The Donkey Sanctuary

Slade House Farm, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 0NU

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  • 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

The sanctuary is currently closed in line with the Government's Covid-19 restrictions, full details can be found at https://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/coronavirus-covid-19

 

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, from award-winning gardens and scenic coast path walks to engaging exhibits and losing yourself in the maze - 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! And there’s lots of family events and donkey experiences throughout the year, including overnight camping if you fancy a ‘Bray and Stay’! 

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. Hearty breakfasts, 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 9am, 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. Groups are welcome, and free coach parking is available. Groups can benefit from tours, great-value menus in the restaurant and a free meal for the driver when pre-booking. 

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 - Sunday09:00 - 17:00*

* Open 9am - 5pm March - October and 9am - 4pm November - February.
The Kitchen restaurant, Visitor Centre and Gift Shop are closed Christmas Day, but the sanctuary grounds remain open.

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

Establishment Features

  • Cater for groups
  • Coach drop-off point
  • Dog Friendly
  • Dogs Accepted - Dogs on leads welcome
  • Electric Car charging point
  • Event venue
  • Event Venue
  • Free car parking
  • On-site coach 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
  • Groups
  • In countryside
  • No Smoking Attraction
  • Outdoor Attraction
  • Weddings

Parking & Transport

  • Coach Parking
  • 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
  • Guided Tours Available for Groups - Prior Bookings

Travel & Trade

  • Group discounts available
  • Wi-fi available

Venue Facilities

  • Groups Accepted

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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
  • Certificate of Excellence 2020
  • Excellent
    2681
  • Very Good
    484
  • Average
    112
  • Poor
    31
  • Terrible
    19

Recent Reviews:

  • Caroline D
    Poole, United Kingdom
    NO BETTER PLACE
    5 of 5 stars
    18th Apr 2020
    The Donkey Sanctuary is a lovely place to visit, especially if you are an animal lover. The donkeys are adorable especially so because not only can you watch them in the fields, you can also walk... Read full review
  • Flosstheboss5
    Trip Type:
    Family
    Great for all ages
    5 of 5 stars
    29th June 2020
    An incredible attraction and extremely worth the visit as it’s free. I have been visiting for years with young members of my family up to my grand parents and we all love it. The donkeys are adorable... Read full review
  • PASTELVXBES
    Essex, United Kingdom
    Absolutely love it here!
    5 of 5 stars
    7th July 2020
    Absolutely wonderful experience. Staff super friendly. Adorable donkeys! Very clean stables for donkeys. Easy to get around. Much loved donkeys. Honestly don,t have anything bad to say. Totally... 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

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