themes connected to Buckfast Abbey. The ‘Summer Fun Holiday Club’ will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout August.


Why not take a boat cruise this Summer, a great way to spend a day? Leave the car behind and sail on the River Exe with Stuart Line Cruises, or take their ‘Jurassic Coast Cruise’ and visit Sidmouth, or set sail along the stunning South Devon coast to Torbay, visiting Torquay and Brixham. A super day out for all the family.

Head to the Donkey Sanctuary this Summer and take part in their ‘Around the World Trail’.  Explore the Donkey Sanctuary by following the trail and find out where donkeys are working hard to support families and how they contribute to industry. Entry and car parking at The Donkey Sanctuary is FREE and trail sheets are available from the Gift Shop for just £3 with an ice cream reward when you’ve finished.


Summer wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of Devon’s wonderful beaches. Head to Blackpool Sands, near Dartmouth and you will feel like you’ve been transported to the Mediterranean. It’s set in a sheltered bay surrounded by evergreens and pines and it is truly one of Devon’s most beautiful beaches. A blue flag family beach with turquoise blue clean water, water sports and loads of other facilities.

Why not enjoy some ghostly goings on this Summer and venture underground at Kents Cavern for an evening ‘ghost tour’?  The younger ones can enjoy the summer holiday Stone Age activities and take part in the ‘ice age animal hunt’, ‘kids fun dig’, ‘rock art’, ‘Cavog’s riddle quest’ and the ‘Stone Age trail’.  


Summer is a time for adults too, they can enjoy the beer and music festivals and there’s one coming up soon at Morwellham Quay on 29-30th July.  There’s also a  ‘Rails and Ales’ long weekend at South Devon Railway from 25-28th August inclusive offering a great weekend of family fun with steam and heritage diesel services running every day and into the evenings and a truly impressive real ale and cider bar.

Chris Murray Chairman of Devon Association of Tourist Attractions said: “Devon continues to be a winning holiday destination for both its visitors and locals alike. With it’s fabulous variety of top quality visitor attractions, imaginative and creative events, plus some very new and exciting major ride developments. Devon is set for a spectacular Summer of Fun.”

So, let’s roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer and start planning where to go. To find out more details and to see the full list of events see the website


By Anne Blackham

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