We would love to say that the sun always shines in South Devon, but there will be the odd day when the skies open and the rain falls. Here are some of our tips of things to do if the weather looks less than perfect
Is the weather forecast right?
It’s worth checking the weather radar as it shows pretty accurately where the rain is going to be. We use www.netweather.tv which shows where the rain is, and if you know the wind direction, you get a chance of knowing whether the worst of it will pass you by. Kingsbridge, Salcombe (and Pitt Farm) often misses the worst of the forecasted weather (with rain preferring the route over Dartmoor). This often isn’t shown in the forecast, but if you have a look at the live weather radar you can see what’s on its way.
When the weather looks a bit hit and miss (perfect in the sunshine too)
Woodlands Family Theme Park – Woodlands is great on a sunny day with loads to do outside. However, when its rainy (or unsettled) it’s also a great option with a giant indoor area (called the Sea Dragon Indoor Zone) with rides / soft play (some of which adults can even use). There is a second circus-themed soft play which is a bit quieter. If there are breaks between showers you can head also to the birds of prey, the farm animals and see a whole host of animals, birds and reptiles (as well as countless rides, playground equipment and space to run).
Pennywell Farm – An award-winning farm park around 20 mins drive away in Buckfastleigh. Pennywell Farm is famous for its miniature pigs; but you can also try tractor rides, pig racing, goat walking and a whole host of farm themed activities and adventures.
Totnes Rare Breeds Farm – A small family run attraction set beside the South Devon Steam Railway; Totnes Rare Breeds farm is very popular with younger guests. The farm focusses on the conservation of rare breeds, but also has a pets corner where younger guests can interact with a variety of interesting animals.
Butterflies and Otters – Located near Buckfastleigh, the butterflies are indoors and the otters are outdoors so this is ideal for a mixed or unpredictable day. This can be combined with a trip to Totnes Rare Breeds Farm and South Devon Railway (where a multi-ticket can be purchased) which are all very close to each other.
South Devon Railway – Ideal for a rainy day (but equally as good in the sunshine), the South Devon Railway is a seven-mile former Great Western Railway branch line. It was built in 1872, which runs along the valley of the River Dart between Buckfastleigh and Totnes. Steam trains run with heritage rolling stock. This can be combined with the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm and Dartmoor Otters & Buckfast Butterflies
Dartmouth Railway – Taking in Kingswear, Paignton and Totnes, this is a great trip for fans of transport following a circular loop encompassing a boat trip up the Dart, a vintage bus ride from Totnes to Paignton and the steam train from Paignton to Kingswear. The trip is sometimes done in reverse due to tide times.
Occombe Farm – Opened in 2022, Occombe Farm is a mix of farm attraction with indoor play areas, animal encounters barn and animal paddocks trail. It also has a great a farm shop and a super farm cafe. We have only visited once but our children loved it.
When its properly wet
These are great when the weather looks a bit hit and miss and are perfect in the sunshine too!
Bumble (under 7s soft play in Kingsbridge) 01548854010
Kingsbridge leisure centre – https://www.fusion-lifestyle.com/centres/quayside-leisure-centre/activities/soft-play/
Kingsbridge Cinema – https://www.merlincinemas.co.uk/?forcechoice=true
Plymouth Vue Cinema – https://www.myvue.com/cinema/plymouth/whats-on
Bowling / indoor golf / climbing /trampolining
Clip and Climb – https://plymouth.clipnclimb.co.uk/
Tenpin Bowling in Plymouth – https://www.tenpin.co.uk/our-locations/plymouth-barbican/
Tenpin Bowling in Torquay – https://www.amf-bowling.co.uk/torquay
Indoor Adventure Golf http://www.paradiseislandgolf.com/Plymouth
China Blue Ceramic Painting in Totnes – http://www.china-blue.co.uk/
Clayart Plymouth – https://www.clayart.co.uk/
Motorcross on electric bikes – www.Wheeldontwo.co.uk
The Box Museum (our kids loved this and its free!)- https://www.theboxplymouth.com/
Plymouth Aquarium – https://www.national-aquarium.co.uk
And for the adults…
Salcombe Brewery Tour – Salcombe Brewery is about 5 mins drive away. They have a shop if you don’t have time for a complete tour. (booking essential for the tour)
Sandridge Barton Vineyard (home to Sharpham Wine) for a tasting or winery tour (booking essential) with a great new café