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The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth

Home > Exeter > Free | Family | Charity | Cafes | Animals and Wildlife
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We travel full-time as a family and I've just started blogging and freelance writing with no set place to call home, I'm now sharing my family's adventures online. Please visit my blog at
Published May 26th 2019
Try not to make an ass of yourself
Located beside the coastal town of Sidmouth and only a short drive from Exeter is the home of one of the largest equine charities in the world.

Our family visit here was fun, interesting and educational for all of us with the information provided all around the buildings giving us an insight into the plight of donkeys around the world.

Founded in 1969 by Elisabeth Svendsen to alter the fate and improve the lives of donkeys, in the UK and Ireland it has helped more than 14,000 donkeys and worldwide they have provided help to several hundred thousand more in Europe, Africa and Asia over the last 50 years.

Around the world, funding is provided to vets, and this enables over 300,000 treatments to be carried out annually. The owners of the donkeys are also given advice on how to look after them, with so many being used as a means of transport and on farms, this advice helps donkeys worldwide have a better quality of life when the people using them have no alternative.

Main Entrance

A trip here provides a relaxing day out for young and old, with many walking tracks around the area and a large hedge maze to get lost in, there's also an outdoor play area for the kids.

While wandering around, you will see many different colourful donkeys, all looking happy and well fed with plenty of open spaces to run around.

Education area

Several areas of the sanctuary are dedicated to educating visitors with interactive displays for the kids.

As it's free to visit, you can help support them by enjoying a drink or meal in the large restaurant which has a lovely view over the sanctuary, and we found it to be an excellent place to relax and get out of the wind on the day we visited while enjoying some tasty snacks.

Enjoying an afternoon feed

So if your looking for something free to do for the day while visiting the area and want to help a good cause this is a good place to visit.

Parking is free and they have some electric car charging points that you can use for free, just ask for a token at the visitors' centre.
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Why? Day out supporting a good cause
When: Open all year
Phone: 44 (0) 1395 578222
Where: The Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth, Devon EX10 0NU
Cost: Free
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