It’s easy to see why so many flock to Devon, thanks to its mixture of beautiful beaches, rugged moors, and charming countryside. Devon is also home to some wonderful attractions, entertaining visitors from all over the country. But how accessible are Devon’s top attractions? Are they suitable for wheelchair users and those who use stairlifts? We have done the research and ranked 10 of Devon’s most popular attractions to see which locations come out on top.
Read on to discover the results and become introduced to these fantastic Devon attractions.
Located on the outskirts of Exeter, Crealy Theme Park is the largest theme park in the southwest of England, home to over 60 rides, attractions, and live shows. It’s a beloved family day out, allowing kids to let loose and enjoy the thrills of roller coasters, log flumes, bumper cars and much more. For grandparents looking to treat their grandchildren to a day out in Devon, it’s the ideal choice, and you can even visit Crealy for a longer holiday thanks to its glamping, lodges, and camping accommodation options.
Speaking about the best times to visit Crealy, Claire from the blog Devon with Kids shared with us: “The school holidays are always a brilliant time to visit Crealy as extra entertainment is included in the ticket price. We particularly love visiting at Easter and Halloween when there are seasonal activities and decorations. Sooty Land is also great fun for parents and young children. Definitely make sure you see one of the live shows in the Big Top.”
Crealy Theme Park is the most accessible of Devon’s top attractions, receiving a near-perfect accessibility score from our study. The park has been designed for guests with disabilities and states that all its rides and indoor areas are wheelchair accessible. They ticked all the boxes of our study and can offer accessible toilets, full wheelchair access, disabled parking, carer tickets, and provide wheelchairs to hire.
Learn more about Crealy Theme Park's accessibility.
You can also learn more about Crealy and the accessibility of every UK theme park in our study.
Pennywell Farm is one of Devon’s top attractions, just outside Buckfastleigh in South Devon. Boasting views of Dartmoor National Park, this award-winning farm attraction is a big favourite with families, offering a wide array of animal activities. From deer feeding and ferret racing to miniature pig cuddles and pony pampering, there are plenty of ways to interact with Pennywell’s animals, plus there are four farm rides to enjoy and plenty of options when it comes to drinks and snacks.
Terri, from the family, life, and travel blog The Strawberry Fountain, has visited Pennywell Farm and spoke to us about her opinions on the attraction: “I would highly recommend visiting Pennywell Farm. It is an incredible attraction with something for the whole family to enjoy, from animal feeding experiences to watching pigs races and play areas for all ages to tractor rides across the fields; it really is a great day out.”
When it comes to accessibility at Pennywell Farm, the attraction is one of Devon’s best wheelchair-accessible attractions. Visitors can access all parts of the attractions, find step-free access at the entrance, and there is also disabled parking, accessible toilets, and reduced carer tickets available. The only area where it lets itself down is the lack of wheelchairs to hire.
Learn more about Pennywell Farm’s accessibility.
Located in Torrington in North Devon, Rosemoor is one of very few RHS gardens in the country and is a beautiful place to explore. Whether you are looking for some garden inspiration or just somewhere pretty to enjoy a bit of nature, Rosemoor is the ideal option. Featuring a collection of varied gardens, peaceful walking trails, and some play areas for the kids, it’s easy to see why it's one of Devon’s top attractions. There is also a fantastic café, and during the summer, there are lots of grassy areas to sit out and have a snack or two while admiring the surroundings.
Rosemoor is one of the most accessible of Devon’s top attractions. When you arrive, you will find plenty of on-site disabled parking, smooth access paths, and while the grounds feature some steps, all are avoidable with ramps or alternative routes. There is some limited accessibility in the woodland walks available, but apart from this, those with disabilities will be able to enjoy a lovely time at Rosemoor.
Learn more about Rosemoor’s accessibility.
When it comes to family fun in Devon, The Milky Way Adventure Park is a must-visit. Delighting families with kids for decades, this fun attraction has everything you need to keep the little ones entertained, even on a rainy day. With indoor play areas, interactive experiences, a games arena, dodgems, slides, rides, mini-golf, birds of prey centre, laser shooting and more, there’s a little something for everyone. If you are looking for an all-encompassing family attraction, The Milky Way Adventure Park ticks all the boxes.
