We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Even Eeyore would be cheerful here!”

The Donkey Sanctuary
Ranked #1 of 27 things to do in Sidmouth
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed April 14, 2013

What a fantastic place to be a donkey! And what a fantastic place to be a human seeing donkeys!

The Sanctuary is set up on a hill with beautiful views across a valley to the sea. The fields in which the donkeys roam are very spacious, and from the moment you arrive there are friendly donkeys to see. It was bigger than I expected, and we really enjoyed wandering round seeing all the donkeys. I hadn't realised they came in so many colours and patterns, nor had I realised how loud they are when they bray!!

The attraction is free, but I'm sure nobody visits without making a donation, however small. The excellent thing is that there is no pressure on you to do this - there is nobody sitting at the main entrance seeing if you put money in the box - instead there are boxes discreetly situated around the Sanctuary that you can pop your donation in at any time with nobody looking, at any stage of your visit.

As well as the fields and pens there is a yard area with selected donkeys freely roaming about, and the information says they change these donkeys regularly so the same ones are not meeting and greeting their fans all day! They are very friendly indeed and happy to be patted and stroked.

One of my favourite bits was coming across a huge barn next to the main yard which had loads of donkeys in, all happily tucking into the huge amounts of soft, fresh hay all over the floor. All you can hear is the rustling sound of happy donkeys eating! Very soothing!

It really is the most relaxing, happy place and the donkeys are clearly so well cared for. If I was a local I would be popping up here all the time for 'Donkey Therapy'!

There is a also quite a taxing maze - my husband is pretty good with directions so we managed to find the middle eventually but others in the maze weren't so lucky and didn't find it!

We had lunch at the very efficient and pleasant Hayloft restaurant. It was easy to order and the staff were very helpful and friendly. They do 'Donkey Bags' (sandwich, crisps, apple, drink, crayons and picture to colour) for children, although we didn't get one. From the Daily SpeciaIs I had a vegetable curry pastie with salad and potato wedges, which was all definitely home made and delicious. My husband had a sausage panini. (Jacket potato/sandwich for the children). There was plenty of choice on the menu and the Hayloft is a very spacious, calm environment to eat in.

To end we visited the Gift Shop which has a great range of all things Donkey! Good fun!

If I was on my own without the children I could easily have spent several hours there enjoying the peace and calm the donkeys emit. With my children aged 6 and 8 it was around a two hour visit, and as it was the final morning of our holiday was a great way to end it.

Highly recommended.

2  Thank TwoDividedByZero
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (2,348)
There are newer reviews for The Donkey Sanctuary
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

2,019 - 2,023 of 2,351 reviews

Reviewed April 14, 2013

Superb charity, great fun for kids, fantastic care of beautiful donkeys, great walks for visitors, lovely cafe, very helpful friendly staff, well worth a visit.

1  Thank Neil F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

went here on a cold wet day as its free to go in so if not staying long hasn't cost an arm and leg like a lot of other attrations in the area, we had lunch in the cafe there which was very good if a bit expensive, the children loved it so it was a good visit.

Thank jamieWestMidlands
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

How could you find a better place to sit, relax and to think.
I visit the donkey sanctuary on a regaular basis and love to see all the happy faces, of both humans and donkeys.

Thank Betty N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2013

What other place can you go to and meet donkeys and its free? Even the parking, which is ample, is free. We visited twice over Easter, and went on one of the signposted walks too which was fantastic. Great scenery, and nice to know that on our return there is a cafe and toilets! The donkeys are very friendly and every day they let some of them walk around in the open yard area for visitors to meet them. They change them around frequently so you get to see lots of them and they don't get fed up with people pestering them.There are always staff on attendance keeping an eye on them.

Thank ladyWestSussex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed The Donkey Sanctuary also viewed

 

Been to The Donkey Sanctuary? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing