With school holidays to start soon, here are a few ideas for the summer break

There are all sorts of things you can do this summer. Picture: Getty Images

There are all sorts of things you can do this summer. Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images

Officially speaking, schools in East Devon break up for the summer holiday from next week, so families can take a break from the phased returns and home schooling for six weeks.

As lockdown measures ease, families will be looking for things to do in East Devon Picture: Getty Im

As lockdown measures ease, families will be looking for things to do in East Devon Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Usually this is a boom time for the holiday and hospitality industries, but with certain pandemic restrictions still in place, families may need to be creative in their approach to the school summer holiday in 2020.

Luckily, in East Devon there’s an abundance of open outdoor spaces for the children to enjoy.

The ancient hillfort of Woodbury Castle is a wonderful spot for adventures and imaginative games, as is Ashclyst Forest on the Killerton estate which features several countryside walks.

The nature reserves at Lower Bruckland Farm and Holyford Woods brim with life in the summer months and are great places to spot mini beasts and butterflies.

Similarly, Bystock Pools near Exmouth is a wonderfully diverse nature reserve and well worth a visit.

Those wanting to take the children to a more open landscape may wish to visit Woodbury Common or RSPB Aylesbeare Common, both great destinations to follow animal tracks and discover wildlife in its natural habitat.

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Another spot rich in wildlife is the popular attraction, Wildwood Escot.

It re-opened on June 15, and has a daily capacity for 500 visitors currently, although this is expected to change over time as restrictions ease.

A one-way system is in place to reinforce social distancing where it is feasible and additional hand sanitisers are dotted around the park.

Looking ahead, Wild East Devon has several exciting explorations of nature scheduled in August.

There’s a family bushcraft day at Offwell woods, rockpool rambles on Exmouth beach, an Exe Estuary mud walk and a summer holiday club at Seaton Wetlands lined up.

Whether these events actually take place is totally dependent on how the pandemic progresses, yet there’s a chance to book places right now. Places are limited on some sessions so pre-booking is essential.

To get updates or to make a booking call 01395 517557 or email: wild@eastdevon.gov.uk

There’s a glimmer of hope for a family summer holiday this year, especially if you’re wanting a holiday close to home.

Behind the scenes, big efforts have been and are being made to ensure the sites are Covid-19 secure and that social distancing practices can work.

Oakdown Touring and Holiday Camping Park near Sidmouth opened with safety measures on July 4.

Crealy Theme Park and Resort is open, subject to Covid-19 restrictions and its luxury lodges and glamping units will be available for hire.

In a similar fashion, Ladram Bay is taking new bookings for its holiday homes and bookings for its touring field and tent pitches from Friday, July 24.

School’s Out Directory

As lockdown restrictions ease, different attractions across East Devon will reopen their gates to the public in a phased way according to when they are ready and have the critical safety measures in place. As the information can change, it is worth checking each individual attraction’s website for the latest updates:

Axe Valley Wildlife Park - www.axevalleypark.co.uk or call 01297 34472

Thelma Hulbert Gallery - www.thelmahulbert.com or call 01404 45006

Seaton Jurassic - https://seatonjurassic.org or call 01297 300 390

Wild East Devon - https://eastdevon.gov.uk/countryside/wild-east-devon-events or call 01395 517557

Killerton - www.nationaltrust.org.uk/killerton or call 01392 881345

Seaton Tramway - www.tram.co.uk or call 01297 20375

Bicton Park - www.bictongardens.co.uk or call 01395 568465

World of Country Life - www.worldofcountrylife.co.uk or call 01395 274533

Wildwood Escot - https://devon.wildwoodtrust.org or call 01404 822188

Crealy Theme Park and Resort - www.crealy.co.uk or call 01395 233200

Stuart Line Cruises - www.stuartlinecruises.co.uk or call 01395 222144

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