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The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth

4.7
#1 of 44 in Wildlife in Devon
More than 500 gentle donkeys welcome you to their home at The Donkey Sanctuary at Slade Farm--the main headquarters of this international charity. Where else can you challenge your children to spot a miniature donkey roaming free in the fields, and pet a gentle giant called a Poitou? Five walking trails accommodate everyone's ability: one leads to a wildflower meadow, another leads you to the nature center, and others are bicycle friendly. Your children will love getting lost in the giant maze, going on a treasure hunt, and picnicking on the farm. Plus, dogs are permitted. There's no entrance fee, but you're encouraged to contribute at any of the donation boxes scattered throughout the grounds. Another delicious way to contribute is by eating breakfast, lunch, or a snack at Hayloft Restaurant, since they donate all of their proceeds to the sanctuary. Add The Donkey Sanctuary to your Sidmouth travel itinerary, and discover new vacation ideas by using our Sidmouth day trip planning website .
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The Donkey Sanctuary Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
2,503 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • This is especially enjoyable with children and there is a fair amount for them to do other than look at, stroke and squeal with delight at the donkeys! The donkeys are well cared forand there is gener...  more »
  • Have been here many times but this visit surpassed all the others.It has a brand new building housing the cafe, visitor centre, shop and toilets etc. A superb lunch in the cafe at a very reasonable pr...  more »
  • Enjoyed a visit to this site today, very well and thoughtfully laid out. Refreshments in the cafe were well priced and very tasty. Will certainly recommend to friends and family.  more »
Google
  • Great place to take large families as it's free to enter. They've spent a load of money in the last year or so upgrading the cafe and other areas. Not been for lunch recently but the food always used to be good and reasonably priced. Did I mention they have donkeys? Well they do, loads of them. Some of them are quite vocal at times, which is always amusing. Many will let you stroke them, but they can give you a playful nip if you're not careful. There is a nice walk down to the pebbled Weston Mouth Beach but it is hilly and can be muddy in places if it's been wet. There are also about 70 steps at the bottom so it's a good workout. If you are really into your walking you can walk along the coastal path from here to Branscombe Beach which also has a great spot for lunch.
  • Went here with my 2 Grand Daughters, who love it. It really is a good couple of hours , everything is so well done and the staff are all charming. The new food area is now open and it really is good quality and good value. Definitely worth a visit.
  • Many new changes to the visitor centre including a huge new restaurant, we had a meal voucher generated by the Donkey Sanctuary, bought by a friend, so had a very enjoyable lunch whilst overlooking the donkeys and the sea! Parking is much improved and enlarged but still free! The new larger gift shop is brilliant, always plenty to see and do at the Donkey Sanctuary.
  • My sister adopted a beautiful donkey for a Mother's day gift for mum. She was delighted when she received her pack with the pictures and information of our boy Cocoa. Of course on our next free day without snow... we went to meet him at the sanctuary. I was surprised to find that it was FREE entry. we had such a lovely day though that we donated the money I had set aside for getting in. We were greeted by one of their volunteers that told us where to find Cocoa and a run down of who was in each of the shelters. He was passionate about the donkeys and extremely knowledgeable. There is a lovely new restaurant, gift shop and education area. There were lots of kiddies clamouring over a landrover :) The paths were mostly level with wheelchair users in mind, but not all paved. If the weather is bad they will be wet and muddy, but we kinda expected that. It's not like a zoo. There are hundreds of rescued and retired donkeys all being cared for and roaming in their beautiful fields. It was a joy to see them. You can't guarantee seeing a particular donkey up close because they could be anywhere! But we managed to get in lots of strokes, nose and ear scratches! We had taken a packed lunch which we ate in the lovely outdoor picnic area while watching the donkeys and birds. It is dog friendly with lots of lovely walks. we had an ice cream before we left which was not only reasonably priced but lovely! A lovely afternoon out and only a few minutes from the seaside!
  • Our girls adopted donkeys for Christmas. Couldn't resist coming to visit them. Great sanctuary. Loads for room and different areas. Fab maze aswell. Good food at the cafe and lovely little gift shop.
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