You have picked Devon for its temperate climate, especially the South Devon coast and have checked the weather forecast for your week away. Suntan lotion packed, sunglasses packed and beach towels at the ready you arrive to find that Sod’s law has struck and rain is in the air. Your plans are almost instantly scrapped and you are at a loss of what to do but don’t despair. Devon is chock full of choices so we present to you things to do in Devon when it is raining.
Please note that due to the pandemic, opening times, potential restrictions and pre-booked tickets could be in place at the various venues we describe below. We urge you to do a quick search to ensure you know what restrictions are in place at each venue you wish to visit. We shall update this post on a regular basis if and when conditions change.
Crealy Theme Park – With over 60 rides and attractions and 200 cute and cuddly farm and zoo animals, Crealy Theme Park has so much to offer. With lots of indoor attractions, you can still visit on rainy days and have a great time. There are three indoor play areas, each with a different theme, the Dolphin Drop ride, Jungle Wars and Pirate’s Revenge. If the weather picks up make sure to go and see the meerkats and the Shetland Ponies, Llamas, Alpacas, Wallabies and Emus. There are even a bug zone and an animal barn. Or face the Twister, 12 metres high and 310 metres long that isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Woodlands Theme Park – Devon’s largest theme park located just to the north of Blacawton so within easy driving distance of all those holidaying in the South Hams and the English Riviera. Woodlands has the largest indoor play area in the UK so is just perfect for rainy days. Great for both big and little kids, the play area has many slides including the six-lane Barracuda, the 40ft Deep G dive and the twisting Sea Serpent. The Empire play area has 5 floors of towers, nets, slides and bridges to explore and have fun in. For the smaller ones, the Ice Palace is colourful soft play overseen by the cartoon King Penguin. There are even indoor rides with the Trauma Tower, a 50ft rise followed, after a suitably terrifying pause, by a stomach-wrenching drop. The Ferris Wheel Ride is perfect for the smaller children as is the Submarine Ride. Woodlands also includes a family zoo with many areas undercover such as the Pig Palace, reptile house, rabbit and guinea pig city and the big animal barn. If the sun comes out, visit the meerkats, goat mountain and see the new baby animals from piglets to alpacas. You can then explore Vertigo, Cyclone Canyon and the Falconry Centre.
The Milky Way Adventure Park – This multi-award-winning theme park is located in North Devon close to Clovelly, Hartland and Bideford. The park is packed and has lots to do indoors so arrive rain or shine! For babies, toddlers and children up to 6 they can explore the Little Stars area, with gentle climbs, soft shapes and lots of natural light. For under 3’s accompanied by an adult, the sensory playroom has mesmerising light displays to captivate the little ones and the room houses just one family at a time. For older children, explore the Black Hole and Astra Slide, or enter the Ninja Arena to face a series of events and obstacles and try to reach the top of the leader board. Ziggy’s Blast Quest will have you and a friend trying to save the planet by blasting meteors on your Cyber Scooter. There is a 2,500 square foot of area to experience dodgems, see the sci-fi memorabilia area with characters from Star Wars and Dr Who or go and paint some pottery to take home with you. If the sun does come out go and see the birds of prey show, get lost in the maze, play a round of mini-golf and try the Cosmic Typhoon rollercoaster at speeds over 40 mph.
The Big Sheep – Based in North Devon, The Big Sheep isn’t just sheep and has hundreds of animals on show. The indoor show arena has a number of attractions throughout the day including the Sheep Show, the Beer Show (happy now Dad?) all about ales brewed on-site at the Big Sheep Brewery and the Shearing Show combining fun and laughter and information while shearing a sheep! With an assortment of ball pits, rope bridges, climbing areas and slides, Ewetopia Indoor Playground is fun for all the ages. There are toddler play areas for under-twos and the under-fives so all are catered for. Mum and Dad can relax in Bo Peep’s Cafe or you can all sit down for a drink and meal. Visit the Nursery Barn with the cutest lambs, piglets, ducklings, puppies and goats – the kids can literally entertain the kids! Watch the sheep racing from the grandstand and be entertained by the ducks in the Duck Arena. If the sun makes an appearance then try the Rampage Roller Coaster, go for a pony ride, take the train (from Eweston Sation!) for a trip around the park or be amazed by the sheepdog trials.
