Indoor attractions in South Devon

May 12th, 2016 | By Ross Purdy

Greenway House, a top indoor attraction in Devon


We all like to see plenty of sun on our holidays, but there are enough indoor attractions in South Devon keep everyone happy no matter what the weather is doing.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the best indoor attractions in the region.

Discover Devon’s history on damp days

Treat overcast days as an opportunity to take a look around some of South Devon’s historic buildings.

Greenway House, which sits on a beautiful countryside estate on the banks of the River Dart, is the former home of Dame Agatha Christie. Dame Agatha called it “the loveliest place on earth” and after your visit you’ll struggle to disagree. There are 10,000 objects on display in the house, collected over five generations. You can reach Greenway by car, steam railway or river cruise.

Overbecks, which looks out over Salcombe, is the former home of the inventor and scientist, Otto Overbeck. The collections you’ll find in the house are wonderfully eclectic, including natural history exhibitions, sculptures and paintings.

Dartmouth Castle, on which work began in 1388, is another indoor attraction that will linger long in your memory after paying a visit. See the guns and canons, explore the passageways, take in the views and enjoy a cream tea afterwards.

Two other excellent indoor attractions in Devon for history buffs include Dartmouth museum on Victoria Street and Salcombe Maritime Museum on Market Street. Both of these are staffed by enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers.


Room to run around on rainy days: soft play in South Devon

Looking for somewhere to let the kids burn off some energy? There are plenty of indoor attractions in Devon where they can do just that.

As the county’s largest family theme park, Woodlands, close to Dartmouth, has plenty of indoor attractions and rides to keep the little ones occupied. In the park you’ll find the largest indoor adventure centre in the UK – five floors, each the length of a football pitch, in one building alone! Woodlands is very much an all-weather attraction for families.

There are also several other soft play areas where youngsters can run around while the adults enjoy a coffee, including:

  1. The recently opened Kidz and Co Soft Play Café on Island Street in Salcombe. Enjoy locally sourced produce daily, including a great selection of sandwiches, salads & soups. The children can let off steam in the soft play area.
  2. The Playstation Totnes – no, nothing to do with the games console, it’s an inside-outside play complex close to Totnes Railway Station, with a selection of snacks and drinks for adults and a dedicated area for toddlers.
  3. Bumble in Kingsbridge is a play centre, café and kids’ hair salon, situated on Fore Street. Enjoy a snack with your tea, coffee or super-deluxe hot chocolate and forget about the weather for a few hours.

Alongside the public swimming pools in Kingsbridge, Totnes and (coming soon) Dartmouth, there are more than enough indoor attractions in South Devon to keep energetic kids content.

Get creative on cloudy days: artistic family activities

If you’d rather exercise your artistic side with your family, consider a visit to one of the following indoor attractions.

  1. China Blue’s Ceramic Studio in Totnes offers you the chance to paint some professionally produced pottery or even have a go at throwing it yourself. Relax in the café afterwards, and go home with a memento of your holiday to treasure.
  2. Art Café is another popular South Devon ceramic studio. This indoor attraction, which you’ll find conveniently located on Fore Street in Kingsbridge, is great for children and adults. Enjoy getting creative with your friends or family while you enjoy a snack or a coffee.
  3. Last but not least, Paper Bird Island on Salcombe’s Island Street is an inspiring art space where kids and adults can paint, découpage and glitter a range of papier mâché animal and box shapes. Items can be taken home immediately. Face-painting is also available at quieter times. Calling ahead is recommended, particularly on rainy days during the busier holiday periods.

With no shortage of all-weather activities to enjoy in South Devon, you can be sure that, even if the rain does come, it won’t spoil your family holiday, especially if you choose a spacious family-friendly self-catering holiday home for your break.