The World of Country Life in Sandy Bay – Exmouth, prides itself on being an all weather attraction for the whole family. We arrived on one of those rather drizzly Devon days and we were not disappointed.
There is so much under cover here you are never short of anything to do and we managed to hop outside in between showers. We ran from our car to the entrance to dodge the rain and after we entered we were immediately transported into another era as we explored their old country life exhibits. We enjoyed our roam down old village road, this is a re-creation of a country street from the past.
We walked through one of the old thatched cottages and had many laughs explaining how things used to be in years gone by to our children, some of which they just couldn’t believe, including an outside toilet that my eldest was not impressed with the thought of! We then travelled through time a little more whilst looking in a shop, watching tiny black and white televisions, looking at old Hoover’s and seeing old butter churns and many other pieces of old farming equipment. There was plenty to keep us entertained whilst the first showers blew over.
We headed over to the big slides where the whole family enjoyed several giggles and thrills on the large bumpy mat slides. As the sun reappeared we headed outdoors to the climbing frames and giant air bouncers. On this occasion we didn’t actually get to see them, but the World of Country life also have an extensive collection of over fifty birds at their Hawkridge Birds of Prey Centre, where they regularly do flying displays.
Whilst it was still dry we went on the tractor train, this cost a few pounds extra but it was an absolute highlight for us, the friendly and enthusiastic staff and their informative and often amusing commentary made it great fun and I would highly recommend paying the extra pennies. The train, pulled by a tractor, winds its way through paddocks with rare breed Jacob sheep, llamas and deer. The animals were so friendly and myself, my partner and the girls thoroughly enjoyed feeding the deer and llamas. They were incredibly fun to be around and they really do poke their heads right inside the carriage with you, I think my eldest thought she was on a safari! The driver and handler was on hand with food for the children to give the animals, feeding and being so up close was a great experience.
We then stopped for some food in one of the many indoor eating areas. We chose to eat in the pirates adventure area where inside the barn is a life size pirate ship for the children to play on. It was complete with pirates, sand and sailors music, this made it very atmospheric and great fun for the children.
Throughout the day, announcements are made over the Tannoy system informing visitors of the upcoming events. After lunch we heard that it was time to go and meet the smaller animals in the nursery. We had the usual lovely guinea pigs and rabbits to cuddle and a rather unusual stick insect, a little tickly but very interesting none the less. We also spent time petting some other very friendly goats and sheep in a nearby walk in paddock.
We then ventured into the large indoor soft play area which included lots of slides, big ball pool and a bouncy castle. The ball pool was equipped with a couple of air machines that vacuum the balls and fires them into the air. Very entertaining for little ones, I don’t think my two year old did anything else except putting balls into the shute in the soft play area for a full half an hour.
Finally we had a wander around their classic motor museum and viewed some of the fantastic old machines that they have in their collection. These included a vintage police cart, massive steam fairground engines and early fire engines. There really is something to interest the whole family here, young and old.
We were really impressed with our first visit to The World of Country life and thank you to Dartmoor Accommodation for organising this day out, we will certainly be going back to visit again, this is definitely one to remember whatever the weather.