Best family hotels in Devon for a family-friendly UK stay
From quintessential seaside resorts to pretty harbour towns, Devon has something for every family member to enjoy. Here are the best family hotels in Devon that Mumsnetters recommended.
By Karen Basnett | Last updated Jun 7, 2023
Planning a UK staycation to Devon? From quintessential seaside resorts, and pretty harbour towns to breath-taking scenery. Devon has something for all the family to enjoy.
Devon is a stunning county with two very diverse seashores and over 300 miles of sandy beaches. It is also the only county in England boasting two National Parks.
North Devon is renowned for its spectacular coastline, countryside, water sports and incredible ice creams. The south of the county is famous for its coastal resorts, golden beaches, mild climate and leisure attractions. Nevertheless, you can always have a Devonshire cream tea no matter where you are in Devon!
Deciding where to take the family with so much on offer can be a challenge. We've put together this handy guide to our top, family-friendly top hotels, as recommended by Mumsnetters, to help you decide where to stay for an unforgettable holiday in Devon.
The best family hotels in Devon at a glance
- Best for entertainment: Devon Cliffs, Exmouth | Book now
- Best for luxury: Sandy Cove Hotel, Combe Martin | Book now
- Best for toddlers: Cofton Holidays, Dawlish | Book now
- Best for family-friendly rooms: Soar Mill Cove, Salcombe | Book now
- Best for active families: Haldon Forest Lodge, Exeter | Book now
- Best for thrill-seekers: Crealy Theme Park & Resort, Exeter | Book now
- Best for older children: Bovey Castle, Dartmoor National Park | Book now
- Best campsite: Feather Down, Billingsmoor farm, Butterleigh | Book now
- Best self-catering: Little Dunley Cottages, Newton Abbot | Book now
- Best holiday park: Parkdean Ruda Bay, Croyde Bay | Book now
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1. Best for entertainment: Haven Devon Cliffs, Exmouth
“I have stayed at the Haven Devon Cliffs resort a couple of times and we really enjoyed it - beach is great. Nice Indoor pool for when the weather isn't so kind and lots to do in the surrounding area too.” Recommended by dipitydoyou
The Devon Cliffs Caravan Holiday Park has fantastic brand-new facilities following a million-pound renovation. When it comes to keeping the kids entertained, everything is covered. There is an indoor entertainment centre, three outdoor play areas, evening entertainment, a late-night cabaret, and a disco. It also boasts an indoor and outdoor heated swimming complex with waterslides.
There are a variety of activities for toddlers at Devon Cliffs including Sensory Tots, Learn to Scoot, Gym Tots, Dance Tots, and Arty Tots.
Close by are Crealy Adventure Park and the Woodlands Family Theme Park at Dartmouth. It is ideally situated on the Blue Flag, Sandy Bay beach, which you can directly access from the park.
2. Best luxury hotel: Sandy Cove Hotel, Combe Martin
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“We love Combe Martin - a safe, sheltered bay for paddleboarding/swimming/kayaking and rock pools with easy access to Woolacombe for surfing. Combe Martin is on the edge of Exmoor, with so many gorgeous walks. Whatever your children's age, there is a lot to do.” Recommended by Sleepthief
Sandy Cove hotel is situated on the picturesque Broadsands Beach and is nestled between Exmoor & North Devon. It overlooks the rugged cliffs of Sandy Bay near Ilfracombe and on one of the most spectacular coastlines in Devon. With beautifully appointed interconnecting family rooms, a spa and award-winning dining, Sandy Cove Hotel has everything you need for a luxurious getaway.
Nearby you will find plenty of family-friendly attractions, such as Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, National Trust Arlington Court, and Exmoor Zoo. Plus, kids under four stay free all year round!
