Leafy's list is were we will try to tell you about some local places that we have enjoyed visiting with our family who have very different needs and abilities. These are whole family experiences, places to make memories together on holiday and feel welcomed. If you are looking for a different experience just get in touch and we will do our best to suggest the right place for you to visit.
We have provided information and links to local attractions below for your information. We have no association with or responsibility for these attraction and our accommodation does not form a 'package' with these venues or activities.
This is a fantastic day out, near us, that we have enjoyed many times with our own children. It is well fenced, has good toilet facilities and food sold on site.
Get out into the great wide open and explore their fun and challenging muddy obstacle trail. Leap over the muddy bear pits, whizz down the zip wires or crawl through the tunnels – it’s the perfect day out for the whole family including those with autism.
Remember, mud washes off… experiences stay forever!
But if you’ve got bears who would prefer not to get their paws wet, they have got a path that runs alongside the obstacles. There’s also a ‘cubs’ corner’ designed for children under one metre, but we think you’ll struggle to stop them joining in.
One of the things we love most about the trail is it’s perfect for all ages and abilities, from toddlers clambering up the nets, teenagers swinging over the hay bales to grandparents tackling Bear Mountain – it truly is a brilliant experience for all the family. Those with autism can enjoy this open space while their siblings play on the enclosed field. There are also a few animals to meet.
Glorious landscape garden surrounded by parkland with fine 18th-century house
There's plenty of calm space in the glorious garden, beautiful year-round with rhododendrons, magnolias, champion trees and formal lawns. You can explore winding paths, climb an extinct volcano, discover an Iron Age hill fort and take in distant views towards Dartmoor.
Off the beaten track, you can discover three of Killerton's hidden gems. Nestled by the River Clyst sits Clyston Mill, a working watermill. In the heart of Broadclyst you'll find Marker's, a medieval house steeped in history, and just a stone's throw away from Killerton House is a 1950's post office with charming cottage garden.
Knightshays is a fantastic National Trust property with large grounds, a kitchen garden, park lands, formal gardens and a couple of tucked away play areas. There is one made from four fallen trees to the left near the main gate and another out the back gate of the kitchen garden. The staff and volunteers have always been friendly and supportive when we have visited. There is a small plant sale area, shop and lovely café located in the converted stables near the car park. Parking is free for national trust member when you use your card to get a ticket from the parking meter. The only hazard that has caused us issues is the main drive which you need to cross to get to the kitchen gardens and walk near to get to the main house and gardens. However cars are usually driving slowly watching for children on this rout. The main house has large rooms and we have found it fine for taking our children around with out too much stress. It is worth going into the house as there is a room in the servants quarters with children's activities going on. At Christmas it is a fantastic place to visit Santa.. very relaxed - you book a slot on-line and go into a lovely big room with Santa, no crush or rush onto Santa's knee, the children can wander around and talk to Santa or look at the decorations while you take a few pics.
On a hot day in the summer season our family likes nothing better than heading to the orange elephant just passed Exeter for an ice cream and a play.
Orange Elephant Ice Cream is made onsite using milk from our cows. The farm is set over 500 acres and the Taverner family have been dairy farming here for five generations.
The play meadow is across the road and an orange sticker has to be purchased from the ice cream shop. there are sand pits and climbing frames … a great afternoon in the sun.
The toilets are in the back right of the courtyard where the ice cream is served (there are no toilets on the play meadow across the road). The toilets are small and very well used. There is often a que for ice cream on a hot day and it can get busy inside while ordering.
We have recently had guests use this horse riding centre and they found them very friendly and accommodating.
Children of the Forest is a great forest school located near us at Ashill. They have experience of working with children with autism. Our children have had several fun days with them. They can have fun in a natural play and learning environment. We highly recommend this if you would like your children to have a fun session while you have a chance to relax for a few hours. Alternatively they run session for parents and children if you would prefer to attend with them.
The Seaton Jurassic experience
At Seaton Jurassic we’ll take you on a journey like no other – back in time!
Share the excitement of the discoveries made by local fossil hunters, geologists and evolutionary-thinkers as they uncovered the stores of life on Earth. Travel aboard our time-ship back to the Jurassic World, 200 million years ago. (You’re in charge, you take the ship’s controls and decide which prehistoric creatures you meet!) Experience the fight for survival as you land in a giant rockpool! With loads of hands-on activities and a fun garden to explore you’ll have a great day out whatever the weather! Your adventure starts here…
We enjoy this as a place to visit. Although the start of the experience does not suit most autistic children, so at the front desk ask if you can enter the attraction through the 'end from the garden' in the garden you will find loads of hands on stuff to do and textures to explore including a rain arch if you like getting wet. inside are lots of fun activities to try related to the history of fossil hunting. A really fun day out. They have a café which is specious and the staff are very friendly. However if you get there and have a look and think it does not suit your family then go the other side of the carpark there is a play area which is incredible.. it is all fossil themed and has a great variety of equipment - our kids loved it.
It is also right next door to the Seaton tram which is another popular activity.
Our Railway, a true country branch line of the old Great Western Railway is full of fascination whether you are looking for a nostalgic ride back in time through lovely countryside or to study the railway and industrial heritage which our line preserves.
our nearest station is Bishops Lydeard Station TA4 3RU. It is the southern terminus of the West Somerset Railway. It is four miles from the County town of Taunton and the M5 Motorway (Junction 25).
Please be aware that there is a maximum height barrier so access to the car park is for vehicles under 2.1 metres. You can travel all the way to Minehead along the coast and past Dunsta Castle. The historic village of Dunster, in West Somerset is the best preserved medieval village in England. Discover more here www.discoverdunster.info.
The famous Lynton and Lynmouth funicular Cliff Railway opened in 1890 and is the highest and the steepest totally water powered railway in the world! This historic funicular Cliff Railway connects the twin towns of Lynton and Lynmouth providing stunning coastal views that will be the highlight of any visit. This working heritage railway is grade II listed, the UK's only fully water powered railway and one of just three examples left in the World!
Perched on the cliff top, and at 500ft above the lower station, is our grade II listed Cliff Top Cafe offering perhaps the best location for a Cream Tea in the Westcountry. With amazing views and great food, it's just what you need before discovering what other secrets Lynton and Lynmouth has to offer.
there are car parks at both ends but the top car park has more space and a play park at the back. There are lots of shops and cafes top and bottom. The carriages can get a little crowded and the ticket office and weighting system at the bottom is a little frustrating - but it is worth the difficulties.