11 fun and unusual things to do in Devon for adults

You’ve heard all about Exeter Cathedral and Paignton Zoo. You’ve seen the beautiful pictures of Dartmoor National Park and the South West Coast Path. And you’ve read all the fun facts about our lovely county. But now you’re looking for some slightly more unusual things to do in Devon.

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we’ve got a bit of something for everyone – and every season. And for each suggestion, we’ve included the price, duration, location and Google review score, so you have everything you need to put together a Devon itinerary with a difference.

Ready to plan your adventure? Here are 11 fun things to do in Devon for adults.


1. Unleash your creativity at Fire Work Glass Studio

First on our list is our very own Fire Work Glass Studio, where you can enjoy an intimate glass blowing experience with Izach.

With over 12 years of experience working with top glass blowing artists across the pond, Izach returned home in 2022 to share his love of the art form with the people of Devon.

During the workshop, you’ll get to make three or four pieces that you can pick up the next day – or we can send them to you in the post. You could create a paperweight, vase or whatever else takes your fancy.

Given the heat of the studio, this experience is perfect for the autumn and winter seasons. But it’s also a great option to escape the rain any other time of year (and we do get plenty of rain!)

And if you’re looking for more places to explore in the area, here are our favourite things to do in Totnes.

  • Price: £165 for 1-2 people
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Location: South Hams
  • Google review score: 5 stars


2. Retrace the steps of smugglers at Ness Cove

How many beaches do you know that you can only get to via a secret tunnel? None? That’s why Ness Cove makes our list of fun things to do in Devon for adults.

Located just across the estuary from Teignmouth, rumour has it that smugglers cut this tunnel through the cliffs to avoid taxes on their booty. Tea, spices, silks – things like that. And the tunnel still stands to this day.

To find it, aim for The Ness Car Park then head towards Shaldon Wildlife Trust on foot. From there, you’ll spot signs pointing you towards the tunnel – you can’t miss it!

Ness Cove is a great place to visit any time of year, and it's dog friendly all year round too. But if the weather is on your side, you could make a day of it by hopping the ferry from Shaldon to Teignmouth after checking out the beach. 

  • Price: Free
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Location: Teignbridge
  • Google review score: 4.6 stars

Image source: Google Street View


3. Canoe, kayak or paddleboard to the pub in Exeter

Next up on our list of fun things to do in Devon is a trip to the pub. But not just any old trip.

Starting from Exeter Quay, you can take a gentle paddle down the canal to one of two pubs. The closest and easiest to get to is Double Locks, which will take somewhere between 20 and 40 minutes depending on your mode of transport.

But if you really want to earn your pint, follow the waterways all the way down to The Turf, near Topsham. This will take more like 2-3 hours, so it isn’t for the fainthearted. But if the weather is on your side, there are few better ways to spend an afternoon. 

For equipment rental, you have three main options:

Since this trip is all about the great outdoors, you’re best off aiming for somewhere between April and September. And if you end up catching a heatwave, you can just accidentally-on-purpose fall in to cool off.

  • Price: From £22 per person
  • Duration: 2-3 hours
  • Location: Exeter
  • Google review score: 4.9 stars

Image source: Google Maps


4. Visit the ancient woodland at Wistman’s Wood

Have you ever wondered what the world would look like if it were untouched by humanity or wildlife? Well, Wistman’s Wood is probably the closest you’re going to get.

Just a short out-and-back walk from The Two Bridges hotel on Dartmoor, this ancient woodland is a tangle of gnarly branches and lichen-covered rocks. It’s so rocky, in fact, that the local ponies and cattle can’t even pass through it.

The ground can be pretty waterlogged during the autumn and winter months, so your best bet is to visit between April and September.

And if you need an extra nudge to visit Devon’s national park, here’s what legendary filmmaker, Steven Spielberg, had to say about it: “I have never before, in my long and eclectic career, been gifted with such an abundance of natural beauty as I experienced filming War Horse on Dartmoor.”

  • Price: Free
  • Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Location: Dartmoor
  • Google review score: 4.7 stars

Image source: Visit Dartmoor


5. Swim with seals at Lundy Island

Around 10 miles off the northwest coast of Devon is a little-known natural paradise called Lundy Island.

Home to Sika deer, goats, puffins and, of course, seals, a visit to Lundy Island is one of the most fun and unusual things to do in Devon for nature lovers.

There are plenty of one- or two-hour boat trips out to the island. But if you want the full bucket list experience of swimming with seals, we’d recommend the Ilfracombe Sea Safari

This trip is best in the late summer months. The sea still won’t be warm (this is England we’re talking about, not the Med) but it’ll be a damn sight warmer than it would be in April or May.

  • Price: £110 per person 
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Location: North Devon
  • Google review score: 4.8 stars

Image source: BSAC


6. Book an escape game

If you’re after some unusual things to do in Devon for adults, you can’t go wrong with an escape game or two.

They’re fun. They’re suitable for group sizes from two to eight, depending on the room. And, best of all, they aren’t weather dependent! 

Here are four popular spots in Devon for you to try:

And new places are popping up all the time! So have a little search near where you’re staying and see what you can find.

  • Price: From £35 for the room
  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Location: All over Devon
  • Google review score: 4.9 stars on average

Image source: Escape Hunt


7. Take on one of Devon’s epic cycle paths

Strap on your helmets and take a ride along one of Devon’s (and the country’s) most beautiful cycle paths.

First up, is the Tarka Trail, which stretches along 30 miles of disused railway path from Meeth to Braunton – passing through Bideford, Appledore and Barnstaple along the way.

Or why not take on the Granite Way on Dartmoor? Part of National Cycle Route 27, it runs for 11 miles between Okehampton and Lydford, offering stunning views of Meldon Viaduct. 

No gear? No problem. There are plenty of cycle hire shops available for both routes.

  • Price: Free
  • Duration: 3-6 hours
  • Location: West Devon or Torridge
  • Google review score: 4.7 stars

Image source: Tarka Trail


8. Surf the famous waves of Woolacombe

Think you need to go all the way to Cornwall to surf in the UK? Think again.

In the northwest of Devon is Woolacombe, a two-mile stretch of sandy coastline flanked by headlands clawing out into the Atlantic. And with plenty of rental shops in town, it’s the perfect place to try your hand at surfing.

Woolacombe is a popular destination for staycationers during the summer holidays. So if you want to enjoy the sunshine but avoid the crowds, aim for June or September.

  • Price: £39 per person
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Location: North Devon
  • Google review score: 4.8 stars

Image source: Woolacombe Surf Centre


9. Climb among the treetops at Go Ape

Scared of heights? Skip to number 11. Otherwise, keep reading!

When you think of Go Ape, you probably imagine kids’ birthday parties and wholesome family fun. But what you may not know is that Go Ape is a popular spot for stag and hen parties too.

Located at Haldon Forest, just outside Exeter, this treetop adventure will test your balance and bravery – finishing with a 200-metre zip wire ride across the valley.

This experience is available year round, but you’ll probably have much more fun in the spring or summer.

  • Price: From £20 per person
  • Duration: 1-3 hours
  • Location: Exeter
  • Google review score: 4.8 stars

Image source: Go Ape


10. Go skydiving with Skydive Buzz

We’ve already covered a bunch of fun things to do in Devon for adults. But if your idea of fun requires a little more adrenaline, there’s always skydiving.

Located out at Dunkeswell in East Devon, Skydive Buzz offers three options for your jump:

  • 7,000ft tandem – 15 seconds freefall
  • 10,000ft tandem – 30 seconds freefall
  • 15,000ft tandem – 60 seconds freefall

You can go skydiving any time of year. But beware: if it’s a cloudy day, you could be waiting a long time to jump. So try to book for a week when clear skies are guaranteed.

  • Price: From £149 per person
  • Duration: 2-4 hours
  • Location: East Devon
  • Google review score: 4.8 stars

Image source: Skydive Buzz


11. Or watch planes from the ground at the English Riviera Airshow

Since 2016, the English Riviera Airshow has been putting on a dazzling show in the skies, complete with Hurricanes, Spitfires and, of course, the Red Arrows.

This year, the show will be held on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd June. So keep an eye on their website for the full lineup.

  • Price: Free
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Location: Torbay
  • Google review score: N/A

Image source: British Airshows


Final thoughts

So, as you can see, there are plenty of fun and unusual things to do in Devon for adults, whatever the weather.

And if you fancy trying your hand at glass blowing while you're in the area, you can book an experience here →

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Friday, 19 April 2024