Claire, from the family travel blog, Tin Box Traveller, has enjoyed visiting The Milky Way with her children and shared these thoughts with us about the attraction: “We've visited the Milky Way a few times and have always found plenty to do as our kids have grown up. The birds of prey, roller coasters and huge indoor play areas are always a hit. And with so much undercover, it's perfect for entertaining your family on rainy days.”
The Milky Way is situated all on one level, helping it to be one of the best wheelchair-friendly attractions in Devon and perform well in this study. While some areas are more accessible than others, work has been put in over recent years to improve its accessibility further, and the attraction is able to offer accessible toilets, disabled parking, and provide wheelchairs for those who would like to borrow one during their visit.
Learn more about The Milky Way’s accessibility.
Home to over 2000 animals, Paignton Zoo is one of the premier zoos in the southwest of England and one of Devon’s must-visit attractions. Spread across 80 acres of land, visitors of all ages will find plenty to keep them entertained. With a big emphasis on wildlife conservation as well as exciting their visitors, Paignton Zoo boasts all the animals you could expect to find in a top-tier zoo – such as lions, rhinos, giraffes, and monkeys - as well as outdoor play areas, nature trails, and botanical gardens.
Laura, from the family travel blog Five Little Doves, has enjoyed visiting Paignton Zoo with her family and shares this recommendation for visitors: “The zoo spans across a massive 80 acres, and for that reason, I would recommend that you plan your day according to the map, so you aren’t walking back and forth from one end to the other like we did! Thankfully there are lots of places to stop along the way, including the Island restaurant, ice cream kiosks, and play areas.”
Paignton Zoo is one of the most accessible top attractions in Devon, offering all the basic facilities a disabled visitor might expect. While general accessibility is good, there are some steep hills to contend with and not all paths are easy to navigate independently in a wheelchair. Wheelchair access is available at the majority of the zoo’s exhibits; however, universal access isn’t available.
Learn more about Paignton Zoo’s accessibility.
Powderham Castle is a top Devon attraction located about six miles south of Exeter. The castle is a fortified manor house within the parish and former manor of Powderham. This sprawling castle really looks the part with its 14th-century towers and 19th-century gatehouse, evoking the imagination of young and old alike. There’s a lot of history at Powderham Castle, including a role in the War of the Roses. Today visitors can enjoy exploring this Grade I-listed building and Grade II-listed gardens, with castle tours, jousting, and a play area.
Visitors with limited mobility will find much to enjoy at Powderham Castle. The ground floor of the castle is wheelchair accessible, as is the walled garden play area, pets’ corner, and café. There are some slopes to contend with, but Powderham offers an all-terrain tramper vehicle to help those with limited mobility explore the grounds. Powderham Castle also offers all the basic accessibility facilities, such as accessible toilets and on-site disabled parking.
Learn more about Powderham Castle’s accessibility.
When it comes to iconic Devon attractions, The Big Sheep is up there with the best of them. This beloved family-friendly activity park combines cute farm life and outdoor activities with a fun indoor play zone. A popular destination for children’s birthday parties and family days out, there is fun to be had in all weather, including sheep racing, lamb feeding, exciting rides, and Devon’s largest indoor playground.
Clare, from the exploration blog Flip Flops or Wellies, is from Devon and has visited the Big Sheep with her family. She spoke to us about her thoughts on this lovely attraction: “My children love visiting the Big Sheep. They enjoy the rides but especially like the indoor farm area and being able to cuddle the goats and lambs! We would definitely recommend it as there is a good mix of indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy.”
While not every area of The Big Sheep is wheelchair accessible, the attraction is generally accessible, performing well in our study, providing carer tickets, accessible toilets, on-site disabled parking, and wheelchair hire. While its farm park nature and heritage mean some areas are more accessible than others, there’s plenty to enjoy for people with all levels of mobility.
Learn more about The Big Sheep’s accessibility.
