6th March 2020

Weekend Wonders: fun for the whole family

Finding something to do on a weekend as a family can be challenging at the best of times, throw the spontaneous weather into the mix and it can feel upright impossible. Devon, however, provides that little peace of mind with countless activities and attractions on offer. Whether you are looking for something to release the kid’s energy or something a bit more calming after a long week, there’s something for everyone. 

Starting to struggle with coming up with places to go with your little ones? Worry no more, we have done the hard work for you. Grab a cup of tea and have a read of our list of handpicked activities and attractions to help you make the most of your Weekend.

Pennywell Farm

Pennywell Farm

Although this pick is a little further south, being one and a ½ hours drive from Barnstaple, Pennywell Farm is one not to be missed. Situated just outside the town of Buckfastleigh in South Devon, England, Pennywell Farm is a leading tourist attraction proving popular for people of all ages. 

Treat your family to a full day of family bonding and indulge yourselves in animal fun. There's plenty to do, and with a different activity, show and display every half hour as well hundreds of friendly animals and four free rides, you won't want to miss a single minute. 

If you and your family adore wildlife then you will be overwhelmed by what's on offer. With the opportunity to bottle feed baby animals, race ferrets, meet hedgehogs, pamper the ponies, not forgetting having the chance to cuddle their world-famous miniature piglets. It's impossible to think of a cuter day out as a family. To add to the magic of Pennywell Farm, you will be able to cheer and laugh at the Pig Racing, which is a must. 
Go online to find out more about Pennywell Farm and to find ticket prices.

Padbrook Park FootGolf:

Padbrook Park FootGolf:

For a different pace, how about the Padbrook Park FootGolf for something slightly different but all that much fun. Set in 30 acres of Culm Valley countryside, just minutes from junction 28 of the M5, and just a 54-minute drive from Barnstaple.

Footgolf is a mix of rules and actions from football and golf, which is ideal if you want an activity to burn off some energy. The course is made up of 9 or 18 holes and usually takes between an hour or two to complete.
Booking is essential for this activity and can be done online.

Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park:

Combe Martin Wildlife & Dinosaur Park:

Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park is situated at the top of the valley above the quaint seaside village of Combe Martin on the edge of Exmoor National Park. The park has an array of wildlife to showcase ranging from Lions, Baboons, Emus, to Sea Lions, Timer Grey Wolf and so much more. 

There’s a gigantic themed Dinosaurus Playzone, which is the largest indoor play zone this side of North Devon. Make your way through the slides, tubes, scramble through nets, tumble past the rope bridges and lose track of time in the pool pit. There is also a designated area for under 2’s giving you that peace of mind.  

Get ready to get soaked on the dino express train, contain your fear in the tomb of the Pharaohs & be brave in the critter cavern.

Watermouth Family Theme Park And Castle:

Watermouth Family Theme Park And Castle:

For an all-weather attraction for the whole family, Watermouth Family Theme Park and Castle is high on the list. With it being located in Berrynarbor, Ilfracombe, it means its an easily accessible attraction with it being a half-hour drive from Barnstaple. 

It provides a unique and magical experience the whole family can enjoy. It combines family pleasures of rides and attractions, as well as a cultural appreciation to the past by taking you back in time to Victorian life. 

Entrance into the attraction will give you an instant blast from the past with the castle hosting many nostalgic displays with antique pier slot machines, and an array of objects that are equally strange, rare and wonderful. Kids will be amazed by these antique games, which are playable with a mix of change (2p or 10p). You will then continue through the attraction making your way through the dungeon labyrinths to see what might be lurking in the dark. You won’t be in the dark for long, once you escape the dungeons make your way outside and take time to marvel at the underground Mighty Mortier Fountain show. A beautiful display of water and lights all synchronised to a 101 key Mortier Organ.

With a host of attractions, there’s always something to capture the imagination. Enjoy all the fun of the Merry-Go-Round, let loose in the Adventureland, Explore the village of Gnomeland, learn to fly a plane on the Junior Aviator, ride the giant tube slide or relax on the lazy river.

The Gnome Reserve & Wild Flower Garden:

The Gnome Reserve & Wild Flower Garden:

For an enchanted day out why not visit The Gnome Reserve and Wild Flower Garden. Founded in 1979 and located in Bradworthy, this gem of an attraction is only a little over half hour drive from Barnstaple. The reserve is split between a beautiful old beechwood with a stunning stream running through and is home to the majority of the Gnomes, with a wildflower trail making up the other half. The flower trail contains around 250 different species of wildflowers, herbs, grasses and ferns, and is home to the remaining Gnomes and Pixies as well. 

The whole 4 acres is a magical enchanted area and truly sparks a fairytale within. It’s an attraction aimed at the whole family, from children full of spirit as well as adults with an inner child waiting to escape for a few hours. To add to the atmosphere gnome hats and fishing rods are loaned free of charge, this helps the gnomes feel a little more at ease believing you are one of them, so bring your camera and capture the magic within.