National Trust places are in an abundance in the South West. We are certainly not short of an old house and vast landscaped gardens to explore here. You can get a National Trust Membership for the family for £78 per year for single parents and £126 per year for two adults. Under 17s qualify for free entry with this pass.
The pass enables you free entry into the houses and gardens, free parking and free magazines and handbooks. You don’t have to go very far to come across the first National Trust place which is Saltram. A large stately home, manicured gardens and a lovely walk around the grounds is always a lovely day out. You can even bring your bikes on the trail around the grounds.
Wembury Beach is another National Trust location just 15-20 minutes from Plymouth. Usually, the car park would cost you £6 for the day but National Trust Members can park for free! Wembury is a great surfing beach with coastal walks to the left and right of the car park following the famous South West Coast Path.
National Trust places are great for people who are still particularly cautious when it comes to Covid-19 as you can explore a lot of what it has to offer outdoors. They are usually leisurely walks with picturesque places to stop for a picnic. A lot of the National Trust places offer fun activities for children whether that’s spotting wildlife on the walk or an adventure play park.
The River Dart Country Park is only a short 30-minute drive from Plymouth. It offers 234 camping pitches, some hooked up to electric and some not. Along with the camping site, there are loads of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. From zip-lining and canoeing to climbing and cycling, they are never short of something exciting to do!
We are so blessed to have a stunning landscape like Dartmoor National Park on our doorstep. There are 235,700 acres of picturesque land to explore, complete with rivers, waterfalls and tors.
Bellever Forest in central Dartmoor is a gorgeous location for a picnic and hike around the East River Dart. There is ample parking in the forest which looks picturesque in itself. If you take the trail up the river from the car park, you come across some old steppingstones that pass over the river as you continue the walk on the other side. You can either head uphill and walk along the top of the moorland or you can cut through on a little overgrown trail with the river on your left. You may pass a few friendly Dartmoor ponies on the way! Camping isn’t permitted here but having a little picnic is encouraged as you take in the view of the river and woodland. There are even toilet facilities in the car park too.
Cann Woods offers not only a flat and accessible walk through the forest but it also is home to Devon’s longest full forest Segway experience! For just £20pp you could be gliding through the forest and breathing that fresh air whilst learning a fun new skill. There are three different Segway tours to choose from depending on your ability and how long you want to spend on the Segways.
Mountain biking is one of the other popular activities to do at Cann Woods. There are four different trails to try out your abilities on with varying difficulty levels and terrain. Take a picnic with you and you could spend hours in Cann Woods!
Let us not forget about Plymouth’s very own 1930’s art deco outdoor swimming pool, the Tinside Lido & Mount Wise Pools. They both officially opened on the 1st of May and hopefully, the weather in June will make up for all the rain we’ve had in May so that we can finally enjoy our Lido!
Have an educational experience and learn all about Plymouth’s history at The Box. Come face-to-face with a woolly mammoth and head into The Mayflower and read all about the ship that sailed from Plymouth to the New World, 400 years ago. The Box also has a swish bar and restaurant if you fancy having a bite to eat after a stroll around the museum.
Plymouth’s National Marine Aquarium is the largest Aquarium in the UK, home to over 4,000 marine species. The walk around the Aquarium makes you forget all your troubles as you feel like you’re scuba diving in the ocean amongst all of the beautiful sea creatures. They also offer a relaxing yoga class at the Aquarium twice a month and a dining experience next to the largest tank.
Being on the south coast, it offers up a network of walking trails, in particular, the South West Coast Path. A favourite walk of mine is to get to Jenny Cliff, you can do this by driving to the car park or catching the little ferry at the Barbican to Mount Batten and then walking up the hill to Jenny Cliff. From there, keep heading up the hill and follow the path that hugs the coast. As you walk around the wooded path, the views of the sea and Plymouth in the distance are stunning, particularly on a sunny day. If you keep walking around the headland, you will read Bovisand bay, however, that is a long hike so make sure you come prepared with food, water and sensible walking shoes.
A fun day out with the kids definitely involves some fluffy animals! Pennywell Farm in Buckfastleigh is home to lots of fluffy animals such as, miniature pigs, goats, rabbits, miniature donkeys and much more! There are lots of opportunities to pet and cuddle the animals as well as bottle-feeding, collecting eggs and cheering on a miniature pig race. They also have four free farm rides to have some fun with from the Rainbow Railway to Run Rabbit Go-karts!
There are much more activities and day trips on our doorstep to have a wonderful summer with the family this year. With regards to the covid restrictions, by June 21st, we should have relaxed all of the measures however, this could change at any point if the cases begin to rise again, therefore, it is best to check with the event organiser or on their website before you go to make sure it’s still open.