Easter Holidays Days Out and What’s On Events in Devon Dorset and Somerset
Easter – the real start of Spring. I’m thinking lambs prancing in the fields, spring flowers, leaves appearing on the trees, country walks where you actually take off your coat and of course Easter Eggs.
So to encourage you to try some new events and places take a look at this West Country round-up of Easter Days Out in Devon, Dorset and Somerset. I’ve tried to find some indoor attractions as well, just in case we get some rain!
Outdoor and Wildlife Events
East Devon Countryside Events
With sites across East Devon, there are a number of fantastic nature reserves in our local area. With great outdoor based activities for children to get stuck into as well as fun nature trails, so there’s sure to be something that suits your family. Better still these events are also very affordable.
There is a family explorer day on Trinity Hill near Axminster and a wildlife safari at Fire Beacon Hill. Join in the fun mud walk or an outdoor family fun day in Exmouth with activities including den building, fire lighting, cooking and crafts.
All ages can take part in the Real Egg Trail at Seaton Wetlands which is a lovely way to discover every corner of the nature reserve. Follow the trail map (£2 each) which is running daily from 30th March – 16th April. There’s more details about Seaton Wetlands on my blog post.
National Trust Easter Egg Trails – Blow away the Cobwebs!
One of our favourites is Stonebarrow Hill on the cliffs above Charmouth. What a fabulous place to be – we’ve braved rain and wind before but it was still fun to take part in. This self-led, family egg hunt lets you follow the trail around the beautiful countryside enjoying the views at your own pace to collect a Cadbury chocolatey treat at the end.
It’s only held on 2 days – Good Friday and Easter Saturday (30th & 31st March). Turn up anytime between 11am – 3pm. Costs £2.50. Free parking for NT members. Suitable with a sturdy pushchair if you have one.
Another great bracing route is the one at Burton Bradstock. This one is up over the hill around the beach but also very enjoyable. Made all the better by giving you an excuse to go and have a snack or a meal at the Hive Beach Cafe. Open Good Friday through to Easter Monday.
Other trail options include Max’s Gate, Hardy’s Cottage and Kingston Lacy in Dorset. In Devon try Killerton for a great day out with lovely grounds. With the house now restored and fully open, you can learn more about the campaign for women’s suffrage and see the fashion display. Trails are also being held at A La Ronde in Exmouth and Knightshayes near Tiverton has an Aesop’s fable themed trail and activities.
Barrington Court – Another winning place to spend some time this Easter. Den building, decoration painting, a willow workshop and of course an Easter egg trail. Barrington Court is tucked away in the depths of the South Somerset countryside with a beautiful house and gardens to explore. Also in Somerset try Wellington Monument or Fyne Court (both great for a stomping country walk). One of our favourites is Stourhead just off the A303.
If you want to avoid the chocolate temptation try Montecute House NT and explore St Michael’s Hill for great views of the surrounding countryside.
As well as paying for the egg trail (£2.50 – £3 per child), entrance fees will apply at most of the main NT sites. Membership is really worthwhile if you think you might make 3 or 4 visits a year. Parking only applies at Stonebarrow, Burton Bradstock, Fyne Court and Wellington Monument.
Wildwood at Escot
We’ve enjoyed great days out with the children at Wildwood Escot, so can recommend it as a good place to visit over Easter. They now have wolves in residence which I would love to see (they were in quarantine when we went). Along with red squirrels, lynx, wild boar and a very confusing beech maze this is a fun day outdoors. There is also an indoor toddler play are and a lovely cafe. Take a look at our day out on this post.
Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary
A favourite with locals for years, this is a lovely attraction with the donkeys at it’s heart. Now with a new visitor centre and fabulous large cafe there’s even more to do. Perfect for all ages and abilities you can explore or walk as far as you feel able to. A short walk around the main centre will bring you up close with some of the donkeys that are being cared for, or stretch your legs out into the fields for a longer walk and enjoy the views. You can join the South West Coast Path if you walk all the way through the woods and even down to the beach (only try this when it’s dry underfoot!). There is also a fun maze.
Over Easter there is a fun Holiday Hunt trail to follow (£3 charge for this, 11am – 3pm) but entry to the Sanctuary is by donation only so this is a great value day out.
Ferne Animal Sanctuary
Based just outside Chard in beautiful countryside, this animal sanctuary is a lovely place to spend a few hours. There is a good path all the way round making it ideal for pushchairs or wheelchairs. You can enjoy watching ducks and wildfowl, see rabbits, cats and some other larger animals. With a small play area and a cafe you can visit here knowing that your money will be put to good use looking after the animals that have been rescued.
