The Donkey Sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth: Hours, Address, The Donkey Sanctuary Reviews: 4.5/5

The Donkey Sanctuary
4.5
Nature & Wildlife Areas
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9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
No trip to Sidmouth is complete without visiting The Donkey Sanctuary - a tranquil corner of the Jurassic Coast where hundreds of donkeys are all waiting to meet you. This free-to-visit, award-wining attraction has something special to offer, whether you’re looking for quality time with the kids, or somewhere calming to kick back with coffee and cake. Explore everything the sanctuary has to offer, from award-winning gardens and scenic coast path walks to engaging exhibits - there’s so much to explore with your own herd whatever the weather! Take sanctuary in the Taste of the West award-winning restaurant and enjoy fresh, local, seasonal produce while soaking in the unparalleled coast and country views. Browse the Gift Shop at leisure in the knowledge that every purchase goes towards helping donkeys in need. Packed with unique donkey-design items and souvenirs, you will find something for everyone. Open 365 days a year; entry and parking is free. Dogs on a lead are welcome.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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4.5
3,574 reviews
Excellent
2,886
Very good
513
Average
121
Poor
34
Terrible
22

keefnjojo
Plymouth, UK1,323 contributions
Couples
We visited here on a Sunday and what a great way to spend a few hours.

Its free to enter and to park but they do ask for donations to help with the upkeep of the donkeys.

On arrival you are given a map so you can find your way around easily. On the back is the menu for the cafe.

We arrived just in time for the 11.30 talk in the main yard which was very informative and at times funny when the donkeys start to bray and outshine the chap doing the talk.

There are lots of walks around the pens so you get to meet lots of the donkeys and some come over to say hello and get some fuss. There are lots of hand wash stations with hot water so don't worry that your hands get a bit dirty.

There is a big cafe which was very popular so be prepared to queue if you want something to eat or drink. Alternatively there is a picnic area so in the warmer weather you can sit outside.

There is a gift shop for all your donkeg related gifts.
Written January 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

tourist25
Cardiff, UK116 contributions
Firstly please ignore review from O4726UYrogerh it's a donkey sanctuary they don't have set hours of work, they are there because they have been rescued not to perform/entertain you & your Grandkids they have the freedom to roam around in the fields & paddocks the clue is in the title "Sanctuary" . Really??! Some people! Coming from a farming background as you said in your review you should know that animals do not conform to strict rules & they do have minds of their own.
Rant over.
We travelled over on the way home from Brixham it was a bit tricky to find the sanctuary however, once we found this place we were really delighted. It's actually on the Lyme Regis road. It's very well set out, & the walkways around the paddocks are well sign posted. The donkeys are very well cared for & they did look happy if that's possible. Staff are friendly & on hand to give you any information you require. There were plenty of donkeys around on the Saturday we visited, they were in the woods, paddocks & barn. The sanctuary is very clean & there are hand washing stations dotted around as well as toilets. The coffee shop was a welcome break from the sun with inside & outside seating areas, prices for beverages & snacks were favourable to other places. The gift shop is very well stocked & reasonably priced. Parking is good plenty of space. Definitely visit again well worth it a really enjoyable afternoon with the donkeys. This is a great place with every thought given over to the animals that are cared for here.
Written June 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stuart L
Gloucester, UK11 contributions
After finally getting to visit the sanctuary in Sidmouth and meeting our Donkey 'Zena' we can thoroughly recommend The Donkey Sanctuary.
The staff were all excellent, polite and friendly and the buildings well laid out and clean. The donkeys, of course, were gorgeous!

There was, however, a major point that was disappointing and that was that dogs were allowed in the restaurant. I am a dog lover but when eating I do not want dogs near me, let alone walking past my table sniffing at my food and shaking.

After we had ordered what was a very nice breakfast (which thankfully came direct from the kitchen), a dog came in and it's owner let it jump up at the food counter at least three times where there were unwrapped cakes and pastries. It made me feel sick.

