Coast’s Choice: Devon

We’re heading to the South West tip of the UK for the next two editions of Coast’s Choice, starting with the popular tourist resort of Devon. Here are a few of the county’s highlights, as recommended by the Coast team.

The BIG Sheep

If you think sheep are fairly dull creatures then a trip to this family orientated attraction is bound to change your mind! The BIG Sheep brings all things woolly and four-legged to life with educational activity shows on breeds of sheep, shearing, dog trials and even the art of sheep racing! Visitors can bottle feed baby lambs during spring and also on offer in 2012 is a new show entitled ‘The Udder Business’ – a guide to sheep’s milk and how to create Devon clotted cream from it.

The BIG Sheep gives your little ones the chance to burn off some energy as well, courtesy of soft play climbing areas, mazes, slides and obstacles courses. If fresh air is more up your street, the venue features many outdoor pursuits including a Battlefield Live Outdoor Combat Zone for laser gun fans, a farm safari ride, lakeside train trips, a pony school and pedal boating.

Tickets are priced from £2.50 for children under 3ft tall and £6 for adults and children over 3ft tall. Visit The BIG Sheep website for more information. Nearest caravan site: 2.5 miles

Dartmouth Castle

This English Heritage site is one of the UK’s most picturesque fortresses, built by the Mayor of Dartmouth John Hawley in 1388. The gun tower was added a century later, becoming the first purpose-built mount for a heavy cannon. Dartmouth Castle was a serviceable defense site until less than a hundred years ago, seeing action in numerous battles from the Civil War to World War II.

Visitors arrive at the castle by ferry boat from Dartmouth Quay before disembarkingto explore its grounds. Entertainment includes a video presentation on the cannon and the chance to explore the Old Battery, a Victorian extension to the fortress.
Dartmouth Castle is open seven days a week from April-November and at weekends during the winter time. Entry costs from £4.70 for adults, £2.80 for children and is free to English Heritage members. Visit the website to find out more.

Nearest caravan site: 2.8 miles

Kents Cavern

This natural wonder is both a series of Neanderthal Ice Age caves and the oldest known human settlement in the country, first discovered by explorers in 1571 and now a protected national site. Visitors can take a tour of the cavern to find out more about its prehistoric past, look at how its history has been unveiled in the archaeological dig area or investigate the surrounding of the caves with a trek along the woodland trail.

If you’re not too faint hearted, you can take part in an evening ghost tour during the summer months! However, if you prefer something more sedate, the site features a gift shop and restaurant serving Devon cream teas.

Kents Cavern is open all year round with at least four guided tours taking place each day. Entry costs £8.95 for adults and £7.95 for children and a family ticket is available. Click here to find out more.

Nearest caravan site: 2.3 miles

Living Coasts

It’s not just the name of this attraction that led us to recommend this day out! Living Coasts is Torquay’s coastal zoo and conservation charity, featuring outdoor and indoor exhibits.

A fascinating array of marine birds and mammals from the world’s coastal areas live in specially designed naturalistic habitats, from the Penguin Beach to the Furry Seal Cove. Other creatures at Living Coasts include puffins, sea ducks, wading birds, stingrays, octopi and seahorses.

Feeding time and talks take place throughout the day, while Living Coasts also features a waterside café with stunning views over Tor Bay. Entry costs £10 for adults and £7.50 for children over three years of age – click here for more information.

Nearest caravan site: 1.5 miles


Located in the attractively named town of Beer, Pecorama is the world’s leading manufacturer of model railway track, PECO Streamline and PECO Setrack – one of the last model railway production facilities remaining in the country.

The Model Railway Exhibition showcases small model railway layouts suitable for homes and gardens, while the Beer Light Railway offers a scenic hillside trip overlooking Lyme Bay and Portland Bill.

There’s plenty of activities to keep young ones entertained including a play area, face painting and free quizzes during the school holidays, while railway enthusiasts can enjoy a trip to the on-site shop or a coffee in the setting of a beautifully preserved Orian Pullman car – part of the Golden Arrow train that ran from London Victoria to the coast.

Pecorama is also known for its greenery including the Millennium Garden, a group of celestially themed floral displays interlinked by scented walkways and water features.

Entry to Pecorama costs £8.25 for an adult bargain ticket covering all areas of the site or £5.95 for children. Please note that the exhibition, shop and Orion Pullman car are closed on Sundays. Click here to visit the website.

Nearest caravan site: 1 mile

If you’re planning a trip to Devon or another UK or European destination this summer, make sure you take out a comprehensive touring caravan insurance policy to protect your leisure vehicle. Coast can offer you a competitive quote on your caravan insurance free of charge – just call our sales team on Freephone 0800 614 849 or click here for an online quotation.