There’s a wealth of activities and attractions to keep children of all ages amused, starting with the plentiful options in Plymouth. The National Marine Aquarium is the largest in the UK, where you can get up close and personal with sharks, rays, and snorkel the turtle. Surfers know Bantham Beach as the South Coast’s premier surfing beach, home to much wildlife with its rare sand dune habitat. Or go to the adjoining beach at Bigbury and, at high tide, catch the Sea Tractor across to the magical Burgh Island, inspiration to Agatha Christie for the setting of one of her murder mysteries.
Visit the Mayflower Steps and Museum to learn all about maritime history, and then take a boat ride from the harbour. There’s even pottery painting at the Barbican for budding artists to get stuck into.
Animal lovers will adore Dartmoor Zoo where you’ll find everything from big cats to boas. Over in North Bovey on Dartmoor the Miniature Pony Centre will leave priceless memories as you stroke and cuddle tiny ponies and foals in the paddocks.
Jump aboard the Dartmouth Steam Railway, or get ready to muck in down at Pennywell Farm Park. For those feeling a little braver, why not go and explore Piskies Caves – the supposed dwelling place of the ‘little people of the moors’!
Enjoy a ramble through the grounds, or take a coastal walk ending at one of the fabulous local pubs. When you fancy a change of pace, why not explore Dartmoor by electric bike?
To justify a slap-up meal in one of the many gastropubs and restaurants, go canoeing in the Kingsbridge Estuary, or shake off the mental cobwebs and saddle up for a thrilling horse ride across the magnificent moors.
There’s no shortage of water around, so how about an afternoon fly-fishing at Hatchlands Trout Farm. Or maybe hire a boat on the River Erme, the most idyllic private estuary in England.
If you want to set pulses racing, you can choose between clay and game shooting, rock climbing, surfing, abseiling, hang gliding or caving, which are all available locally. If adrenaline rushes aren’t your thing, Bigbury golf club offers an idyllic cliff-top spot for 18 holes, and for out-and-out relaxation, head to Bovey Castle’s spa to be pampered and preened.
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