Ten things to do with kids on a rainy day in the West Country


The Eden Project

The beautiful natural scenery of the West Country is a huge draw for most visitors, with its eye-catching beaches, picture perfect villages and awe-inspiring views, but where do you go if the sun forgets to show up and you get a rainy day in its place?

Fortunately, the West Country has some great all-weather options that you could take your children to, the only difficulty you’ll experience is deciding where to go first!

1. House of Marbles

child and marbles

The House of Marbles is one of the West Country’s best curios. With its collection of marble runs, on-site glassworks, weird and wonderful exhibits and interactive games, this is a fun place spend a fascinating few hours with something unusual around every corner. Pop into the House of Marbles own shop to buy some toys and glass pieces that have been manufactured on site. For lunch, stop by the café, perfect for a light bite.

Where is it? Bovey Tracey

When is it open? Monday to Saturday: 9 am to 5 pm / Sunday: 10 am to 5 pm. Click here for further details.

How much is it? - FREE entry (including parking)

2. National Marine Aquarium

A visit to the National Marine Aquarium is a must no matter what the weather is up to. Spend hours taking in the wonderful rogues’ gallery of deep sea creatures. See the sharks get fed, and see some of the most colourful denizens of the sea including octopuses, jellyfish and a veritable array of fish large and small. There are also educational talks throughout the day, where you can learn just about anything marine related. The huge Eddystone Reef tank is the largest single-tank viewing panel in the UK – packed with hordes of tropical fish and rays. Stop in at the Waves Café to recharge with a fruit juice or coffee.

Where is it? Plymouth

When is it open? Open daily 10am to 5pm

How much is it? Click here for further details.

3. The Milky Way

One of the best parks in the West Country, the ever-adapting Milky Way is a great destination in any weather. However, it does offer up to 110,000 square feet of indoor space to explore and play. This includes soft play areas for smaller children, games, sand pits, slides and the inspired Toddler Town and Fantasy Farm. Elsewhere, there are carousel rides and bumper cars for older kids. Catch a touring show or fun exhibition at The Milky Way to make your visit extra memorable.

Where is it? Near Clovelly

When is it open? Click here for further details.

How much is it? Prices vary - click here for further details.

4. The Big Sheep

If you have kids and love sheep and fun rides, then The Big Sheep is for you and your family. One of North Devon’s best and most eccentric places for an all-weather day out is this farm-themed fun park. Meet farm animals, watch a sheep version of the Grand National, roll around in the soft-play areas, meet some pigs, and even enjoy a rollercoaster ride. There’s much more to get involved with at The Big Sheep, which is even open on weekends throughout the winter and early spring. Much of the park is under shelter, so when the heaven’s open a trip to The Big Sheep is a fun option if you’re in the area.

Where is it? Near Bideford

When is it open? Click here for further details.

How much is it? Click here for further details.

5. Torquay’s Dinosaur World

Kids will love this indoor attraction at the centre of Torquay in South Devon. There is a collection of authentic – full-size dinosaur models, fossils, bone casts and lots of interactive fun games to learn all about the age of roar! Besides the exhibition and the fun space there is a café and a rolling programme of touring and seasonal events and exhibitions too.

Where is it? Torquay

When is it open? Click here for further details.

How much is it? £5.95 for adults and children 3+ / Children 0 to 2 FREE / Concessions £4.95 - Click here for further details.

6. The Eden Project

Where is it? Near St Austell

The Eden Project is one of the best-known all-weather visitor attractions in Cornwall. The Eden Project’s domes will not only protect you from the drizzle outside, but will also transport you to more tropical climes where you can learn about exotic plants, walk through the rainforest canopy, enjoy an authentic Mediterranean meal, and take part in one of the many family events which run throughout the year.

When is it open? Click here for further details.

How much is it?Click here for further details.

7. Carnglaze Caverns

Close to the Bodmin Moor is this former Cornish slate mine. Now affiliated to the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, you can go on a 150-metre journey deep into the hillside down 60 steps. Dress well as temperatures below the surface are low. You can view a collection of minerals mined throughout Cornwall in the British Industrial Revolution and find out how slate was extracted. There is also a woodland walk on site with winding paths, deep dells and views over St Neot too. Picnic in the garden if the weather brightens, or browse the crystal and craft shop.

Where is it? St Neot

When is it open? Monday to Saturday: 10am to 5pm. Click forhere for further details.

How much is it? Adults - £6.00 / Children 3 to 15 - £4.00

8 Bodmin Jail

Bodmin Jail is for hardy kids only! Put them in the jailhouse for a day in Cornwall’s most famous former prison if you get a bad weather day. For decades it was the only one and having closed its doors in 1927 much of the jail is a ruin, but the visitor centre contains an excellent showcase of exhibits and a cell walk. Tales of smugglers and vagabonds feature throughout the museum and ghost walks are available for very brave families. The jail has featured recently in the BBC TV drama Poldark. There is also a pub next door to the jail that can cater for families!

Where is it? Central Bodmin

When is it open? Click here for further details

How much is it? Grounds, bar & restaurant FREE / Jail Visits: Adults (16+): £10.00 / Children 5 to 15: £7.50 / Under 5s: FREE / Concessions available

Please note:

Bodmin Jail is not currently a wheelchair, or pushchair friendly venue.

9 Paradise Park - Jungle Barn

child at soft play

Let your kids expend their energy in this extensive all-weather play centre. Let them go wild on a selection of giant slides, soft play and toddler romping zones. Adults can observe, or sit in the café and read a book within safe shouting distance. You can join your kids on the drop slides too, so there’s no need to feel left out. You can also buy return tickets if you want to come back for seconds!

Where is it? Hayle

When is it open? 10am to 6pm all year, except on Christmas Day. Free parking.

How much is it? Click here for further details.

10 Porthcurno Telegraph Museum

One of Cornwall’s remotest museums, the Porthcurno Telegraph Museum is a great place for children with an interest in science. Porthcurno made history because it’s the site of the first trans-Atlantic telegraph cable – one of the largest scale infrastructure projects in the history of international communications. There are interactive displays and artefacts to see to learn all about the cable, that still exists below the ocean waves. The museum has a cool collection of cableship models, uniforms worn by cable laying officials, and a mind-boggling range of historical paraphernalia. The museum is within short walking distance (10 minutes up a steep hill) from The Minnack Theatre, which is also open to the public - it is an open air, Italianate amphitheatre-style arena.

Where is it? Porthcurno close to Mousehole.

When is it open? Click here for further details.

How much is it? Click here or phone for further details.

Map of attractions:

Plan your family holiday in the West Country by finding your favourite indoor family attractions from the list on the map below.

If you’re looking to stay close by and explore these indoor attractions in the West Country, take a look at our full collection of cottages in the West Country for some inspiration on where to base your next family holiday.

*Prices are correct at the time of publishing; however, they are subject to change. Please visit appropriate websites or phone venue for confirmation.

Posted by Ed Roberts on 3rd November 2017