Things to do in Devon in the rain: South Devon activities

By Sarah Howard-Jones on March 30, 2018

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!

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Our favourite things to do in Devon in the rain:

Stay active
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.

Surfing South Devon

Soft play centres
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.

Kids and Co soft play centre, Salcombe

Animal attractions
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:

Spa day
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 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

Dart Marina spa

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.

Bunker down
Enjoy a quiet, relaxing day in the comfort of your holiday home. Make sure you start the day with an itinerary full of fun activities, and don’t let cabin fever set in. Snuggle up on the sofa for a movie marathon, craft an indoor treasure hunt or play scrabble. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous then put your wellies on, splash in the puddles, get soaking wet and dance in the rain!

Focus on the food
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.

Arts and crafts attractions
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 Cafe 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

Delve into Devon’s history and heritage
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:

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.

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. For further suggestions, take a look at the 51 reasons to visit South Devon or browse our family days out pages.


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: