Whether you plan to visit this wonderful region during the winter months or are booking your summer holidays, we all know that every now and again the Great British weather will turn a little grey and cloudy and you might experience a rainy day during your break in South Devon.

If the sun does go in to hiding for a day or two or you fancy a break from the rays, we’ve come up with a list of great rainy day ideas, inside activities and attractions to visit in South Devon with your family or friends, which are sure to keep everyone entertained while the sun is away.

Go Swimming

South Devon is home to a number of great family friendly swimming complexes; your holiday accommodation might also be home to an indoor or heated outside pool, which can be enjoyed when the weather isn’t at its best. So if it’s wet outside why not enjoy a swim or ride the slides at a great swimming pool like the Aztec Spa at THL Leisure Resort in Torquay, Ladram Bay Swimming Complex near Budleigh Salterton, Finlake Fitness in Chudleigh, Torbay Leisure Centre in Paignton, Dawlish Leisure Centre or Newton Abbot Leisure Centre.

Unwind at a Spa

If you’re looking to hide from the grey skies or just want to pamper yourself, check in to one of South Devon’s relaxing spas and enjoy an indulgent treatment or a relaxing dip in the Jacuzzi. Some of the regions amazing spas include; Gaia Spa at Boringdon Hall near Plymouth, Thurlestone Voyage Spa at Thurlestone Hotel near Kingsbridge, Be You Spa & Gym at Beyond Escapes Devon near Totnes, Hawkchurch Resort Spa near Axminster, Cary Spa at The Cary Arms, Torbay, Aspara Day Spa at the Royal York and Faulkner Hotel in Sidmouth or Ilsington Country House Hotel Spa on the edge of Dartmoor.

Get Creative

Inside attractions are the best places to inspire your creative side, whether it’s getting hands on with pottery painting at The Paint Hub at Welcome Family Holiday Park in Dawlish Warren or creating a glass master piece at Steve Robinson Glass, Totnes. But if you’d like to spend your days admiring local artists’ work or maybe picking up a souvenir, why not visit the Thelma Hulbert Gallery in Hontion, The Devon Guild of Craftsmen or House of Marbles, both in Bovey Tracey.

Enjoy the History

South Devon has a long and varied history which is evident in the many historical building and landmarks dotted across the region. Find out about the regions past at one of the counties museums or heritage centres like the Teign Heritage Centre in Teignmouth, Dartmouth Museum or Custom House Visitor Centre on Exeter Quay. Prehistoric history can be discovered at Kents Cavern and Torquay’s Dinosaur World both in Torquay or at Seaton Jurassic in Seaton on the Jurassic Coast. You can explore our engineering past by taking a trip on the South Devon Railway heritage steam line from Buckfastleigh or by watching the Newcomen Engine working at the Dartmouth Visitor Centre. And dominating the skyline of Exeter is the magnificent 900 year old medieval Exeter Cathedral, if you’re looking to visit Exeter why not check out life below the city streets at Exeter’s Underground Passages as well.

Explore Houses and Gardens

If the rains a bit patchy with some sunny spells or if you’re happy to spend a little time under your umbrella why not check out some of the grand houses, gardens and castles which can be found across South Devon. Check out the naval history and battlements of Dartmouth Castle overlooking the River Dart, explore the history of Bickleigh Castle near Tiverton or unearth ghost stories at Berry Pomeroy Castle near Totnes. If it's grounds and gardens as well as grand houses you’re looking to explore, visit Powderham Castle near Exeter with its rose garden and deer park, walk amongst the colourful exotic plants at Coleton Fishacre House & Garden or the woodland gardens at Greenway House both close to Dartmouth, or admire the medieval style knot garden at Compton Castle near Paignton.

Be Active

If you’re looking for a more adrenaline filled activity South Devon is home to a number of indoor climbing centres. If you’re near Plymouth head to Clip ‘n Climb Plymouth or if you’re staying in Exeter give Quay Climbing Centre a go.Both are sure to make a rainy day in South Devon that little bit brighter.

Hit the Shops

When the weather isn’t playing ball, a shopping trip may cheer up your day and whatever retail therapy you’re after, South Devon has it. To buy local produce and browse independent traders head to The Shops at Dartington near Totnes or Newton Abbot Indoor Market can provide souvenirs and fresh produce. On the edge of Dartmoor sits Trago Mills, a shopping complex where everything from plants, home furnishing and clothing can be found, there’s also outside rides and a petting farm for the little ones to enjoy. For a high street shopping experience head to Fleet Walk Shopping Centre in Torquay or Princesshay Shopping Centre in Exeter, similar to many of the regions high streets, you’ll find them full of big name brands as well as independent stores. 

Escape Unsettled Weather

If the weathers having one of those days, when it can’t make up its mind whether to rain or not and you don’t want to spend the whole day inside, the region is home to some marvellous attractions that offer both inside and outside activities allowing you to take shelter when needed. For rides, slides and all round fun visit Woodlands Family Theme Park near Dartmouth or Crealy Great Adventure Park near Exeter. For animal fun and farmyard adventures visit The Donkey Sanctuary near Sidmouth, Pennywell Farm near Buckfastleigh, the Miniature Pony Centre on Dartmoor or World of Country Life near Exmouth. For more exotic animals visit Living Coasts or Paignton Zoo both in Torbay. If it’s only forecasted to rain for a few hours why not head to the cinema, the Barn Cinema at Dartington Hall near Totnes screens a mix of classic films along with some of the big blockbuster hits. 

Save Cherished Memories

If you’ve already visited some of the attractions above or are looking for a low cost rainy day activity in South Devon, why not make a collage or scrap book using leaflets, tickets and pictures from your exciting days out in South Devon. An arts and crafts afternoon or a morning sharing memories is the perfect way to make a special keep sake of your trip.

For more ideas and inspiration on rainy day activities visit our Rainy Days page here.

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