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Wildwood Escot Family Day Out Devon

Wildwood Escot Family Day Out Devon

Wildwood Escot

I have been taking our girls to Escot ever since they were little and it is a lovely place for a family day out in Devon. We’ve seen it change and develop over the years and it’s great when a local attraction keeps investing and improving. Now known as Wildwood Escot, the park has distinguished itself from the gorgeous house that you see when you drive in and has lots to offer.

Wildlife, Woodlands and Gardens

Wildwood Escot is one of those places that encourages outdoor fun and learning without you or the children realising it – there’s a bit of everything – space to run and climb, interesting animals including the famous red squirrels (not your usual petting selection – oh no!), birds of prey, a huge maze, gardens and even an Anglo Saxon village.

Our girls have also been there on a school residential where they got to build their own shelters, learnt to make a fire as well as take the swamp walk challenge!  To say they needed a bath when they came home would be an understatement!  So I was delighted when we were invited to go back again for a day this half term and share with you what it’s all about.

Wildwood Escot Family Day Out Devon Otter feeding time

Feeding Time for the Otters is Fun to Watch

Wildwood Escot Family Day Out Devon
Wildwood Escot Family Day Out Devon Lynx
Wildwood Escot Family Day Out Devon red squirrel walk sculpture
Wildwood Escot Family Day Out Devon

So this half term we were invited along to Escot to see what’s new. I was especially looking forward to seeing the Lynx and the red squirrels which are so cute and rare to see.

The outdoor team at Escot offer forest school and nature and activities throughout the year for children and also run day and overnight courses for schools, Scout groups and the like.

Wildwood Escot Family Day Out Devon Vikings sign

Being half term there are events running all week as well. So we made sure we were on time for the 11am Otter feeding which was fun to watch and then we dashed off for the welly walk. There’s lots of space in the wetlands area with boardwalks and ponds to explore. We spent a happy time with forest schools expert Ali who tailored the walk to the interests of the children which was perfect.

Wildwood Escot Family Day Out Devon stocks

“The park has wheelchair and buggy friendly paths throughout so it’s perfect for all the family”

Wildwood Escot Family Day Out Devon outdoor fun

After making clay creatures and building mini shelters for them, the children learnt how to light a fire. It never quite made it to roaring though, so after an hour with cold toes and fingers we headed back to the Saxon Village where there was a proper fire to warm up next to inside one of the “houses”.  The Saxon Village is fun and interesting for the children to see what life would have been like, even if they don’t really appreciate the concept of growing all your own food. They enjoyed posing for photos in the stocks and playing King and Queen.

Click on the picture above to see my video of our day.

Wildwood Escot Family Day Out Devon tree climbing

A Great Day Wildwood Escot Family Day Out Devon

You can see from my little video that we had fun. After a snack we headed off into the woods. We saw the lynx lying asleep at the top of it’s fallen tree branch  – sadly not close enough for a decent picture, and watched the wild boar snuffling around in the mud. Then the kids persuaded me to go down the drop slide  – I am trying to keep young at heart although it felt like I’d left my coffee somewhere halfway down the slide!

Next stop was the pirate ship and adventure playground and some great low level tree climbing in the rhododendrons – they will be in bloom soon and will look stunning.

 

Wildwood Escot Family Day Out Devon red squirrel

Red Squirrel Enclosure

Now catching sight of these is all about timing so check when you arrive when they will be most active. They’d not long since had lunch when we went through their special enclosure and so were having a little afternoon nap! We did spot one and they really are beautiful.

 

Overall we had a lovely day despite the cold weather. In the warmer months you could spend a day happily letting the children run around exploring while you find a spot for a picnic.  There are also other footpaths and places to walk outside the main park if you want to extend your stay. 

Escot is definitely a great spot for getting close to nature and somewhere where kids can make their own fun. There is an indoor play area for the little ones if you need a bit of controlled play and a lovely cafe which we did not use on this occasion but I have enjoyed a hot chocolate from there on a previous visit.

The activities are laid on throughout the school holidays so check out their website for details. 

UPDATE SINCE OUR VISIT

Wolves have been introduced as part of the rewilding projects being carried out by Wildwood Escot. They are now open for the public to see – we can’t wait to go and see them.  Check out the Wildwood Escot website for a video of the wolves and some fantastic photos.

Where is Wildwood Escot?

Escot is half way between Honiton and Exeter just off the old A30 near Ottery St Mary. Post code EX11 1LU

Disclaimer: on this occasion we were guests of Wildwood Escot  – this is a true account of our day.

Inspired to have more days out like this ? Have a look at the Deer Rescue Centre near Crewkerne for another chance to get up close to British wildlife.

FLIP FLOPS OR WELLIES

Most of the park is accessible for everyone on paths and tracks so trainers (or even Flip Flops) would be fine.  There are also paths suitable for wheel chairs and buggys. We headed “off road” and and the girls joined in the Welly Walk in the wetlands so they were glad of their boots!

About The Author

mm

Whether you are on holiday, recently moved to the region or like me live here and realise that there are great places a just few miles away that seem to have passed you by, then I hope you enjoy reading this.

10 Comments

  1. Arabella

    Sounds like you had a great day.

    We’ve not been to Escot for a year or so – you’ve definitely moved it to the top of the most do list.

    Reply
    • mm

      We are looking forward to going back to see the wolves – they will be a great attraction I am sure.

      Reply
  2. Fiona Cambouropoulos

    I’m sure I have seen this signed off the A30 before. It looks amazing combining all the best of learning made fun for kids. The Saxon village would really appeal to me and my kids would lo the animals there. I can see why you were keen to return. This is a perfect family day out. The clay nature faces is something we haven’t done for a long time here on the farm. I’ll have to see if my tub of clay is still ok and put this back on the to do list with the families here for spring.

    Thank you for sharing a great place with me on #CountryKids

    Reply
  3. Stephanie

    Looks like a great place to explore, love the animals there too!

    Reply
  4. Sonia Cave

    We love watching otters and get slightly mesmerised by them! It looks like a really good place for families to have fun #countrykidsfun

    Reply
  5. Sonia

    Looks like great fun 🙂 Nice photos.
    Coming over from #CountryKids 🙂

    Reply
  6. Heidi @him_me_three

    Looks like a great place to visit with the family #countrykids

    Reply
  7. Lauren M

    Looks like such a fun place, spoilt for choice of things to do and see. I particularly love red squirrels and otters so think we’d love it here! #Countrykids

    Reply
  8. Karen (Stopping At Two)

    I have never heard of this place but will have to have a look into visiting when we head down to Cornwall this year. I would love to see the lynx – I love wild cats but they are usually asleep whenever you see them in captivity.
    #countrykids

    Reply

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About Clare

Clare Flipflops or WelliesHi! I am Clare and I live in glorious East Devon with my family. I love finding new places to explore in the West Country as well as further afield. I hope you enjoy reading and taking inspiration from my blog.

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