The Donkey Sanctuary

Slade House Farm, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 0NU

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TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 3724 reviews3724 reviews

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  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • the donkey sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • young boy in winter with brown donkey
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • Try on some theatre scrubs and lab coats in the Understanding Donkeys Zone - you'll really look the part!
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary

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Bring out the best in your herd

No trip to Devon is complete without visiting The Donkey Sanctuary.

There’s a tranquil corner of the Jurassic Coast near Sidmouth that hundreds of rescue donkeys call home, and they’re all waiting to meet you. The resident donkeys love to meet new people and their unique characters and stories are all ready to be discovered.

This free-to-visit, award-wining attraction has something special to offer, 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!

Take sanctuary in the Taste of the West award-winning restaurant and enjoy fresh, local, seasonal produce while soaking in the unparalleled coast and country views. Luscious lunches and tempting afternoon treats are dished up daily - best served with friends, family and fabulous views.

As a passionate animal welfare organisation, all meat dishes are responsibly sourced from producers with high standards of farming and welfare, while vegan and vegetarian options are prominent and varied. Good practice, good for the environment, good for you.

For a souvenir to remember your day, head to the Gift Shop where you’ll find quality donkey-designed products on every shelf. From cuddly toys to mugs, cards, and games, you will find something for everyone.

What’s more penny of profit goes towards helping the donkeys and mules in the Charity’s care and in communities around the world – an extra helping for the hardworking animals who are most in need.

You can even become part of their donkeys’ lives forever by adopting one of the lovable donkeys; whether you’re looking for a clever donkey like Ruby or a sweet and fluffy beauty like Zena, there is a friend for everyone at the sanctuary. Adopt before your visit, seek out your new friend when you arrive and keep tabs on them at home with the sanctuary’s live webcams.

Make the day your own, but above all else, fall in love with the herds of donkeys.

Since its humble origins as a charity in 1969, The Donkey Sanctuary has grown from a UK organisation rescuing donkeys from neglect and abuse, into an international animal welfare advocate, transforming the lives of these hardworking animals and the people who depend on them for their livelihood.

The sanctuary is open daily from 9am. Admission and parking are free, though donations are welcome to help many more donkeys with troubled pasts live a life of total sanctuary. Dogs on leads are welcome.

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Adult - Donations WelcomeFree
Child - Donations WelcomeFree

Opening Times

Open New Year
Summer Opening Times (10 Feb 2024 - 31 Oct 2024)
DayTimes
Winter Opening Times (1 Nov 2024 - 9 Feb 2025)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday09:00 - 05:00*

* *09:00 - 16:00 November - February
*The Visitor Centre, The Kitchen restaurant and Gift Shop are closed on Christmas Day.

Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change

Facilities

Other

  • Gift Shop

Accessibility

  • Accessible to Wheelchair Users
  • All Areas Accessible to Disabled Visitors
  • Assistance Dogs
  • Facilities for Disabled Visitors
  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors
  • Ramp/Level Access
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors

Attraction Facilities

  • Shop
  • Tea Rooms

Catering

  • On-Site café/restaurant - Seating 200 inside, 40 outside.
  • Picnic Site

Children & Infants

  • Facilities for children

Establishment Features

  • Dog Friendly
  • Dogs-Accepted - Dogs on leads welcome
  • On-site Restaurant/Cafe
  • Open All Year
  • Picnic Area
  • Shop
  • Tea / Coffee Shop
  • Toilets

Event Facilities

  • Free Entry

Key Features

  • Families
  • In countryside
  • No Smoking Attraction
  • Outdoor Attraction

Parking & Transport

  • Free Car Parking
  • On Bus Route
  • Parking (free)
  • Parking On Site
  • Parking On-site or Valet Parking

Payment Methods

  • All major credit cards accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Contactless payment accepted
  • Delta accepted
  • Maestro accepted
  • MasterCard accepted
  • Solo accepted
  • Special group rates
  • Visa accepted

Specialist Features

  • Family Fun
  • Marketed towards families

Sustainability

  • Electric Car Charging Point

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Demonstrations Given
  • Educational Visits Accepted

Travel & Trade

  • Wi-fi available

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Map & Directions

Road Directions

The sanctuary is situated just 30 minutes from the M5 Junction 30 on the A3052 between Sidford and Seaton. On leaving Sidford follow the brown tourist sign at the top of the hill.  

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Public Transport Directions

By bus Bus stops are located within easy walking distance for the 899 Axe Valley Mini Travel and 9A Stagecoach (Exeter - Seaton). 

By train Honition is the nearest station, located 10 miles from the sanctuary.

By bike Cyclist will find the sanctuary on Route 2 of the National Cycle Network.

By foot From the South West Coast Path, take a short detour to the sanctuary at Weston Mouth.

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TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

4.5 of 5 stars
    • Excellent
      3010
    • Very Good
      529
    • Average
      126
    • Poor
      35
    • Terrible
      24

    Recent Reviews:

    • pixiewendyann
      Hinckley, United Kingdom
      well worth a visit
      5 of 5 stars
      11th May 2024
      i loved this place .it is well set up . they give a talk about the donkeys and tell you how it came about introduce you to some of the donkeys who are about while others are in there paddocks. the... Read full review
    • Amanda C
      Bishop's Waltham, United Kingdom
      The donkeys are so well looked after and just wandering round listening to them bray was a joy.
      5 of 5 stars
      17th May 2024
      Having recently adopted a donkey I decided to have a minibreak in Sidmouth and visit the donkey sanctuary and I am so glad I did. It was bigger than I anticipated but so very well run with lots of... Read full review
    • Jason P
      Trip Type:
      Couples
      A great few hours
      5 of 5 stars
      20th May 2024
      For being free, it’s a great place to visit. Getting there is really easy, and you pick up a free map. A lovely sunny day was a great added pleasure. Different paddocks offered different donkeys. We... Read full review

    Awards

    • Visit EnglandQuality Assured Visitor Attraction Quality Assured Visitor Attraction 2019
    • Devon TourismVisit Devon Awards - Silver Visit Devon Awards - Silver 2019
    • Taste of the West AwardsTaste of the West Gold Taste of the West Gold 2024
    • Regional and MiscellaneousVisit Devon Awards – Gold – 2018 Visit Devon Awards – Gold – 2018 2018
    • Regional and MiscellaneousSouth West Tourism Excellence Award 2018- 2019 – Bronze South West Tourism Excellence Award 2018- 2019 – Bronze 2019
    • Devon TourismDevon's Top Attractions Quality Stamp Devon's Top Attractions Quality Stamp 2019
    • Regional and MiscellaneousPrimary Times Family (Half Day) Attraction Winner – Devon – 2019 Primary Times Family (Half Day) Attraction Winner – Devon – 2019 2019
    • TripAdvisor AwardsTripAdvisor Certification of Excellence – Hall of Fame – 2019 TripAdvisor Certification of Excellence – Hall of Fame – 2019 2019
    • Regional and MiscellaneousWTTC Safe Travels WTTC Safe Travels 2021

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