Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone but Devon is just about summer fun. In fact there’s plenty to do outside of the main holiday season, even in winter – take it from a local! But let’s keep this our secret – the wide, open beaches are bliss! If you’re wondering what to do in the South West between Autumn and Spring then here’s our top things to do in Devon this winter.

Here is my guide to the outdoor places in Devon where you can exercise in lockdown.

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Looking for things to do in Devon this winter? Here's our go to list of activities to do with kids including days out, soft play, pottery, events & swimming #Winter #England #devon #thingstodo #travel #family #kids #daysout #events #UK #Devonwithkids #holidays

1. Enjoy Christmas in Devon

If you are looking for festive things to do in Devon this winter then take a look at my Christmas in Devon post for all the best wintery days out. 2021 will hopefully see the return of Santa’s grottos, illuminations, Christmas markets and pantomimes – oh yes it will!

Looking beyond Christmas, here’s my guides to things to do in Devon in January, what’s on in February and things to do in Devon at Easter.

2. Visit a Devon theme park

All of Devon’s theme parks have large indoor play areas and attractions that are open in the winter months. Most are open on the weekends in the run up to New Year and some open in January. Because winter in Devon is a quieter time for visitors you can great winter ticket deals.

Here’s a full list of Devon’s theme parks and here’s the ones that are open over the winter:

3. Visit a Devon Zoo

Devon’s zoos are open all year round and are a top option if you are looking for somewhere to visit in Devon on a week day.

Here’s where to find zoos open throughout the winter in North, South and East Devon:

Also check out opening times are other Devon zoos and wildlife days out.

4. Go under the sea

The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth is ideal for wet days in the winter. The whole attraction is undercover and is home to the country’s largest tank.

Find more things to do in Plymouth.

The Great Barrier Reef tank at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, Devon
The Great Barrier Reef tank

5. Go underground in Devon

Kent’s Cavern is at a constant temperature of 14°C all year round making it an ideal Devon attraction for winter and wet days. It’s open from Wednesday to Sunday each week.

People silhouetted against the Rocky Chamber in Kents Cavern
Kents Cavern

6. More Devon family attractions open all year

Here’s more family attractions in Devon that you will find open this winter:

Devon attractions open during the week this winter

Here are the days out in Devon you can do whatever the time of year:

What to do in Devon at the weekends and over the school holidays

Here are some Devon attractions you can go to when school is out:

Also check out my post about what’s on in Devon this weekend.

7. Visit a National Trust place in Devon

National Trust properties are always a great place for a walk, slice of cake and maybe even some den building. Here’s what’s open during the week and on the weekends in Devon this winter:

  • Coleton Fishacre in Brixham, South Devon – open weekends until the end of December. Book your visit.
  • Greenway House in Churston, South Devon – open weekends until end of December. Book your visit.
  • Lydford Gorge in Okehampton, Mid-Devon – open daily until 31 December. Book online.
  • Buckland Abbey in Yelverton, South Devon – open daily until 31 December. Book your visit.
  • Saltram in Plymouth, South Devon – open daily until 31 December. Book your visit.
  • Killerton in Exeter – open daily until 31 December.
  • Castle Drogo near Exeter – open daily until 31 December. Booking not necessary but parking is limited.
  • Arlington Court near Barnstaple, North Devon – open daily until 31 December. Book your visit.
  • Knightshayes near Tiverton – open daily until 31 December. Book your visit.

8. Embrace the season and head outdoors

It’s rare to find snow on the coast, but with the highest peak of Dartmoor measuring 621m this is where you are most likely to find the white stuff.

Please gauge the situation wisely and stay safe. If you don’t have 4×4, don’t attempt to go deep into the National Park as it is very easy to get stuck in drifts, causing problems for yourself and others.

Snowy road on Dartmoor in Devon
Dartmoor in January 2019

Haldon Forest is an easier part place to access and has paths and cycle routes overlooking Dartmoor and Exeter.

You’ll also find the latest Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler trail here which is an easy and fun activity with kids whatever the weather.

Father and daughter doing the Zoo Trail at Haldon Forest Park in Devon

Another fun place to grab some fresh air in the winter is River Dart Country Park. There’s plenty of adventure playgrounds and a bike pump track open all year round.

Here’s some some more country parks to explore in Devon:

Find more adventure playgrounds in Devon.

And who could forget Devon’s beaches. These are just as amazing in the winter as in the summer.

In the off season you’ll find many deserted. You’re also more likely to find free parking and that dogs are allowed to scamper on the sand.

Red sand of beach in Paignton, Devon in winter

You’ll find some lovely beaches in South Devon, as well as North Devon. There are also plenty of hidden gems along the north and south coasts.

9. Paint some pottery 

My kids have really got into crafts in the past year and love painting pottery. Our closest pottery painting workshop in Devon is China Blue in Totnes. Book your table in advance.

Child painting pottery at China Blue in Totnes

You can also find pottery paining at:

Check with each venue when they are open and whether booking is necessary before you travel.

10. Go indoor climbing

A great thing to do in Devon with teens is climbing. Here’s where you’ll find climbing walls in Devon:

Check with each venue when they are open and whether booking is necessary before you travel.

11. Visit a Trampoline Centre in Devon

In indoor activity bound to tire the kids out is bouncing. Here’s where you’ll find trampoline centres in Devon:

Check with each venue when they are open and whether booking is necessary before you travel.

12. Brace yourselves and head to soft play 

When all else fails young kids, and some big kids, love soft play. And as you’re in Devon it’s very likely you’ll find a decent coffee and slab of cake on offer too!

Our favourite ones are at the Woodlands and Crealy theme parks as we can include them as part of a bigger day out.

However, if you just need a quick fix, here’s some other places where you’ll find soft play in Devon:

Check with each venue when they are open and whether booking is necessary before you travel.

13. Go Swimming

There are fewer options in 2021 but some pools are open this winter. Please check before you travel.

Here’s where you’ll find indoor swimming pools in Devon:

What about things to do in Devon at other times of year?

Here are some more handy posts on things to do in Devon with kids:

You’ll also find plenty of Devon inspiration in my big Devon family days out guide.

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Looking for things to do in Devon this winter? Here's our go to list of activities to do with kids including days out, soft play, pottery, events & swimming #devonwithkids #winter #activities #December #January #February #March #thingstodo #family #travelblog #UK #England #cold #wet #rainy #daysout