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South Devon boasts one of the warmest climates on mainland Britain, but that doesn’t mean it’s immune to rain, storms and snow. As we all know, Britain’s weather can be unpredictable. So when the heavens open during your holiday, don’t worry. There are plenty of things to do in Devon in the rain. 

From painting ceramics to making craft gin, there is a wet weather activity suited to every age, taste, and mood. Whether you’re looking for family-friendly or dog-friendly activities or you’re looking for something just for adults, here is our comprehensive guide on the best things to do in Devon in the rain. 

Things to do on a rainy day in Devon

Use our quick links below to find a specific rainy-day activity or read on for our comprehensive guide on things to do in Devon in the rain.

Rainy Day Family Activities:

  • Soft play centres
  • Theme parks
  • Dinosaur World
  • Market Hall Immersive Dome
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Animal Attractions
  • Museums
  • Cinema
  • Kids Cookery Classes

Things To Do On A Rainy Day For Adults:

  • Romantic dinner for two
  • Spa days
  • Wine, Gin, and Brewery Tours
  • Salcombe Gin Bar

Fun Things To Do On A Rainy Day in Devon:

  • Castles and abbeys
  • Hidden caverns
  • Ride on a steam train
  • Play games
  • Complete a puzzle

Things To Do in Salcombe in The Rain:

  • Go Shopping
  • Go out for lunch or afternoon tea 

Things To Do in Torquay in The Rain:

  • The Boulder Bunker
  • Wave Leisure Pool
  • Go to Aztec Leisure 
  • Living Coasts Torquay

Things To Do in Devon in The Rain With Dogs:

  • Embrace the elements
  • Becky Falls and Canonteign Falls
  • The Beach
  • National Trust properties

Rainy Day Family Activities in Devon:

Soft play centres

Things to do in South Devon in the rain

South Devon is home to several soft play centres that are great for little ones. They help your kids burn off some of their energy, keep them entertained, and it also keeps you all out of the rain, seems like a win-win to us. 

Here are our top 5 recommendations:

Theme parks

Devon loves to entertain both its visitors and locals alike, so you’ll find plenty of things to get your blood pumping and your adrenaline in overdrive. South Devon is home to the largest family theme park in Devon and it’s well worth a visit. 

Woodlands Theme Park in Dartmouth makes for one of the best family-friendly activities in South Devon come rain or shine. Reach dizzy heights on Vertigo, explore the Sea Dragon Zone – the UK’s biggest indoor play area, watch awe-inspiring displays at the Falconry Centre, and replenish your thirst and hunger at one of their restaurants. 

Another theme park worth checking out on a rainy day in Devon is Crealy Theme Park. Located just outside Exeter, the theme park offers over 60 rides and attractions for everyone to enjoy. The animal lovers within the family will also enjoy looking at their cute and cuddly farm and zoo animals. It’s bound to make a rainy day just that little bit better.

Dinosaur World

Dinosaur World in Torquay is a great wet weather activity for the whole family, especially if you have some budding paleontologists in tow. This fun interactive indoor exhibition brings the world of dinosaurs to life. 

From full-sized models to incredible fossils, you and your little ones can learn about these awesome beasts. 

The Immersive Dome at Market Hall

Market Hall is home to an awe-inspiring 15m state-of-the-art immersive dome – the first of its kind in Europe. Open to everyone, this experience allows you to explore immersive realities without the need for VR headsets. 

They have a range of events throughout the year, and you can keep up to date on everything via their website.

Arts & Crafts

ClayArt pottery painting - things to do in Devon in the rain

South Devon is a hub of creativity and is positively bursting with arty opportunities for all ages and abilities. From painting your own ceramics at China Blue in Totnes and ClayArt in Plymouth to purchasing your own takeaway craft kits at Paper Bird Island in Salcombe, there’s an activity everyone can enjoy. 

If you’d prefer a more structured crafting workshop activity, then join a class at Harbour House in Kingsbridge or the Craft Revolution programme at Dartington. Regardless of where you choose to get your creative juices flowing, calling ahead is always recommended, particularly on rainy days in Devon.

