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.


The Donkey Sanctuary
Ranked #2 of 28 things to do in Sidmouth
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Set along the historic Jurassic Coast and nestled in the tranquil East Devon countryside in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, our working farm is home to donkeys, mules and hinnies - large and small. Come and say hello to some of the hundreds of donkeys waiting to meet you, completely free of charge. Explore our exciting new Visitor Centre, Understanding Donkeys Zone and Dr Svendsen’s Hut, and discover just why donkeys are so special. Also enjoy our scenic farm trails, guided tours, outdoor play area, Nature Centre and Maze. Head to the new Gift Shop for donkey-design items for every pocket. When it’s time to take a break, relax in our new family-friendly restaurant, The Kitchen and enjoy freshly prepared dishes using local, ethically sourced produce alongside stunning views over the donkeys paddocks out to the sea. The Donkey Sanctuary was founded as a charity in 1969, by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen MBE. Open 365 days a year; entry and parking is free. Dogs on a lead are welcome.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed March 3, 2014 via mobile

Had a great day at the Donkey Sanctuary interacting with the donkeys, place than expected, They do marvellous work around the world, I adopted "Teddy" a blind donkey, very nice adoption pack. Hayloft restaurant serves lovely food in nice surroundings. Free admission, so if you go, do the right thing and adopt a donkey, you'll feel better for it :)

1  Thank borseygogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (2,535)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
All reviews
"free entry"
in 165 reviews
"gift shop"
in 178 reviews
"lovely donkeys"
in 67 reviews
"building work"
in 59 reviews
"lovely place"
in 141 reviews
"love donkeys"
in 48 reviews
"free attraction"
in 35 reviews
"adopted donkey"
in 46 reviews
"hayloft restaurant"
in 33 reviews
"all ages"
in 131 reviews
"lovely visit"
in 30 reviews
"few hours"
in 85 reviews
"the barn"
in 31 reviews
"walk around"
in 38 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 60 reviews
in 37 reviews
"cream tea"
in 33 reviews

2,006 - 2,010 of 2,535 reviews

Reviewed February 15, 2014

The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth is a special place for me. I once adopted one of the older residents there , Daniel, now unfortunately no longer with us. He was a giant when you saw he with most of the others and always made it a good day when you could see him. I recently was on a work outing in Devon and stopped off there for a quick visit ( like 2.5 hours! ) and get a quick bit to eat. That's the thing about this place, you get sucked into the work they do not only with the donkeys, of which there seem to be hundreds, but also the work they do with kids, of which are mostly disabled.

If you want a good day out then visit this place. It won't cost you a thing to get in or park, it's all free !

Visit the yard area with the enclosed area where you can get up real close to these enchanting animals. Visit the indoor ménage where the disabled kids get to ride the donkeys.

One word of warning, wear good boots or flat shoes, most areas are in either grass or rough stony ground.

If you fancy a bit to eat then there is a big café on site which serves up decent sandwiches and hot simple meals. Good for a quick break.

Located just off the A3052 just east of Salcombe. Watch for the signs but drive slowish as they come up on you quite quickly.

A special place which if you are lucky enough to be able, you will visit many times.

Thank michaelfcastro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2014

We always visit the donkeys when we are in the area, it always seems such a happy place.
Apart from the lovely donkeys, the grounds are beautifully kept, there is a very attractive picnic area, a super very reasonable cafe and nice loos.

Tip: Venture accross the road and visit the maze.

Thank Wkender79584
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2014

We visited the Donkey Sanctuary to visit the Donkey I had adopted for my partner for his Christmas present.

Before our visit, the sanctuary had contacted me to say our Donkey (Teddy) would be around on the day and that one of the staff would take us to his stable. On arrival, as promised a member of the team drove us up to Teddy's stable and he was brought over to us for a good stroke and cuddle. We were very well looked after and it was great they would do this for us.

The site itself is very large and being winter we stayed in the main areas. There are literally hundreds of Donkeys around so if they are one of your favourite animals this really is the place to come. There is also a little gift shop and great cafe. The whole site is immaculate and you can tell that the staff really care about its appearance and the facilities.

One of the best attractions I have been to for a long time. Even if there was a entrance fee I would have happily paid it! Must see if in Sidmouth.

Thank Camille W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed January 28, 2014

My partner and I decided to check out the donkey sanctuary not just because I love donkeys but also as a prospective wedding venue. Had the most wonderful morning, walking around this immaculately kept sanctuary. The donkeys were of course fabulous, signage was clear, donation boxes and no entry fee - a fantastic calm and beautiful setting. Didn't see any staff which was a shame but they all appeared really busy going about their business - looks like a great venue for a wedding.

Thank DaisySorbet
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