Rainy day fun in North Devon
A bit of rain doesn't have to spoil your family's fun this summer. There's lots to do outdoors in North Devon, from sheltered woodland walks to tractor trailer rides along the coast. So why not put on your wellies and raincoat and get exploring?
Wellies and ice cream
If the weather's a bit wild on the beach, why not head to the sheltered woodlands at Heddon Valley, Brownsham and Watersmeet and get the family exploring with a nature trail? Dry out and have a bite to eat afterwards in one of our cosy tea rooms or our traditional country inn - ice cream optional.
Heddon Valley family butterfly trail
26 July - 1 September, any time between 10.30am and 3.30pm. Trails £1 from the National Trust shop
Heddon Valley is home to hundreds of beautiful butterflies, attracting some of the rarest species in Britain. In celebration of these unique residents we have created a fun family trail through the valley, with butterfly clues to find along the way. You might even spot some of the real things! A great lunchtime stop for a tasty burger or some local ice cream is Hunter's Inn, a friendly country inn just a one minute walk from the National Trust shop.
Brownsham family nature trail
26 July – 1 September, any time. Pick up your free trail from the car park (EX39 6AN)
Can you find the animal clues hidden in the woods? This gentle self-led nature trail starts from the car park at Brownsham, near Hartland Point, and winds through the beautiful woodland. Reward yourself with a coffee and homemade cake at NT tenant-run Lower Brownsham Farm tea room, just a short stroll from the car park.
Watersmeet - Ash Bridge circular walk
An easy circular walk suitable for all the family. The trail meanders along the banks of the East Lyn River from Watersmeet House through beautiful woodlands. Bluebells abound in the spring and deer may be seen at any time of year. Look out for elusive otters in the river and for herons on low-hanging branches over the water. When you get back to Watersmeet, the famous tea gardens are a perfect place to sit by the river with a delicious Watersmeet cream tea (some inside seating available).
More details about this walk can be found here.
If you're going to get wet anyway...
North Devon offers some of the best surf spots in the country, including some great beaches for children keen to try it out for the first time.
There’s a good reason Woolacombe was voted Britain’s best beach in 2015 and 2016, as this 3 mile long stretch of sand offers great surfing for beginners through to experts. If you and your family are new to surfing you’ll find an array of surf schools ready to get you all up and riding your first wave.
The National Trust have family events running throughout the year so keep an eye on the website or pop into the Woolacombe Tourist Information Centre for more details and to book.
All-weather tractor trailer rides
Every Tuesday 16 July - 27 August (Bull Point) and every Wednesday 17 July - 28 August, departures between 10.30am and 2.45pm
Explore the North Devon Coast the easy way on our all weather trailer out at Mortehoe. Enjoy a trip down to Bull Point lighthouse or Morte Point with a local guide and hear more about the wildlife and wrecking history of this now tranquil and breathtaking coastline. Call Mortehoe Museum 01271 870028 or Woolacombe Tourist Information Centre 01271 870553 for times and booking.