Skip to Content

River Dart Country Park – what families need to know

River Dart Country Park – what families need to know

River Dart County Park is a family day out in Devon that I’m always recommending. There’s wide open spaces for picnics and play, loads of fun activities and family pets can join you too.

Devon with Kids contributor Lauren Heath recently visited with her family and has written this handy guide to help you make the most of your day out at this brilliant outdoor attraction in South Devon.

Family days out at River Dart Country Park

Teen and two younger cousins looking at the River Dart
Picture credit: Lauren Heath

We went one day with our 12-year-old who really enjoyed climbing things, getting ‘lost’ in the fort and racing us on the assault course. Boy did we feel it the next day, but we laughed a lot.

We then visited two weeks later with my brother and family. He has a three and a five-year-old.

They had a go at everything, from the animal inspired slides, to the maze of a fort, to the toddler area where they had a zip line toddler swing.

Play Fort with slide at River Dart Country Park
Picture credit: Lauren Heath

Small kids, older kids and adults enjoyed the normal zip wire, assault course, and balancing on the beam to cross the lake to the pirate ship.

Pirate ship play feature in the middle of the swimming lake at River Dart Country Park
Picture credit: Lauren Heath

Amongst the main climbing, swinging, sliding areas you can relax a bit as a parent whilst the children have fun, under supervision and in view.

There’s also a path to walk along the river for a bit of quiet time and a game of poo sticks, along with the natural gym equipment along the trim trail.

We found our day out at River Dart Country Park really relaxing and great fun all together.

Tips for visiting

I would start your outing at the low ropes, spiders web and bird hide tower. It is to the right of the car park, if you are facing the the large green where the shop, restaurant and house are.

This is a calm introduction to everything else.

Then work your way down past the anaconda slide towards the pirate ship on the lake, and main play area.

Family walking across narrow plank bridge to pirate ship play feature
Picture credit: Lauren Heath
The banana slide from a tree house in an adventure playground
Picture credit: Lauren Heath

A lot of the areas are shaded thanks to the lovely forest setting, so in cooler weather have some sleeves, even on a sunny day. Definitely wear sturdy shoes or wellies.

You will get dirty so don’t wear your best clothes.

Teen on assault course at River Dart Country Park
Picture credit: Lauren Heath

In the warmer weather, have a change of clothes if the kids attempt to be on the lake and get wet. If you have little ones who are attracted to water like magnets take swimming gear including towels.

Bring a football to have a kick around in the football zone.

How long do you need to allow to visit River Dart Country Park?

I’d recommend three to four hours. If there’s a group of you enjoying everything that’s included in the day visitor pass you could spend longer.

What ages is River Dart Country Park best for?

Toddlers to tweens, although us adults had a go on a few things.

Is River Dart Country Park pushchair-friendly?

I would say not really. There’s lots of gravel, grass and stoney paths. So, if little ones can’t get about under their own steam bring a baby/child carrier.

What toilet facilities are there?

The toilet facilities are situated opposite Old Sawmill café bar, including accessible toilets. There are also accessible toilets and baby changing facilities by the pirate ship lake.

This isn’t enough in my opinion.

You will spend most off our time away from this area near all the other play equipment. We found that with toddlers it took a good 10 mins of time for you to walk there, use loos and walk back.

The initial walk to the loos is bit too far for desperate newly-potty trained children. They need some loos (even if portaloo or compostable) by the main play area.

There are also a couple of basic showers by the pirate ship lake.

Eating at River Dart Country Park

I’d highly recommend bringing a picnic. There’s plenty of picnic tables to sit and enjoy your lunch, some undercover, some not, and also grass areas.

There is a small snack hut and ice cream hut near the pirate ship but this is only open in peak season.

If you want to buy food there is the onsite restaurant, The Old Sawmill, towards the car park, which offers eat in (indoors and outdoors) and a takeaway.

Are dogs allowed at River Dart Country Park?

Yes, River Dart Country Park is dog-friendly, but they must be kept on lead at all times.

There are water bowls in places.

Be aware that dogs need a ticket during medium and peak times.

Are there any extra costs on top of your entrance ticket?

Country park entry is prebookable only and is enough for a good few hours of play.

There are extra ‘Dare Devil’ activities that can be booked in advance as well including:

  • high ropes
  • kayaking
  • mega zip wire
  • caving experience
  • canoe boat hire
  • bike park entry
  • bike hire
  • and a bouldering room.

You can also book to caravan or camp there!

River Dart Country Park camping and accommodation

Staying on the holiday park at River Dart Country Park gives you access to all of the free activities during the day time, so you don’t have to buy additional park entry.

There are electric, hard standing and grass pitches as well as toilet blocks.

Find out more about staying at the country park.

Do you need to book in advance? 

Yes, booking is essential for everything including park entry.

River Dart Country Park prices

Park entry prices vary dependent on time of year. In the off season prices start from as little as £3 per person and go up to a peak price of £13.20 for park entry.

Check the country park’s website for the latest park entry and Dare Devil activity prices.


A gravel, tiered car park is provided. Follow the signs from the entrance.

Where is River Dart County Park?

The country park is really easy to find off the A38 between Exeter and Plymouth.

There are brown attraction signs before you come off at the Ashburton junction. Follow these for one mile and be aware that the road narrows just before the entrance to River Dart Country Park.

Here’s where to find River Dart Country Park:

Find more of Lauren’s foodie adventures in Devon on the Dining Devon website.

More outdoor attractions in Devon

If your kids love the great outdoors you need to check out the full Devon with Kids guides to outdoor activities in Devon and the best natural attractions.

101 days out in Devon with Kids cover and pages

Download the 101 Days out in Devon with kids ebook

It’s FREE!

Grab your copy of this guide to family-friendly things to do across the county, from coast to coast, in the cities, on the moors and whatever the weather.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.