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Devon has long been regarded as one of the UK's best holiday locations. With it's temperate
climate, traditional values and world famous Cream Teas, this corner of south west England has
been attracting visitors for centuries, with the town of Exmouth having long been a popular
destination for holiday makers.
Despite being one of the more populous areas of Devon, Exmouth has managed to retain it's
reputation as being a quiet, tranquil retreat nestled amongst the stunning countryside of this
Those simply expecting country walks and Cream Teas will, however, be surprised at the host of
attractions on offer in this part of the world. Although a popular destination for older travellers, the
popularity of the town has led to many more modern attractions being created in the vicinity.
This makes Exmouth an ideal place for a family holiday, and the best way to accommodate a family
in this countryside idyll is to hire a static caravan. There are many sites within the county, but the
Devon Cliffs Haven resort is certainly one of the best.
It's location is the envy of many rival establishments, as this well-maintained holiday park is
situated within yards of the stunning beach, no doubt a welcome bonus for families who have spent
holidays traipsing around seaside resorts laden with inflatables and towels, whilst trying to ignore
the sand between their toes as they try to find the hotel.
The on-site facilities are also second to none. An indoor pool with water slides will certainly be
popular with kids, and those who prefer to steer clear of the sand. There is also a café with
panoramic beach views, ideal for those nights when nobody wants to take advantage of the
caravan's cooking facilities.
The beach itself is part of the Jurassic Coast, one of Britain's most striking areas of prehistoric
discovery. Any kids (or adults) who have an interest in Dinosaurs will be in their element as they
take in the ancient history of the dramatic coastline.
If the guidebooks aren't quite informative or interactive enough, a tour of the coast can be taken
with Jurassic Jaunts, these can be either half day or full day excursions, which will include trips to
local discovery sites, a chance to see the fossils which have been found in the area, and also expert
guides and refreshments.
Although this isn't going to be a hi-tech Dinosaurfest, the tours are perfect for those with an interest
in prehistoric history and geology, but those who were picturing something more akin to Jurassic
Park will be a little disappointed.
However, a trip to see some creatures a little further down the foodchain will be an ideal way to keep
the kids occupied. Weymouth Sealife and Adventure Park is just a short journey from Exmouth, and
promises a much more interactive and visually appealing experience.
Packed with a huge variety of aquatic life, the park boasts Sharks, Piranhas, Turtles and even an
Octopus. Coming up close with these exotic and endangered species will be an experience that
many youngsters will never forget (possibly for the wrong reasons if an unsuspecting 5 year old
comes face to face with a shark).
The Otters, Seals and Penguins should be more appreciated by the younger kids, but often the stars
of the show are the Clownfish, idolised by any child who has seen Finding Nemo. Although this
will keep them quiet for a while, it will probably also lead to a fairly expensive visit to the gift shop.
The park also has a panoramic tower, which offers views of miles and miles of coastline from it's 53
metre summit. Older visitors will be relieved to know that climbing the tower is not necessary, as
the viewing pod actually ascends from ground level to it's full height automatically.
If Sealife isn't really your thing, you could pay a visit to some creatures who are a little more
closely related to us, some more than others.
Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre is situated in the nearby town of Wareham, and is one of the most
popular tourist attractions in Devon. A trip to the rescue centre isasure to be a huge hit with the
kids, and the outstanding facilities and array of Apes will ensure that this is an excursion that will
live long in the memory.
Chimpanzees and Orangutans are the stars of the show, and notices are provided as to when the
scheduled feeding times are, as this is the perfect opportunity for the kids to get close to these
Other species include Spider Monkeys, Macaques, and Lemurs, all of which will keep you
captivated as you watch them live their day to day lives in this rural corner of Devon.
With over 260 rescued and endangered primates housed in over 60 acres of this countryside plot,
this is certainly an activity which will last all day, and as such, the wide range of facilities available
reflect the length of time that the average visitor will spend at the park.
Cafes, picnic areas and playgrounds will come as a welcome relief when the older visitors need to
take the weight off their feet for a while, but the safe environment means that the youngsters can
carry on expending energy just a few yards away.
There is also a well stocked gift shop, which also offers the chance to adopt on of the centre's
residents, but it may take some explaining to younger kids that you don't actually get to take a
chimp home with you.
If all the monkey business has taken it's toll, and energy is starting to wane, it may be an idea to
head back to Exmouth to take in the town itself. The chocolate box perfection of the local
architecture, and the quaint array of shops and pubs will definitely come as a relief to older holiday
makers. This is as far from a bustling monkey park as you can get.
Small, traditional cafés offer the ubiquitous Devon Cream Teas, while the unassuming local gift
shops will provide all of your souvenir needs, be it a box of fudge or a tea-towel. Being by the sea,
it is also an ideal location for those who enjoy a spot of fishing, and boats can be chartered locally
for this very purpose.
Another popular pass time in these parts is the simple, but timeless country walk. The terrain and
ever-changing scenery mean that there is a walk for all ages and abilities. Be it a relaxed beach
ramble, or a more ambitious hike into the nearby hills, the promise of fresh air and stunning scenery
is a combination that many find hard to resist.
Local maps and walking routes are available at many local tourist points and gift shops, and will
inform the walker of the difficulty and length of each ramble, meaning that you are unlikely to find
yourself stranded on a hillside at midnight, if you are, you should have really spent the small fee for
a route map.
Exmouth and it's surrounding areas may be quaint in terms of UK holiday destinations, and small
compared to many British seaside resorts, but the character of the old town and the beauty of the
surrounding countryside mean that this resort is a firm favourite for thousands of travellers.
The friendliness of the town and proximity of livelier attractions also mean that this is the perfect
destination for travellers of all ages.
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