There are so many Christmas things to do in Devon! This year in particular, the festive season is firmly...
2020 has been dubbed ‘the summer of staycations’, and many families are making Devon their destination of choice. In order to help visitors to the region plan their perfect break, we have created this handy guide to Covid secure activities in Devon. Whether you are looking for days out, things to do, workshops or unusual events, we can inspire you, ensuring you have the best Covid secure break possible!
With miles of unspoilt coastline, acres of rolling countryside and a multitude of opportunities to get out on the water, Devon offers the perfect solution for those looking to escape the crowds in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. Here are just a few ideas of outdoor activities in Devon, just waiting to be enjoyed…
In the aftermath of Covid-19, many of us have a new appreciation for the wonderful world we live in, and the freedom we have to enjoy it. The South Hams, the southernmost tip of Devon, is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty where the abundance of nature is unsurpassable. Each hedgerow and every meadow is teeming with life. Exploring is an absolute must – why not head to one the National Trust houses and gardens in Devon , like Greenway House in Kingswear or Coleton Fishacre in Brixham? Or visit the Kingsbridge estuary and enjoy crabbing on the quayside, being mindful to release your crabs back in to the water carefully afterwards. Here’s our complete guide to crabbing, which includes our favourite tips and tricks for catching mighty clawed crustaceans!
Here in Devon we are proud to have a fabulous array of walking opportunities. From the Dart Valley Trail, to the South West Coastal Path, not to mention the vast number of footpaths and bridleways criss-crossing the region, there are walks to suit all ages and abilities. Enjoy inspiring views, inhale wonderful fresh air, and admire Devon from a totally different perspective, all whilst adhering to social distancing rules! In fact, there are many less trodden routes, slightly ‘off-the-beaten-track’, where contact with others is likely to be extremely minimal, if at all. Plus you never know what hidden gems you might discover when exploring on foot – from castle ruins and shipwrecks, to rarely seen coves. For a full run down of some of the best walks in Devon, along with some hints and tips, read our South Devon Walking Guide. If you prefer to travel on two wheels, rather than on two feet, there are also many cycling trails in Devon too.
A perfect way to finish your walk or bike ride is by enjoying a drink in one of Devon’s pub gardens – or you could pick up a meal to enjoy in your holiday home. Find out more in our Covid secure dining section below.
Kayaking, paddleboarding and even wild swimming in Devon are all good ways of enjoying socially distanced watersports, whilst remaining Covid safe. Swooshing is also popular, and with bodies of water ranging from estuaries and rivers, to the open sea off the South West coastline, there is certainly space for everyone with get sandy toes and salty hair.
A trip to Devon wouldn’t be completed without visiting some of the fabulous attractions on offer. Most have now re-opened but with various Covid secure measures in place, including social distancing systems to ensure the safety of visitors. Please check individual attraction websites for detailed information on their new procedures. For extra confidence that the attraction you are visiting is adhering to Covid-19 tourism industry standards, look out for the VisitBritain ‘We’re Good to Go’ accreditation. It is awarded to businesses that have put in place measures that will protect customers and staff, ensuring a safe experience for all!
For the kids, Pennywell Farm has copious outdoor activities for toddlers and young children. Enjoy tractor rides, seeing the animals up close and exploring the farm, as well as the legendary miniature pig race! To make the experience as safe as possible they have introduced various new systems. These include pre-booked ticket entry, temperature checks on arrival, a one-way route around the farm, and most notably the introduction of morning and afternoon session to limit visitor numbers.
Situated near Dartmouth, Woodlands Family Theme Park offers over 100 acres of space for visitors to explore and have fun in. Tickets have to be pre-booked, and with the number of tickets sold each day capped, those visiting can rest assured they will be able to relax in safety. Whilst all indoor areas remain closed, families with children of all ages can still make the most of the park with watercoasters, toboggan run, zip wires and death slides, to name just some of the activities available!
What better way to experience the River Dart, than with a steam train ride along its meandering banks, or a river cruise allowing you to spot heaps of wildlife along the way. Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company are once again open, and have put into place many safety features to keep guests safe. They have published a useful information booklet to help and reassure visitors, but key changes include the introduction of screens between passenger groups, a pre-booking requirement, limited tickets, and the compulsory use of face masks for all passengers including children.
This summer sees the arrival of a fabulous open air cinema at Blackpool Sands beach and Dartmoor Zoo, hosting a variety of films. Watch the family-friendly animation Moana on the beach, or watch The Lion King and enjoy free access to the zoo (from 3pm to 5pm) to see big cats before the film starts. To make the experience extra special, bring along a picnic filled with delicious local treats to enjoy during the showing. Just remember, tickets have to be pre-booked. Click here to secure your place.
And finally, this is one for adults who are happy to socially distance indoors, rather than outside. Salcombe Gin is once again opening, and with a little PPE (plus a few squirts of their bespoke hand sanitiser ‘Safe Harbour’) you can join one of their gin masterclasses. You will experience a guided tour of the distillery in the heart of Salcombe, before creating your very own unique tipple to take home.
Struggling for inspiration on games and activities you can play when on holiday with the children, without the risk of getting too close to others? Here are just a few suggestions:
Why not create your very own scavenger hunt? Make a list of various items you might find in the Devon countryside, or at one of the many beaches, and then set off to tick everything off the list. Include items like feathers, heart shaped pebbles and leaves, or items less frequently found like sea glass – you can make it bespoke to your group and their capabilities. If you include enough items to find, the hunt could last all day… or even all holiday!
A fabulous way to keep cool is by dipping your toes in a paddling pool. Bring one along on your holiday and set it up in the garden of your cottage – the children will spend hours hopping in and out, eliminating the need to venture to the swimming pool for a dip!
Hopscotch, a chalk maze and even a chalk bullseye… there are so many old favourites you can create, simply with a little chalk and a pavement, driveway or patio. Design your game, enjoy hours of fun, and then simply wash the chalk away at the end of the day.
For more ideas on things to do in South Devon this summer, read our activities blog.
If you are tired from your action packed day out exploring and don’t feel like cooking, South Devon is home to numerous Covid secure restaurants and cafés, where the safety of guests is paramount. For inspiration, take a look at our Eat Out to Help Out blog, a fabulous article listing the wonderful eateries that are taking part in the government initiative, giving you 50% off dining on selected days in August.
If you would rather pick up a meal from one of the local businesses to take home and enjoy in the comfort of your holiday home, many establishments have diversified and are now providing takeaway food for delivery or collection. Whether you are looking for mouth-watering fish and chips, divine oriental cuisine or delicious pie and mash, there are options for every day of the week!
In line with guidance from the Government and The Department for Health & Social Care, we have produced cleaning guidelines for all our property owners and cleaners, to help keep our guests safe. We also recommend that you pack the essential items you are currently using to fight the virus at home for your stay, such as hand sanitiser, wipes, toilet rolls – basically focus on the main things that keep yourself and your party safe at home. For more information, you can find our most up-to-date Coronavirus (Covid-19) FAQs here.
From coastal cottages to country escapes, a getaway in one of our Devon holiday homes is a wonderful way to relax and unwind in beautiful, safe surroundings. Book one of our luxury holiday cottages in Salcombe or Dartmouth, for that extra special break during these unprecedented times.