More details here – Ferne Animal Sanctuary
Forde Abbey Gardens
Head to the beautiful Forde Abbey in South Somerset and follow the yellow brick road where you’ll find Dorothy, a tin man, a plucky lion and a scarecrow on a magical adventure in the Land of Oz.
Join in a fun filled day for all the family, with the interactive trail around the gardens. The Undercroft tearooms will be serving a selection of homemade cakes and tasty treats to fuel you on your way, and there’ll be lots of Easter essentials in the Forde Abbey gift shop.
Open every day over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend from 30th March to 2nd April, 10am – 4pm. – Normal admission charges apply (£10 adults and £5 children for the gardens).
Dippy On Tour Events
If you are at all into natural history then Dippy the famous Diplodocus is bringing a range of events to the region.
Join the Dippy Treasure Hunt at the Kingcombe Centre, near Dorchester – 5 April 2018. Hunt for the miniature Diplodocus across the beautiful Kingcombe Meadows Nature Reserve and enjoy arts and crafts activities and dinosaur-themed food and drink in the barn from 10.00 to 16.00. Free, drop in. More details at Dorset Wildlife Trust
Indoor or Rainy Days Out
Seaton Jurassic is interesting and interactive. Over Easter you can join in the Egg-citing Easter Dinosaur Egg Hunt (1st to the 16th April). Children can follow the clues, complete the trail and claim a prize! £1 per clue sheet.
From 25 March – 3 April you can also see the Dippy replica skull at Seaton Jurassic which is touring around various locations (see here for details)
If you are planning a day out in Seaton, children can enjoy the lovely large play park nearby (just by the Seaton Jurassic car park) or try the fun Jurassic themed adventure golf (crazy golf to me!) at Seafield Gardens near the clock tower. The seafront esplanade is perfect for an easy walk. There are more details about Seaton on the town’s website here.
Dorset County Museum
Dippy is on Tour and has come to the Jurassic Coast first! Dorset County Museum is not huge, but this is huge event for Dorchester – Dippy only just fitted in it! More details on their web site link here. Book a time to avoid disappointment.
Other attractions in Dorchester include the Dinosaur Museum, The Tutankhamun Exhibition, the Teddy Bear Museum and Terracotta Warriors. You can by a special Gold Pass – 5 attractions for the price of 2 which sounds like pretty good value.
Bridport Museum – Make a Dippy Day
Head to Bridport on 11 April to make a Dippy or other dinosaur friend and hide it for families to find. Follow the dino footprints to the museum to start the fun. Bridport Museum reopened last May after a major redevelopment so why not take a look. Free admission, drop in.
Town Mill Lyme Regis
A tour around this historic working watermill makes for a a really interesting visit in Lyme Regis.
Throughout the Easter school holidays, from 1st April to 23rd April, join the Hot Cross Bunny Hunt. Starting and finishing in The Miller’s Kitchen, follow the clues all around the Town Mill complex and claim a prize. Find out more about the Mill and what else there is in the Town Mill complex on their website. Open 11am to 4pm.
End your Town Mill trip with a visit to the lovely Courtyard Cafe (tucked in the corner of the Mill complex) – this one gets my personal recommendation and caters for all diets!
House of Marbles
In Bovey Tracey on the edge of Dartmoor this is a lovely place to visit, and it’s free. Full of vintage toys, marbles galore, marble runs and glass blowing this is an interesting place to spend a few hours undercover. There’s a cafe and a small play area.
This year you can enjoy a fun new Brass Rubbing Trail. Launching this Good Friday with a special Easter treat over the Bank Holiday weekend, it will be a permanent fixture from 30th March 2018 onwards. Children and families can take part for just £1 each including crayons and a keepsake booklet.
If the weather is fine then head just out of town to the Parke National Trust site or Haytor for a great walk and a blast of fresh air with a view of Dartmoor and the coast on a clear day. Take a look at my post from last summer here.
Exeter’s Underground Passages
For a fascinating underground view of the city, Exeter’s Underground Passages worth a visit. They might not suit anyone who is really claustraphobic – they are descibed as narrow, dark, interesting and exciting. The passages will be running special Easter egg hunts every day throughout the Easter school holidays, Saturday 31 March – Sunday 15 April 2018.
Have a great Easter Break
I hope you find something fun and different to do here over Easter whether you are local or visiting the area on holiday. As usual all the major tourist attractions have special events and activities planned. I also will add other local events as I find them to the Events page.
Why not also have a browse through my archives and find a walk or local place that you have not been to before. Thank you for following Flip flops or Wellies, and don’t forget to tell your friends and family about my blog!