10 of the top Devon activities to entertain a big group holiday cottages


10 of the top Devon activities to entertain a big group

Sarah P 19 January 2021

If you’re planning a fun-filled group holiday in Devon with friends or family, you’ll no doubt be wondering how you can keep everyone entertained during your stay. The good news is that Devon not only has two coasts and two national parks to choose from, but a plethora of activities and days out to suit all kinds of groups. Inspire your holiday plans with these excellent Devon activities for groups of all ages, from learning a new skill to experiencing unique dining opportunities and award-winning attractions. 

Learn to surf in North Devon

Image credit: ed_west on Instagram

A recognised world-class destination for both surfing pros and beginners, no trip to North Devon is complete without hitting the waves. Whether you’re planning a surfing break which mostly involves catching the surf and lazing on the beach with your friends, or you’re looking for Devon activities to keep the youngsters entertained, North Devon is the perfect destination. There are plenty of excellent surfing beaches to choose from such as Croyde, Woolacombe and Westward Ho!, all of which are also home to an excellent choice of surf schools for beginners. 

North Devon Surf Schools: 

Take a cookery class at Ashburton Cookery School 

As one of the UK’s top cookery schools, Ashburton Cookery School offers a huge range of courses ranging from one-day and half-day classes to their professional chef’s academy. Perfect for those foodies in your group, each class is led by expert chef tutors that know their thing! A culinary experience where you can brush up on your skills, learn new techniques or discover methods from your favourite cuisine offers a fantastic group activity in Devon for all ages. We think this would be a great hen party activity for food-loving hens! 

 More Devon cookery schools 

Enjoy the ultimate gin experience at Salcombe Gin

Image credit: Salcombe Gin on Instagram

A tour and tasting at a gin distillery is the perfect experience if you’re looking for indoor activities in Devon for hen and stag parties, birthdays or to fill that extra time on your break away. Learn the process behind the creation of your favourite tipple and of course, indulge in a little taste test too! Make a whole day of it and book packages that provide the true gin experience. Salcombe Gin, a name you may recognise, not only invite you sto tour and taste but its Gin School also provides the opportunity for groups to create their own gin recipe with the guidance of an expert distiller. 

Gin distilleries in Devon 

Enjoy a fun-filled day out at Devon’s top family attractions

Image credit: Paignton Zoo 

A family holiday calls to find the best children’s activities in Devon that the whole family will love and, fortunately, you won’t struggle to find excellent family attractions. One of the most popular is a day out at Paignton Zoo to meet over 2,500 animals across 80 acres! Booking as a group is a great way to save some money and enjoy a big day out together, so make sure if you are planning a trip, you take advantage of the group booking benefits.

More family attractions and days out

Cycle along the Exe Estuary Trail on Pashley bikes

Image credit: Darts Farm

Enjoy a traditional cycling experience along the beautiful Exe Estuary cycle trail linking Exmouth and Dawlish Warren to Exeter Quay, and home to world-class birds, wildlife, and scenery. Hire bikes from the award-winning farm shop of Darts Farm in Topsham near Exeter and enjoy a unique cycling experience by pedalling away on a handmade British classic such as a Pashley or a Dawes tandem. Stock up on homemade picnic delights from the deli before you go or pick up a ready-made picnic hamper and enjoy the very best tastes of the West Country. The perfect family activity for a sunny summer’s day or a fabulous way to explore the area with a group of friends – making the most of the few pub stops along the way!

Other traffic-free cycle routes in Devon

  • Tarka Trail – a 32-mile flat trail from Braunton to Meeth in North Devon 
  • Grand Western Canal – 11 miles of tranquil countryside from Tiverton to Holcombe Rogus 
  • The Granite Way -  an 11-mile trail connecting Okehampton and Lydford with beautiful views of Dartmoor

Go on an adventure in Dartmoor National Park


The wild and rugged backdrop of Dartmoor National Park is a dream destination for adrenaline junkies. If you’re looking for Devon activities and outdoor pursuits that offer thrill and adventure, then Dartmoor is the place to go. Try outdoor activities such as canoeing, white-water rafting, climbing, horse riding, gorge scrambling and caving! There are several local activity providers that offer tailored packages so that you can personalise your experience depending on your group’s abilities, whether it’s a family session or an adult activity. 

Dartmoor activity providers: 

Dine in style at the River Exe Cafe 

Image credit: River Exe Cafe

Food and meal planning tends to be one of the most important elements of a group holiday, and quite rightly so! Make sure you treat yourself and dine somewhere memorable – especially if you are celebrating a special occasion like a hen or stag party, or a milestone birthday. The River Exe Café is a floating restaurant in the middle of the River Exe, and it is reached only by water taxi or private boat! This unique restaurant showcases some of the very best Devon suppliers and products, and it takes in the best of the estuary’s wildlife and views. It’s a popular spot though, so make sure you book well in advance!

A taste of Devon’s unique dining experiences

  • The Pig at Combe, Mid Devon – a fine-dining experience making the most of local suppliers and its very own kitchen garden
  • The Masons Arms, North Devon – a Michelin-star restaurant that offers bespoke masterclasses for groups of 8 or more
  • The Oyster Shack, South Devon – an informal but high-quality dining experience serving the very best fresh and local seafood 

Watch a Premiership Rugby match in Exeter

While Devon’s capital city of Exeter may have previously sat in the shadows of Bath & Bristol as the South West’s rugby destinations, Exeter Chiefs are now really making a name for themselves in Premiership Rugby. Sports enthusiasts should try and catch a game on the team’s home ground of Sandy Park, as one of the must-do activities in Exeter. Whether it’s a group of you celebrating a special occasion, or a family day trip, the atmosphere is one you won’t forget!  

Where to watch live sports in Devon

Traverse the coastline of Exmoor National Park

Image credit: Exmoor Adventures

One for daredevils, explore the rugged Exmoor National Park coast from a completely different perspective and get the adrenaline pumping. A great Devon activity for groups of both adults and children, book a coasteering adventure and you’ll be leaping from cliffs, swimming through caves, and scrambling over rocks together! Sounds like fun? There are several coasteering providers in North Devon to help organise your group outing. 

Coasteering adventures in North Devon:

To inspire your group holiday in Devon 

With so many Devon activities to choose from, your group holiday is sure to be as action-packed or chilled out as you want it to be. Get to know North Devon and South Devon even better, and inspire your large holiday cottage choice with our pick of the top large houses to rent in Devon

Looking for more group activities to inspire your big break? We’ve put together a whole host of guides with great ideas for big holidays and special occasions.

Book a large house in Devon

Are you ready to book? Our large houses in Devon range from country houses in rural locations to spacious seaside apartments in some of the most popular coastal locations. Peruse our full collection of large houses and book your group holiday in Devon.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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