babbacombe model village in the sunFrom secret underground passages to enchanting miniature villages, South Devon is packed with all manner of unique attractions for the whole family to enjoy.

We’ve put together a list of some of the most fun, innovative, and unusual days out in the region that are so intriguing, grown-ups won’t help but be inspired by them too.

Babbacombe Model Village

One of the must-visit unique attractions in South Devon, Babbacombe Model Village is a beautiful award-winning garden with an utterly charming twist.

The attraction consists not only of many gorgeous trees and plants, but also over 400 miniature models of stately homes, iconic monuments, town centres and historical scenes! From Shakespearean, to Victorian, there’s a vast variety of architectural styles and many famous historical landmarks. Not forgetting the tens of thousands of miniature folks who reside in the village!

Babbacombe Model Village pride themselves on creating comical and satirical scenes that depict the best (and worst!) of British culture. There are several fun indoor features too, such as the 'Little Enders' soap set, the Victorian snowy village, and the world of movie miniatures. This attraction is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it gives you a chance to slow down and enjoy the little things in life (quite literally!). 

Exeter’s Underground Passages

Originally built to house the pipes that bought clean water to medieval Exeter, you can now tour beneath the city centre with Exeter’s Underground Passages - the only passages of this kind open to the public in Britain!

Narrow and dark, but incredibly interesting and unique, the tour will guide you through Exeter’s fascinating history whilst you explore this hidden underground world. It’s the perfect experience for anyone interested in history; remember to visit their heritage centre before the tour as it’s packed with interesting, interactive exhibitions. 

House of Marbles

You may have heard of the world-famous House of Marbles gift brand. Well, this is its headquarters in Bovey Tracey on the edge of Dartmoor National Park! But there’s more to this attraction than just shopping for entertaining products...

Over time, the toymaker’s location in Devon has evolved to encompass an array of attractions such as a glassworks studio, a restaurant, a games garden, a gift shop like no other and various museums, ready for you to explore.

Visitors will be entertained for hours by the wonderful array of marble runs, animated animals, fairground mirrors, penny press and a giant floating marble. You will also discover lots of interesting hidden amusements in almost every nook and cranny of the site, but we will let you discover these for yourselves rather than spoil all the fun – our top tip is to look for the secret door in the garden area and don’t forget to find the loveable snoring bear!

Buckfast Butterfly Farm and Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary

Situated just outside the southern border of Dartmoor National Park, Buckfast Butterfly Farm and Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary is a small, friendly, and wonderfully different visit for all the family.

Run by a dedicated team of animal-lovers, the sanctuary aims to make your visit both educational and fun, making it an interesting attraction for both kids and big kids alike.

Both the sanctuary and farm have been carefully designed to provide their residents with the best possible conditions to thrive in, and its visitors excellent opportunities to see and enjoy them. 

There’s so much to see and do here. Visit tropical butterflies in their specially designed habitat and experience the rainforest atmosphere as you learn more about their amazing life cycle. Say hello to the otters, watch them swim or join their feeding times, and enjoy a rare insight into their secretive way of life.

Seaton Tramway

Never ridden a tram before? Now's your chance!

Seaton Tramway is a great day out like no other, offering a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience a charming mode of transport. Boasting open top double deckers for panoramic views of the estuary and enclosed saloons for rainy days; this tramway’s got the lot when it comes to all-weather entertainment!

The tram’s three-mile route runs through East Devon's glorious Axe Valley, between the coastal resort of Seaton, the small village of Colyford and the ancient town of Colyton. The journey takes half an hour from end to end and includes unrivalled views of two nature reserves and abundant wading bird life.

With frequent, child-friendly themed rides and even the opportunity to learn how to drive a tram yourself, Seaton Tramway is a fantastic day out that the whole family can enjoy.

The Donkey Sanctuary

Finally, no trip to Devon is complete without visiting The Donkey Sanctuary!

This free-to-visit, award-wining attraction has something special to offer every visitor, whether you’re looking for quality time with the kids, or somewhere calming to kick back with coffee and cake.

Explore everything the sanctuary has to offer, from engaging exhibits and a new play area to award-winning gardens, scenic walks, and, of course, meeting lots of adorable donkeys. With activities, trails and talks there’s so much to explore with your own herd, whatever the weather. Friendly dogs on leads are welcome too!

If any of these unique spots interest you, why not come and visit South Devon for the weekend, or perhaps longer to make the most out of all the wonderful things there are to see and do in the region.  

If you do, remember to share your photos with us by tagging @VisitSouthDevon on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to sign up to our e-newsletter to stay up to date with the region’s top events, plus blog posts, competitions and more.  




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