Things to do in South Devon

South Devon is brimming over with fun and unusual things to do for all ages. From steam trains to kitesurfing, boat trips and water slides, you have an amazing choice of activities and attractions for families, couples and friends visiting South Devon.

When you stay in a Coast holiday home in Torbay, Galmpton or Buckfastleigh, you usually have only a week or weekend to explore the area, so we thought it would be useful to pick out our favourite things to do. It gives you a guide for days out and saves you time searching for what to do in Devon today or during your summer holiday:  



Jets skis Brixham: Based on Breakwater beach in Brixham, you can try an exciting jet ski ride in the sea along the coast of Torbay. Ride solo or as a twosome for an unforgettable experience. See more here

Golden Hind, Brixham Harbour: Moored in Brixham Harbour you’ll find an impressive five deck full-size replica of Sir Francis Drake’s Tudor galleon which you can explore. See more here

Shoalstone Open Air Pool, Brixham: A ‘must do’ on a hot, summer day, visit the open-air pool on the rocks overlooking the sea for a cooling swim. See more here

Boat trips from Brixham Harbour: Head to the harbour kiosks to find many boat trips on offer across the Bay and beyond, including the exhilarating Southwest rib rides. See more here


Paignton Seafront: No beach holiday in Paignton is complete without a stroll down its famous pier which is bubbling over with amusements, rides and refreshments. Head there for traditional beach fun and perhaps and ice cream or two. See more here

Splashdown Quaywest, Paignton: The English Riviera’s outdoor waterpark with slides, flumes and a children’s play area is guaranteed to be fun. Other attractions include go-karts, amusements, rides, crazy golf, bumper boats, a beach front pub and café. See more here

Reach Outdoors, Paignton: Head to Goodrington Sands and try invigorating coastal sports from kayaking to coasteering and paddle boarding. See more here

Paignton Zoo: An outstanding zoo which is worth visiting to see an array of unusual, endangered plants and animals. See more here


Kents Cavern, Torquay: Take a fascinating tour of a prehistoric cave in Torquay, one of the best attractions in South Devon for history buffs. See more here

The Model Village, Babbacombe, Torquay: Impressive Babbacombe model village is an enchanting day out for all ages. See more here

The English Riviera Wheel, Torquay: Soaring high over the beautiful harbour in Torquay, the wheel is situated within the famous Pavilion Gardens, next to The Princess Theatre, enjoying scenic views of the town and harbour. See more here

Torre Abbey, Torquay: Torre Abbey is Torquay’s oldest building, situated in a beautiful setting including a chapel, monastery, ruins and gardens. See more here

The Riviera Centre, Torquay: The Riviera Centre is a large leisure centre with a pool, waterslides, gym and more. We like to head to The Riviera Centre when there is rain in Devon because there is plenty to do and fun to be had for all ages. See more here


Greenway House, Galmpton: Visit a National Trust property, within an easy walk of our Coast holiday homes in Galmpton. This is an extraordinary glimpse into the private holiday home of the famous and much-loved author Agatha Christie and her family. See more here

Coleton Fishacre, Kingswear: Travel back in time to the Jazz Age at the holiday home of the D’Oyly Carte family. You can lose yourself in the magical 12-hectare (30-acre) garden. See more here

Greenway Ferry and Cruises: Greenway Ferry and Pleasure Cruises has a fantastic array of boat trips, excursions and ferry services in the English Riviera’s Geopark and the beautiful River Dart. See more here

Dartmouth Steam Railway: Ride on a steam train from Paignton, running along the spectacular Torbay coast. You will see superb views across the Bay. It carries on inland to Churston and then down to the beautiful Dart estuary to Kingswear for the ferry to historic Dartmouth. Combined river excursions are available. See more here

Woodlands: A fun filled, all weather theme park in Dartmouth with fantastic water rides, adventure play areas and a zoo farm. See more here


Crealy: An amazing theme park in Exeter with over 60 rides and attractions. See more here

Go Ape / Haldon Forest: A wonderful day out for the family. Climb in the forest along high ropes and cycle along many miles of bike trails for all abilities. See more here


Buckfast Abbey, Buckfastleigh: An impressive monastery with pretty gardens which are well worth a visit, located in Buckfastleigh by Dartmoor National Park. See more here

Buckfast Otter & Butterfly Park, Buckfastleigh: Feed the otters and admire the butterflies in this small but friendly sanctuary in Buckfastleigh. See more here

South Devon Railway: Take a steam train from the station at Buckfastleigh for a memorable ride through the Devon countryside. See more here

Pennywell Farm, Buckfastleigh: Particularly popular with younger children where they can pet and learn about animals including miniature pigs, lambs and goats. See more here

River Dart Country Park: Set in Dartmoor National Park, the River Dart Country Park is always a hit with active kids who will love exploring the play areas, zip wires and even swimming in the pirate themed lake. See more here

Dartmoor National Park: Extensive,open moorlands and valleys, ideal for long walks, scenic views and wildlife spotting. See more here

Totnes: Totnes is tucked between Torbay and Buckfastleigh on the River Dart. It’s lively historic town which is always worth visiting for its arty vibe, independent shops, eateries and friendly locals. See more here

The Beaches of Torbay: When you visit South Devon, you will want to head to the beach of course, but which beach is best for you? Go to our last blog post for a rundown of the best beaches in Torbay, South Devon.

If you have any other attractions to recommend in South Devon, please get in touch to tell us all about it and we’ll add them to the list. 

Read more about where are Coast Holiday Homes are located and book you stay directly on our website.