A great bridge to walk over and have the cobwebs blown out of your system.
Are you looking for something to do with your little ones this weekend around Exeter in Devon? How about going Gruffalo Hunting at Haldon Forest?
Found just of the Devon Expressway, Haldon Forest is home to a number of activities (walkers will get use to avoiding the cyclists and Segways), and with the use of the Gruffalo Spotter app, you can now go a hunt the beast for yourself.
By loading up the Gruffalo Spotter app on your phone, and following the Discovery Trail, you can point your phone at special signs on route that will play a quick video clip on your phone, which appears to be taking place right in front of you. (Think something like “Pokemon Go”).
It added something different to our walk around, but our four year olds imagination was already fired up by the idea of looking for the Gruffalo and assorted friends.
To give you a flavour of what to expect, here are some photos from our explore around the imaginative world of Haldon Forest.
Yes that is also Stick Man above…
Find out more information about the Gruffalo Spotter App here at the forestry.gov.uk website.
Taken as the Little One started to take on the new play equipment at The Orange Elephant near Exeter.
Obviously after powering ourselves up on the fantastic ice cream they make there…
Working weekends at our place means your weekend is split in two. (Which can sometimes work well). This week, it meant that we got to go on a family shopping trip into Exeter City Centre, during which we stopped for a moment in the Cathedral Green. Where I felt the Exeter Cathedral had a particularly Hogwarts style vibe going on?
There you are, visiting Exeter, arguably the capital of Devon, and its raining – not just raining, but really wet. If its just you and possibly other adults, I’d suggest hanging out in one of the pubs in town. If you’ve got small children with you, then its a different matter.
Heres the Dads Sofa list of where to go in Exeter, when its raining.
The Twisted Oak pub, can be found in Ide, just by Exeter. The Twisted Oak is a combination of a pub, restaurant, tuck shop, and a indoor play area. We have a lot more about this playful pub here.
Café Connect at Riverside Church
Spacious cafe with nice food, good tea, and a box of toys. There is also good disabled access if needed. It found by the river, between the city centre, and St Thomas.
The Welcome Inn
Wonder down the quay – keep to the right hand side, and you’ll come across The Welcome Inn. Serving tea, cake, and a very warm welcome. It looks like The Welcome Inn will be closing soon, so make sure you can check it out when you can! (EDIT – Have received the below tweet 🙂 )
The Welcome Inn has since opened under new management, but is just as welcoming as before
— James A (@ExeterDormouse) July 30, 2017
Because who doesn’t love a Toy Shop? That has lego and train play tables? It has loads of Legos, and this guy…
Work out the route from the City Centre down to the river, and you’ll find it.
Royal Albert Memorial Museum
Exeter’s, Royal Albert Memorial Museum is found in the town centre, minutes away from the High Street. There are many things to do, walk through / around, eat, and look at.
Its not open on Mondays or Banks Holidays, but feels like its open the rest of the time. Its free entry, and a great rainy day activity.
Just don’t bring in helium balloons. The staff get nervous.
The Cathedral in Exeter is quite simply gorgeous. While adults are charged, children can visit the cathedral for free, and use one of the “Explorer Backpacks” to explore the cathedral for themselves*! You can also help build a Lego Exeter Cathedral.
If you live within EX1 – 4 areas of Exeter / Devon, ask about their Resident Cards for free access. (Just remember to donate!) Theres also loads of events on, check out their website for more information.
If you’re feeling brave, you could let yourself be dragged to one of the Soft Play centres in or near Exeter. You could try…
Waie Inn (If you can get out there – give this a go!)
That’s a few ideas.
Are there any rainy day places to go in Exeter, that I’ve missed out, and should be included?
*Parental supervision is probably expected.
Do you remember what it was like to enjoy trains? Did you ever think of them more then just a way to get from A->B? Is there a little one in your life that still likes trains? There’s a little place called the Devon Railway Centre next to the gorgeous Bickleigh Mill, that can be found somewhere between Exeter, and Tiverton that might be the place for your little one.
The Devon Rail Centre describes itself as a popular Devon tourist attraction, and I can see why. The Devon Rail Centre isn’t on the largest site, but there are plenty of attractions squeezed in there. The main one that got our attention as we made our way in, was the steam train that takes you around the park, where the driver gives kids of many ages the chance to punch tickets, to be the train guard, and you are not just limited to one journey. Handy if you have a little one that’s keen on trains!
Within a couple of train carriages, you’ll find a number of model railways, and outside you’ll also find a model village. Both the village, and the railways have push buttons that activate trains, trams, and other things, which seemed very exciting to our almost 3 year old. There is also a stack of stools for the children to use to see the displays.
There is also a play area found within the train carriages, which has an area for the under 3’s-with ride on bikes, a brio train play area, a MASSIVE sand box, and (in the words of our toddler) a “deep” ball pit.
There is also a soft play area, which from the map looks pretty big, but we decided to avoid this, as by the time we would have considered it, it was highly likely to be heaving and the inevitable ‘being dragged around’ did not sound like fun!
There were 3 outside climbing frames, one by the entrance, one near the picnic stop half way through the stream train journey and one near the cafe. We only went to the latter one, which was definitely enjoyed by our little one, even if it meant repeatedly helping her get up via the more difficult routes.
It’s definitely worth a visit with a train fan, especially if they are under 3 years, so they get in free. If your child is really keen, but pennies are limited, then ask the retired grandparents to take them, so that they can OAP rate! There is also an annual pass, which looks like a good idea if you would consider visiting a few times. There are plenty of places to sit and eat a picnic, or there are a few basic snacks/meals for sale in the cafe.
The important thing about this place, is that it’s fun, and if you’re with a little one who finds it exciting, you may, just for a moment, also find trains exciting again.