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Whilst South Devon boasts one of the warmest climates on mainland Britain, it’s no secret that the British weather can sometimes be a little unpredictable. Occasionally, the heavens might decide to open during your holiday, but don’t worry, there are plenty of fun things to do in Devon in the rain, especially in South Devon. From painting ceramics to making craft gin, there is something for every age, taste and mood, come rain or shine! Here’s our guide to the top 10 things to do in Devon in the rain.

Things to do in the rain in South Devon - head to the beach in the rain

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Our favourite things to do in Devon in the rain:

1. Stay active

Top 10 things to do in devon in the rain_Surfing South Devon

We are firm advocates of embracing the elements, rain or shine, so whether you choose to visit one of the local leisure centres or spas, take a stroll, or have a dip in the sea, we encourage you to stay active whatever the weather.

If you would rather stay indoors, then join a restorative yoga class with Simply Soulful (they can even teach yoga in the comfort of your holiday home!), or for something a little more active then head to the Dart Rock climbing centre for some vertical scaling! If you’re feeling a little more adventurous and don’t mind getting totally wet then paddle board down the Kingsbridge Estuary and explore Salcombe’s hidden coves with Waterborn SUP. Alternatively, go wild and learn to ride South Devon waves with Discovery Surf.

2. Soft play centres

Top 10 things to do in devon in the rain_soft play

South Devon is home to several great soft play areas, perfect for visiting with smaller children who need to burn off some energy:

  • Kidz and Co Soft Play Café on Island Street in Salcombe is a very popular place for young families. With a fantastic café serving fresh coffee and locally sourced food, they even offer a creche service for your children if required.
  • Bumble in Kingsbridge is another popular play centre, café and kids’ hair salon, situated on Fore Street (Kingsbridge’s high street). They serve great coffee and cake!
  • Woodlands is Devon’s largest family theme park and is located just a few miles outside of Dartmouth. It includes an extensive indoor adventure centre, which is perfect for rainy day fun.

3. Animal attractions

Things to do in Devon in the rain - visit Totnes Rare Breeds Farm

South Devon has a varied range of animal attractions to enjoy, ranging from wildlife centres and petting farms to zoos and an enormous aquarium. Best of all, South Devon’s animal attractions are hugely interactive, so expect to find yourself feeding sheep, cuddling miniature pigs and if you’re lucky, helping to give the otters their lunch. Most of the animal attractions have an indoor play area meaning you can enjoy a full day out whatever the weather. Our favourite animal attractions that South Devon has to offer include:

4. Spa day

Top 10 things to do in devon in the rain_Dart Marina spa

If a day of indulgent pampering sounds more appealing than a day of action, then book yourself into one of South Devon’s luxurious spas. For those staying around Salcombe, the spas at Salcombe Harbour Hotel and The Voyage Spa at Thurlestone Hotel, and the Discovery Spa at Soar Mill Cove Hotel are popular choices. Whilst for those staying in or around Dartmouth, Dart Marina and The Dartmouth Spa are equally as popular. Offering a range of packages from top to toe pamper days, to twilight evening spa experiences, expect to be pampered in the comfort of freshly laundered bathrobes, towels and slippers.

Find out more about pampering in South Devon

5. Cinema

The cinema is always a popular rainy day activity, so why not catch a matinee showing a children’s film, or an evening show for the adults. Regardless of what you watch and when, be sure to take a bag of local goodies to enjoy, such as sumptuous Roly’s fudge! For further information on cinema listings and times, check out The Merlin Cinema in Kingsbridge, The Flavel Cinema in Dartmouth or The Barn Cinema at Dartington, all of which offer very comfortable viewing.

6. Visit a National Trust property

Get out of the rain and spend your day exploring any of the magnificent National Trust properties in South Devon, many of which offer activities and treasure hunts to keep kids entertained. Wander around the former holiday home of the famous author, Agatha Christie, or explore the seaside home of inventor Otto Overbeck. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, put on your wellies and head out into the magnificent grounds.  Have a look at our blog on the 4 must-see National Trust properties to visit in South Devon.

7. Focus on the food

Top 10 things to do in devon in the rain_Salcombe Gin

Our region is a foodie’s heaven, and boasts a fantastic collection of traditional pubs, award-winning restaurants and thriving cafes. From fresh line caught fish to decadent Devon cream teas, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to eating in South Devon. Aside from dining out, there are also various interactive things to do, such as gin making at Salcombe Gin or a tasting tour at Sharpham Vineyard. Alternatively, spend the afternoon perfecting your cookery skills with a visit to the Manna from Devon Cooking School learning the art of woodfired oven cooking and perfecting your bread making skills.

8. Arts and crafts attractions

Top 10 things to do in devon in the rain_arts and crafts

South Devon is a hub of creativity, and is positively brimming with arty opportunities, suiting all ages and abilities. Paint your own ceramics at The Art Café in Kingsbridge, or at China Blue in Totnes, or for something even more relaxed, visit Paper Bird Island, on Salcombe’s Island Street, an art space where kids and adults can paint, decoupage and glitter a range of papier-mache animal and box shapes. If you would rather a more structured workshop activity, then join a class at Harbour House in Kingsbridge, or The Craft Revolution programme at Dartington, who offer year round workshops in carpentry, ceramics, printmaking and book binding. Regardless of where you choose to get those creative juices flowing, calling ahead is highly recommended, particularly on rainy days during the holidays.

9. Delve into Devon’s history and heritage

Things to do in Devon in the rain - visit Agatha Christie's former holiday home in Greenway

South Devon is steeped in history, and is peppered with exciting castles and properties, perfect for exploring. From the 600 year-old fortress that guards Dartmouth, to Agatha Christie’s former holiday home on the banks of the River Dart, not forgetting all the properties and subtropical gardens in between, you can spend many rainy days nestled deep within South Devon’s history.
For more information on where to explore, visit these articles:

10. Go shopping

Very few people need an excuse to shop, but if ever there was one, then a day of wet weather would win hands down. From boutique shops to art galleries, Dartmouth, Salcombe and Totnes all provide countless opportunities for those that love a day (or two!) of retail therapy.

11. Play a game!

There’s nothing like wasting hours away playing those all-time favourite holiday board games on a rainy day. From Monopoly to Scrabble, sparking a bit of healthy competition amongst loves ones is a wonderful way to spend time together and create everlasting memories.

For a fun afternoon of problem solving, as a group, channel your collective inner detective skills and head to Dartmouth Escape Rooms. Step back in time and absorb yourself in the history of the port of Dartmouth’s medieval privateers and merchant traders. You and your crew will be given one hour to find hidden clues in the captains study, in order to crack the puzzles to freedom and flee ship before your time is up. Great for a rainy day in Devon, or for a birthday treat, click here to book online to save your slot.

We hope you enjoyed our guide to things to do in Devon in the rain! South Devon has many more activities and attractions for all the family to enjoy, whatever the weather. If you’re holidaying with all the family this autumn, find out what’s on this October half term in South Devon, or read our favourite things to do in South Devon throughout the year.

Enjoy a fun-filled break for you and your family whatever the weather! Explore our stunning range of holiday homes, suitable for all tastes and requirements in: