The Best Activity Centres in Devon holiday cottages

The Best Activity Centres in Devon

Content Team 19 August 2019

With the whole world on a health-kick, why not flex your desire for outdoor adventure on your next holiday home break? Devon has some exceptional activity centres across the county for you to choose from. Enhance your holiday in the South West with some monkey business this season.

Do you like kayaking, rowing, climbing, wild swimming, wakeboarding or scrambling around obstacle courses? Well if you do, you’re in luck – Devon has a varied selection of prospects for you to try out during your break. Here’s the rundown of our favourite activity centres in Devon. Why not stay in a self-catering holiday cottage during your stay. They provide the perfect backdrop for an active holiday.

The Ultimate Adventure – Bideford

Ultimate Adventure

The Ultimate Adventure Centre at the edge of Bideford is a superb choice with a diverse variety of fun prospects for the whole family to enjoy. Get amongst some intense physical activities. Top of the list is the Ultimate Assault which is styled on the TV hit ‘Total Wipeout’ where you get to run a gauntlet of water slides and hilariously fiendish apparatus designed to push you to your physical limits. The high ropes, climbing wall, jump bag, Jacob’s Ladder and the death slide all add up to a seriously involving and rewarding day out to remember. Don’t just take our word for it – The Guardian rate this place as one of the UK’s very best too.

The Ultimate Adventure centre also offers coasteering as one of their action-packed options. There are heaps of great locations along the rugged North Devon coastline to enjoy supervised coasteering and their course is AALA approved. Embark on a kayak trip up the Torridge or go paddleboarding in the ocean. Booking in advance is essential as the centre can get quite busy on occasion and some activities like coasteering are tide dependent.

Best for:

Bonkers assault courses and its long-established coasteering course. It’s also dog-friendly!

Go Ape! – near Dartmoor and Exeter

Go Ape

Go Ape at Haldon Forest is this leading adventure park’s most south-westerly outpost – so for fans of their distinct take on swinging through the treetops, you need not worry. With views of the tors of Dartmoor and within easy driving distance of the cathedral city of Exeter, this ‘branch’ (excuse the rotten pun) is a definite must-climb if you are in the area looking for action. Thrill-seekers of all ages can limber up by scaling the heights to tackle daring high-level crossings, zip wires and other contraptions that unleash your inner gibbon. From the tree canopy, the 360-degree views across the Devon countryside are spectacular. Drink the view in whilst catching your breath. There’s more to Go Ape than treetop adventure, elsewhere in the 3500-acre woodland park is a choice of walking and cycling trails, a children’s play area and a cool café to pick up lunch. Book ahead to avoid disappointment during the summer season and school holiday breaks.

Best for:

Amazing yet vertiginous views, treetop thrills, a handy location and good prices too!

Skern Lodge – Appledore


Nobody knows the waterways of North Devon like the guides from Skern Lodge. Friendly and popular, if you are travelling in a group you can follow them up the county backwaters and into the seas surrounding the county. They also run an unrivalled range of land-based activities which will blow your mind. Whatever your age, Skern has some cool tutors who will put together an enjoyable programme for you with fun and safety up front and centre to their mission. Choose from rafting, quay jumping, kayaking, powerboating and surfing to name a few, but if you prefer to keep your powder dry, try abseiling, archery, crabbing, high ropes, assault courses and a zip wire. This is just the tip of the iceberg though, there are so many activities to choose from at Skern Lodge.

Best for:

Variety of courses and expertise. Its location is great too, close to many handy rivers and beauty spots.

Ashcombe Adventure Centre – Exeter

clay shooting

For thrills adrenaline seekers will love, visit Ashcombe Adventure Centre – this fun prospect is famed for its off-roading and quad biking opportunities. If you like to get stuck in and super muddy this is the place – it’s off-the-hook! Build rafts then find out if they float the hard way! Go clay pigeon shooting, paintballing with friends, assault course conquering, and off-roading in an assortment of amazing vehicles. Tear around the woodland courses and have the time of your life. Ashcombe offers packages for families, hen and stag parties, team-building events and so much more. Just a few miles outside of Exeter, you have plenty of opportunities to relax and unwind in the city’s restaurants and parks if you need a change of pace.

Best for:

No-holds-barred introductions to fast and furious outdoors experiences. Guaranteed fun.

North Devon Wake Park – Bideford

wake park

If you’ve ever heard loud splashing sounds whilst travelling along the A39 west of Bideford, you’ll have wondered where the noise is coming from. No, it isn't a family of over-excited ducks, it’s being made by fun seekers at North Devon Wakepark. If you love getting wet, this is a good place to start and there are some great family packages to get you into the swing of things. At the ‘Aquapark’ there is a thrilling Wipe Out-style course – try to stay dry and get on the leader board! Leave your friends to get soaked as you stay ahead of the gang – the competitive urge is hard to resist and it’s a great laugh too.  Wakeboarding is an exhilarating pursuit – similar to skateboarding and snowboarding, you get a similar rush being towed around by overhead cable line around the lake over jumps and other light obstacles. Every session is led by a seasoned coach! What’s not to love? The park also has lots of cool viewing areas and a café so if you just want to hang out and watch the japery, there’s scope at the Wake Park. Book ahead because this place can get busy during the summer.

Best for:

Aquatic fun! The sheer exhilaration of whizzing over the lake on a board.

Ready to try your hand at one of Devon’s incredible adventure park opportunities this season? Browse our range of cottages in North Devon and South Devon to get ready for your next adventure! 

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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