Whether visiting North Devon as a couple or as a family there are plenty of attractions to keep everyone entertained, many of which are ideal for those grey days. Within the local area surrounding Magnolia View Cottage there are landscaped gardens to explore, family friendly theme parks and National Trust managed estates. To help you plan your holiday we have selected a few of the more popular attractions within an hour’s drive of the cottage. Please note many attractions can be booked in advance online with discounts offered on tickets purchased via their website.
North Devon is home to some wonderful gardens that are open to the public. Just a few miles from Barnstaple are Marwood and Broomhill, which are set in a valley and enjoy beautiful landscaped gardens packed full of fragrant aromas and colour. Broomhill, also has an array of sculptures that complement its floral displays. Another fun garden to discover is RHS Rosemoor near Torrington. This stunning garden is great for all the family with events held throughout the year, there are also two children’s play areas and an excellent cafe onsite.
Exmoor Zoo is well worth a visit whether you have children or not. This small zoo on the edge of the National Park has many different animals to see, including the infamous Exmoor Beast, cheetahs and of course everyone’s favourites - the meerkats. Many animals here are endangered in the wild and you can learn more about them at the daily talks. If looking for a special present for any animal lovers, the zoo also has keeper days available, which can be booked in advance.
Overlooking the Torridge Estuary near Instow is the Christie Estate managed Tapley Park. Only open from Easter through to the end of October, this splendid estate has stunning gardens, a lake and a herd of Highland cows to admire as you explore the grounds. Finish you visit with a snack from the tea room where food is prepared using ingredients fresh from the onsite gardens.
At Middle Week near South Molton you can enjoy a traditional carriage ride around the beautiful North Devon countryside. You’ll get to meet these beautiful Suffolk Punch horses and learn about their past before setting off for an hour and a half ride where you get to sit back and relax admiring the gorgeous scenery.
On Exmoor, near the beautiful village of Porlock is the Exmoor Owl and Hawk Centre where as a day visitor you can watch displays, enjoy a traditional cream and watch as your children enjoy a pony ride. You can also book an owl or hawk experience package in advance that allows you to fly some of these amazing birds.
Located between Combe Martin and Ilfracombe and overlooking Watermouth Cove is the Victorian castle of Watermouth. This popular family attraction is well worth a visit with caste dungeons to explore and vintage fair rides to discover in the beautiful landscaped gardens. Also, found at Watermouth Castle is the Gnome Reserve.
On the edge of Combe Martin is a good sized wildlife park that also features a number of animatronic dinosaurs, which are guaranteed to make kids smile. The park, which is home to several wild animals, including lions and wolves, also has a large indoor soft play area and a short train ride.
The National Trust managed Arlington Court is one of the most wonderful places to go as a family or as a couple. The landscaped gardens are a highlight no matter what the season and there are some excellent walks for the dogs. Also onsite is one of the largest collections of carriages in the UK, as well as a shop and a cafe. Check out the National Trust’s website to find out about seasonal events happening at Arlington Court.