What is it?
It’s the stunning home of the Earl and Countess of Devon. It’s also a public attraction. Find it in Exeter.The Sat Nav postcode is EX6 8JQ.
5 – 8
Toddlers & Preschool / 9 – 12
££ – Prices vary depending on the time of year, but an adult can expect to pay up to £11.50 and a child under 4 ticket costs up to £10. Family tickets can cost up to £36 during peak visiting times. You can visit again for free after filling in a questionnaire or purchase a season ticket.
What’s on offer
You can take a highly-praised guided tour of Powderham Castle, with commentary designed to help you make the most out of the experience. There are also areas designated for children, including the Courtenay Fort, which is a model of the castle-cum-jungle gym type play area for little ones and the Walled Garden, which consists of a play area and a pets corner for youngsters to enjoy.
In addition to the historical Forge, visitors can pay a little extra to be taken on a tractor ride through the stunning countryside to view over 650 fallow deer living in the area. Bringing the wildlife to you.
There are three nature trails for children to follow, which will allow them to explore the natural beauty of this Devonshire landmark, but will also win them a Powderham Castle medal if they complete it (which is a really nice touch)!
They also have a café, gift shop and gallery – but they also have plenty of space in the gardens for families to enjoy a picnic or packed lunch. There are accessible toilets. There are some ramps, but the indoor areas are not the most pushchair friendly attractions, so please keep this in mind when you come to visit.
Throughout the summer holidays and across the year, Powderham castle has many different exciting events, some of which are aimed at children and families, including treasure hunts, Bird of Prey exhibits and live shows. Keep an eye out for their ever-changing ‘themed weeks’. Check the website for more details.
Everything is really beautiful and maintained well. The Deer Park tractor ride is without a doubt one of the highlights of the visit, which is probably why it’s not included in the entrance fee. No doubt it will be especially delightful for young children or nature loving little ones and it makes for some excellent photographs to show the rest of the family.
On the castle tour, the tour guides are very knowledgeable, though certainly the tour of the castle would better appeal to parents than their offspring. The play areas are all pretty good, particularly the Walled Garden.
What to watch out for
– Admittedly it doesn’t look a great deal like an old, medieval castle, but that’s because it’s not. It’s old, yes, but it’s a current family home and could be described as a very fancy manor house.
– Closed on Saturdays for weddings.
– Dogs, except guide dogs, are not welcome.
– No photos allowed inside the castle, but they are permitted in the gardens.
– Some TripAdvisor users have warned against the cafe. A picnic might be a more enjoyable alternative.
– Any baby-changing facilities are not properly advertised, so if you need some during your visit please consult a member of staff.
– You don’t need more than 3 hours here. After exploring what there is to offer, children will be shattered, so maybe pack a pillow in the car!
– A quick online search should sort you out with some kind of discount for this attraction.
What the owners say
“Powderham Castle is located in a unique, picturesque setting just outside Exeter, beside the Exe estuary. Six hundred years of history are contained within the walls of one of England’s oldest family homes. Sir Philip Courtenay began building it in 1391 and it has remained in the same family to this day, currently home to the 18th Earl & Countess of Devon.
The magical setting and convenient location makes it the perfect venue for all manner of events including weddings and business functions. For locals and visitors to Devon it is a ‘must see’ and with its many attractions – a wonderful family day out!”
Visit the official Powderham Castle website
More family attractions in North Devon…
Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway