Picture this. It’s the middle of the summer. You’ve got the day free, or maybe you’re even on a long-awaited North Devon getaway. You’re bored out of your mind, or perhaps you’ve got kids too and they’re starting to moan. You look outside, and… it’s raining.
Day ruined, right? Wrong!
North Devon may be known for the beaches and the views and the breath of fresh country air. But it’s also pretty notorious for its unpredictable weather. We’re still in the UK, after all. And everybody knows that it always rains when you least want it to.
Luckily, this is still a pretty great part of the country, even when it’s chucking it down. It’s not all about the beach, so if the weather isn’t playing ball, and you’re wondering what to do in North Devon in the rain, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll let you in on all our best activity ideas.
Quince Honey Farm
You don’t need to go to the beach or take a long old country walk to get back to nature. Quince Honey Farm is based in South Molton and, as the name suggests, it’s a working honey farm, celebrating all things bees and why they’re at the heart of, well, everything.
This is a great day out, suitable for all ages and perfect for families. Activities include guided tours and soft play for the littler people. If you don’t mind the rain too much, you can walk through some really beautiful gardens, or even try your hand at beekeeping.
Exmoor Zoo is the place to be if you feel like meeting some bigger creatures. Both educational and fun, you can learn about critters of all shapes and sizes, from amphibians and arthropods to birds and reptiles and bigger mammals. In fact, it’s home to the ‘Exmoor Beast’ – AKA, the only black leopard in the UK, and potentially the creature that roams around Exmoor, according to local legend.
There are a ton of awesome experiences to be had here, and importantly, Exmoor Zoo is passionate about conservation. Visiting them is a great way to learn a bit more about this.
Ilfracombe Harbour is hands down one of the best places in North Devon. It’s brimming with quirky little shops and small businesses, as well as restaurants and cafes and pubs to cheer you up with a tasty bite on a rainy day. It’s got great views, and these won’t be marred by the bad weather – in fact, the rain adds a little bit of dramatic flair to it all, especially to Damien Hirst’s dramatic sculpture of Verity.
If you do want to stay inside though, there are art galleries and museums, and Ilfracombe Aquarium. This is closed until mid-July for refurbishments, but definitely keep it in mind for later in the year.
Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park
Another attraction not to miss for animal lovers, the Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park is home to a wide variety of really amazing animals, including lions, leopards, wolves, and even penguins. It also has an awesome range of unique experiences – swimming with sea lions and lion feeds to name a couple.
But this park comes with a special twist; it’s home to prehistoric creatures too!
The park is dotted with over 19 animatronic and static dinosaur models, as well as a life sized model of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. That’s something you don’t see every day.
Currently, the park needs your help in order to survive and save its animals, so now is a great time to visit, and donate if you can spare anything.
Bad weather doesn’t have to mean you need to stop moving. Air Extreme is in Barnstaple, and it’s a trampoline park that allows you to, literally, jump off the walls.
A vibrant space full of interconnected trampolines, there are activities and jump sessions to suit everyone, whatever their age or bounce-ability. That gives you the choice between a relaxed bounce or even a fairly athletic workout. There are also different games and challenges you can take part in to really flex those skills.
Keypitts Off Road Adventures
And of course, there’s always us! We at Keypitts specialise in awesome adventures. If you’ve not visited us quite yet, we are an activity centre out near Ilfracombe. We’re outdoors, but we’re not deterred by the rain. In fact, we’re big believers in the wetter, the better!
We offer a range of unique and hard-to-come-by adventures, like quad biking, a 4×4 Land Rover experience, and axe throwing. We have the perfect site for it too; 200 acres of different landscape, covering woodlands, tracks, trails, open fields and more.
Quad biking is our specialty, and it’s something fun that the whole family can enjoy. Whatever your age or ability, we’ve got a track for you, and our talented instructors will make sure you ace it. Quad biking is one of those things that doesn’t rely on warm weather. You’re going to get muddy anyway, so as long as you’ve got your wellies, you’ll be fine – the rain can actually make it all a lot more fun!
So if you’re unphased by the mud, or whether you’d prefer to stay inside, don’t let the rain ruin your day. There are plenty of all-weather attractions on offer in North Devon. And if the former applies to you, we’ll look forward to seeing you at Keypitts soon!