What is it?
Watermouth Castle is a hybrid historical castle/theme park attraction. Find it on the A399 coast road between Illfracombe and Combe Martin, North Devon. The Sat Nav postcode is EX34 9SL.
Toddlers & Preschool / 5 – 8
9 – 12
££ – Children under 92cm go free, but everyone else costs £12.50. Pay £2.50 for the group photo at the end of your visit and return throughout the season for just £2.
What’s on offer
The company claims that they “aren’t Alton Towers” on their TripAdvisor page. So, what are they? They are a quirky theme park alongside a gorgeous castle and lovely gardens, with amazing views from each.
Firstly, there’s the Victorian Castle, which is home to a small Victoria Museum filled with lots of weird and wonderful antiques. The lovely gardens have lots of space for families to enjoy a picnic or packed lunch.
The theme park, while it’s certainly not Alton Towers, offers a great deal of small rides for children, a rather magical Gnome Village and a slightly spookier Dungeons area. There’s a wacky merry-go-land area (which you need to see for yourself) and an adventure playground and a water area.
The park has three sets of toilets, but the baby-changing facilities can be found in Castle Courtyard and in the Gardens. The castle is mostly accessible and has a gift shop. For those who prefer to dine out, there are eateries on site First aid points. One of the best aspects of the Castle is that your buggy must be left at the entrance, where it can be transported to the garden for you, just in time for the theme park fun. This is, of course, if a buggy is non-essential.
Families on TripAdvisor with children between the ages of 1 – 4 have been raving about Watermouth Castle!
Most little visitors will love the snake slide, swing boats and the Water Wars. You can also enjoy a bit of mini golf! Most children will enjoy the Gnome Village too, especially watching them making gold coins. Just about everyone loves to get lost in the maze. The uniqueness of all the attractions is what makes it so special and bonus points for how random they all seem together. Young children will love it. Unlike some adventure parks, it’s very clean, well maintained with friendly & dedicated staff.
There’s also the castle, which becomes interesting when young children are promised with the delights of the theme park after viewing. Everyone loves the 2p and 10p slot machines inside!
What to watch out for
– The dungeon areas are quite scary for some young children, as in the Gnome Village. Use your discretion to decide whether or not your child can handle visiting these areas. They are easily-avoided if you follow the signposting or ask a member of staff for directions.
– Leaving buggies at the entrance of the castle will be a load of some parents minds, but a massive travesty for families with tiny babies or children just finding their feet. Perhaps it’s best for families with such small children to give this attraction a miss, or perhaps use a sling!
– The hills around the park (where you have access to your buggy) can make a pushchair a bit of a work out for whoevers pushing. Leave it in the car and wear a sling for babies, or just take lots of sit down breaks for little ones.
– This is not a park for older children – not only will they probably get bored, but they may not even fit in all the rides.
– If you go in expecting a huge or traditional theme park, you’ll feel sorely let down, but if you go with an open mind you’ll find there’s a lot to do!
– The Tube Slide does not run during wet weather.
– A lot of the attractions are outdoor, but there’s a lot of stuff to do inside, too. Don’t write this place off in the wet weather.
-If you’re looking to stock up on fun days out ideas, other family-friendly North Devon attractions include The Milky Way Adventure Park and The Big Sheep.
What the owners say
“One of the West Country’s premier Family Tourist Attractions where you can enjoy, a Victorian Castle full of eclectic treasures, nostalgic displays and curios, a theme park including rides and play areas, and beautiful landscaped gardens.”
Visit the official Watermouth Castle website
Visit more of North Devon’s best family attractions…
The BIG Sheep
Milky Way Adventure Park
Haldon Forest Park
Quince Honey Farm