Devon usually performs well when it comes to warm weather in the spring and summer seasons. However, there are occasional periods where the sun doesn’t feel like playing at all!
When this happens, it is good to be prepare yourselves with some ideas that don’t involve going outside. We have prepared a list of fun indoor activities which could well make up for the soggy weather outdoors. Here are some of our favourite rainy-day activities in Devon.
Let’s start off with the good stuff. Whilst this won’t be as suitable for families with young children, many couples and groups of friends will be delighted to know there are some classy places to go where you can educate yourself on the art of alcohol production! The Plymouth Gin Distillery is the oldest working distillery in England and has been making Plymouth Gin since 1793. The building itself is fascinating, dating back to the 1400s with the Refectory Room being set within a medieval hall. The distillery buildings were formerly a monastery inhabited by the Black Friars!
There are three tours on offer which all give a fascinating insight into the history and journey of the distillery and allow you to sample the Plymouth Gin.
Highlight: The Master Distiller's Tour - This masterclass is a unique opportunity for guests to distil their own gin by selecting their favourite botanicals and creating their own style of gin that is as complex and distinctive as Plymouth Gin. Every guest is given a small bottle of their own handmade gin to take away as a unique memento of their experience. Price: £48.00. Duration: 2.5hours. Location: PL1 2LQ
This is a wonderful indoor place to visit in Devon, with a whole host of displays, galleries and exhibitions to explore. Focusing on Devon and Exeter’s rich history, you will be able to find out all about the historic culture of the area whilst taking in visually interesting and interactive displays. The children will love the birds and insect section and the educational galleries displaying culture from across the globe. There is a shop and a café where you can stop off and get a light bite to eat and rest your legs too. This is one of the best museums in Devon and well worth a visit for a fun day out.
Highlight: You can go on a guided tour where an expert will take you around and talk you through the different displays and exhibitions, giving a deeper insight into each section.
Location: EX4 3RX
The underground passages in Exeter have always intrigued local people with their stories of wars, sieges, plague and pestilence. Exeter is the only city n the UK to have passages of this type - they were designed to bring clean drinking water from natural springs outside the walled city. The pipes sometimes leaked and repairs to buried pipes could only be carried out by digging them up. To avoid this disruption, the passages were vaulted, and it is down some of these vaulted passageways that visitors are guided. The passages are constricted and low in places which can make it feel like a real adventure! This attraction would definitely make for an interesting indoor day out.
Highlight: You can take tours down these underground passages and learn about the history, and there is even an interpretation centre which is packed full of interactive displays with film presentations and historical artefacts.
Location: EX1 1GA
Kents Cavern is one of the most important Stone Age sites in Europe and one of Britain’s best showcaves. The cave used to be home to ancient humans who sheltered here from the extreme weather, making fires, shaping tools and hunting Ice Age animals! You can come here and walk through the extensive labyrinth of caverns and be completely surrounded by rocks that are around 400 million years old. As well as this, you will be able to admire the hundreds of stalagmites and stalactites that don the cave walls. This is one of Devon’s most interesting attractions.
Highlight: Listen to the entertaining guides which tell the story of a 15-year-long Victorian excavation which uncovered some of Britain’s most ancient secrets.
Location: TQ1 2JF
This is an adventure park in North Devon which is a great place to be whatever the weather, with lots of outdoor and indoor options for all the family. With over 110,000 sq ft of indoor activities, this is a superb place to take the kids on a rainy day in Devon. There are two roller coasters, indoor bumpers, family-friendly rides, and there is even a mini train which shows off great views of North Devon coast! You will even find indoor archery, pottery painting and laser shooting.
Highlight: There is a great indoor soft play area which comes complete with obstacle courses and ball pools where the kids will have oodles of fun.
Location: EX39 5RY
Need more ideas on how to entertain the kids whilst on holiday here? Check out our guide to Devon days out with the kids.
This is a magical family castle in the heart of Devon which hold centuries of stories that are all on display at the castle. It is set within a beautiful deer park on the banks of the River Exe, around 8 miles outside the city centre. The castle first opened in 1959 and still to this day welcomes visitors year in, year out. There is lots to do here including picnics in the park, castle tours and scenic walks. Pack the raincoats for the woodland walks and then warm up in the courtyard café.
Highlight: Dogs are welcome at Powderham Castle, but remember to keep them on a lead and clean up after the little darlings.
Location: EX6 8JQ
This is an interactive and educational museum which offers wonderful indoor fun for everyone on a rainy day in Devon. An art installation in itself, it is set across four levels of an 18th-century character building in the heart of Totnes town centre. The exhibition includes 25 individually themed installations designed to stimulate all the senses and film presentation areas to stimulate the mind. People love to come here and spend hours walking through the place, taking in all the interesting retro objects and installations on show.
Highlight: There is a shop called the Narnia shop which sells all sorts of alternative gifts including records, ornaments and accessories.
Location: TQ9 5NJ
This is a beautiful abbey based in Buckfastleigh, on the southern edge of Dartmoor, where the grounds, gardens and facilities are open to visitors to come and enjoy. There are fascinating parts of the abbey to discover which include The Monastic Way Exhibition, the book shop, the gift shop, the Medieval Guesthall and the Southgate Retreat Centre. This is a place of peace and serenity, a lovely tourist attraction, and would be a nice educational day out in Devon.
Highlight: The café serves hot food, soups, jacket potatoes, paninis, vegetarian dishes and traditional pasties. You can also enjoy a coffee and a cake which will help you refuel.
Location: TQ11 0EE
Devon isn't just a county for sunny days; there's so much to do in Devon in the rain too, so we hope you have enjoyed this collection of Devon attractions and indoor things to do which offer great alternatives to days out on the beach. Whilst this guide has focused on activities for wet days, we do expect the sun to shine more, so for more inspiration, make sure you check out our guide to the top attractions in Devon.
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