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29 things to do in Okehampton with kids

29 things to do in Okehampton with kids

With Dartmoor National Park on your doorstep, miles of rolling countryside and plenty of outdoor pursuits on offer, Okehampton is in a prime spot for family adventures. In this destination guide I’ve picked out the most family-friendly things to do in Okehampton as well as other places to visit close by.

There’s family attractions, free things to do, adventurous activities, walks and, dare I say it, tips on where to go when it rains!

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Family-friendly things to do in Okehampton

Here’s the activities to add to your bucket list whether you’re on holiday in Okehampton, looking for inspiration for entertaining the kids or trying to dodge the weather on a wet day.

1. Explore the ruins of Okehampton Castle

Ruins of Okehampton Castle

We have William the Conquerer to thank for many of the castles in England. And Okehampton is no exception.

Its downfall was at the hands of Henry VIII after Henry Courtney – the Duke of Devon – was executed for treason in the 16th Century. This was the beginning of this Devon castle’s decline to ruin.

However, stories of Tudor ghosts and the romantic outline of its crumbling walls have made it a popular place to visit ever since. Notability the artist JMW Turner portrayed the ruin in his works including ‘Okehampton, on the Okement’ (1824), which is now in the Tate Britain.

It’s a popular spot for a picnic, so don’t forget your blanket.

Find out more about visiting Okehampton Castle in Devon.

2. Explore the Museum of Dartmoor Life

This museum in Okehampton tells the story of Dartmoor, its community and their lifestyle. 

There’s exhibits from prehistoric times right through to the early 20th Century, as well as geology and stories of Dartmoor’s industrial and agricultural heritage.

Young visitors will find hands-on activities and interactive displays including puzzles, coin rubbing, colouring and dressing up. There’s also a trio of Dartmoor Piskies to look out for around the museum.

Find out more about visiting the Museum of Dartmoor Life.

3. Picnic and play at Simmons Park

This wildlife rich public park beside the Okement River has plenty of space for picnicking and playing games on the grass. There’s also, woodland paths, an adventure play playground and bridges from which to play pooh sticks.

Find out more about Simmons Park.

4. Walk the Granite Way

View of Meldon Viaduct crossing valley in West Devon
Meldon Viaduct on the Granite Way

Walk or cycle the Granite Way to experience the wildlife, tors and industrial landscape of West Devon. 

The 11 mile Granite Way crosses the Meldon Viaduct and takes you past other points of interest near Okehampton, like the castle, the Museum of Dartmoor Life and Lydford Gorge.

Find out more about the reservoir and route.

5. Have an outdoor adventure

Young man shooting target on Archery range at YHA Bracken Tor
Photo credit: YHA Okehampton

Okehampton is the starting point for numerous outdoor activities on Dartmoor with Adventure Okehampton.

Adventures include rock climbing, kayaking, cycling and archery to name a few.

Find out more about activity days and YHA accommodation with Adventure Okehampton.

6. Cycle or walk the Tarka Trail

Okehampton is one of the way points on the famous Tarka Trail.

This figure of eight trail covers 180 miles with plenty of starting points from Okehampton on the edge of Dartmoor to Lynton on the North Devon coast.

Find out more about the Tarka Trail.

7. Take a train for a day out in Exeter

Train at Okehampton station on the GWR route, Devon
Picture credit: GWR/Jack Boskett

In 2021 the Dartmoor Line reopened running train services between Okehampton and Exeter every hour, seven days a week.

This gives you an excellent opportunity to explore Devon’s capital city from Okehampton. Hop off at Exeter Central for easy access to RAMM, the city centre and Exeter Quay.

Here’s the Devon with Kids guide to things to do in Exeter.

Check fares and train times for the Dartmoor Line.

Get a while to stay? Check out my full guide to family holidays in Devon.

Things to do near Okehampton with kids

If you exhaust all the ideas so far there’s plenty more places to visit and family days out near Okehampton.

In the list below I’ve given you an idea of how long it takes to get to each place by car. Times are approximate and depend on traffic.

