The Donkey Sanctuary

Slade House Farm, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 0NU

Tel: 01395 578222

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating - 2817 reviews2817 reviews
The Donkey Sanctuary

About

Blissful happiness at The Donkey Sanctuary

Located just 30 minutes from Exeter and nestled in the tranquil East Devon countryside in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, The Donkey Sanctuary’s working farm is home to donkeys, mules and hinnies, large and small. At the heart of the sanctuary near Sidmouth, visitors can meet some of the hundreds of donkeys waiting to say hello - completely free of charge. The resident donkeys love to meet new people and their unique characters and stories are ready to be discovered.

Explore the sanctuary’s new indoor attractions including Visitor Centre, Understanding Donkeys Zone and Dr Svendsen’s Hut, and find out just why donkeys are so special. Embark on a fun, interactive journey into the far reaching work of The Donkey Sanctuary and the vital lifeline donkeys provide for communities around the world. Try on some theatre scrubs and lab coats in the Understanding Donkeys Zone; the place to learn everything about the sanctuary’s wonderful residents. No visit is complete without visiting Dr Svendsen’s Hut to learn the story of the sanctuary’s much-loved founder.

There are also guided walks, scenic trails, meet the groom sessions twice daily, the Nature Centre and a Maze to lose yourself in, as well as regular events held throughout the year and activities during school holidays.

When it’s time to take a well-earned break, relax in the sanctuary’s new family-friendly restaurant, The Kitchen, where you can enjoy local and ethically sourced food alongside spectacular views over the donkeys paddocks down to the sea. Hearty breakfasts, delicious lunches and tempting afternoon treats are served daily between 9am and 5pm*. And before heading home, don’t forget to pop into the new Gift Shop for a selection of quality gifts and donkey-design items to suit every pocket.

The Donkey Sanctuary was founded as a charity in 1969, by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE. They currently have an incredible 6,300 donkeys in their care worldwide. Admission and parking is free (donations welcome) and the sanctuary is open from 9am – dusk, 365 days a year. Dogs are welcome as long as they are kept on a lead, and many of the farm trails are access and bike-friendly.

* 4pm from November to February.

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Donations WelcomeFree
Donations WelcomeFree

Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor
  • Certificate of Excellence 2018

TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:

  • Excellent
    2248
  • Very Good
    431
  • Average
    96
  • Poor
    25
  • Terrible
    18

Recent Reviews:

  • StellaStar46
    Chichester
    Lucky Donkeys
    5 of 5 stars
    Thursday, 27th September 2018
    This is a wonderful place, to see how well kept the donkeys are. All individually assessed and any needs or ailments catered for. They all look happy, and what a great day out with free entrance... Read full review
  • _lspacagna
    Southampton, United Kingdom
    Trip Type:
    Couples
    A lovely day out for all
    5 of 5 stars
    Wednesday, 26th September 2018
    Have visited the Donkey Sanctuary in the past, but they have made loads of improvements since we were last here. I love donkeys so it was like donkey heaven for me, I can't believe they do not... Read full review
  • JoSt-Basingstoke
    Hampshire
    Trip Type:
    Solo travel
    Good family day out
    5 of 5 stars
    Tuesday, 25th September 2018
    I visited The Donkey Sanctuary on my own but it is a great day out for all the family, even when it is raining as it was when I visited, there are informative things to do / look at indoors, as well... Read full review

Directions

Road Directions

The Sanctuary is situated just 30 minutes from the M5 Junction on the A3052 between Sidford and Seaton. On leaving Sidford follow the brown tourist sign at the top of the hill.

Public Transport Directions

Bus stops are located within easy walking distance for the following services: Axe Valley Mini Travel 899, Stagecoach 52a and the Coastlinx 53/54 Jurassic Coast. If you are on foot, access to the Sanctuary can be found via Weston Mouth on the South West Coast Path whilst cyclists will find us on National Cycle Network route 2.

Facilities

Accessibility

  • All Areas Accessible to Disabled Visitors
  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Parking Areas for Disabled Visitors
  • Ramp/Level Access
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors

Catering

  • On-Site café/restaurant - Seating 200 inside, 40 outside.
  • Picnic Site

Establishment Features

  • Dog Friendly
  • Dogs Accepted - Dogs on leads welcome
  • On-site coach parking
  • On-site parking or valet parking
  • On-site Restaurant/Cafe
  • Picnic Area
  • Shop
  • Tea / Coffee Shop
  • Toilets

Event Facilities

  • Free Entry

Key Features

  • In countryside
  • Outdoor Attraction

Parking & Transport

  • Coach Parking
  • On site parking
  • Parking (free)

Payment Methods

  • American Express accepted
  • Delta accepted
  • Maestro accepted
  • MasterCard accepted
  • Solo accepted
  • Visa accepted

Specialist Features

  • Family Fun

Tours and Demonstrations

  • Demonstrations Given
  • Educational Visits Accepted
  • Guided Tours Available for Groups - Prior Bookings

Opening Times

Open Christmas
Open New Year
The Donkey Sanctuary (1 Jan 2018 - 31 Dec 2018)
DayTimes
Monday - Sunday09:00 - 17:00*

* Open 9am - 5pm March - October and 9am - 4pm November - February.
The Kitchen restaurant and Gift Shop are closed Christmas Day, but the sanctuary remains open.

Dates and times marked with a '*' are provisional and may be subject to change

Awards

  • Devon TourismDevon's Top Attractions Quality Stamp Devon's Top Attractions Quality Stamp 2017

Follow us

Video

  • The Donkey Sanctuary's Visitor Centre

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Related

Saturday, 20th October 2018 - Wednesday, 31st October 2018

Children carve pumpkins at The Donkey Sanctuary ready for HalloweenOctober half term tricks and treats
more info