There are so many options for days out in Devon at this time of year, it can get a bit overwhelming. Whether you’re new to the area on holiday or – like us – live here, the sheer amount of options for fun family days out in Devon can make choosing just one place to visit seem like a daunting task.
Aside from the obvious beaches, cute towns and stunning rugged moorland, there are also plenty of destination places set up for family days out – parks, gardens, farms, amusement parks etc – and it’s these types of places I’ve been reviewing in my Days Out in Devon series (check out our previous trips to Bicton Park Gardens, Wildwood Escot and River Dart Country Park to see more). Pennywell Farm is next up on our list and, for the sake of honesty, I’ll tell you now – it’s already been a firm a favourite with us since we moved here back in 2013.
My first trip to Pennywell was a couple of months after we moved to Devon, when Frog was a tiny three years old. We immediately loved it, because it seemed to have everything you needed for a day out with young kids – animals, trampolines, a toddler play area and bouncy castles, not to mention the child-friendly cafe. Since then we’ve visited a few times, including at Christmas for the farm’s famous interactive nativity play featuring real animals (this gets booked up aaages in advance!).
Our last trip to Pennywell was when Baby Girl was a baby, so it was really interesting to see what she made of the place as a toddler. She’s very different to Frog at this age, more fearless and less focused, so seeing her take on the place was a good indication of the appeal of Pennywell – i.e. is there enough there to keep all sorts of kids involved and entertained?
The answer is a resounding yes. From the minute we arrived, Baby Girl’s head was on a swivel stick, running around to look at all the different animals, play equipment and activities. She was like a pinball, bouncing from one thing to the next in a state of increased excitement.
The great thing about Pennywell is that it’s so hands on. You can buy food to feed the animals, for example, can help milk the goats, bottlefeed the baby animals and cuddle them. The staff are all really friendly (in fact, the farm’s tagline is “Devon’s friendliest day out”) and this definitely adds to the atmosphere of the place. There’s a huge board packed with a timetable of the day’s activities that you can opt in or out of, so there’s no time to get bored. Not that you would anyway, what with the indoor play barn, rocket racer tractor, tractor rides, pony rides, mini train etc etc.
It’s worth checking out the website before you go, to see if there’s a special themed day taking place because this can really affect how busy it gets. We didn’t do this and ended up visiting on “Dino Day”, a day full of dinosaur themed activities some of which even included a very realistic interactive dinosaur! It was really busy, but luckily Pennywell is big enough to cater for the crowds, so although it was hectic it didn’t feel overwhelming.
There’s a great cafe serving tasty food which we’ve eaten in before, but this time we opted for a picnic as the sun was shining. There are lots of grassy areas and picnic tables to enjoy a picnic of your own – including a covered seating area near the cafe if you don’t fancy sitting under the sky.
After a typically chaotic family picnic we threw ourselves into various activities, including the train ride, cuddling the teeny tiny piglets, a play in the indoor barn, a dinosaur treasure hunt, tractor ride and plenty of trampoline action.
After a few weeks of horrendous bedtimes (see my video on toddler sleep regression to find out more about that), bedtime that night was smooth sailing, proving that a day at Pennywell is the answer to pretty much all parenting woes of the sleep variety. I kid you not.
Seriously though, if you’re looking for a fun day out in Devon jam-packed with activities and things to see and do with young kids, then Pennywell Farm needs to be on your list. It’s a Devon institution and multiple winner of various tourism awards for a reason.
You can see a behind-the-scenes view of our day in my latest YouTube video here:
Thanks to Visit South Devon and Devon’s Top Attractions for working with us on this series of posts. Next up: Becky Falls.
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If you missed the others in the series, you can read more here:
Days Out in Devon: Bicton Botanical Gardens
Days Out in Devon: Wildwood Escot
Days Out in Devon: River Dart Country Park
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Claire at Tin Box Traveller says
We had a fab day at Pennywell at Easter. The animals are super cute. Dino Day sounds like an added bonus!
It’s such a great spot isn’t it?
Oh gosh, I remember going to Pennywell when I was little! It’s changed a fair bit since then though obviously! Such a fun family day out and one to remember next time we’re in the South West xx
Definitely do visit if you get a chance – there’s so much going on there and it’s loads of fun!
Bridie By The Sea says
This looks like such a lovely day out – we love a good farm and the dinosaur would have my little one in a frenzy!! Xx
Mine were very excited by it too!
Michelle Twin Mum says
Ohh I saw your vlog about this last week. My girls would be all over that trampoline. Play farms are such fun. Mich x
I would quite like to work in one!
Cathy (MummyTravels) says
I love Devon – we’ve had a few holidays there and hoping to get back later this year so will have to remember Pennywell farm. My daugher adores animals (and dinosaurs are a definite bonus)
Definitely check it out if you’re in the area – it’s such a great day out!
This looks like a lovely day out, I’m sure my boys would enjoy going there on a dino day too!
It’s honestly so much fun x
Sam | North East Family Fun Travel Blog says
You can’t beat a day out at the farm – love the extras this one has like the little tykes cars and dinosaurs. My three would love it x
There are so many fun things to do – it’s a great day out!
This looks like such a great day out and clearly offers so much more than being ‘just’ a farm x
It definitely does. It’s great at Christmas too because they do an interactive nativity with real animals. Gets sold out really early though!
We’ll be in Devon this summer will have to check it out.
You won’t regret it – it’s lovely there!
Kate | Lesbemums says
We’ve been to Devon so many times but I can’t remember visiting here so it’s definitely at the top of our list of places to go next time!
It’s such a lovely spot – great for kids!
Farm parks are SO much fun, for all the family! I’m nearly 29 and a farm park is still one of my favourite places to go. This one looks fab! xo
Same here! x
SARAH - Arthurwears says
Looks fab – we used to go to cornwall for our holidays when I was little but never been to Devon. It’s quite far for us to go now that I live up north!
It’s a really lovely holiday destination once you arrive! x