12 Best Outdoor Activities in Devon for Adults and Kids

Headland view near Woolacombe

If you’re looking for outdoor activities in Devon, this blog post features eight of the best!

With beautiful beaches and two glorious moorlands, Devon is one of the best counties in England for outdoor adventure. It’s a huge county with plenty of space for hiking, surfing and 4×4 driving. 

The trickiest thing is knowing exactly what’s on offer!

But we’re here to help.

We’ve thoroughly researched the best adventures in Devon, so you only need to save this page for inspiration for your next outdoor experience. 

12 of the best Devon outdoor activities

Coasteering in North Devon

Coasteering is one of the most adventurous activities that you can do in Devon. 

Coasteering is exploring the coastline by clambering around the rocky cliffs, exploring caves, swimming and even doing some cliff jumping. 

It’s a bit hazardous but safe if you’re doing a professional course. So it’s important to do it with a recognised company.

The best coasteering tours leave from Ilfracombe in North Devon. The company provides a bespoke and tailored experience for your group. 

The packages also include plenty of safety equipment, including buoyancy aids and helmets. 

Seafari in Torquay

Seals on Seal Island in St Ives, Cornwall

If you’re looking for an incredible Devon adventure to enjoy some of its epic coastlines, look no further than Torquay Seafaris.

You’ll get to enjoy not only the epic South Devon coastline, the golden sand beaches and plenty of animal life, like seals and even a resident school of dolphins. 

It’s a perfect adventure for families, couples and groups. 

Surfing

Surfing in Newquay, Northern Cornwall

Although Devon’s not quite as famous for it as Cornwall, there are plenty of opportunities to take to the waves in this county. 

North Devon is the most popular area for surfing, with schools in Woolacombe, Croyde, Saunton Sands and other settlements around the coastline. 

There are also surfing opportunities in South Devon; it’s not as famous as destinations on the north coast, although Bantham Beach is quite popular. 

You can rent surfboards from most beach towns – usually, you don’t need to book. Or, there are plenty of opportunities to do surf lessons in various Devon towns. 

Walking on Waves are a popular surf company based in Saunton Sands. They have an excellent deal on Viator where you have a one hour surf lesson at 9:30 am and you get to keep the kit for the rest of the day. 

If you’re interested in surfing and yoga, you can book a multi-day surfing and yoga trip. 

Dartmoor 4×4 Driving Tour

Girl walking on the moor with checked shirt tied around her waist and surrounding moorland

Dartmoor is the perfect place for adventure. 

Stretching over hundreds of kilometres, the South Devon national park is a famous hiking destination, but there are also opportunities for 4×4 driving around the moorland

In a 4×4 vehicle, you can traverse the moorland, admiring ancient woodland, prehistoric artefacts, miniature ponies and rolling heath.

Your guide will know the best non-touristy areas to visit in the National Park, so you can take in the moorland views from your self-conditioned vehicle. 

Orienteering courses are also available on Dartmoor. 

Hot Air Balloon flight from Tiverton or Exeter

There’s nothing quite like taking to the skies in a hot air balloon. 

You can embark on a hot air balloon adventure from either Tiverton or Exeter.

You’ll gently glide into the sky and take in the beautiful hills, coastline and beaches from a birds-eye view. 

The hot air balloon ride lasts an hour, and you can enjoy the sunrise or sunset during this time. 

There’s a champagne toast at the end as well! 

Click here to book a hot air balloon ride from Exeter and here for one from Tiverton

Motorglider

Fancy yourself as a pilot? One of the best adventures for the adrenaline junky within you is learning how to fly a motorglider. 

You don’t have to fly it; there will be a trained pilot on board, but if you wish you can take the handles.

If you are comfortable and take to it, then you might be able to fly the motorglider back to the airfield. 

Or, just look out of the window and watch the beautiful Devonshire scenery roll past! 

The motorglider experience leaves from Honiton and you’ll spend 30 minutes in the air. 

Glider Jurassic Coast Plane Tour

Orcombe point, Exmouth beach on the Jurassic coast of Devon, UK

The Jurassic Coast in South Devon and Dorset is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the oldest and most epic stretches of coastline in the country. 

The aerial adventure tour takes you a mile up into the air and glides along the coastline, taking in some of the most stunning scenery in South West England. 

Devon is a perfect location for a scenic flight, and you’ll absolutely love this glider!

Hike the South West Coast Path

Beautiful Bay near Ilfracombe

With beautiful views over sky-high cliffs, the South West Coast Path is one of the most picturesque experiences. that you can have in Devon. 

Spanning along the North and South Devon coastline, there are plenty of stunning walks that you can do along the path.

They range in difficulty; the area in Exmoor around Combe Martin is very challenging and excellent if you want an adrenaline rush, whereas the South Devon area near Exmouth has some hills, but isn’t as challenging.

You can also enjoy Devon’s most beautiful beaches on the path, including the award-winning blue flag beach Sandy Bay near Exmouth

You can hike the South West Coast Path independently, adding a bit of adventure by camping along the way. 

Alternatively, there are hiking tours where you can walk with an organised group and stay at friendly accommodation on the way. 

Other walks in Devon

Other than the South West Coast Path, there are plenty of walking trails around Devon, throughout Exeter, Plymouth and Exmouth

For starters, there are trails in Dartmoor and Exmoor, the county’s beautiful National Parks. 

Then, there are plenty of other smaller parks to visit, with acres of woodland to enjoy. 

The Exe Estuary is also a perfect place to spot wildlife. 

Adventure Playgrounds 

Devon has acres of adventure playgrounds that are epic for little explorers.

These adventure activity locations include:

  • Haldon Forest Park: this outdoor play centre is close to Exeter and is loved by families. 
  • Decoy Country Park: this park has acres of wildlife and a wide range of activities for kids. 
  • River Dart Country Park: this is a campsite and large outdoor space with lots of woodland walks and a fun adventure play area. 
  • Occombe Farm: this farm has a wonderful play area aimed at children aged 2-12 years. There’s also a farm trail with adorable farm animals. 
  • Cockington Country Park: this park spans over 450 acres and features beautiful woodland. It’s plenty of fun for all the family! 

Many of these adventure parks also have walking routes, so visiting is a fun family activity for everybody. 

Zip wires in Devon

There are a few zip wires in Devon, one of the largest of which is Geronigo in Barnstaple in North Devon.

Rates start at just £20. 

Splashdown Quaywest

Another excellent family day out in Devon is Splashdown Quaywest in Torbay. 

It’s a wonderful park with lots of water rides, including the exhilarating Devil’s Drop, the fun Surf Lagoon and the wild corkscrew ride. 

Splashdown Quaywest is an outdoor centre, so it’s only open in the summer. However, if you want to enjoy water slides at an indoor activity centre, there’s always Waves Leisure Pool in Torquay. 

Another marine-based family-friendly activity in Devon is Plymouth’s aquarium, the largest aquarium in the country. 

Where can I book these outdoor adventures? 

I recommend Viator and Get Your Guide to book your Devon adventure. 

They offer a range of activity bookings and have an easy process, with good cancellation policies and some tours have payment plans with advance booking. 

Viator, in particular, are run by the travel company TripAdvisor, so you know that you can trust them. 

Most of these Devon experiences are listed on Viator. You can click the button below to see all of Viator’s listings for the county. 

If you’re looking for a Devon adventure, you need to look no further than this list. There are a range of events and plenty of fun to be had throughout this South West England county. 

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