Animal Attractions

Things to do in Devon in the rain - Pennywell Farm

South Devon has a varied range of animal attractions to enjoy no matter the weather. From wildlife centres and petting farms to zoos and aquariums, there’s something here for everyone. 

Best of all, South Devon’s animal attractions are highly interactive. So, expect to find yourself cuddling miniature pigs, patting goats, and feeding lamps. 

Our favourite South Devon animal attractions are: 

Delve into Devon’s history and heritage 

Dartmouth Castle Ferry - things to do in Devon in the rain

South Devon is absolutely steeped in history. It’s peppered with historic properties and museums that are perfect for exploring. From the six hundred-year-old fortress that guards Dartmouth to Agatha Christie’s former holiday home on the banks of the River Dart, you can spend many rainy days in Devon exploring the past. 

Find out about Plymouth’s maritime past at the Mayflower Museum, learn all about Totnes’ history at the Totnes Museum and archives, and discover the gruesome experiences of prisoners at the Dartmoor Prison Museum

For additional information on where to explore in South Devon, check out these blogs:

See a matinee showing at the cinema

One the best rainy day activities is to visit the cinema. There’s are a constant flow of new movie’s premiering throughout the year, so why not take the children to a matinee showing or make an evening of it and catch something more action filled?

Regardless of what you watch and when, be sure to take a bag of local goodies to enjoy, such as sumptuous Roly’s Fudge or a stick of rock. 

For listings and times check out this cinema’s websites:

Kids Cookery Classes

Have you got any budding cooks in your mists? Or do you just want to do something that will help you bond more as a family? Then cookery classes are one of the best ways to do this. Not only are you teaching your children about different foods and healthier choices but you’re also making some fun memories you’ll both hold on to forever. 

Manna From Devon runs cooking classes that inspire and educate whilst building skills and confidence for both adults and children alike. The classes are run by Holly and David Jones in their Victorian home overlooking the River Dart. 

Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust have teamed up with Occombe Farm to create cookery classes for children aged 7 to 12. Their cookery school runs throughout school holidays and allows kids to create their own treats to bring home, plus there are also some bake-off challenges too.

Things To Do On A Rainy Day For Adults:

things to do in Devon in the rain - romantic dinner

Romantic dinner for two

South Devon is a foodies paradise and is filled to the brim with eateries. So, if it just happens to rain during your romantic break away why not treat yourselves to a romantic dinner for two? 

Put down your phones, order some bubbly, and enjoy each other’s company. No matter where you decide to stay, whether that’s in Salcombe, Brixham, Dartmouth or Bigbury-on-sea, we have some brilliant guides to help you find the perfect place to eat and drink in South Devon. 

Read our guides below for more information:

Spa days

Facial at a Devon spa - things to do in Devon in the rain

Sometimes a day of indulgent pampering sounds so much better than a day of action. This is why we believe a spa day on a rainy day in Devon is totally called for. For those staying around Salcombe, the spas at Salcombe Harbour Hotel, The Voyage Spa at Thurlestone Hotel, and the Discovery Spa at Soar Mill Cove hotel are all popular choices. 

For those staying in or around Dartmouth, The Dartmouth Spa is also a popular choice. All these spas offer a range of packages from top to toe pamper days to indulgent twilight evening spa treatments, expect to be thoroughly pampered in the comfort of plush bathrobes, towels, and slippers.

Looking for more information? Check out our guide on pampering in South Devon.   

Wine, Gin and Brewery tours

Salcombe business Devon Rum Co - things to do in Devon in the rain

Aside from enjoying a romantic meal for two, there are also various interactive things to do just for adults. From making your own gin at Salcombe Gin and Plymouth Gin to wine-tasting tours at Sharpham Vineyard.

So whatever your tipple, be sure to check out some of South Devon’s most popular distilleries and breweries.