3. Best toddler-friendly stay: Cofton Holidays, Dawlish
“The campsite has a choice of caravans, lodges, cottages & camping. Dawlish Warren is nearby and is a lovely area with a huge, long beach.” Recommended by Summerhouse1998
Cofton Holidays is a family-friendly 5* holiday park with plenty of facilities and activities to keep babies and toddlers occupied. There’s an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, soft play, three playgrounds, and entertainment. There’s something for everyone in this stunning part of Devon.
There is a huge variety of baby and toddler-friendly accommodation including cottages and holiday homes equipped with highchairs and travel cots. There are also lodges, apartments, caravans, and an award-winning campsite to choose from. So, you can choose what will best suit your family.
4. Best for family-friendly rooms: Soar Mill Cove, Salcombe
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Soar Mill Cove is a relaxed family-friendly hotel near Salcombe, an iconic seaside town and one of the county's best-loved holiday destinations.
Spacious family rooms and suites offer stunning sea views, and if you want the use of hotel facilities but a little more flexibility, then book one of the self-catering units, which also comes with a private hot tub! Rooms have patio doors onto a terrace where you can enjoy a drink after the kids have drifted off to sleep. Or if you are staying with a baby or toddler, you can request a complimentary cot and baby listener. Everyone is welcome at Soar Mill Cove; you can even bring your furry friend.
5. Best for active families: Haldon Forest Lodge, Exeter
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Fancy staying in a luxury lodge within scenic surroundings and sinking into a bubbling hot tub after a day of adrenalin-filled fun? Haldon Forest Lodge near Haldon Forest Park in Exeter could be just what you are looking for. With plenty of activities right on your doorstep, you can challenge yourself on the mountain bike trails, test your skills on segways or swing through the trees at Go Ape and Go Ape Junior courses.
If you’re visiting with little ones, the Superworm Trail at Haldon Forest Park based on the children’s picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler is an easy walk with activities along the way to keep them amused.
6. Best for thrill-seeking families: Crealy Theme Park & Resort, Exeter
Crealy Theme Park & Resort, Exeter | Check availability
“The Glamping there is great fun though - they keep the massive soft play open late and with entertainment, it’s well worth it.” Recommended by TimeToChangeNameAgain
Looking for an action-packed holiday in Devon? Look no further than Crealy Theme Park & Resort located in the heart of the East Devon countryside. The award-winning theme park provides the ideal location for families searching for a fun-filled baby and toddler-friendly place to stay in Devon.
Families have the choice of glamping, camping, caravans, or lodges. The resort also has an exclusive bar and restaurant with live entertainment during peak season.
Guests benefit from discounted access to Crealy Theme Park, which has over 200 animals, adventure play, adventure golf and over 60 family rides and attractions.
7. Best for families with older children: Bovey Castle, Dartmoor National Park
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“It's very elegant and luxurious in a 5-star chain hotel kind of way, but full of golfers! But if you like golf, that's OK!” Recommended by applesandcider
Families who love the great outdoors can try a variety of different experiences at Bovey Castle, which is situated on 275 acres of Dartmoor National Park. You can have a go at archery, clay pigeon shooting and even 4x4 off-road driving. There are falconry shows, egg collecting, den building and visits to the estate’s ferrets!
Bovey Castle’s menus include the finest ingredients from Devon and the Southwest. Where there’s an adult menu there’s also one for the kids, including a children’s afternoon tea.
Families of four can stay within the manor house with interconnecting rooms to accommodate larger families. In the Bovey Castle estate three-bedroom, self-catering lodges sleep up to eight people. Lodge guests have full use of the hotel’s facilities. You can also take the hassle out of catering for yourself by ordering food packs and breakfast packs to be delivered to your door. The hotel and lodges welcome dogs.
8. Best for back to nature: Feather Down Billingsmoor Farm, Butterleigh
Feather Down, Billingsmoor Farm | Check availability
“The accommodation was lovely and the beds very comfortable, but it takes forever to boil a kettle on a wood fire!” Recommended by 5foot5
Feather Down is the ideal place to kick back & enjoy total peace & quiet in the countryside. It offers guests a simpler way of life, without electricity and wi-fi. The surroundings of this picturesque organic dairy farm encapsulate what a family holiday in Devon is all about.