Looks like someone has spent the day counting sheep!
Splashdown Quaywest – The rain is wet and flume rides are wet so why not embrace it and get yourself along to the UK’s largest outdoor waterpark! There are 8 flumes to explore ranging in thrills from severe to easy and even catering for the under-fives. These include tyre rides, mat rides and rides you can experience with friends. The Devil’s Drop has a 65ft near-vertical drop while The Screamer is more suitable for speed freaks. For younger children, you can experience the Submarine Adventure and Blennies Tiddler Pool. There is a 20m long pool for those that just want a swim and three areas where you can grab some food and drink.
National Marine Aquarium – National Marine Aquarium is in Plymouth. It is the largest aquarium in the UK. All undercover which is great for those rainy days, the aquarium has so much to explore. The largest tank in the Aquarium is home to a variety of sharks, turtles and the largest species of stingray. Witness feeding time for these magnificent creatures, watch “Friday” the Cheeky Green Turtle that loves an audience! Take the mesmerizing Oceans Jellyfish and learn all about them. The Aquarium has the largest single viewing platform in the UK, which shows the Eddystone Reef and is home to Rays and a variety of fish and around 40 species of sharks that are all found in UK waters. There is a soft play area for the children to let off steam and a cafe or on sunnier days the Secret Garden and Outdoor shack is a great enclosed space outdoors backing on to the ocean. Let the children play in this safe area whilst having a picnic or food from the Shack and finishing off your visit with ice cream.
Pennywell Farm – Pennywell Farm is in Buckfastleigh. There is so much to do here, most of the petting areas are undercover but you may get wet getting to them if it rains. There is an indoor barn with soft play, bouncy castles, plenty of picnic tables and a cafe outlet, (all under one roof) offering sausage rolls and waffles! Cream teas and cakes are a firm favourite in Pennywell Cafe after a packed day with the animals. When the sun comes out, you can spend as long as you want holding the miniature pigs who just love cuddles (you do have to give them back eventually!). From Pig racing to bottle-feeding to egg collecting, to ferret racing in the barn, catch a show in the main barn, visit and pamper the ponies and donkeys in the Mini Pony Centre, meet the Pygmy hedgehogs, and when the sun comes out, take a tractor ride, train ride or try out the go-karts.
Paignton Zoo – Paignton Zoo, aptly named as it is in Paignton has so much to offer whatever the weather. Indoor play areas and restaurants, Nocturnal House, Giraffe House, Desert House and Reptile Tropics will provide shelter on those rainy days as well as winged bird shows in the Animal Encounters Theatre where you can witness these beautiful birds swooping over your head. See the Giant Tortoise, find out what a NeNe is, visit an Alligator Snapping Turtle and the Bugs At Home house. When the sun comes out, visit the meerkats, lions, wolves, crocodiles, the cheeky monkeys and apes and many more. Explore the extensive outdoor area with rope swings and climbing equipment, explore the Nature Trail and enjoy a well-earned ice cream from one of the zoo’s cafes which are dotted all over.
Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park – located in Ilfracombe, the park combines life-size animatronic dinosaurs with a wildlife park! Tyrannosaurus Rex, Meglasauras and Dilophosaurus wake up every hour to both terrify and amaze you! The kids will love it! Throughout the dinosaur domain are 19 animatronic and static dinosaur models dating back to prehistoric times. Add in dinosaur footprints and nests of dinosaur eggs and its a dinosaur enthusiasts dream! Inside the wildlife park, it is very hard as to decide what to see first, if the weather is slightly wet, the Critter Cavern full of unusual spiders and insects, Dinosaur Museum and Cinema, Tomb of the Pharaohs, the Tropical House and the all-important gigantic soft play area called the Dinsauras Playzone for the kids to explore and get rid of their energy while the parents can relax in the cafe are all undercover. When the weather dries up and the sun comes out, enjoy the Meerkat encounter where you can get up and personal with these lovely creatures, learn about the white wolfs, enjoy the sea lion show with Morgan the sea lion, meet the cheeky baboons and meet the penguins at feeding time and many more! There are various picnic areas dotted around the park and an undercover picnic area opposite the Meerkat enclosure.
