One of the best things I’ve found about relocating to Devon is all of the free places that you can visit with your children. Before we moved to Devon four years ago we lived in Kent, which was lovely, but everything was expensive. We found it to be a not very child-friendly part of the country whereas Devon in contrast couldn’t be more family orientated.
We are quite a frugal family so the more free things that we can fill our days with, the better. Since we have lived in the West Country we have discovered all sorts of new, free, places to visit and I thought I would share a few of them with you.
If you are looking for somewhere nice for a walk then Stover Country Park is a great place to visit. They have a children’s trail through the woods which helps to motivate the children to carry on walking. Our two like playing 'who can spot the next animal first'. Talking of spotting, if you do visit make sure you walk along the aerial walkway and try and spot the squirrels below and pop into the bird hide to see the vast variety of different birds that the lake attracts. If the weather takes a turn for the worst, retreat into the interpretation centre for a while and learn about all of the different animals that inhabit the local area.
Hannah’s at Seale Hayne is another one of our favourite child-friendly haunts. It’s a great place for keeping both kiddies and adults entertained. I personally love the art galleries and the Bistro which has a gentleman’s club feel to it but with mini armchairs especially for the little ones. The kiddies enjoy the free farm and outdoor lawn games. In the holidays Hannah’s host a variety of different activities for children which are either free of very low cost. My two particularly enjoyed their Easter trail last year. Classic even have two mobility-friendly glampsites there, if you fancy glamping in Devon.
When the sun is shining we head over to The Den on Teignmouth sea front. It has one of the best parks in the area with the added bonus of a splash park. During the Summer months we regularly spend an entire day there and the kids alternate between the park, the sea and the pier.
Fancy something a bit unusual? Then you simply must visit the House of Marbles with its fascinating mechanical marble runs that look like something out of a Tim Burton movie. My son is obsessed with watching them turning around. They also have one of the best games gardens that we have come across with the addition of a new play area. The House of Marbles is always our go to place when the weather is gloomy.
If breathtaking scenery and space for the kiddies to run riot is what you are after then Dartmoor is a must for you. Even now, after living here for four years, the views still take my breath away. One of my favourite spots on Dartmoor is the Haytor Quarry. It is a beautifully secluded area with a small lake in the middle perfect for just sitting and contemplating life or if like me you have kiddies in tow it’s a great exploring space.