There are various attractions within easy reach of Lea Hill Cottages, with easy access to places to visit in Devon, Dorset and Somerset. To give you an idea of what you can do in and around Lea Hill Cottages we have given some ideas below.
The beautiful Forde Abbey near Chard is a wonderful place to enjoy a day out. The house, which features some stunning Mortlake tapestries was built more than 900 years ago and visitors can discover the history of the monks that once called this abbey home. Forde Abbey was also featured in the film Far From the Madding Crowd. Outside, there are spectacular gardens covering nearly 30 acres, with a highlight being the highest powered fountain in England. Forde Abbey has a wide range of events throughout the year with some of the favourites being snowdrop weekend throughout February and Tulips at Forde Abbey in late April/early May.
Bicton Park has 300 years of horticultural history within its grade 1 listed gardens that are located in the Otter Valley. Along with the landscaped gardens there are historic glasshouses, a countryside museum, a woodland railway ride, a nature trail and both indoor and outdoor children’s play areas.
At Crealy Adventure Park you will find the most rides in Devon. This large family friendly theme park is situated near Sidmouth and is the perfect place to take the little ones. The award-winning theme park has more than 60 rides and attractions, as well as live shows and plenty of animals too. The rides onsite include roller coasters, log fumes and carousels. There are also a large indoor soft play area.
In Lyme Regis you will find Dinosaurland Fossil Museum owned and run by paleontologist Steve Davies who has a large collection of Jurassic marine fossils for visitors to see up close. The museum also has a time gallery that lets you see how rocks are dated and a natural history room with a selection of present day shells, skeletons and taxidermy.
At The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth there are hundreds of donkeys wanting to say ‘hello’. As well as the donkeys there are scenic trails, indoor attractions and a family-friendly restaurant with views of the countryside. Get even closer to the donkeys by booking a Donkey Experience Day where you go behind the scenes with the staff.
Escot Park near Ottery St Mary is home to the Wildwood, a wonderful attraction for all the family to enjoy. Onsite there is are animals, a maze, a large adventure play area, traversing walls, a drop slide and a 40 meter zip line. Finish the day with a meal in the Coach House Cafe where there are homemade cakes on sale. On the main Escot estate you will find more than 200 acres of parkland and gardens, as well as 4000 beech trees.
The family-friendly Axe Valley Wildlife Park near Kilmington is one East Devon’s most loved attractions. The small zoo in the heart of the Devon countryside is a wonderful place to take the children no matter what their age, however it is mainly aimed at those under 12. There are many animals at the park and for special occasions parents can purchase animal experiences where recipients can spend an hour with their chosen animal, you can also adopt an animal or be a keeper for a day.
At the Axminster Heritage Centre you can discover the history of the town and the famous Axminster Carpet. Located in one of Thomas Whitty’s rebuilt factory buildings and set over two floors, the centre is a great way to delve into the local past. In the gallery you can learn about the carpet making business, which dates back more than 250 years before finding out about Axminster’s origins in the Bronze and Stone ages.
Burrow Farm Gardens near Axminster is a hidden gem amongst the Devon countryside. The secret garden covers more than 13 acres and has something to offer visitors whatever time of year they visit, such as the colourful azaleas and rhododendrons in May. Combine your peaceful walk around the gardens with a traditional cream tea in the onside cafe where they serve homemade scones and cake, soups and other lite bits.
A great day out for everyone can be had at the Ferne Animal Sanctuary, which is set in more than 51 acres of beautiful countryside near Chard in Somerset and is home to dogs, cats, horses, pigs, goats and rabbits, plus much more. The sanctuary also has a nature trail and a children’s play area
Open in the main summer season are Beer Quarry Caves, which have a number of guided tours on offer to visitors giving them the chance to walk through a large underground cavern with vaulted roofs and pillars of local beer stone. Learn about the methods used in quarrying, along with the working conditions that were endured in the underground quarry network.