Dartmoor Otters & Buckfast Butterflies – located in Buckfastleigh near Totnes why not pick up the steam train from Totnes and the Butterfly Farm and Otter Sanctuary is a 2-minute walk from the platform. This proves to be a very popular way to start your day out here. The otter Sanctuary currently has 3 types of otter, here you can meet the keeper who can educate you on the lives of the otters including the large North American river otters who love an audience and love to show off! If it is raining then a shelter from the wet weather is in the butterfly house, learn all about the tropical butterflies that live and thrive here, be amazed at the beautiful vibrant colours and patterns on their delicate wings, whilst taking in the rainforest atmosphere and the exotic plants and flowers that the butterflies and the larvae need to survive. It is a great place to visit on cooler wetter days as the enclosure is so nice and warm. The centre also is home to a rescued exotic animal area which house a variety of lizards and creepy crawlies.
Ilfracombe Aquarium – is an award-winning all-weather venue based in the Old Lifeboat house along the harbour. The aquarium provides a rare insight into the aquatic world found in North Devon. Home to over 75 species of fish, some very rare and not been seen before, including a rather unusual octopus. There is also the opportunity to talk to the fishkeeper at feeding time and many interactive opportunities for the children. There is a cafe attached to the aquarium with an upstairs galleried area outside for those sunnier days. The exhibit allows you to follow a unique journey from an Exmoor stream, down the river, to the estuary, rockpool, harbour coast and finally out to Lundy Island.
Burton at Bideford – There is a lot going on at Burton at Bideford and the exhibitions are ever-changing so repeat visitors will always be amazed by the new collections and why not be a repeat visitor as it is free to enter. Current exhibitions (as at September 2020) include Seeds of Hope, Popalini & Jezando’s Wood Fired in Japan and the Burton Billboard. The craft gallery promotes 40 contemporary craftspeople from all over the UK with jewellery, ceramics, prints, textiles and metalwork. Makers include Svend Bayer, Clive Bowen, Anne Farag, Sarah Young, Amanda Anderson, Bill and Peach Shaw and Hilary Paynter. The exhibitions run throughout the year and allow visitors to discover new and emerging talent. There are also free art activities to get involved in regardless of your age from specific under 5 activities, 6 to 12 and all ages. If you have built up a hunger then visit the on-site Café du Parc and chef Joe Monterieux and his famous crêpes.
Brook Gallery – The Brook Gallery is located in Budleigh Salterton and has been in the town since 1997 and specialises in Fine Art Original Print but has an extended range of great painters, sculptors and ceramicists. Exhibitions change frequently so is another great venue to return to time and time again. There is a great range within the shop and the gallery sells works of art globally and is happy to give advice and source artwork if you have specific requirements. You can relax in the Brook Gallery coffee studio while discussing what you have seen, perhaps over a cake including gluten-free options. The gallery is open 7 days a week and is free to enter.
Three Hares Gallery – Located in the centre of Chagford in the heart of Dartmoor, the Three Hares Gallery is home to the renowned artist, Eleanor Ludgate. Her paintings are dominated by her surroundings with wonderful Dartmoor landscapes as well as the wildlife that live there including many hares that the gallery is named after. Ceramics and sculptures also feature as do the works of a few other artists. The gallery also doubles as Eleanor’s workspace and she is happy to give further information about the inspiration for her art as you browse the collection. Her paintings, cards and other local artists work are also available to purchase. A must-see venue for lovers of wildlife art and Dartmoor landscapes.
