‘We had a fabulous stay at Hallsannery – despite the weather!’
Hartland Abbey and Gardens
Whilst the abbey and grounds are stunning on a dry day, there’s plenty inside to keep you interested – not to mention the lovely tea rooms with freshly-baked cakes. And much of the outside is under-tree covered so whatever the weather you won’t get too wet. www.hartlandabbey.com
Run by the very friendly Jax in the nearby hamlet of Little Torrington, at the Tarka Pottery you can take part in adult courses, kids clubs or (numbers permitting) organise your own private potting session.
The Big Sheep
A true Devon experience! With duck races, sheep shows, battlefield live not to mention a huge indoor play area, the Big Sheep should not be missed by anyone with little ones (or big ones who are little at heart!)
A National Trust gem with acres of space outside but an equally interesting house to visit on a wetter day. The amazing carriage collection in the stable block is suitably interactive and the dressing up activities and learning stations keep kids (and adults) amused. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/arlington-court
The Plough Arts Centre
A lovely independent cinema and venue for exhibitions, plays, bands et al, the Plough often has kids films showing during the holidays. The rustic café is also great for a bite before a film!
Northam swimming pool
A no-frills swimming pool with an adjacent toddler pool, Northam is a great spot for getting wet inside rather than out. Family fun swims and ‘gym and swim’ sessions run during the holidays.
With a factory shop, plenty of hands-on activities including glass blowing and painting, not to mention a café, this Torrington-based business is a touch of glass! www.dartington.co.uk
Tarka Trail – Bideford to Meeth
Whilst biking in the rain isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, the Bideford to Meeth section of the Tarka Trail is (mostly!) remarkably sheltered. Meander through the pine forests and over the viaducts and head for the café at www.puffingbillydevon.co.uk for a warm-me-up coffee and bite to eat, before heading back down the gentle slope over the numerous bridges to Bideford. Imagine how virtuous you will feel!
Barnstaple and Bideford Pannier Markets
Operating 6 days a week through most of the year and with special ‘Real Food Markets’ (a great selection of goodies – not to be missed!) on alternate Sundays, the Pannier Market is a step back in time. www.barnstaplepanniermarket.co.uk
Closer to home, Bideford hosts its own pannier market complete with a great selection of craft and food shops. Montage Interiors (Hallsannery’s very own curtain-making guru) is well worth a visit too! www.facebook.com/Bidefordpanniermarket
RHS Rosemoor, Torrington
Not only is this stunning garden an amazing sight throughout the year, but they also do a great range of children’s activities with an outdoor focus. With apple days, pumpkin carving, leaf rubbing, puppet making and garden trails, a bit of rain doesn’t need to mean staying inside all day!
Rock and Rapid, South Molton
For a great active, rainy day out, hit the climbing walls at Rock and Rapid – friendly instructors are on hand to help you reach higher than you ever thought you could! Other activities are also available.