'Free' Child Friendly Days Out

 Parke Bovey Tracey 
 There's something for everyone at Parke, found on the outskirts of the small market town of Bovey Tracey, gateway to mystical Dartmoor.
This compact estate was once the home of a wealthy local family and probably enabled them to be self-sufficient for all their day-to-day needs with a vegetable garden, fruit garden and orchard. An ice house, fish pond, grazing meadows for livestock and beehives for honey
and gardens to wander in for spiritual refreshment. So, take a short stroll around the garden, or a longer more strenuous walk through the woodlands and along the river to the medieval weir. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for a myriad of wildlife and a host of wild flowers.

 Trago Mills 
' superb family leisure facilities set in 100 acres of rolling South Devon countryside, including magnificent narrow gauge Steam Railway, Supakarts and Family Go-Karts, all weather skating, Bumper Boats, Trawler Rides and Swan Pedalos, Trampolines, Aquablasters, Orbitors, Shooting Gallery, Remote Control Cars and Cruisers, Forklifts and Mini Diggers, Slide Complex, Fun Dungeon, The Den Animal Park, Fort Trago, Picnic Area, Edwardian Penny Arcade and the finest 00 Gauge Model Railway in the UK! No admission charge to the site pay as you go'

Haldon Forest
'Whether you want a quiet gentle stroll or an exhilarating mountain biking experience, there’s something for you at Haldon Forest Park. 3,500 acres of woodland just fifteen minutes from Exeter.' - Please note there is a parking fee here for the day

House of Marbles
'Visitors are most welcome to wander around the old pottery buildings with their listed kilns, enjoy our museums of glass, games, marbles, and Bovey Pottery. Browse in the gift shop, glass shop and take refreshments in our coffee shop and licensed restaurant.
You will be entertained by our wonderful collection of marble runs and the giant floating marble amongst other amusements.
Why not visit us and experience stress free shopping, fun for the children, mouth watering menus and much much more. 
No entrance charges and ample free parking.'

Stover Country Park
'Stover Country Park contains over 114 acres of woodland, heathland, grassland, lake and marsh and a substantial variety of wildlife. The Nature Interpretation Centre, opened in 2000 is situated near the entrance of the park and consists of a visitor centre, classroom, rangers' office and public toilets. Additional recreation resources include interpretation boards, aeriel walkway, a bird hide, a car park and picnic areas. There is also a wealth of historical interest.' - again you have to pay for parking here, £1 for two hours or £2 for all day

Dartmoor Pony Heritage
'Visit us at our all-weather visitor centre at Parke Estate, near Bovey Tracey, south-east Dartmoor. Come and meet the adoption ponies and learn about their heritage and future!
Open every Sunday afternoon from 13.30 to 4.00 pm from 24th March 2012
No charge is made for visiting the centre. As a charity reliant on donations we feel you should be able to visit free of charge'

Hannahs at Seale-Hayne 
 'We've a myriad of ideas, many of them realised across the site: there's an outdoor pursuits centre; recording studio; family-friendly farm; gallery; gourmet bistro; live music venue not to mention irresistible shopping and stunning grounds - Hannahs at Seale-Hayne is quite a destination! So whether you want to come for a an afternoon stroll, attend one of our many events or pop by and pick up a present, we look forward to welcoming you soon. Nature trail, Shops, Cafe & Bistro, Artist Studios & Gallery, Farm, Outdoor Pursuits, Spa, Live Music.' Free entry. Open 7 days a week.

Decoy Country Park 
 'Decoy Country Park provides an opportunity to enjoy formal playing fields and a large children's play area with a water play feature. Other popular amenities include a lake supporting water sports activities and a deciduous woodland with a trim trail incorporated into it'.
 There is a car park that you have to pay for but you can also park on the road just out of the park for free.

Cockington Court 
'Cockington Court is a craft centre with a difference. Set in an award-winning country park, a mile away from the seafront; Cockington Court is a historic manor house with over twenty craft studios, tea rooms, the Walled Art Garden, a tudor rose garden, contemporary art gallery and a popular children’s play area.
Cockington’s Kitchen Gallery has a growing reputation in the arts world as a contemporary gallery space of regional significance, having exhibited work by artists of international acclaim as well as emerging local talent.
Discover artists and craft makers at work in their studio shops. See the glass blowers create amazing works of art, hear the blacksmith clinking at his forge, and smell the delightful aromas and taste the delicious chocolate being made by the chocolatier.' Please note that you do have to pay for parking at Cockington!

'Dartington is a special place to visit all year round.
The estate features many fine walks, stunning views and beautiful buildings dating from medieval times to more recently built properties in the International Modernist and Arts and Crafts styles. Over 1000 events take place here each year – from pop concerts to 3D films, exhibitions to opera.' Also has an excellent toy shop and playground.

Dartmoor National Park 
 'One of Britain’s Breathing Spaces, and a member of the 15-strong National Park family. Covering an area of 368 square miles, Dartmoor is the largest and wildest area of open country in Southern England but it is much more than that.
Whilst many people come to Dartmoor to enjoy the beautiful scenery and to recharge their batteries, many come to get active! With over 450 miles (730km) of public rights of way, there is an abundance of walking routes to suit all tastes and abilities. Dartmoor also boasts a variety of cycle routes, both on and off road, making it as challenging as you want it. And there is also the small matter of horse-riding, climbing, letterboxing, geo-caching or kayaking.'

Buckfast Abbey 
 'Buckfast Abbey forms part of an active Benedictine monastery.  There are three shops at Buckfast Abbey which each specialise in a different type of product so that a wide range of visitors’ aspirations are provided for. The Grange restaurant commands spectacular views of the Abbey and surrounding countryside and together with a large, stylish outside covered patio.' Please note that although I have classed this place as 'child friendly', it is probably better suited to older children. Toddlers and tranquil places don't really mix.

Seashore Centre - Paignton
 The Seashore Centre is run by Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust and is the Trust's base for marine education. Tanks full of local marine life and life size rockpool room with sounds of the sea. Interactive displays of life on the seashore. Step back in time in the Geopark room and discover the Geopark Trail. Fossil dig and shell discovery for children

Occombe Farm 
Occombe is a working farm on the edge of Paignton with an award winning farm shop and cafe. Free nature trail and play park. They hold various events through out the year.

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