I appreciate that dogs are allowed in the outside areas but where food is served and consumed, those with dogs should be kept apart from those without as a lot of people do not want their hygiene compromised! Dogs should never be allowed at the counter and had I witnessed dogs jumping up at the counter before we ate I would have made a swift exit.
Written September 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for visiting the sanctuary and taking the time to provide your feedback. I am pleased that you enjoyed many aspects of your visit, particularly our adorable donkeys, but also saddened to hear you were disappointed by your visit to the restaurant. As a dog-friendly visitor attraction we do welcome them in all areas, and this is detailed on our website, however we do ask owners to be considerate of other visitors, particularly in the restaurant. Our staff monitor dog behaviour where possible and will act if they see anything concerning, but I am sorry to hear that this was not your experience. We take the health and safety of our visitors very importantly, so I have passed your comments to the restaurant manager who will ensure your concerns are suitably addressed. Thanks again for your feedback and we hope you will consider visiting the sanctuary again soon.
Written September 15, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Citibadger
Bournemouth, UK111 contributions
Family
Have always wanted to goto the donkey sanctuary and finally went today. Wow, it’s impressive.

The donkey’s are the stars of the show, there are so many of them. You can do a short walk and see them in their stables and fields. You can get up close and stroke them, they’re really friendly.

The visitor’s centre is really nice with a great cafe serving really nice coffee. The attached shop is also really good.

Yes all this is free!? Free entrance. Nothing is ever free these days so my hat goes off to them.

You can return the favour and adopt a donkey for £3 a month or £36 a year. My wife and I both adopted one as we both had our favourites.

I would highly recommend this place to anyone. It’s great for kids and adults alike, you can even take dogs all around the site. So nice to support such a great cause.

A must see.
Written July 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Avux99
Cheshire, UK483 contributions
Family
Charity doing good work with these animals. Learned a few new things about Donkeys after listening to the talk given. Young kids will love it here. Entrance is free so make sure you make a cafe or gift purchase or even sponsor a Donkey if you’ve enjoyed the place so they can continue their work.
Written June 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

cruisegirl50
Weymouth, UK61 contributions
Couples
Had a perfect day at the Donkey Sanctuary today. It’s our first visit and we loved it. The parking is plentiful with overflow area when required, the grounds & gardens are gorgeous and the donkeys are amazing.
It’s free to enter & all profits from the cafe and gift shop go towards the upkeep of the donkeys along with educational projects around the world & here in the UK.
Totally recommend this place as it’s great for all ages & you can take your dog too (on a lead).
Written September 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Elaine W
6 contributions
Went here for the day in April and will definitely go back, there are plenty of donkeys to see. You can take a picnic or alternatively eat in the restaurant which is excellent value for money. There is a little shop where you can get souvenirs from, also adopt a donkey as well
Written May 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

seaibiza
Swansea, UK74 contributions
Lovely morning spent with the donkeys.
All outdoors, hundreds of cute donkeys, nice gardens and surroundings, free entry and free parking. What more could you want ?
Great gift shop with wide range of products at reasonable prices - all proceeds go to help the amazing work that the donkey sanctuary does.
Restaurant on site - we didn't use this as it was very busy with queues to get in ( also appeared very expensive with limited menu although it is clearly very popular)
Informative, educational and fun for all ages and totally free.
Well worth a visit.
Written July 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nahnlbsdh
Somerset, UK56 contributions
Family
Easy to get to in a car, entry is free, yes free....

There are not many places you can visit for free nowadays, I'd really recommend a visit and a voluntary donation towards the upkeep of tjis lovely place.

All donkeys are so well looked after and our visit although in the winter months was not a complete loss as many donkeys were out and about from their huts.

The restaurant was fabulous, food lovely and very reasonably priced all raising money for the upkeep of the facility.

Take my advice make the effort to visit.
Written February 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alison R
Kingston-upon-Hull, UK43 contributions
Had an absolutely fantastic trek around the Donkey sanctuary with so many donkeys to see in the many paddocks and fields surrounding the main entrance and gift shop. They are so well cared for and the staff are lovely. We got chatting to the grooms who were tending the the Poitou donkeys and they were really friendly and knowledgeable. You can spend as much time there as you like and there is no entrance fee. You can support the charity in the gift shop or by adopting one of the donkeys. The cafe is also well worth a visit especially for a cooked breakfast which was delicious and reasonably priced.
Written July 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for visiting the sanctuary and taking the time to leave such a lovely review. We're pleased that you had such a great time at the sanctuary and left feeling happy - our donkeys tend to have that affect. We are very grateful for your support and hope to see you again soon.
Written July 9, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about The Donkey Sanctuary

The Donkey Sanctuary is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM