Christmas in Devon: festive family events

PUBLISHED: 11:13 28 November 2016 | UPDATED: 12:33 28 November 2016

A Devon Christmas

A Devon Christmas


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and Devon has being transformed into a magical Winter wonderland. Devon’s Top Attractions are offering a massive choice of festive themed events and Santa experiences that will be sure to get everyone into the true Christmas spirit.

Finding Santa across Devon this December will be easy; he’ll be busy visiting the top attractions, meeting the children and offering lots of fun-filled days. So why not enjoy an unforgettable experience and take breakfast or afternoon tea with Santa which is on offer at several of the attractions this year.

Simon Fishwick, Chairman of Devon Association of Tourist Attractions, said “Devon’s Top Attractions continue to lead the way in offering top quality traditional Christmas fun as well as introducing some innovative and new experiences which are certain to add even more to the Christmas magic.”

Head to World of Country Life and jump on board Santa’s Christmas deer train, meet Santa in his cottage workshop and visit the Victorian Christmas street for roasted chestnuts and carol singing with Appy Angus. More ‘Carols by Candlelight’ can be enjoyed at the Donkey Sanctuary on 9th December at their popular annual candlelit carol service.

National Marine AquariumNational Marine Aquarium

For further Christmas sparkle and delight head to National Marine Aquarium to see Santa dive deep into the aquarium amongst the colourful marine life and sharks. Follow the Christmas trail and enjoy the hands-on Christmas craft activities.

Ride a donkey to the Grotto to see Santa at Quince Honey Farm on 3rd -4th December. Or head to Crealy, where guests are invited to join Santa in his warm and cosy grotto for a festive interactive Storytime, hear the magical tales of his festive adventures.

Head to Arlington Court for one of their Festive Weekends or step back in time at Bygones and enjoy a Victorian Christmas. Step even further back in time for an Elizabethan Christmas at Buckland Abbey and meet the Olde Father Christmas. Recapture the true spirit of Christmas at Pennywell Farm where you can take part in one of their popular Nativity plays, set in a cosy barn with an authentic manger scene and real animals. After the performance, the children meet Father Christmas and receive a gift, whilst the adults enjoy homemade treats in the café.

Santa by Steam at South Devon RailwaySanta by Steam at South Devon Railway

Meet Father Christmas as you ride the Polar Express Tram at Seaton Tramway or see ‘Santa by steam’ at the South Devon Railway, visit him in his magical grotto and receive a present. Why not take to the water for a ‘Sail with Santa’ on board a Stuart Line Cruises festively decorated boat. Or head to Dartington Crystal to enjoy one their popular ‘Santa Sundays’ where you can visit Father Christmas in his amazing gingerbread themed Grotto.

There’s mini panto fun at Babbacombe Model Village and an added Christmas trail to follow. Or you could climb on board the Santa Express at Dartmouth Steam Railway to meet Santa and enjoy the mini panto, this year featuring Aladdin and the Golden Lamp

The festive fun continues after Christmas too when you can take one of the ‘Mince Pie Special’ steam trains at South Devon Railway, running from 27th December to the 1st January. The hugely popular Clovelly Barbeque sizzles on Boxing Day. You can join in on the quay with live music, mulled wine and a treasure hunt. There’s also FREE entrance into the village on this day. Or celebrate the start of the New Year with Seaton Tramway for their special New Year’s Day Opening. There’s even a FREE glass of bubbly on offer for the adults and a soft drink for the children.

So, before you hang your stocking and carve the turkey, enjoy a pre-Christmas magical day out. To find out more, including full details of when and where all this festive magic is taking place, see

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