Visit Salcombe Gin Bar

If you’re visiting Salcombe and love a glass or two of gin why not take yourself to Salcombe Gin Bar? They create exceptionally smooth, distinct, and complex gins using the finest botanicals, so if you’re looking for a very tasty and perfectly balanced gin, you know exactly where to find it. 

It’s the perfect place to end up after your tour and a good place to grab a few pre-dinner drinks before wandering further into the town to enjoy an exquisite meal with your other half, friends, or family.

Fun Things To Do On A Rainy Day in Devon

Explore castles and abbeys

Things to do in South Devon in the rain

Not only is South Devon scattered with historic properties and museums, it’s also home to many castles and abbey’s that are just waiting to be explored, even in the rain. So whether it’s coastal fortifications in Dartmouth, ruins surrounded by the vast expanses of Dartmoor National Park, or an ancient site in the market town of Totnes, here’s a list of our favourite castles and abbeys you can visit in Devon (just remember to pack you coat as some have little indoor areas):

Discover hidden caverns

You may never have realised this but Devon is home to a large number of caverns all along its coastline. These caves had been used as smugglers’ hideouts for centuries as they were largely hidden and provided the perfect place to store contraband.

Nowadays these caves can be explored no matter the weather. So if you’re looking for an interesting and rather cool rainy-day idea, go and discover the pre-historic Kent’s Cavern in Torquay, go cave diving at Pridhamsleigh Cavern in Newton Abbot, or the incredible underground passages in Exeter. 

Take a ride on a steam train

South Devon Railway - things to do in the rain in Devon

Another great thing to do on a rainy day in South Devon is to catch a ride on a steam train. It offers the perfect thrill for train enthusiasts as well as those that just admire this old form of transport. 

The South Devon Railway Steam Train is the longest-running steam railway in the South West and has been operating for over 50 years. It takes you along the former Great Western Railway line between Buckfastleigh and Totnes and is perfect to combine with a visit to the Totnes Rare Breeds Farm or Buckfast Butterflies and Otters.

Another option is with the Dartmouth Steam Railway. It’s considered to be one of the finest steam train trips in the country and takes you through the stunning South Devon countryside and along the River Dart.

Play games

Sometimes there’s nothing better than passing hours playing those all-time favourite holiday board games on a rainy day. From the table-flipping inducing Monopoly to practicing word skills with Scrabble, everyone has a favourite game they love to play. 

Playing games with loved ones is a wonderful way to spend time together and create everlasting memories. But games don’t just have to be played in the comfort of your South Devon holiday home.

For a fun afternoon of problem-solving put your detective skills to the test, and head down to Dartmouth Escape Rooms. Here you’ll work as a team to find the hidden clues scattered around the Captain’s study, in order to crack the puzzle for freedom and to flee the ship before time runs out.

Complete a puzzle

We may be a bit biased but one of the best things we love to do on a rainy day is complete a puzzle. The designs of puzzles are so vast that you’re bound to find one that your whole family will love the look of. 

But why stop at one? Why not complete two or three whilst you’re away? Depending on the size and number of jigsaw pieces, you and your family could spend hours of your day placing the pieces down to discover their intricate design. 

Things to do in Salcombe in the rain:

Go Shopping

Very few people need an excuse to go shopping, but if there was ever one, then a day of wet weather would win hands down. From boutique shops and art galleries, to old sweet shops and wine merchants, Salcombe provides countless options for those that love a bit of retail therapy 

Go out for lunch or afternoon tea 

Things to do in South Devon in the rain

Participating in a spot of retail therapy can be hungry (and thirsty) business, which is why a spot of lunch or afternoon tea should always be on the agenda. Whether you’re looking for a delicious Devonshire Pasty, a light lunch, or a scrumptious afternoon tea, Salcombe is positively brimming with cafes, restaurants, and pubs where you can grab a spot of lunch. 

To help you narrow down your options, check out our guides on places to eat in Salcombe:

Things to do in Torquay in the rain:

The Boulder Bunker

This rainy day activity in Devon is perfect for children and adults alike. The Boulder Bunker in Torquay is within walking distance of Torre Abbey Sands and Torquay town centre and offers both seasoned pros and new comers a place to learn and refine their bouldering skills. 