8. Treat yourselves at Barzotelli’s Gelateria

This small gelateria in North Tawton is a hidden gem and a must experience for all dessert fans visiting Okehampton.

As well as serving different flavours of homemade gelato every week, you can order healthy ‘no junk’ lollies, milkshakes, frappes, boozy hot chocolates and hot crepes.

Check opening times before you travel as these can vary.

Bartozelli’s Gelateria is 15 minutes from Okehampton.

Find the latest information on the Barzotelli’s Gelato Facebook page.

9. Have an adventure at Roadford Lake

Paddling across Roadford Lake
Paddle boarding at Roadford Lake

Roadford Lake is the largest body of water in South West England and is managed by South West Lakes. There’s a visitors centre and activity centre on either side of the 40m high dam.

Organised activities here include kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, archery and high ropes. 

You can also walk and cycle around the lake for free. Download a free trail sheet for kids before your visit.

Find out more about things to do around Roadford Lake, which is 20 minutes from Okehampton.

South West Lakes have more information about Roadford Lake.

10. Walk Lydford Gorge and see the Devil’s Cauldron

Whitelady Falls waterfall surrounded by greenery
Whitelady Falls at Lydford Gorge

On the west side of Dartmoor, not far from Okehampton, you’ll find the South West’s deepest gorge.

This National Trust site has several paths along the 1.5 mile gorge which includes at 30m waterfall and a naturally formed whirlpool called the Devil’s Cauldron.

The footpaths can be steep in places but they are nothing like you might find at Becky Falls and Canonteign Falls where roots and boulders are the norm.

However, I’d still advise leaving the pushchair in the car and using a baby or child carrier for tots that can’t walk yet. We visited Lydford Gorge and had a lovely time out.

Lydford Gorge is 20 minutes from Okehampton.

Check out more details about Lydford Gorge.

11. Explore War Horse Valley Country Farm Park

Parsonage Farm is the place around which the book War Horse by Michael Morpurgo was set.

As well as meeting animals, including miniature and massive breeds of pigs and sheep, you can wander the farm trail to see local wildlife, find out about farming methods from the past 100 years and see an exhibition about the role of horses in World War I.

War Horse Valley Country Farm Park is 20 minutes from Okehampton.

Find out more about War Horse Valley.

12. Lifton Farm Shop – PYO strawberries, flowers and pumpkins

Hands holding strawberries

Head to Strawberry Fields at Lifton Farm Shop to pick your own soft fruits, wildflowers and sunflowers in the summer. You’ll also find a maize maze and a pumpkin festival in the autumn. 

The cafe is well known for its menu of hearty breakfasts, Sunday roasts and homemade pies as well as cakes, cream teas and picnics to takeaway. 

Lifton Farm Shop is 20 minutes from Okehampton.

Find out more by visiting the Lifton Farm Shop’s website.

13. Dingles Fairground – an indoor attraction perfect for rainy days

Dingles is a top place to head on a wet day with plenty to keep the kids entertained indoors.

Ride and experience vintage fairground attractions in this 25,000 sq ft museum in Lifton. There’s rides for young and old with more attractions coming in 2023 as Dingles undergoes a major makeover.

Booking is essential in 2022.

Dingle Fairground is 20 minutes from Okehampton.

Find out more about visiting Dingles Fairground.

14. Soft play at The Waie Inn – things to do on wet days

Caught out by a rainy day? The play barn at The Waie Inn has slides, soft play and a toddler area, all in view of its coffee bar where adults can relax.

There’s also a pool table, squash, darts and skittles.

The Waie Inn is 20 minutes from Okehampton.

Find out more about what’s on offer for families at The Waie Inn at Zeal Monachorum, Crediton.

15. Castle Drogo – National Trust near Okehampton

The newly refurbished facade of an English country house, built to look like a medieval Castle on the edge of Dartmoor National park in Devon, England
Castle Drogo

Castle Drogo is England’s newest castle having been built in the 20th Century. 

Tour the castle, visit the replica Bunty play house, grab a spotter trail sheet or go geocaching for hidden treasures in the Teign Gorge below the castle. 

