New & exciting in Devon for 2016!

There’s always something new happening in Devon. Yes, we have historic buildings, ancient tors and well-loved favourites … but we also have exciting new attractions, recently-opened or refurbed accommodation, and novel ways to enjoy our beautiful county. Read on for lots of great NEW reasons to visit – or revisit – Devon this year.

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New ways to explore the coast: Seaton Jurassic
Become an explorer and experience ancient landscapes, face scary monsters and get shrunk down to the size of a shrimp – or captain a timeship and travel through Jurassic seas. Seaton Jurassic, a community-led centre intent on helping people engage with East Devon’s unique geological, coastal and marine heritage, has something for anyone who wants to really get stuck in to the fascinating natural world of this area. Find out more
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New adrenaline centre: The North Devon Wake Park
Devon’s only Aqua Park opened this year with inflatable slides, trampolines, logs, running mats and climbing frames. Visit and you’ll also get to try Cable Wakeboarding: similar to skateboarding, snowboarding and waterskiing, boarders hang on to an overhead cable which pulls them through the water and over ramps and obstacles. Find out more
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New BIG rollercoaster: The BIG One at The BIG Sheep
Visit the South West’s new and biggest family roller coaster, which can be ridden by everyone over 4 years old. The BIG Sheep, a well-loved family attraction near Bideford, has added this 400m,13m high new ride – and yes, you may have seen it on TV, as it attracted attention when it opened at Easter with its requests for riders to suppress their screams so as not to upset the neighbours! There’s loads more to do at The BIG Sheep too, including rides, shows and animals to pet. Find out more
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New event: Dartmoor Walking Festival
Brand new for 2016, the Dartmoor Walking Festival is set to run for nine days from August 27-September 4, and will be open to people of all abilities. Every day of the festival there’ll be four events on Dartmoor, covering walking, running, cycling and Nordic walking, plus Dartmoor Search and Rescue demonstrations, talks and presentations. All communities will be made welcome, including those with disabilities, and the wide range of activities has been planned to ensure that the programme of events really is inclusive. Find out more
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New thrilling display: Torbay Air Show, June 10-12
The Red Arrows and their trademark combination of close formations and precision flying will provide a full-length display, taking place across the Bay on the afternoon of Sunday 12 June. They will also be bringing a ground exhibit as part of the ground display on Paignton Green, which will also include a Red Arrows flight simulator. Displays from the Eurofighter Typhoon will span the weekend, flying on both Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 June, and the display will include some incredible aerobatic stunts. Find out more
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exeter cathedral big legoNew at Exeter Cathedral: Big LEGO Build 
The 21st history meets the 11th … over the course of this year a scale-model of Exeter Cathedral is being built out of LEGO bricks. The final model, made up of 300,000 LEGO bricks, will be an impressive 3.6m long, 2m wide and 1m high, and for a £1 donation visitors can add a brick to the model. The model is usually inside the Cathedral’s main entrance but will also be at the Devon County Show on May 19-21. Find out more or see the latest progress on Exeter Cathedral’s Instagram page.
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New show: English Riviera Leisure & Boat Show
From May 28-30 the English Riviera Leisure and Boat Show will be taking place on Paignton’s seafront. Visitors will be able to moon over (and perhaps be lucky enough to buy) a great array of boat and leisure equipment ranging from motor homes, sports equipment and all the accessories you can dream of. Find out more
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New art and conservation project: Great Big Rhino Trail
Look out! For 10 weeks from July 30 – October 3, life-size rhino sculptures will inhabit the streets throughout the English Riviera and Exeter, bringing a world-class mass public art event to streets, parks and open spaces. The sculptures will then be at Paignton Zoo from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th October 2016 before being auctioned to support rhino conservation in November 2016. Find out more
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the milky way devon star wars sNew SciFi display: Star Wars at The Milky Way
See characters, collectables and fan art from film & TV, much of it from the Star Wars films, on display together for the first time. One man’s vast private collection of Sci-fi memorabilia from Darth Vader to Daleks and R2D2 to a police box has now been put on display for the public – and the scale of the collection really is quite unbelievable! There’s also lots of rides, shows and fun things to do, much of it all-weather, at this adventure park in North Devon. Find out more
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the sculpture school devonNew on the art scene: The Sculpture School
Enjoy a unique opportunity to learn from one of the world’s top figurative sculptors. Andrew Sinclairis an multi-award winning sculptor, whose work is displayed in organisations and houses throughout the globe. This passionate sculptor will work with you to develop your artistic capability through courses in a beautiful mid-Devon location. Two or four day courses are available, and are designed to suit beginners or experienced artists. Find out more
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deer park hotel devon honiton orangeryNew beautiful space: The Orangery at Deer Park Country House Hotel
This glorious extension to the already-pretty-gorgeous Deer Park near Honiton is bathed in natural light from its Georgian-style arched windows, and is perfect for weddings, conferences and country house parties. It looks out over the lovely gardens and outdoor terrace (complete with pizza oven), and glorious scents from the kitchen garden next door waft through of a summer’s evening. Find out more
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deluxe-room-dart-marina-2New luxury bedrooms: The Dart Marina Hotel
The newly refurbished bedrooms at The Dart Marina Hotel are beautifully contemporary, and of course have fabulous River Dart views. This stylish luxury hotel in foodie Dartmouth has always been well worth a visit, and now even more so – it also has a lovely spa, and well regarded in-house restaurant. Find out more
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gaia spa boringdon devon plymouthNew luxury spa: Gaia Spa at Boringdon Hall Hotel
Gaia Spa launches at Boringdon Hall near Plymouth this spring, and will be the largest new build spa opening in the UK in 2016, with relaxation, spa and wellness facilities, plus its own treatment menu, products and treatments. Guests will enjoy a beauty salon with Champagne bar, plus a gym and outdoor spaces for meditation and yoga. Find out more
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New Trampoline Park: Air Extreme, Barnstaple
This is a brilliant all-weather activity for all ages – though older children and teenagers will particularly love this place. Air Extreme has wall-to-wall trampolines, as well as a really nice cafe that parents can enjoy whilst their kids bounce their way through a great range of activities.

New Hotel: The Pig at Combe, near Honiton
This new-old hotel (in what was once Combe House Hotel) needs to be visited, if only to see what they’ve done there – but there are many other good reasons besides. This beautiful building is still beautiful, but has done away with the formalities to create a new restaurant-with-rooms where informality rules.