Ilfracombe Art & Craft Society – located on The Promenade, the Ilfracombe Art and Craft Society has been exhibiting local art for over 40 years. The gallery is open 7 days a week and exhibits within its spacious interior paintings by local artists as well as varied craftwork including stained glass, glass sculpture, pottery, forged ironwork woodturning, hand-carved walking sticks and even violins. There is easy access for wheelchair users, the gallery is dog friendly and there is ample parking close by.
Devon Guild of Craftsmen – located in Bovey Tracey, the Devon Guild of Craftsmen has a large centre with an acclaimed exhibition space for contemporary craft and design. The gallery is open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 11am – 5pm. Admission is free to all facilities and there is good access for wheelchair users as well as wide aisles and an accessible toilet. Family activities are run in the Jubilees Gallery with many events, drop-in workshops and craft demonstrations run throughout the year.
House of Marbles – Open since 1973, the House of Marbles could have fit into many categories. As the name suggests, they are world-renowned for their range of glass marbles. Open all year and free to enter, they are based on a historic site of pottery making. House of Marbles produce vintage and traditional toys and games, have a working glassworks on site, have a museum, marble runs, a gift shop and a restaurant to relax in. The museums cover glass, games, marbles and Bovey Pottery. Children will be entertained for hours by the animated animals, marble runs, fairground mirrors and the giant floating marble. There are lots of hidden amusements to be discovered too – can they find the secret door in the garden and the snoring bear? There is wheelchair access to all parts except the upstairs shop and the venue is dog friendly with the exception of the restaurant unless an assistance dog.
Kents Cavern – located in Torquay, Kents Cavern is part of the UNESCO Global Geopark and date back all the way to prehistoric times. It is the warmest cave in Britain at a steady 14 Celcius come rain or shine so is the perfect wet weather attraction. Open all year except Christmas Day, tours are run from 10am to 4pm. Explore Stone Age Britain and Ice Age animals through the limestone cave system with extraordinary rock formations. Marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites which adorn the cave walls. Follow this with a trip along the Woodland Trail and become an Ice Age hunter. The Stone Age Trail will have you the caveman’s footsteps as you go on a Stone Age shopping trip. Finish your trip with a bite to eat and a drink in the Firestone Kitchen and browse the shop for a souvenir, jewellery, toys, games and even the odd mammoth.
Exeters Underground Passages – Dating back to medieval times, Exeter’s Underground Passages are the only one of their kind across the whole United Kingdom. Originally designed to bring water from natural springs outside the city, the passages were vaulted to avoid disruption when repairs were needed. Guided tours have taken place since the 1930s and the passages are lit throughout fascinating all who enter. There is a restriction on age, under 5’s are not permitted. The attraction is currently closed due to the current situation but hopes to open normally again in 2021.
Beer Quarry Caves – Created over centuries from the quarrying of the famous Beer Stone, it has a rich history dating back to the Romans. The stone has supplied 24 cathedrals including Exeter and St. Paul’s as well as the Tower of London and Windsor Castle. The guided tour is an hour in length taking you through the mighty halls with their vaulted roofs. It has been likened to a vast underground cathedral. On the tour you will discover the tools used to cut and move the stone, the hardships endured and the dangers faced. The caves are cool all year round so ensure you have something warm on. They are open from 10:00am.
Swimming Pools – Or just swimming in general, after all, you may well be wet already. So just go to the beach and enjoy a swim. Or, if the rain is annoying, try an indoor pool. Indoor pools can be found at Torquay at Waves Leisure Pool which also includes flumes, a wave machine and a toddler slide, Meadowlands at Tavistock which includes flumes and rapids, there are two pools at the Mount Kelly Swim Centre at Tavistock and two pools at the Flamingo Pool at Axminster. There is also a great selection of outdoor pools to choose from. In Brixham, you have the saltwater Shoalstone Pool and at Chagford, a river fed heated pool. The Lido at Teignmouth is also heated while the Tinside Lido has a sunbathing deck – not sure how much use that will be if you are after a rainy day idea but we live in hope that it may be useful another day! There is a tidal pool at Westward Ho!, the Rock Sea Pool and a large open-air heated pool at Moretonhampstead which will reopen for the 2021 season. The Mount Wise Swimming pools have a part saltwater main pool, an activities pool, a paddling pool, whirlpool and bubble pool and are located in Plymouth.
