Things to do in Devon when it rains

T here’s nothing worse than rain making an unwanted appearance during your long-awaited holiday.

Grab your umbrella and head out for an adventure packed in Devon. Rain won't stop you!

Well, that’s the assumption, but the truth is far from it. Devon is thankfully blessed with an outstanding range of things to see and do across the county, come rain or shine. Here are some of our favourites.

WOODLANDS THEME PARK

Devon’s largest theme park is a hit with families, and you’d be hard-pressed to cram everything here into one day. There are rides for children and adults of all ages, with a large indoor play area to keep younger ones occupied. The park also has a zoo farm and hosts themed rides and events throughout the year. It’s a safe bet for an action-packed, memorable day out regardless of what the weather has planned.

Take a trip five miles to Dartmouth and replenish following the thrills and excitement. The Royal Castle sits on the river’s edge and serves a delicious menu that goes down a treat with our award-winning beer.

POWDERHAM CASTLE

One of England’s oldest family homes, Powderham Castle boasts 600 years of history and is set in impressive gardens with views over Exe Estuary. A guided tour will take you through an enviable collection of majestic rooms, uncovering the story of the Courtenay family with each step. The gardens and grounds are frequented by a herd of fallow deer and are well worth perusing should there be a break in the rain.

The Mill on the Exe occupies a tranquil oasis on the fringe of the city centre. This characterful pub is a go-to for hearty pub classics and seasonal specials.

PENNYWELL FARM

This multi-award-winning attraction is the largest of its kind in the South West. Located just outside Totnes, Pennywell Farm hosts a vibrant array of activities, free rides, and hundreds of friendly animals. The farm is famous for its miniature piglets which have graced TV screens around the world. You can groom and pamper the Pennywell piglets before they take part in a race each afternoon – a must-see event.

Head into Totnes and grab a bite to eat at the Royal Seven Stars. This grand and historic building has been lovingly restored and sits a mere stone’s throw from the River Dart.

KENTS CAVERN

The prehistoric caves at Kents Cavern offer a remarkable glimpse into the world of ancient humans. This extensive labyrinth of underground nooks is forged from 400 million-year-old rocks as well as breathtaking stalagmites and stalactites. You’ll get to see examples of some of the earliest tools found in Britain, and the teeth of Ice Age animals.

The Harbour Light in Paignton is the perfect place for some post-exploration food and drink. Kick back and take in views over the ocean with reimagined pub classics, award-winning beers, and mouth-watering sweet options.

THE BOX

Plymouth’s major museum, art gallery, and archive showcases nine permanent galleries and a changing roster of fascinating exhibitions. The Box features some truly mesmerising artefacts, including 14 monumental ship figureheads, a full-size woolly mammoth replica, thousands of natural history specimens, and a multitude of sculptures, ceramics, film, and photography.

When it comes to finding a beer with a view in Plymouth, you can’t go wrong in the historic Barbican area. The Ship sits right on the harbour’s edge and serves a tasty range of light bites, pub classics, and seasonal specials.

TENPIN EXETER

Sometimes nothing beats a good old-fashioned showdown with family and friends at a bowling alley. Tenpin Exeter has 22 lanes, together with arcade machines and pool tables for you to settle to score. There’s even Cosmic Bowling, which involves bowling in the dark with neon lights.

Set rivalries aside and indulge in a celebratory feast at Samuel Jones. Nestled on the quay, this stylish pub is renowned for its steakhouse menu, welcoming atmosphere, and waterside views.

SALCOMBE DISTILLING COMPANY

If you love gin, this is the place for you. There aren’t many other distilleries in the world that are directly accessible by boat, and that’s just the beginning of the surprises that await here. The Gin School at Salcombe Distilling Company gives you the chance to take charge of a mini copper pot still, where you’ll develop and distil your own 70cl bottle of gin. There are tasting sessions too.

The Victoria Inn lies a short stroll from the banks of the estuary in Salcombe. The interiors ooze character, with crackling log fires and cosy nooks setting the scene for a meal to remember.

DARTMOUTH CASTLE

This breath-taking landmark has been guarding the narrow entrance to Dart Estuary for over 600 years. Casting your eyes upon it will have you feeling transported right into the magical realm of a fairy tale. There’s plenty to see and do within the castle walls at this English Heritage property, from intriguing historical passageways to outstanding views over Dartmouth.

The Royal Castle enjoys enviable views over the river from a prominent waterside location. Admire the harbour’s passing boats as you savour a scrumptious serving of fresh seafood, revamped pub classics, sharer boards, and more.

QUAY CLIMBING CENTRE

Exeter is home to the South West’s largest indoor climbing wall. Those with a thirst for adventure and a head for heights can get their fix at Quay Climbing Centre. This all-weather destination lies in the city’s quayside and is conveniently close to the city centre. The building was formerly occupied by the generators that powered Exeter’s tram network.

The Mill on the Exe is a short stroll away and enjoys a tranquil waterside oasis that feels farther from the city lights than it actually is. It’s a scenic place to enjoy quality food and drink crafted from locally sourced produce.

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