Play areas, well-thought out menus and a warm welcome … a decent child friendly pub is a fantastic find, because for you to really relax and enjoy yourselves you need to know the kids are happy too. You want somewhere with lots to keep them amused, and a children’s menu that offers food that’s as good as your own.
So we’ve done the searching for you and found some great child friendly pubs in Devon that’ll provide a good time for all family members, plus sample menus.
Child friendly pubs in Devon
The Old Mill Inn, Woolacombe
This 17th century inn (pictured above and on front page) has bags of character, local real ales and a lovely outside adventure playground. And the beauty of it is that the play area is fully visible from the covered alfreco dining tables, so you can relax and keep an eye on them at the same time. The Old Mill Inn is on the site of the Golden Coast Holiday Village and only open March-November, but does welcome non-residents.
On the menu Adults: Beef and ale pie £10.95, Nachos £9.95
Children: Sausage and mash £4.95, Burger and chips £4.95
More info The Old Mill Inn
The Boathouse Tavern, Dawlish Warren
The Boathouse Tavern has won awards (in 2011 and 2012) from The Primary Times for its family dining, which says a lot about the effort this beachside pub (very near more kids’ amusements) puts into making children welcome. Children love the soft play area, colouring in packs and pirate-themed décor, whilst parents with babies appreciate the two baby changing areas, highchairs in abundance, baby food available to buy and microwave for customers to use for warming baby food and milk.
On the menu Adults: The top deck burger £9.25, Pork belly with apples and sage £12.95 Children: Fish dippers with chips £3.85, Spaghetti bolognese £3.85
More info The Boathouse Tavern
Jack in the Green, Rockbear
If your little foodie would rather tuck into truffle mash than curly fries, this is the place for you. An award-winning dining pub, the Jack in the Green draws adults from across the county for its excellent cooking and commitment to local sourcing. What’s more, its head chef Matt Mason has for years helped at local primary schools in an attempt to get children more enaged with good food and where it comes from. As a result the children’s menu at the Jack is a cut above most – and though there’s no kids play area here the fantastic food makes up for it!
On the menu Adults: Devon honey and lavender glazed duck breast with pickled blackberries £19.50, Peppered rump steak and skinny fries £18.50
Children: Fish pie topped with cheesy potato followed by chocolate brownie and vanilla ice cream £6.95, Child sized portions from the main menu available
More info Jack in the Green
The Waterfront, Westward Ho!
This large family-owned pub (pictured above) on the seafront at one of North Devon’s most popular family beaches has two brilliant play areas: a pirate ship-themed wooden climbing frame in the beer garden, and a free soft play area (with separate area for toddlers) with slides and a ball pool indoors. Being so popular with children it’s usually pretty lively there at peak times – so you won’t mind if your kids are haring around with the rest of them!
On the menu Adults: Steak and Tribute ale pie £9.99, Chicken goujons and ribs combo £12.99
Children: Cottage pie £4.75, Cheese and tomato pizza £4.75
More info The Waterfront
The Waterfront, Plymouth Hoe
This lovely upmarket pub is on the opposite coast and on a different Hoe to the one above – in Plymouth. It’s also a rather different offering: there’s no play area, but it’s light and airy with wonderful views, and makes a big effort to keep little ones happy in other ways. There are crayons and colouring sheets with puzzles and pictures, plus the good selection of children’s dishes use only whole foods and contain no preservatives.
On the menu Adults: Steamed local mussels in creamy white wine, garlic and parsley sauce £13.95, Beer battered fish with chips and pea puree £9.95
Children: Spaghetti bolognese £4.95, Breaded chicken breast with skinny fries £4.95
More info The Waterfront
The Greyhound Inn, Honiton
With miniature ponies and a lovely big beer garden to charge around in, this traditional inn is a lovely one to head for when the weather’s good, though there’s plenty of room inside when it’s colder. It’s also got an offering we’ve never seen anywhere else, and which makes absolute sense: children’s meals that come in either child- or toddler-sized portions, with prices to match. The adults will also love the good range of local ales on tap.
On the menu Adults: Hunters chicken £8.95, Lasagne with garlic bread £9.25
Children: Battered chicken nuggets with chips £4.95/£3.25, Turkey dinosaurs with smiley faces £4.95/£3.25
More info The Greyhound Inn
The Bush Inn, Morwenstow
Another winner because of its fab outdoor offering. Right on the Devon-Cornwall border, The Bush Inn has two thatched and heated ‘dining huts’ (pictured above) in its garden, overlooking a decent-sized wooden climbing play area. Perfect for a gathering of the whole family, kids will love the novelty of eating in the hut, then can race off and play whilst the adults keep an eye on them. There’s waitress service to the huts, and do book ahead – understandably, they’re popular.
On the menu Adults: Salmon fillet with caper and anchovy butter £15.50, Beef casserole with dumplings and mashed potatoes £12
Children: Mini fish and chips £5.25, Homemade burger £5.25
More info The Bush Inn
The Turf, Topsham
This really lovely pub on the Exe will be a hit with the whole family, partly because it’s such an adventure getting there! Accessible only by boat, on foot or by bike, The Turf is one of the few pubs in the country that’s not accessible by road, but it’s worth the journey. It serves decent food (listing local breweries and suppliers on the menu), and you can extend the adventure by getting together a group of friends or family and ordering one of their ‘cook your own’ barbecues (do book ahead of time).
On the menu Adults: Falafels with hummus in pitta bread £8.95, ribeye steak with peppercorn and thyme butter and chips £16.50
Children: Fish and chips £5.50, Pasta £5.50
More info The Turf
Find out more
Discover free family days out in Devon this summer
Read about celebrity chef restaurants in Plymouth
Find more pubs in Devon that welcome families: search Plymouth, South Devon, Torquay, Paignton & Brixham, Exeter & surrounds, Dartmoor and North Devon & Exmoor