While the joys of summer in South Devon are clear for all to see, the pleasures of a winter break in our region should not be forgotten.
Our Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty can be at its most breathtaking on crisp winter evenings, as the sun slowly disappears behind the hills, and the spindly shadows of leafless trees stretch across the patchwork fields.
Even on cloudy and rainy days, you’ll still find there’s plenty to do that the weather can’t spoil.
With the February half-term fast approaching, let’s take a look at what’s on in South Devon, as well as some of the all-weather attractions you can enjoy.
What’s on this February half-term
There are plenty of things to do in South Devon throughout the year, but we’ve picked out three places with extra special plans for this half-term holiday.
Woodlands family theme park – Super Hero and Princess Half Term
Woodlands is a popular family theme park, located around five miles from Dartmouth. The Super Hero and Princess Half Term event is back in 2018 between the 10th and 18th of February. All kids over 92 cm will receive a free return ticket to use another time, and there’ll be live entertainment on these dates:
Find out more here: http://www.woodlandspark.com/event/super-hero-princess-february-half-term/
South Devon Railway – Winter Steam Gala
A ride on the wonderfully nostalgic South Devon Railway always creates its own sense of occasion, but for train aficionados and everyday visitors alike, it’s even more special during a gala. This time, there are two special guest visiting locomotives: the GWR Prairie 2-6-2T No 5542 and the L&SWR Beattie Well Tank 2-4-0WT No 30587. While these names and numbers will mean little to many of us, we can all admire these stunning vintage steam and diesel trains. This February half-term, come and soak up the atmosphere of yesteryear on a ride between Buckfastleigh and Totnes Littlehempston.
Pennywell Farm – VIP February Half Term
Between 11th and 19th February, you can pay for one admission and visit as many times as you like during the week. Additional activities and shows are being organised at Pennywell to make your visit even more memorable. Shows include:
- Juggler Matt Pang (10th, 11th, 14th, 15th Feb)
- Britain’s got talent Semi-Finalist Mr. Phil (12th Feb).
- Elfic the Jester (13th Feb)
- Musician Poco Drom (16th – 18th Feb)
All-weather attractions for kids and adults
Devon has drawn artists from all over the world for many years and there are countless local artists and artisans plying their trade in the county. Visitors to South Devon of all ages also have opportunities to get involved in creating art themselves.
Visit Paper Bird Island in Salcombe or the Art Café in Kingsbridge to try your hand at a range of artistic activities, while China Blue in Totnes also offers opportunities for painting ceramics.
There’s yet more fun to be had for kids at Bumble, a new indoor play centre Fore Street in Kingsbridge, which is aimed at children under seven. There’s a ball pool, climbing frame and slide, plus a chalkboard for artistically-inclined little ones.
Animal lovers are recommended to pay a visit to Buckfast Butterflies, a magical indoor attraction for lovers of these majestic creatures. You’ll find it next to Buckfastleigh Station, the home of the South Devon Railway.
In our opinion, a winter holiday also offers a great excuse to explore some of the most historic, evocative buildings in South Devon. These provide excellent days out whatever the weather, and on nicer days you can make the most of their stunning natural surroundings and/or gardens.
- Overbeck’s House and Gardens peer out over Salcombe from high above the town. This local treasure, which was the home of the scientist and inventor, Otto Overbeck, is popular all year round. It’s beloved for both the quirky collections inside the house and the majesty and variety of the gardens.
- Greenway, still styled in exquisite 1950s detail, was the home of the late Dame Agatha Christie, one of Devon’s most celebrated daughters. No matter what’s happening with the weather, you’ll find yourself transfixed by the little interior details that ignite the imagination.
- Dartmouth Castle takes us even further back – 600 years in fact, when the merchants of Dartmouth clubbed together to protect their wealth and wares from the many threats behind the horizon. Now that the danger posed by privateers and pirates to the South Devon coast has somewhat rescinded, it’s the perfect time for a tour around this atmospheric castle!
Winter warmers – South Devon’s pubs and restaurants
South Devon’s burgeoning reputation as a foodie paradise makes it an excellent place to visit throughout the year. The culinary delights at your fingertips range from delicious local seafood to traditional afternoon teas and everything in between. On cold and rainy days, nothing beats warming your cockles by the fire in a traditional old pub, such as the 14th Century Cott Inn in Dartington or Dartmouth’s cosy Cherub Inn.
Coming in from the cold
Visitors to our beautiful region also have a huge variety of luxurious accommodation from which to choose. With around 400 properties in South Devon, Coast & Country Cottages can provide you with a holiday home that you’ll be loath to leave whatever the weather!