A magical woodland provides children of all ages with hours of entertainment. Being on a working farm you can help feed the calves or take part in the milking. The glamping tents all have hot tubs and offer stunning views for miles.
9. Best stay for children of all ages: Little Dunley Cottages, Newton Abbot
Check availability on Cottages.com
If you're looking for a self-catering stay, Little Dunley Cottages set within 24 acres of unspoilt Devonshire countryside could be a suitable choice. Plus Mumsnet users get an exclusive 7% off booking with Cottages.com visit here for more details.
If you're travelling with teenagers, tweens, toddlers, or tiny babies, the spacious cottages are well-appointed for families, with activities to keep everyone entertained. An indoor heated pool is a favourite that can be used all year. The indoor games room is a fun place for older children to play pool or table tennis.
For those who prefer to get out and explore, just 20 minutes from the cottages you can find beautiful sandy beaches at Teignmouth, with the grand pier. Alternatively, you can visit the English Riviera at Torbay.
10. Best holiday park: Parkdean Ruda Bay Holiday Park, Croyde Bay
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“Ruda in Devon is so close to the beach. Less than 5 minute walk.” Recommended by MinnieJackson
Wake up to one of the most spectacular views in Devon, situated at Croyde Bay on a golden stretch of sand and stunning coastline. Ruda Bay Holiday Park is the perfect spot for exploring the wonders of North Devon.
You can rent a static caravan or lodge. Or you can bring a tent or a touring caravan. There is something to suit all budgets at Ruda Bay Holiday Park.
The park caters for children of all ages, with a cascade tropical pool and an adventure playground on site creating hours of fun for all the family. If you’re looking at getting back to nature, there is a fishing lake or if you’re feeling adventurous you can learn to surf at the surf school. In the evening there is family-friendly live entertainment.
Croyde Village, with its charming, thatched cottages, traditional pubs and the delicious Devonshire ice cream parlour is a short stroll away.
Don't forget that Mumsnetters get an exclusive 5% discount when you book your Park, Lodge and Boating holidays through Hoseasons.
Is Devon a good family holiday destination?
Devon is a very popular destination for a family holiday. It has stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, and a wide range of activities for children of all ages.
There are endless amounts of family-friendly attractions, something to suit everyone. Plus, wherever you choose to stay you are never too far from the hundreds of local beaches. This means you can let the kids loose with sandcastle building, crabbing, shell collecting, or even surfing!
Devon has some of the finest weather the UK has to offer, meaning you and your family can make the most of getting outdoors.
What’s the best way to travel to Devon with kids?
Devon is easy to reach by road - the M5 runs into Exeter and has excellent links with other major motorways including the M4 which can be joined at Bristol.
By coach or bus
National Express services arrive from all over the country. The main National Express stations in the northern half of Devon are Bideford, Barnstaple, Westward Ho! And Ilfracombe. In the southern half of Devon, stops are Exeter, Tiverton, and Plymouth.
Devon is well-connected by rail from all over the country. If you're planning to travel throughout Devon it is recommended to buy a Freedom of Devon ticket to get unlimited off-peak rail travel on Southwestern Railway, GWR and Cross Country services.
There are flights from many UK airports to Exeter International Airport.
When is the best time to go to Devon?
Devon is beautiful during all seasons. It can be very busy in the spring and summer months due to the warm weather. Autumn is quieter and a pleasant time to visit, as the crowds have disappeared. Overall, the best time to visit Devon is from June until October when you will have a warmer temperature and limited rainfall.
How we chose our recommendations
Our philosophy is that word of mouth speaks volumes. Based on our extensive research from real parents, we use a combination of Mumsnet forums, customer testimonials, and review sites to make our recommendations.
We feel there's something here for every family to enjoy. It's an informative guide to help you get started with booking the best family hotels in Devon.
Why you should trust us
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