A baby/toddler carrier is a must for young visitors exploring further than the gardens.

The castle is 25 minutes from Okehampton.

Visit the castle’s website for more information. 

16. Woolley Animals Farm Park near Okehampton

This is a great value day out with the kids where they can meet animals, groom ponies and feed new arrivals in the Spring. Entry to the farm park costs £4 per person. There’s an extra charge for llama walking and tractor rides.

Woolley Animal Farm Park is 25 minutes from Okehampton.

Find out more about visiting Woolley Animals Farm Park

17. Crealy Adventure Park – a theme park near Okehampton

Girls standing in front of Flying Machine ride at Crealy Adventure Park
Flying Machine ride at Crealy

If you’re a fan of rollercoasters, log flumes and go-karts then Crealy Adventure Park & Resort near Exeter is a great theme near Okehampton.

This award-winning family attraction has 60 rides, as well as a farm, adventure play grounds, a splash park and indoor play to satisfy kids of all ages. It’s also one of my recommended accessible Devon attractions.

We’ve been visiting since my kids were three and one-years-old, and have never been short of things to do.  Take a look at our full guide to days out at Crealy Adventure Park.

Crealy Adventure Park is 30 minutes from Okehampton.

Visit the Crealy Theme Park & Resort website for further information.

18. Get creative at Paint Pots of Crediton

Book a table at Paint Pots and hand decorate your own Devon souvenir. Pick from a huge range of pottery ready for painting from novelty ornaments to dinner plates and seasonal gifts.

There’s also a cafe where you can grab a bite after painting your perfect pot.

Paint Pots of Crediton is 30 minutes from Okehampton.

Find out more and book Paint Pots.

19. Cycle or walk Tamar Trails

Cycling through the forest at Tamar Trails in Dartmoor
Tamar Trails

If you’re the type of family that enjoys breaking a sweat then you’re set for a great workout at the Tamar Trails. Take your pick from walking, cycling or swinging your way around the trails. Take a look at out guide to cycling the Tamar Trails

The best options for days out with toddlers here are popping them in a toddler carrier to explore the valley or hiring some bikes with a tag along trailer.

Older kids may like to try tree surfing or canoeing on the River Tamar.

The Tamar Trails are 30 minutes from Okehampton.

Further information can be found at the Tamar Trails website.

20. RHS Rosemoor – gardens near Okehampton

Queen Mother's Rose Garden, RHS Garden Rosemoor, Devon, England
Image credit: RHS/Jason Ingram

Rosemoor is a wonderful place to go and appreciate captivating horticulture in the heart of the Torridge Valley. There are exotic blooms, prune-perfect hedgrows and ornamental gardens to explore.

For kids there are two play areas and plenty of interesting features hidden around the gardens. Don’t miss the Hobbit Hole or Mr McGregor’s Shed.

RHS Rosemoor is about 35 minutes from Okehampton.

Find out more about visiting on the RHS Rosemoor website.

21. House of Marbles – a free place to visit near Okehampton

Snooker 2000 giant marble run at The House of Marbles in Bovey Tracey

This free, small attraction is home to some fascinating marble runs that will keep kids entertained while you can browse the Devon gifts, crafts and boutique clothing.

They can also press a button to get the largest run working. It covers an enormous wall and is quite an eye-opener. Read about our visit to The House of Marbles.

You should also visit the restaurant which has all sorted of curiosities and annotated animals the walls. There’s also play equipment outside.

The House of Marbles is 35 minutes from Okehampton.

Fore more information, visit the House of Marbles website.

22. Visit Dartmoor Prison Museum

The High Granite Walls Of HM Prison Dartmoor, Princetown, Devon, England, UK
HM Prison Dartmoor

Find out what life was once like inside one of the world’s best known jails. The museum covers 200 years of history and pulls no punches when it comes to sharing the outdated methods once used to control inmates.

You can also learn the stories of some of the prison’s infamous residents and escapees.

The Dartmoor Prison Museum is 35 minutes from Okehampton.

