Family holidays in Devon


With summer quickly approaching, this is be the perfect time to grab a BritRail South West Pass and head for the region of Devon where you will find a number of activities for the whole family to enjoy. Here are our suggestions of events and activities you shouldn’t miss out on.

Exeter and the Heart of Devon

Exeter is known as the cultural capital of the south west as it hosts many concerts, artistic and theatre events throughout the year.

– The Devon County Show (May 16, 17 and 18)
The Devon County Show is one such event and takes place as the weather starts to allow farmers from South West England to grow tasty potatoes and oilseed crops used in the making of Canola oil. Over the course of three days, The Devon County Show hosts two national cattle shows, a spring sausage competition, floral art displays, traditional rural crafts, honey making workshops and more outdoor activities. With so much going on, The Devon County Show is a fabulous occasion to take everyone out.

– Powederham Castle

Located just outside Exeter, Powderham Castle houses six hundred years of history and settings worthy of royalty. Take a guided tour inside Powderham Castle or take part in one of the many attractions to be enjoyed with the whole family such as the Woodland Walk & Cream Tea which includes a tour through Woodland Garden and a cup of Devon’s famous cream tea, a local speciality. Powderham Castle has many live action shows scheduled throughout the summer including Kings & Queens, Knights and Dragons, Pirates & Mermaids, Robin Hood and more.


The English Riviera

The English Riviera, South Devon’s beautiful bay, is a popular destination with a lot of activities to keep families busy.

– Torquay
Torquay is part of a unique area where cavemen and dinosaurs once lived. While in Torquay, take some time to explore Kents Cavern, home to some of the oldest human fragments ever found in Europe. The prehistoric cave offers guided tours and hosts an underground theatre. Also, Torquay’s Dinosaur World indoor exhibition has full size dinosaur models and sites where kids and adults can hunt for dinosaur bones and fossils.

– Paignton Zoo

When you visit the town of Paignton, be sure to plan a day out at the zoo. Paignton Zoo is home to more than 3000 animals from across the globe. Surely, you will recognize the gorillas, giraffes, lions and tigers in their cages. But as you walk around you may even a catch a glimpse of the bongos, mouse deers and river hogs. The zoo is a fantastic place to learn about diversity in the animal kingdom.

 – Goodrington Sands

The English Riviera is known for its beaches and the Goodrington Sands shines as a family friendly beach thanks to its safe swimming conditions. In addition, you can take part in a number of different activities like paddle boating, water skiing and windsurfing.

 – Splashdown@Quaywest

Goodrington Sands Beach is also home to the UK’s largest outdoor water park: Splashdown@Quaywest. While older kids will want to brave the endless twists and curves of the Screamer or defy the 15 meter long and terrifyingly steep Devil’s Drop, the younger ones will enjoy the colourful Submarine Splash and the Tiddler’s Fun Pool.



A short train ride further west of Torquay and Paignton, Plymouth is the ideal day-trip if you’re based in the English Riviera.

– History Festival

Plymouth is especially proud of its naval history and a lot of activities are centered around Plymouth’s relationship with the sea. This year, and throughout the month of May, the city will host its first ever History Festival, where a new Lord Mayor will be announced amidst the celebrations of Plymouth’s past.

 – National Marine Aquarium
Plymouth is the home of the National Marine Aquarium where you can and see and learn about over 400 species of sea creatures from small tropical fishes, to sharks, corals reefs, seahorses, turtles and more.


Visit the Heart of Devon, the English Riviera and Plymouth with a BritRail South West Pass and turn your vacation days in South West England into memorable family moments.

Leave a Reply