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“A wonderful place to visit - good for the soul”

The Donkey Sanctuary
Ranked #1 of 27 things to do in Sidmouth
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“A wonderful place to visit - good for the soul”
Reviewed 1 October 2009

We've visited the Donkey Sanctuary too many times to remember and always find it a lovely place to visit.
There are lovely walks - some suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs - others much longer and even one that takes you down to the beautiful coast. There is a maze and a visitor centre, cafe and toilets and special events throughout the year. The donkeys are all cared for so well - some of them have had terrible lives until they were taken here so it's good to know they will now have such comfortable lives. They have a full veterinary hospital and a centre where disabled children come and visit and interact with the donkeys. Yes there are lots of rememberance plaques as the gentleman mentions below but perhaps an appropriate way for a child to ask the questions and for the parent to simply explain the reason for them.
It's free to park and visit but well worth a donation to keep it that way!

Thank cheshireangel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,191 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“not my cup of tea”
Reviewed 11 August 2009

yes this is free and yes we have been a few times and i am aware that it is a charity the relies on donations but everywhere you go on the grounds there are little plaques in memory of .My daughter is going through the read everything in sight age and this posed a number of difficult questions especially as there were some plaques for dogs. The positives of the donkey sanctury is that there i large area to explore and go for a long walk in.

3 Thank NorthumberlandTigger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“A place well worth a visit with the kids & its free!”
Reviewed 8 July 2009

We all love the donkey sanctuary & visit every time we go to Sidmouth. Our boys aged 4 & 6 love it, plus it is a great place for them to let of steam. There isn't a play area but there is a maze which is great fun & passes a good half hour or so. We have always been lucky with the weather so have been able to picnic each time but the undercover picnic area isn't always available. There is a restaurant in the grounds but as of yet we haven't tried it. There is a lovely gift shop that sells all sorts but it is a little pricey but as the day out doesn't cost much, it is worth buying something as the money goes towards the keep of the lovely natured donkeys. You can of course even adopt a donkey!!

2 Thank LesleyAsh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hampshire, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
57 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 192 helpful votes
“A place to make you go 'Ahhhhh!'”
Reviewed 23 February 2009

It does what it says on the tin, basically.

Not sure I'd say this is a 'must-see' place, but it's certainly a worthwhile place to break the long journey between the south-east and Cornwall, espcially if you like furry creatures.
My daughter's animal-mad, so I knew it would be worth the small diversion off the A303 / A30.

I did have a slight moment of doubt when we first arrived. The sanctuary is doing a fair bit of refurbishment, and all I could see were empty fields, and in the furthest, a couple of bored-looking donkeys. However, the place is larger than it first appears, and there are plenty of donkeys to see, and maybe pet.

We went in February, so the outside did look a little bleak, but a friend who lives fairly close by assured me that it looks lovely during Spring and Summer, when it's also possible to go for long, delightful walks in the fields towards the sea.

Oh, and when I say they have plenty of donkeys - they have LOADS of donkeys! We'd seen several and then entered the barn, where scores of donkeys were milling around, keeping warm. I don't think I've ever seen more than 5 donkeys together, so this was certainly a surprise.

Staff are happy to explain the purpose of the sanctuary, and so you do get a sense of the visit being worthwhile as well as enjoyable.

There were quite a few families there, and I got a sense of it being a popular local attraction. There is a restaurant (which we didn't visit, as we were saving ourselves for a special cream tea at the Southern Cross in nearby Newton Poppleford - well worth visiting there), and shop where my daughter just *had * to buy yet another toy animal (except this one brays...) to add to her collection.

So yes, a very pleasant way to break a journey, and you can feel virtuous afterwards too.

3 Thank Gilliganuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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