The Donkey Sanctuary

Slade House Farm, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 0NU

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Tel01395 578222

  • The Donkey Sanctuary's Visitor Centre
  • Family enjoys meeting donkey
  • Poitou donkey bounds over to meet visitors at The Donkey Sanctuary
  • Family enjoys scenic trails at The Donkey Sanctuary
  • Climb aboard a mobile unit, where teams travel to remote locations to help improve donkey welfare.
  • Family gets up close with a friendly donkey at The Donkey Sanctuary
  • Try on some theatre scrubs and lab coats in the Understanding Donkeys Zone - you'll really look the part!
  • Coffee & cake at The Kitchen restaurant
  • Donkeys grazing happily in their paddocks
  • Product Image
  • Child explores engaging exhibits in the Nature Centre
  • Boy enjoys a special moment with donkey
  • Child explores the woods at The Donkey Sanctuary
  • Children enjoy playing freely at The Donkey Sanctuary
  • Family meets giant Poitou donkeys
  • Family marvel at all the donkey-design items in the Gift Shop

Book Tickets Online

Planning a visit to The Donkey Sanctuary during October half term? The sanctuary has introduced ticketing during the school holidays between 24 October to 1 November. Book your free tickets here.

 

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 donkeys call home, and they’re all waiting to meet you. 

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 - all year round, whatever the weather. With activities, trails, tours, talks and demonstrations, there’s so much to explore with your own herd. 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. 

You can even adopt your own donkey in the Gift Shop, where you’ll also find quality donkey design products on every shelf. What’s more, every penny of profit goes towards helping millions of donkeys and mules around the world. 

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. 

Open daily from 9.30am, 365 days a year, admission and parking are free, though donations are welcome to help many more donkeys with troubled pasts live a life of total sanctuary.

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Donations WelcomeFree
Donations WelcomeFree

Opening Times

Open Christmas
Open New Year
The Donkey Sanctuary (1 Jan 2020 - 31 Dec 2020)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday09:30 - 16:00*

* Monday - Sunday
9.30am - The Kitchen and Gift Shop
10.00am - Outdoor areas open
4.00pm - The Donkey Sanctuary closes
* Visitor Centre, Restaurant and Gift Shop closed 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 the Disabled
  • 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

COVID-19 Response

  • 1m distancing in place
  • 2m distancing in place
  • Capacity limit
  • Clear signage
  • Contactless payment possible
  • COVID-19 measures in place
  • COVID-19 risk assessment completed
  • COVID-19 staff training completed
  • Face mask essential (not provided)
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Floors clearly marked for social distancing
  • Food available during COVID-19 restrictions - Take away also available
  • Hand sanitizer available to visitors & staff
  • Hygiene screens in place
  • Interactive displays closed
  • One way system
  • Open now
  • Outside seating
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Queuing system
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Socially distanced spaced seating
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands

Establishment Features

  • Dog Friendly
  • Dogs Accepted - Dogs on leads welcome
  • Electric Car charging point
  • Event venue
  • Event Venue
  • Free car parking
  • On-site parking or valet parking
  • On-site Restaurant/Cafe
  • Open All Year
  • Picnic Area
  • Shop
  • Tea / Coffee Shop
  • Toilets
  • Wedding Venue

Event Facilities

  • Free Entry

Key Features

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

Parking & Transport

  • On Bus Route
  • On site parking
  • Parking (free)

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

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
  • Travelers Choice 2020
  • Excellent
    2695
  • Very Good
    487
  • Average
    114
  • Poor
    31
  • Terrible
    21

Recent Reviews:

  • Lydia1505112
    Long way to go for a short day out
    3 of 5 stars
    20th Oct 2020
    We were really looking forward to coming back to our favourite place after the email we received stating they were re opening after lockdown however we were quite disappointed with our visit... Read full review
  • HRM8012
    Leicester, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Family
    YOU MUST VISIT
    5 of 5 stars
    25th Oct 2020
    PLEASE VISIT THIS MAGICAL PLACE!!! The sanctuary doesn’t ask for an admission fee or charge for parking and compared to some of the expensive days out you might have whilst holidaying on the Jurassic... Read full review
  • freddiedoncaster
    doncaster
    ALWAYS LEAVE WITH TEARS OF HAPPINESS
    5 of 5 stars
    26th Oct 2020
    The Donkey Sanctuary has to be supported. My parents lived in Sidmouth for many years, and I’ve visited here on numerous occasions. It is run “from the heart”. The dedication that everyone who is... Read full review

Awards

  • Visit EnglandQuality Assured Visitor Attraction Quality Assured Visitor Attraction 2019
  • Devon TourismVisit Devon Awards - Silver Visit Devon Awards - Silver 2019
  • 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 2019 Devon's Top Attractions Quality Stamp 2019 2019
  • Regional and MiscellaneousMuddy Stilettos – Winner – 2019 Muddy Stilettos – Winner – 2019 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 MiscellaneousTaste of the West – Gold – 2019/2020 Taste of the West – Gold – 2019/2020 2019
  • Visit BritainWe're Good to Go We're Good to Go 2020

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