Find out more about visiting Dartmoor Prison Museum.

23. Becky Falls – a waterfall attraction near Okehampton

Girl stood on boulder at Becky Falls Devon

For a fun a challenging waterfall walk on Dartmoor Becky Falls is an ideal place for an adventure. Kids can clamber over boulders and spot wildlife in the ancient woodlands surrounding this privately owned valley.

As well as the waterfall walk – which you can take a few route around depending on how difficult you want it to be – there’s an animal discovery centre and petting zoo. Check out our trip to Becky Falls here.  

This walk is not suitable for pushchairs. Wear sensible shoes!

Becky Falls is 40 minutes from Okehampton.

See the Becky Falls website for more information.

24. Buckland Abbey – the home of Sir Francis Drake

Buckland Abbey National Trust place in West Devon
Buckland Abbey

The home to famed seafarer Sir Francis Drake is a beautiful National Trust property where children can roam the orchard, dash around the lawn and dress up in Tudor style in the attic exhibition.

It’s also one of our favourite Dartmoor days out. Older kids will be enthralled by the sparkling treasure room which displays items ‘collected’ by Drake during his travels.

Buckland Abbey is 40 minutes from Okehampton.

For more information, visit the attraction website

25. Climb Canonteign Falls

Family walking through forest at Canonteign Falls - one of the things to do in Dartmoor with kids
Canonteign Falls

This Dartmoor day out steals you away to a magical place of fairies and woodland people that also includes a walk up to England’s highest manmade waterfall.

Visit with young kids and a child carrier is a must if you want to appreciate the views at the top (you won’t regret it), but it’s not all hard slog. There’s a children’s trail and fern garden populated with fairies along the way.

Back at the bottom you’ll find an adventure playground, labyrinth, cafe and model boating lakes.

Read about our visit to Canonteign Falls.

Canonteign Falls is 40 minutes from Okehampton.

For more information visit the attraction website

26. Visit Dartmoor National Park Visitor Centre

The Duchy of Cornwall Moor Otter at Dartmoor National Park Visitor Centre in Princetown
Dartmoor National Park Visitor Centre in Princetown

The national park visitor centre in Princetown used to be a hotel and is where Arthur Conan Doyle stayed when he wrote some of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Today the centre tells the story of Dartmoor’s natural history with interactive exhibits that children can touch and explore. It’s a great place to start planning the rest of your time on Dartmoor and pick out some of the child-friendly things to do.

The Dartmoor National Park Visitor Centre is 40 minutes from Okehampton and of course the rest of Dartmoor is on your doorstep.

Find more ideas for things to do in Dartmoor with kids.

27. Devon Railway Centre – a day out for young train enthusiasts

Young train enthusiasts will love the model railways, miniature towns and toddler rides at the Devon Railway Centre near Tiverton. 

There’s also a large soft play area and railway carriages that have been turned into toddler-friendly play zones.

The only thing to bear in mind that pushchairs can’t access some of the site. Bring a baby/child carrier if you’re visiting with tots.

The Devon Railway Centre is 45 minutes from Okehampton.

Find out more about Devon Railway Centre.

28. Meet the bees at Quince Honey Farm

Find out all about the life and work of honey bees at Quince Honey Farm at South Molton. Explore more than 8,000 years of bee keeping in the museum, hit the soft play and meet some creepy crawlies in the critter cabin.

Quince Honey Farm is 50 minutes from Okehampton.

Find out more about Quince Honey Farm.

29. A day out in Plymouth

Smeaton's Tower on The Hoe in Plymouth
Smeatons Tower on The Hoe

Devon’s second city of Plymouth is an hour from Okehampton. There’s lots of places to visit on wet days, such at The Box museum and the National Marine Aquarium, as well as year round events.

Here’s my full guide to places to visit in Plymouth with kids.

So that’s all the things to do near Okehampton. If you’re venturing further afield then you might want to check out…

More days out in Devon with kids

Here’s some more reading about fun things to do in Devon:

What’s your favourite things to do in Okehampton? I’d love to add some recommendations to this list.

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