Easter Holidays Days Out in East Devon, Dorset and Somerset
Spring is my favourite time if year. Longer days, warmer weather and plenty of Easter days out in Devon, Dorset and Somerset. With attractions fully open there’s loads of choice, combine it with country walks, an ice cream on the beach, a local play park and of course Easter Eggs.
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. Offering 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.
Family Explorer Day at Trinity Hill
– Explore the site, find out about the wildlife that lives there and get creative with Wild East Devon’s Education Ranger for an afternoon of outdoor fun. £5.00 per family.
Exe Estuary Mud Walk
Join Wild East Devon Rangers Will and Izzi to discover what is living in the mud of the Exe Estuary. Dig for worms, search for crabs and shells and fish for shrimps.
£3.00 per adult. £3.00 per child.
Follow the link for details of these activities plus more and to book events – East Devon Countryside Events.
Family Fun – –
Join the education rangers Penny and Meg for a morning of Easter and springtime themed crafts and activities. £4 per child (under 4s free)
Seaton Wetlands is a lovely place to explore. There are accessible trails around the reserve, there are more details here about Seaton Wetlands.
National Trust Easter Egg Trails – Blow away the Cobwebs!
One of our favourites is Stonebarrow Hill, on the Golden Cap estate, 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 3 days 10th – 13th April. Turn up anytime between 11am – 3pm. Costs £2.50 (take cash). 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. Easter Egg hunts are running from 4th -19th April between 11am and 3pm
On the Devon ~ Somerset border you can hunt for clues and enjoy the views from Wellington Monument. Running 12th and 13th April between 11am and 1.30pm. £2.50 per child (cash only). There are no facilities. TA21 9PB
Other trail options at NT properties include Max’s Gate, Hardy’s Cottage and Kingston Lacy in Dorset. In Devon try Killerton near Exeter and Knightshayes near Tiverton for great days out with lovely grounds. Trails are also being held at the unique A La Ronde in Exmouth.
Barrington Court – Another winning place to spend some time this Easter. There’s a familiy friendly spring bingo trail around the grounds, a willow workshop on 7th April and an Easter egg trail 10th – 13th April . 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 Fyne Court or one of our favourites, 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.
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. Holiday activities include Saxon crafts and an Easter trail.
With wolves, red squirrels, lynx, wild boar, lots of outdoor space for imaginative play and a very confusing beech maze, this is a fun day outdoors. There is also an indoor toddler play area 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. 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 and an excellent café.
The Easter Nature Trail will lead you around the Donkey Sanctuary whilst meeting some of the lovable resident donkeys. Entrance is free, the trail costs £3.50 per trail, including the prize and certificate on completion. Choose between palm oil free mini chocolate eggs in a biodegradable and compostable bag or seeds to help you create your own wild flower meadow at home. 28th March – 19th April.
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 Mary Poppins trail this Easter as you explore the grounds.
10th – 13th April. Normal admission charges apply (£12.50 adults and £5 children for the gardens).
Yeovil Railway Centre
Steam train days and Easter Egg hunt on 12th and 13th April. Entrance includes a steam train ride, passengers travel in historic brake van vehicles or coach. Entrance includes unlimited miniature railway rides.
At Yeovil Junction Station – more details here.
Powderham Castle, Exeter
Lyme Regis – Easter Sunday
Big Duck Race. Follow the Town Crier through Lyme Regis to the start of the race and support the local Woodroffe School. Race starts at noon, tickets on sale from 10am.
Easter Bonnet Parade. Take part in the Easter bonnet parade on Easter Sunday or just enjoy watching as it heads through town and along the sea front. The parade will be lead by the Mayor at 3pm with judging at 2pm at the Baptist Church.
Indoor or Rainy Days Out
Seaton Jurassic is interesting and interactive. Over Easter your children love Lego then this is the one for you. Seaton Jurassic are hosting Lego workshops on the 6th April, each 1 hour slot is £5, you will learn how to create dinosaurs or a Jurassic garden. Booking is essential.
If you are planning a day out in Seaton, children can enjoy the 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. Explore the range of lovely independent shops, try craft sessions and stroll the seafront esplanade for an easy walk. There are more details about Seaton on the my guide to the town.
In Dorchester enjoy 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.
Also throughout the Easter school holidays, 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, or make a bunny mask. £1 charge for each activity. (tbc)
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!
Beer Quarry Caves
Fascinating to visit, guides will take you on an hour long tour through the vast man-made complex of underground caverns with their mighty halls of vaulted roofs and pillars. Beer stone is in many prestigious buildings, including Exeter, Winchester, St.Paul’s and Norwich Catholic Cathedrals, Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London
See for yourself the methods used to quarry and deliver the huge blocks of stone, the working conditions, the hardships endured and the dangers faced daily by the work-force using only the light from a flickering tallow candle and you may never again see a famous building with the same eyes. Open for the season from 6th April.
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 the free Easter Egg Hunt. Open on Good Friday, Saturday and Easter Monday.
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 Dartmoor post from 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 claustrophobic – they are described as narrow, dark, interesting and exciting. The passages will be running special Easter egg hunts every day throughout the Easter school holidays.
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.
Why not also have a browse through my archives and find a walk or local place that you have not been to before. If you enjoy the outdoors take a look at my recent post on rock pooling in Devon and Dorset.
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