The Bunker – State of the art golf and multi-sports simulators so you can play whatever the weather located in Newton Abbot. Catering for both adults and children, The Bunker allows you to play a host of sports including golf, football, rugby, shooting and racing. Tired of your current golf course? At The Bunker you can choose from 190 different courses including iconic courses at Pebble Beach, Carnoustie and Celtic Manor. All equipment is provided including Srixon clubs or take advantage to improve your game with a lesson from a PGA coaching professional. For football you can choose from 150 stadiums to play in so can play in your favourite teams ground with games such as penalty shootout, crossbar challenge and free-kick. The racing simulator allows you to race at the latest Formula One circuits in both single and dual player mode so you can race against your friends. The shooting will have you fending off a zombie attack, take on Skull Island or just practice against a series of challenging targets. In addition, there are foot darts, footgolf and crazy golf so really should be something for everyone.
Rock and Rapid Adventures – Located in South Molton, Rock and Rapid offer indoor (and outdoor) climbing for both adults and children. The large centre caters for 8 top rope lines, 2 auto belays, 10 lead wall lines and has a bouldering room, boulder cave, training room and an abseil tower. Expert instructors are on hand to lead you all the way. In addition, the venue has a cafe, observation and picnic area and climbing shop.
Bowling – Who doesn’t like to hear strike as the pins get knocked over and you claim another spare. A great indoor activity when the weather isn’t so kind. You can find bowling at Torquay at AMF Bowling, Exeter at Tenpin, Barnstaple at Lets Go, Exmouth at Ocean and Plymouth at the Barbican Leisure Park.
Have we lost our minds? Aren’t you, the reader, trying to find things to do when it is raining? Well yes, but Devon is blessed with a north and south coastline and lots of sandy beaches from which you can enjoy a whole host of different watersports. And watersports probably mean you will end up getting wet, probably very wet so the rain won’t even be a consideration. So let’s explore what you can do, where you can do it and who with, bearing in mind this is not an exhaustive list.
Surfing – Devon is known for its surfing so where better to start. With two coastlines, there is a large variety of beaches, waves and conditions to suit everybody from beginner to expert. Many decide to have a few lessons while on holiday so it is a great wet weather activity as you are going to get wet anyway. With exposure to the Atlantic and our weather systems, the surf is pretty consistent and there are a large number of surfing beaches including Croyde Bay, Woolacombe, Saunton and Bantham. There are a good number of Surf England approved surf schools. In North Devon, you have the Hunter Surf School, North Devon Surf School, Surf Saunton, Surfing Croyde Bay, Woolacombe Surf Centre and Nick Thorn Surf Coaching. In South Devon, you have the Bantham Surfing Academy.
Windsurfing – If you don’t fancy paddling out to catch a wave or fancy being out on the water even when the waves have all but disappeared then windsurfing may be what you are looking for. If you are just starting out then a properly run introduction to the sport will save you many hours of just falling in. You will still fall in, just less! The Royal Yachting Association is the recognised body for pretty much all things watersports so always ensure the centre you go to is RYA approved. RYA centres in Devon include SeaSports SouthWest in Teignmouth, Exmouth Watersports, Haven Banks in Exeter and the Devon Windsurf & Canoe Centre in Newton Abbot.
Sailing and other water activities – Whether you want to head out on the water in a dinghy, a keelboat, motorboat or a multihull, Devon has two great coastlines to explore. If you want to blow away the cobwebs and have a few hours in a dinghy or hire a motorboat to go and do some sea fishing all your needs are catered for all along the North and South Devon coasts by too many companies to list here. Boat tours, kayaking and canoeing, water-based wildlife tours, dolphin watching, speed boat tours and stand up paddleboarding can all be done in Devon. From the complete beginner to expert, all are covered.
