Fun Family Days to Beat those January Blues!
Published: Monday 20th Jan 2020
Written by: Will Keen
January - it's that cold month at the start of the year where everyone hides inside wrapped up warm with a nice hot drink, though it's easy to get caught in the January Blues. Luckily it's also a great time to think of the year ahead and set those New Year's Resolutions, and what could be better than booking a fantastic family holiday right here in South Devon!
Of course, booking a holiday that's just right for you can be a challenge, but we've done our best to help make that easy, from our friendly local team to our fabulous website packed with ideas and holiday themes to get those gears turning. Known for its warm mediterranean climate, miles of long sandy beaches and a whole host of spectacular attractions, we think a holiday cottage in South Devon is just the ticket for making memories with loved ones this year. Our Reservations Manager, Will, has put together some of his favourite family days out - why not take a look!
Pick a Day of All-Weather Adventure Fun at Woodlands!
With amazing water slides, rides to take your breath away and an indoor play area that's second to none, it's easy to see why everyone from the youngest traveller to the biggest kid of the lot enjoy a day out at Woodlands. Come rain or shine, this family friendly theme park sits just a 15 minute drive from the centre of Dartmouth, and guarantees fun whatever the weather.
I spent some great days out at Woodlands when I was younger with my friends - everyone was jealous of that kid at school who's party was at Woodlands! And when I told my partner Keeley about it, she had to see what all the fuss was about (we were both in our early twenties at the time but still had an amazing day out!) We loved the food there too, and there's a great selection around, especially if you're looking for a junk food treat like I always am, but plenty of people took food with them as there are picnic areas dotted around the park too - just make sure you've got some spare change for ice cream at the end of the day!
Have a Really Wild Day Out at Paignton Zoo!
Probably one of Devon's best days out in my opinion, a trip to Paignton Zoo isn't just something to do once - when you've been for the first time you'll be desperate to head back before you know it! From grand giraffes standing tall overhead to the tiniest butterflies and birds flying straight past you, a day out here is sure to please the whole family. Again, Keeley and I went back just last summer and it took me right back to my childhood - we even took a ride on the Jungle Express train and saw everything from apes to lions right before our eyes!
When you need to rest those weary feet after a morning exploring, why not grab some lunch in the Island Restaurant, or grab a coffee from the Lakeside cabin whilst the kids enjoy the indoor or outdoor play areas - from climbing equipment to assault courses and even soft play areas - you can put your feet up and watch them as the fun continues. Then it's off for a visit to the Winged Wonders bird show before exploring the nature trail and getting up close and personal with more creatures great and small.
Thrill Seekers - Explore New Heights at Go Ape!
This one will require a few things: a short car journey, an appetite for adventure, and if you're anything like me then possibly a clean change of underwear for the journey home! Go Ape is an amazing adventure through the treetops of Haldon forest just outside Exeter, with forest walks across aerial platforms, climbs through the treetops, and a high rope adventure that will be sure to fill you with adrenaline as well as provide thrill seekers with something they won't be able to stop talking about for the entire journey home!
It's a great way to explore the landscape of Dartmoor in a unique way - some people will love long walks across the moors, but for guaranteed family fun this is a sure fire way to keep everyone happy! For those of you not quite so in to your heights and swinging through treetops, Go Ape is also very popular with walking groups, and perfect for enjoying a mountain bike adventure too.
Take a Trio of Treats with the Round Robin Trip!
The Round Robin brings back fond memories for me as a highlight of any summer, and no matter what part of South Devon you're going to choose for your 2020 holiday you're guaranteed to have an amazing time. I always like to start the trip in the centre of Paignton where you hop aboard a real steam train - taking in the smell of the engine sets your mind back to times when these beautiful trains could be found all over the UK! Once you're all aboard, you'll be taken on a journey through Paignton, past Greenway Holt (the home of South Devon legend Agatha Christie) and along the river Dart with mesmerising views over the water, before landing in Kingswear.
From here it's a quick hop onto the passenger ferry which takes you over to Dartmouth, where you'll be free to explore this historic town for a few hours, whether you fancy exploring the charming museum, grabbing a bite to eat at Platform 1 or even just digging into a piping hot serving of locally-sourced fish and chips from Rockfish. We always used to bring along a bucket and line, or pick one up locally if we'd forgotten, and go crabbing in the water - there's no better feeling of excitement when you lift a crab out of the sea and set it into your bucket (though if you're anything like me, you're a little wary of its claws!)
Once you've enjoyed some time in Dartmouth, it's time to hop aboard the river cruise and take a trip down the Dart, checking out some stunning scenery whilst checking out the wildlife too - see if you can spot the seals! And when you come to the end of your cruise in Totnes, you'll be treated to a scenic open-top bus ride through the country lanes and back to the start of your journey. It's a great way to catch some of my favourite sights in the area, but there's also plenty of variety meaning everyone will take home a unique memory.
Build a Fortress of Memories at one of our Fabulous Beaches
No holiday by the coast is truly complete without a day spent on the beach, and we've got award-winning sandy shores galore here. From the iconic red sand of Shaldon and Teignmouth, down the coast to Meadfoot Beach's pebble ridges, the hidden coves along the South West Coastal Path, and ending up all the way down at South Sands in Salcombe, I might be biassed, but I think we've got some beautiful beaches that are hard to beat.
Our sandy shores all have a few things in common. Firstly there's the easy one: you're guaranteed fun in our award-winning seas, with some of the cleanest beaches and water around. Secondly: you're almost guaranteed to be within a minute's walk of somewhere for a delicious bite to eat, whether it's a fresh crab sandwich or a delicious pub meal. And last but certainly not least, there's the ice cream vans, with delicious dairy ices - Keeley and I love Salcombe Dairy Ice Cream which is available all over South Devon. Ice cream not your thing? I recommend hot fresh doughnuts as a great alternative - a true taste of the seaside!