Dartmouth’s Coleton Fishacre is one of Devon’s best National Trust properties, being a 1920s country retreat boasting spectacular gardens and interesting design. The house is presented in the Arts and Crafts style, taking visitors back in time to the Jazz Age. Decorated with Art Deco stylings, there’s lots to admire about the property, and visitors will enjoy all of its little eccentricities. For an insight into 1920s life and wonderful sea views from the 28 acres of gardens, Coleton Fishacre is a must and one of Devon’s most relaxing and interesting attractions.
Michelle from the inspirational blog Fifty and Fab has been to Coleton Fishacre and described her love for the attraction when speaking to us: “Coleton Fishacre is my favourite National Trust property to visit, the house feels like a welcoming family home with a beautifully maintained Art Deco interior, but it is the gardens and the amazing view that keep me going back.
“The variety of trees and plants, the winding paths and interesting nooks and crannies to explore, I love both the more formal garden and the woodland garden, and of course, the stunning view of the Devon coastline really is spectacular and one of the best in my opinion! It is absolutely a day out I would recommend to everyone visiting the area. Just be warned of the climb back up if you decide to walk down to the bottom!”
Unfortunately, Coleton Fishacre isn’t the most accessible of Devon’s top attractions due to the fact that only the ground floor of the house is accessible, and the grounds are only partly accessible, featuring steep slopes and narrow paths. The attraction does offer wheelchair parking and accessible toilets, however.
Learn more about Coleton Fishacre’s accessibility.
Located in the lovely seaside town of Torquay, Babbacombe Model Village is one of Devon’s most popular and charming attractions. Comprised of incredibly clever and realistically designed models, this model village is one of the best you will see, set amongst 4-acres of award-winning gardens. There are hundreds of handcrafted model scenes, vehicles and people to discover, and while adults will admire the craftsmanship and attention to detail, children will enjoy feeling like a giant while discovering the quirky scenes throughout the village.
Donna, from the family blog, What the Redhead Said, has visited Babbacombe Model Village and spoke to us about what she and her family enjoyed about the attraction: “We loved visiting Babbacombe Model Village because it was so different to other days out. There is so much to see, and the longer you spend at the model village, the more things you notice. The attention to detail on each scene is incredible, and it's somewhere the children loved just as much as the adults. It's an attraction suitable for all ages. We'd definitely recommend it to anyone visiting the area although it's not a full day out, you can easily spend a couple of hours or half a day there.”
While Babbacombe is certainly one of Devon’s top attractions, it is not one of its most accessible. It does offer accessible toilets and reduced carer tickets, but due to the fact the model village is built in a natural valley, there are steep slopes and walkways that those in wheelchairs will find difficult without assistance. There are areas that those with limited mobility can enjoy, but wheelchair users might not find it the easiest attraction to navigate. For this reason, Babbacombe Model Village offers visitors a refund if they realise the attraction isn’t suitable within 10 minutes.
Learn more about Babbacombe Model Village’s accessibility.
England is blessed with many beautiful cathedrals, and Exeter Cathedral is certainly one of the best examples. This stunning place of worship has become one of Devon’s most visited attractions, drawing in visitors thanks to its exquisite architecture and fascinating history. Completed in about 1400, the cathedral boasts many notable features, including the longest uninterrupted medieval stone vaulted ceiling in the world. The stained glass is also a sight to behold, and many enjoy seeing the astronomical clock and the UK’s earliest complete set of misericords.
While Exeter Cathedral is generally accessible due to its ancient heritage, there are certain parts of the building that have uneven floors. There are steps required to reach the smaller chapels, but disabled visitors should be able to visit the nave, transepts, aisles and Lady Chapel. There is no disabled parking available, but there are wheelchairs available to hire for those who need them.
Learn more about Exeter Cathedral’s accessibility.
READ ALSO: Most accessible attractions in Yorkshire
Looking at 10 of Devon’s most popular attractions as recommended by Google’s ‘things to do’ in Devon feature, we assigned a score out of 10 to each attraction based on how they performed against different accessibility criteria.
The criteria we looked at were:
You can see the full findings, scores, and resources used in this Google sheet.
This guide has taken a look at the accessibility of the most popular attractions in Devon and has revealed the facilities they offer and those they don’t to those who live with limited mobility. If you are interested in mobility equipment like straight and curved stairlifts; please get in touch.
For more accessibility guides, data-led content, and mobility articles, make sure to visit our news page.