The Bear Trail – okay, so it isn’t a watersport but you are going to get covered in mud so the rain may actually help wash it off! The Bear Trail is a 30 obstacle family assault course set on a 10-acre site that is described as a mud-fest of an attraction! Located just south of Cullompton at Westcott, they will have you scrambling over nets, flying down zip wires and tumbling through tunnels. New for 2020 is the Water Walkerz so make like a hampster for the pool and a giant transparent ball. With an outdoor wash point and a quick change of clothes, you can relax in the Bear Cave Cafe for a well-earned wood-fired pizza.
Castles, Gardens and Historic Houses
Castle Drogo – Castle Drogo is a National Trust property set in stunning countryside with a beautiful garden on the edge of Dartmoor. While the garden and surrounding walks may have to wait for the rain to stop, you can explore 14 rooms within the castle. The castle is just 100 years old and was designed by Edwin Lutyens, one of the great architects of the day. It is an imposing building complete with portcullis and arrow slits that overlooks the Teign Gorge. For specific visitor information and opening times for this and other National Trust properties mentioned in this article please visit the National Trust website.
©National Trust Images/April Braund
Buckland Abbey, Garden and Estate – Located on the outskirts of Yelverton, the site is run by the National Trust and features the 700-year-old home of Sir Francis Drake and Sir Richard Grenville. Originally a 13th century Abbey and home to Cistercian monks, the house now tells the history of the people through the ages and the influence they had on a nation. It is also the site of The Great Barn, one of the nation’s largest medieval barns remaining in the country. If the weather improves you are in for a treat. The gardens are wonderful but best between June and August when the summer displays are at their best. The Elizabethan garden next to the barn is full of pink and orange roses.
©National Trust Images/James Dobson
A-La-Ronde – A-La-Ronde is and 18th-century sixteen-sided house located on the outskirts of Lympstone run by the National Trust. On a rainy day, you can take a tour of the house which includes the shell gallery where the walls have been decorated with thousands of shells in geometric patterns, drawing room and a library. Even if it’s raining it has amazing views of the gardens but, if the sun does come out, you can go on the Parminter walk which is full of flora and wildlife.
©National Trust Images/Linda Adams
Saltram – There is so much to see at Saltram with its park, garden, shop, cafe and house, all run by the National Trust since 1957. The house dates back to the 16th century but was largely remodelled in 1740 to the house we see today. The house is filled with history and works of art and became one of Devon’s grandest homes with King George III staying in 1789. Discover the inside and hope the sun returns so you can go and explore the beautiful gardens and the park beyond which is dog-friendly.
©National Trust Images/Rupert Truman
Compton Castle – Dating back to the 1400s, Compton Castle started life as a manor house but was fortified in the 1520s in response to French raids. The Castle and the people who have lived in it have an interesting history and several connections to America. Visit the Tudor kitchen, chapel or watchtower and listen to talks from the National Trust volunteer reenactors who have a very good knowledge of the house and its history. If the sun does come out take a tour of the rose garden.
©National Trust Images/Andrew Butler
Arlington Court – A Regency house run by the National Trust that also has a Carriage Museum housed in the stable block. The collection was started in 1964 and now has one of the countries largest collections with some carriages dating back hundreds of years ranging from servant carts to carriages for grand state occasions. Within the house itself you can discover a large collection of model sailing ships and every room you visit is full of interesting items from the houses 500-year history. If the sun makes an appearance do make time to take a walk in the grounds and reward yourself with a stop in the cafe for a bite to drink and something to eat.
©National Trust Images/Chris Lacey
Powderham Castle – Lying in a beautiful deer park on the banks of the River Exe, the Castle has been welcoming visitors since 1959 to share 600 years of history and heritage. There are guided tours of the castle where you can learn about the history or they have open house sessions where you can wander the Castle at your own pace. If the sun comes out you can explore the rose garden, American garden and the walled garden.