Bouldering is a low-level form of climbing with no ropes and provides a fun outlet for those with excess energy. With soft mats below you, there’s minimal risk of getting hurt if you misplace your step. 

Indoor Swimming Pools

Rainy days can often make swimming off-putting but with indoor swimming pools based across South Devon, there really is no excuse. Waves Leisure Pool in Torquay provides something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to swim lengths or just want to have a bit of fun on the water slides, you can have it all here at this public swimming pool. 

Spend the day at Aztec Leisure 

The Aztec leisure centre offers an incredible array of rainy day activities from ten-pin bowling and arcade games to table tennis and soft play. So if you’re looking for a perfect day out in the rain and getting those little ones to burn some excess energy, it’s the place to be.

Things to do in Devon in the rain with dogs:

Embrace the elements

Here at Coast & Country Cottages, we’re firm advocates of embracing the elements, rain or shine. South Devon is filled to the brim with fun outdoor activities for you and your pooch. Hire a kayak and take your four-legged friend out on the open water or see how they fair on a stand-up paddleboard

With such a wide mix of beaches and countryside, there are plenty of fun walks too. Whilst we wouldn’t recommend taking on some of our Dartmoor walks during the rain, there are plenty of others you can get stuck into. 

Check out these blogs of some of our favourite walking routes:

You can also download our South Devon Walking Guide for more inspiration.

Discover Becky Falls and Canonteign Falls

Becky Falls sits in Bovey Valley right in the heat of Dartmoor National Park. The natural falls here are a sight to behold and roar across a landscape that was created more than 12,000 years ago. 

Having opened to its first visitors in 1903, it has attracted plenty of nature lovers since. But don’t let its popularity put you off, as this place is entirely dog-friendly and the admission fee includes access to a wealth of woodland walks as well as a mini zoo, café, and a host of family-friendly activities. 

Canonteign Falls allows you to escape in nature just as Becky Falls does. It’s home to the highest man-made waterfall in the South West. This natural park sits in the leafy Teign Valley, just 4 miles east of Becky Falls. 

Here you can meander along through ancient woodlands on one of its many trails, explore the lush Victorian fern garden, or visit one of its 7 lakes. Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times and there are water bowls and free treats on hand to keep your four-legged friends even happier. 

Go to the Beach

things to do in Devon in the rain - go to the beach

South Devon leaves us spoilt for choice with its selection of beaches and they don’t just have to be saved for hot summer days. They make the perfect rainy-day activity for you and your dog. So put on those walking boots, collars and leads and get rid of some pent-up energy by playing fetch on the beach. 

Some of our favourite dog-friendly beaches include North Sands in Salcombe, Bigbury-on-Sea, Slapton Sands and Bantham. However, be wary of restrictions as some beaches only allow dogs in the winter months (October to April).

Check out our dog-friendly beaches blog for a full list of beaches you can take your four-legged friends to. 

Explore National Trust properties

Get out of the rain and spend your day exploring one of the many National Trust properties in South Devon. Many of these properties offer activities and treasure hunts to keep the kids entertained and some stunning gardens to walk around too if there’s a break in the weather. 

Wander around the former holiday home of Agatha Christie or explore the seaside home of inventor Otto Overbeck. Take a look at our blog on the 4 must-see National Trust properties to visit in South Devon.

South Devon has so many activities and attractions for the whole family to enjoy, whatever the weather. So if you’re looking for more inspiration for your South Devon holiday, take a look at our selection of blogs below:

South Devon Holiday Cottages

Things to do in South Devon in the rain

At Coast and Country Cottages, we have over 450 holiday cottages located across South Devon. From the famous harbour towns of Salcombe and Dartmouth to the sleepy fishing village of Start Bay, you’re bound to find your perfect getaway. 

Whether you’re looking for large holiday cottages for a group of you, romantic boltholes for an anniversary weekend away or a family cottage complete with ocean views, we have a property to suit you.