Autumn half-term highlights in South Devon

By Ross Purdy on September 13, 2016

As always, there will be plenty of events for families to enjoy this autumn half term. So why not make the most of quieter streets and shorter queues, mild weather and excellent accommodation offers, and book a South Devon break this October?

Our locally-based team has put together some of the events to look forward to this October half term, which this year falls between 24th and 28th October.

Hair-raising half-term hijinks for Halloween

Halloween Activities for Kids pumpkins

There are lots of spooky South Devon activities to scare the kids with this October, with Halloween fun and games planned at many of the region’s biggest and best attractions.

2016’s Halloween-themed highlights include events at:


In October 2016, Woodlands near Dartmouth will be offering plenty of ‘spooktastic’ activities for kids to enjoy. The popular theme park is promising to transform into a ‘Family Scream Park’ to celebrate the arrival of Halloween.

You can find out more here:


Take the kids to Overbecks in Salcombe on Friday 28th or Saturday 29th October, where ‘all budding witches and wizards’ will be able to cast spells and take part in creepy craft activities, spooky storytelling and ghostly trails.

Visit this page for further information.


The atmospheric former home of the late Dame Agatha Christie will host a week of treasure hunts with a difference. Channelling their inner Poirot, Children will be challenged to find the pumpkins that have mysteriously disappeared from the gardens’ vegetable patches. Take the ferry from Dartmouth or the steam train from Kingswear to complete the experience.

For more details, see:

South Devon Railway

The South Devon Railway and Dartmouth Steam Railway are great reasons to visit South Devon.

During the half term week, the South Devon Railway, which runs along a stunning stretch of countryside between Totnes and Buckfastleigh, will be entertaining kids with a host of family activities, such as fairground rides, face painting and storytelling. On 29th October at 6 pm, the Haunted Halloween Express will leave Buckfastleigh. Booking is essential.

Dartmouth Castle

Running between the Monday and Friday of the half term week, families can ‘scare themselves silly’ at Dartmouth Castle, with scary tricks waiting around every corner and kids’ craft activities in the spooky tower.

Find out more on the English Heritage website here.

Dartmouth Food Festival

During the first weekend of the October half term holiday (21st to 23rd October), the historic town of Dartmouth will host the 15th annual Dartmouth Food Festival. This a top-10 UK food event which is particularly renowned for celebrating the best in local seafood. This fantastic foodie festival gives visitors the chance to learn from the best chefs through demonstrations and hands-on workshops. Alternatively, just sit back and sample some true culinary delights from around the region.

Lean more about the Dartmouth Food Festival here.

Changing leaves and wildlife spotting

Crisp autumn days can showcase South Devon at its most beautiful. Here are just a few of our favourite places to visit to appreciate the changing leaves and autumnal landscape.

Loddiswell Woods

Loddiswell Woods is the perfect spot for leafy autumn walks. From the village, you can follow the old railway line on a 3.5 mile walk which takes in some of South Devon’s best scenery. Pop to Valley View Café for a delicious, locally-sourced meal once you’ve worked up an appetite.

You can find more information about this wonderful circular walk here:

West Alvington Woods

The two-mile circular walk from the pleasant market town of Kingsbridge to West Alvington Woods is an easy stroll with some lovely scenery. After exploring the woods, head back to the town to refuel at one of Kingsbridge’s wide variety of excellent cafés, pubs and restaurants.

Here are more details about this walk.

Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve


Autumn is an interesting time for nature lovers, with lots to delight birdwatchers in particular. Take a lovely scenic drive to Slapton Ley, which runs parallel to Slapton Sands on a particularly beautiful section of Start Bay, just south of Dartmouth. When autumn comes around, the experts at the Ley expect to see ‘osprey, black terns, little gull, Mediterranean gull and Dartford warbler’.
Find out more on the Slapton ley National Nature Reserve page.

Half-term fun the weather can’t spoil

There’s plenty to enjoy in South Devon whatever the weather is doing, from soft play and craft centres for kids to historic houses and castles. Find out more about indoor attractions in South Devon here.

Ready to book your autumn break? Take a look at our special offers or explore all of our family-friendly holiday cottages here.