Devon has over 75 museums so it is safe to say there really is something for everyone. Covering local history, the arts, the sea and Devon life, below are just a few you can visit on a rainy day.
Museum of British Surfing – This award-winning attraction is in North Devon at Braunton and is the only dedicated surf museum in Europe. With new exhibitions every year there is always something new to see. The museum covers the rich 200-year history of surfing in Great Britain, current achievements and also looks toward the future.
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery – This world-class museum is located in Exeter in a spectacular Victorian building. It covers Devon’s rich history, animals and world culture. There is a busy programme of events and exhibitions so is changing frequently and is free to enter.
Kingsbridge Cookworthy Museum – Located in Kingsbridge, this museum has 8 galleries covering the social history of Kingsbridge, over 30,000 images of the local area, a costume gallery and even a farm gallery. There is a small entrance fee.
Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre – This unique attraction is located in rural Devon close to Sprytown but is not far from the A30. It has a massive 45,000 square feet of indoor attraction designed to capture a bygone age. From vintage engineering to stunning artwork the Fairground Heritage Trust has fairground rides from the 1800s to the present day, from dodgems to a ghost train. An experience for all the family.
Dunkeswell Heritage Centre – Located at Dunkeswell Airfield just outside of Honiton, the Heritage Centre tells the story of the major role the airfield had in the defence of the country during World War 2. With a large photographic collection, uniforms, films, models and dioramas, artefacts and a shop you can really understand the importance of the airfield during this time. A must-see for those interested in World War 2 history. The Centre is open from Easter to October and is free to enter.
The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum – located in Exeter, this fantastic museum has one of the largest collections relating to the moving image in Britain. Film critic Mark Kermode visited the museum in 2017 and described it as “my new favourite thing”. They hold a collection of over 85,000 items with over 1,000 items on display in the various galleries. Currently closed but hoping to reopen to the public again this month (September).
Lyn and Exmoor Museum – A small museum located in Lynton in a charming Grade II listed whitewashed cottage, the oldest in the village. The museum has seven rooms of displays covering agriculture, the Lynmouth flood, natural history, railways, maritime and it even has its own ghost.
Combe Martin Museum – A seaside laboratory open for all, covering agriculture, school life from the 20th century, where you can discover how silver and lead mining made a difference to village life. See the Sail Loft displays which tell a tale of the importance of the maritime trade within the village and experience what life in a typical cottage from the past was like. If the weather improves, explore the beach and rock-pools or go on a beach safari led by museum volunteers.
Mortehoe Museum – Mortehoe Museum is filled with the history and charm of the village of Mortehoe, owned by National Trust, this is the perfect place for when it is raining. The museum features the villages rich coastal history, the railway, the importance of tourism in the area, farming and country skills as well as having a shop on the ground floor.
South Molton and District Museum – reflects the life and times of the town and the surrounding countryside. Located on the ground floor of the Guildhall in the town square, the museum is a blend of ancient and local history of the town including agricultural history and archaeological finds. Learn how cider making was so popular. Children are given the opportunity of completing a fun quiz and trying to spot the Penny Farthing and fire engines along with a few owls along the way.
Tavistock Museum – is a town museum which shows exhibits relating to the towns monastic, market and mining past. The museum shows a display from Tavistock Abbey and tells the history behind the great Benedictine Abbey as it was previously called before it burnt down. The Museum proudly displays images of Tavistock and East Cornwall between 1960 and 1990 by the late Jim Thorington.
The Museum of Dartmoor Life – Located in Okehampton and set over 3 floors this Museum takes you through the stages of Dartmoor life from the prehistoric times to today. Discover how farming and agriculture made a huge impact on shaping Dartmoor and imagine a typical day for a scullery maid or a school child.
Totnes Museum – set over 5 floors, the museum celebrates the people within the town, sharing stories, lives and history both young and old. There are even rumoured to be ghosts that haunt the museum! Experience a mysterious cat brush past your legs! For the children, there is a chance to take part in a fun quiz and to dress up as a victorian.