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devon - where should we go for best toddler stuff?

7 replies

miranda2 · 21/02/2004 21:10

Hi. We're planning a week in Devon at the end of Sept. I'm going to book a cottage on a complex with pool and childrens play area, but there are quite a few to choose from. ANy advice as to wherabouts i should go? Either specific place, or generally north coast or south coast? Are there any days out good for 2.5 ds?
Thanks, M.

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jampot · 21/02/2004 22:09

There's an excellent place by Woolacombe with a dinosaur park, train ride etc. Brilliant day out. The dinosaurs are motion sensitive (I think) and obviously roar and move when you pass.

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helenmc · 22/02/2004 16:07

we've had some briliant weeks round exmouth (brilliant beach with sand and proper rock pools) /honiton and Exeter (crealy park is brilliant for toddlers - huge indoor play centre, animals, rides, small roller coaster). Dartmoor can be very wet and miserable and not much to do. Totnes and the south Hams (the bulgy bottom of Devon) is nice but it takes ages to get anywhere. But I'm totally biased having been brough up on Dartmoor and my parents live outside Exeter now. Jimjams is still down that way.

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shrub · 22/02/2004 16:51

there is a wonderful place, a hamlet called tuckenhay, near totnes. i can't recall the name of the complex but its an old paper mill. has an outdoor and indoor pool, cinema and lovely walks. totnes is very child friendly, lovely cafe called 'willows' that has a family room where all the kids play together and you can eat in peace. dartington hall nearby, pennywell farm for children,(very good lots of awards), lovely safe clean beaches - (slapton, blackpool sands). boat rides, very colourful market, singing, dancing etc. we liked it so much we have moved down here!

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norma · 22/02/2004 17:06

Woodlands near Dartmouth has got lots for all ages indoors and outdoors. Pennywell Farm near Buckfastleigh is great for little ones. Plymouth has a first rate aquarium. South coast is great for traditional bucket and spade holidays esp. Hope Cove.

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ghengis · 22/02/2004 17:31

I second Crealy Park, outside Exeter. My 3 year old loves (and has always loved) it. Ditto my 11 year old so there's something for everyone. Plymouth Aquarium is good as is Dawlish Warren (large beach and nature reserve).

I have never been but have been told that The Big Sheep in N Devon is good.

Have a great time!

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ponygirl · 22/02/2004 17:37

We live in Devon too and yes, Dartmoor is pretty wet in winter, but is lovely in September. Lots of space to run around, , cows, sheep and ponies and very beautiful. I second Hope Cove and the Aquarium. Also we love Paignton Zoo (it does get busy but it's big enough to take it - just get into the car park early. Also, the museum in Exeter is free and is very child friendly - my 3 love the stuffed animals: too young to think it's creepy. Have a lovely time!

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tigermoth · 23/02/2004 07:23

If you base yourself in the South Hams, around Kingsbridge, I can suggest plenty for toddlers to do. I've been bringing my sons there since they were babies. Sorely Tunnel farm, just outside Kingsbridge is a must . Beautiful position and lots of indooor play areas, including a big sandpit (especially nice for beach mad toddlers). I second Woodlands, though it's purpose built and VERY big, whereas Sorely Tunnel used to be a working farm and you still get a sense of this.

I also second Hope Cove - very family orientated bucket and spade place. If you're heading out that way, the Pigs Nose Inn at Prawl is a wonderful pub - small and very old, but child friendly with toys to amuse and run by a man who used to work in the music business - see their gig board. The last time we looked it boasted Paul Young and The Yardbirds. Also visit Burgh Island and Bigbury - lovely beaches with good cafes and loos, though you have to pay to park between May and September. There's a huge tractor device that takes you through the water to Burgh Island itself when the tide is in. Provides plenty of excitement for children.

If the weather is really awful, there's always the aquarium or cinema at Plymouth. Salcombe is very pretty and young children will enjoy looking at the boats and visiting the small chocolate factory, but it can get very crowded, though hopefully not in September. As far as I know, there is no indoor child soft play area and the steep walls beside the water mean you can't let your toddler loose. Kingsbridge has an indoor pool, as does Totnes, as well as having some useful shops and a small indepentent cinema.

HTH!

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