Welcome to the heart of the Jurassic Coast – a beautiful part of Devon with red cliffs, fossil strewn beaches and plenty of family activities. Here’s our tried and tested things to do in Seaton, Devon with kids.
But why say: Seaton Devon? Well, there’s an important distinction that needs to be made between Seaton in Devon and Seaton down the coast in Cornwall. I’m a bit biased but Devon’s Seaton is my favourite of the two as there’s plenty of things to do here.
Got a while to stay? Here’s our BIG guide to family holidays in Devon.
This post originally featured on my other blog Tin Box Traveller. We were invited to rediscover the area by the team at Visit Seaton who put together a seven day itinerary for our Devon staycation with plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained.
Read on for our recommended things to do in Seaton with kids. Or if you’d like to skip to the highlights here’s a video:
I can also recommended plenty more things to do in East Devon.
Things to do in Seaton, Devon
There’s something for everyone in this part of East Devon with plenty more to do in the surrounding area. Here’s a few of the activities we think are best for families:
1. Ride through the countryside on Seaton Tramway
If you’re a fan of vintage vehicles then you can’t miss a ride on Seaton Tramway. It’s one of out favourite Seaton attractions and runs for much of the year.
The tram is a great way to appreciate the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as the route takes you through three miles of the Axe Valley including the Seaton Wetlands Nature Reserve.
Dogs are welcome on the trams.
Read more about Seaton Tramway.
2. Get up close with nature at Seaton Wetlands
Throughout our week in Seaton we enjoyed the most glorious views of Seaton Wetlands from our base at Manor Farm Caravan Site.
This relatively new nature reserve is teeming with wildlife – some of which we got to see thanks to a tour with the team at Wild East Devon.
We thoroughly dipped the pond in the Wildlife Garden, met the Dormice in the Discovery Hut and spotted Swallows, Herons and Moorhens from the hides.
Entry to the Wetlands is free and you can hire pond dipping equipment or take part in organised mini-beast adventures for just a few pounds. It’s a must if you visit Seaton with kids.
Be aware that dogs aren’t allowed in the nature reserve.
Find out more about Seaton Wetlands.
3. Get crafty at Imagine Design Create
Seaton seems to be a hub for craft cafes and shops – we spotted a few during our stay. On one of the cooler days of our holiday we popped into Imagine Design Create for a morning learning the art of decopatch with the owner Kerri-Ann.
As well as selling a treasure-trove of creative materials she runs regular workshops for keen crafters of all ages.
The girls and I had great fun glueing brightly coloured tissue paper, glitter and gems onto paper mache animals. Our creations also made a unique souvenir from our holiday.
You can either stay and craft with your kids for an hour or take a break in the cafe out back.
Find out more about craft workshops at Imagine Design Create.
4. Visit Branscombe – a hidden gem
The small village of Branscombe, just a couple of miles from Seaton, is one of Devon’s hidden gems. You get to it down some narrow and winding lanes from the A3052 – keep going, it’s worth it.
At the village’s heart there are three National Trust owned buildings: the old bakery, forge and mill. The forge is the county’s oldest thatched forge still worked by a blacksmith.
It doesn’t take long to look around the village so indulge yourself with a walk through the scenic valley to the beach too.
Dogs are welcome here and if you haven’t aleady been tempted by a cream tea at the National Trust cafe in the Old Bakery you can get meals, snacks and cakes at the beach restaurant.
5. Take your pick of beach days
With Seaton beach, Beer, Sidmouth and Lyme Regis all within a short drive we were spoilt for choice during our week in Seaton, Devon. These shingle and rock beaches bordered by red cliffs and pretty towns make for a great beach day.
Pack your beach shoes and enjoy a dip in the English Channel, water sports or a wander along the promenade. Or generally goof about like the my girls do!
You’ll not go far without stumbling across a cart full of locally produced ice cream or a quintessentially British deck chair to hire so you can take a load off and enjoy the view.
We paused for a paddle at Sidmouth and Seaton, and hit Branscombe on such a hot day that it would have been madness not to take a dip in the clear waters to cool off.
Whichever beach you visit always check the local information about tides and take note of warning signs about currents.
6. Tour the coast with Stuart Line Cruises
Just 20 minutes down the road from where we were staying at Seaton you can join a boat trip with Stuart Line Cruises. They offer cruises all along the red cliff and sandy Devon coast from Sidmouth to Brixham.
We climbed onboard the Pride of Exmouth on Sidmouth beach for a 50 minute tour of the bay which is an extraordinary part of the Jurassic Coast UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There was commentary throughout the trip and the crew came around taking orders for the bar so there was no need to miss a moment of the scenery.
A highlight of the trip for me was when we turned around at Ladram Bay where there are a series of sea stacks that have been created by erosion. They are eye-wateringly beautiful.
Here’s a video capturing it:
Find out more about Stuart Line Cruises.
More things to do in Seaton
Seaton is one of our top recommendations for crabbing in Devon.
Where to stay in Seaton, Devon
We’ve stayed at a few campsites in and around Seaton but our most recent base was Manor Farm Caravan & Camping Site.
It’s an East Devon campsite with extraordinary views across the Axe Valley, Seaton and Lyme Bay. It’s also a good option for families with a large play area and Pets Corner farm.
Manor Farm is located one mile from the centre of Seaton and the beach, making it an ideal base for exploring the town.
Have a read of our full review of Manor Farm.
We have also stayed at Andrewshayes Holiday Park, which is a touring, static caravan and glamping site just off the A35. It has an indoor pool, club house, play park and modern toilet blocks.
And we have glamped at Oakdown Holiday Park which has touring pitches and static caravans as well. The site has a playground, a modern toilet block and is just down the road from Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary.
Got a while to stay? Here’s our BIG guide to family holidays in Devon.
Where to eat in Seaton, Devon
Whether you’re looking for coffee and cake after a dog walk, pub grub or an al a carte meal there are plenty of dining options in Seaton.
We stopped by the dog-friendly Pebbles Coffee House and Bistro for a filling lunch after a walk on the beach.
Meals range from £6.50 for lighter plates to £9.95 for something that will fill you up all day. There’s also cream teas, sandwiches and cakes if you’re popping in for a quick energy boost.
I can recommend the omelette while Mr Tin Box was a fan of the steak and red onion chutney sandwich.
Things to do near Seaton Devon
If you have longer than a week to explore Seaton and the surrounding area then we can recommend even more things to do in East Devon.
Pecorama at Beer, Crealy Adventure Park near Exeter, The World of Country Life at Exmouth and Wildwood Escot at Ottery St Mary are all hits with our kids.
Also check out my 101 things to do in Devon with kids.
Have you visited Seaton, Devon? What things to do in Seaton would you recommend adding to this list?
Disclosure: we were guests of Visit Seaton when I first wrote about this for Tin Box Traveller in 2018. All opinions are my own and those of my family.
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