The Donkey Sanctuary

Slade House Farm, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 0NU

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  • The Donkey Sanctuary's Visitor Centre
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
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  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
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  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary
  • The Donkey Sanctuary

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Blissful happiness at The Donkey Sanctuary

Located just 30 minutes from Exeter and nestled in the tranquil East Devon countryside in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Donkey Sanctuary’s working farm is home to donkeys, mules and hinnies, large and small. At the heart of the sanctuary near Sidmouth, visitors can meet some of the hundreds of donkeys waiting to say hello - completely free of charge. The resident donkeys love to meet new people and their unique characters and stories are ready to be discovered.

Explore the sanctuary’s new indoor attractions including Visitor Centre, Understanding Donkeys Zone and Dr Svendsen’s Hut, and find out just why donkeys are so special. Embark on a fun, interactive journey into the far reaching work of The Donkey Sanctuary and the vital lifeline donkeys provide for communities around the world. Try on some theatre scrubs and lab coats in the Understanding Donkeys Zone; the place to learn everything about the sanctuary’s wonderful residents. No visit is complete without visiting Dr Svendsen’s Hut to learn the story of the sanctuary’s much-loved founder.

There are also guided walks, scenic trails, meet the groom sessions twice daily, the Nature Centre and a Maze to lose yourself in, as well as regular events held throughout the year and activities during school holidays.

When it’s time to take a well-earned break, relax in the sanctuary’s new family-friendly restaurant, The Kitchen, where you can enjoy local and ethically sourced food alongside spectacular views over the donkeys paddocks down to the sea. Hearty breakfasts, delicious lunches and tempting afternoon treats are served daily between 9am and 5pm*. And before heading home, don’t forget to pop into the new Gift Shop for a selection of quality gifts and donkey-design items to suit every pocket.

The Donkey Sanctuary was founded as a charity in 1969, by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE. They currently have an incredible 6,300 donkeys in their care worldwide. Admission and parking is free (donations welcome) and the sanctuary is open from 9am – dusk, 365 days a year. Dogs are welcome as long as they are kept on a lead, and many of the farm trails are access and bike-friendly.

* 4pm from November to February.

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Donations WelcomeFree
Donations WelcomeFree

Opening Times

Open Christmas
Open New Year
The Donkey Sanctuary (1 Jan 2018 - 31 Dec 2018)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday09:00 - 17:00*

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

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

Facilities

Accessibility

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

Catering

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

Establishment Features

  • Dog Friendly
  • Dogs Accepted - Dogs on leads welcome
  • On-site coach parking
  • On-site parking or valet parking
  • On-site Restaurant/Cafe
  • Picnic Area
  • Shop
  • Tea / Coffee Shop
  • Toilets

Event Facilities

  • Free Entry

Key Features

  • In countryside
  • Outdoor Attraction

Parking & Transport

  • Coach Parking
  • On site parking
  • Parking (free)

Payment Methods

  • American Express accepted
  • Delta accepted
  • Maestro accepted
  • MasterCard accepted
  • Solo accepted
  • Visa accepted

Specialist Features

  • Family Fun

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Demonstrations Given
  • Educational Visits Accepted
  • Guided Tours Available for Groups - Prior Bookings

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Map & Directions

Road Directions

The Sanctuary is situated just 30 minutes from the M5 Junction 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

Bus stops are located within easy walking distance for the following services: Axe Valley Mini Travel 899, Stagecoach 52a and the Coastlinx 53/54 Jurassic Coast. If you are on foot, access to the Sanctuary can be found via Weston Mouth on the South West Coast Path whilst cyclists will find us on National Cycle Network route 2.

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TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor
  • Certificate of Excellence 2018

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

  • Excellent
    2182
  • Very Good
    420
  • Average
    93
  • Poor
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  • Terrible
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Recent Reviews:

  • rgould564
    Sidmouth, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Couples
    Wonderfully uplifting place to visit for all the family
    5 of 5 stars
    19th Aug 2018
    Donkeys are always appealing and this organisation has rescued, saved and looked after hundreds of donkeys in lovely surroundings. A wonderful visit for all the family with short and longer walks... Read full review
  • Tom S
    Trip Type:
    Family
    Excellent family day out, lots to do and see and good value
    5 of 5 stars
    19th Aug 2018
    We have visited the Donkey Sanctuary multiple times over the years and we have still to visit all areas that are available. The recent visitor area upgrades are excellently done. The improvements in... Read full review
  • ktdt
    Hull, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Family
    Brilliant find
    5 of 5 stars
    19th Aug 2018
    We picked up a leaflet about this from somewhere and the kids wanted to go. We set off in the morning not really expecting much. Got there to find a nice large carpark and lovely entrance area... Read full review

Awards

  • Devon TourismDevon's Top Attractions Quality Stamp Devon's Top Attractions Quality Stamp 2017

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