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“Enjoyable visit”

The Donkey Sanctuary
Ranked #2 of 20 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 9 April 2018 via mobile

Some changes since our last visit - larger car park & great new reception building that includes a fab new cafe & shop. Visited at Easter, so did the Easter trial. Some bits were abit too muddy, but we had, had alot of rain. Enjoyable visit. Kids had fun at the maze & seeing the various donkeys. Tea & cake at the end of the day in the cafe. Lovely place to visit. Dogs welcome.

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank Lesley G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"free entry"
in 197 reviews
"gift shop"
in 222 reviews
"lovely donkeys"
in 75 reviews
"building work"
in 59 reviews
"lovely place"
in 163 reviews
"love donkeys"
in 53 reviews
"adopted donkey"
in 51 reviews
"free attraction"
in 38 reviews
"all ages"
in 151 reviews
"poitou donkeys"
in 29 reviews
"few hours"
in 103 reviews
"lovely visit"
in 33 reviews
"the barn"
in 35 reviews
"walk around"
in 44 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 66 reviews
in 46 reviews
"cream tea"
in 42 reviews

372 - 376 of 2,894 reviews

Reviewed 9 April 2018

This sanctuary carries out a programme of exceptional care and treatment for these creatures on an international basis. Welcome walks and memorial planting above the sea.

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank MintyP79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2018

its a great place to visit kids and adults will love it so many donkeys and other attractions we went at Easter the Easter egg hunt was a bit muddy but every child did get a Easter egg and a free ice cream my only criticism is that they dont charge for entry or car parking it is good to go to a place and not be charged but when you can see so much good work being done its a shame that so many people dont put anything into the very few collection boxes just a charge of £3 a car would raise a lot more revenue after all it is a charity

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank lorraecc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The Donkey Sanc... S, Visitor Marketing Officer at The Donkey Sanctuary, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2018

Thank you for visiting the sanctuary and taking the time to provide feedback.

We are pleased that you enjoyed your visit, meeting our friendly donkeys and learning more about them and our work through fun, interactive displays in our new indoor attractions. As a working farm with a number of grass walkways, some of our scenic trails have inevitably become quite muddy after the recent wet weather and we recommend visitors wear suitable footwear for these conditions. The heart of the sanctuary remains accessible via concrete/tarmac pathways and we are currently looking at ways in which we can improve access around the sanctuary for all-weather conditions, without spoiling the natural charm.

It is great to hear to how much you value our work, your support is very much appreciated. The reason we do not charge for entry or parking is because our founder, Dr Svendsen, believed that as a charity relying on the generosity of the public, everyone should be able to see our work for free and we therefore continue to honour this inspirational legacy. All proceeds from our restaurant, shop, activities and events support the work of The Donkey Sanctuary worldwide, so visitors to the sanctuary are helping the charity's cause while making memories that last a lifetime.

We value all feedback and hope to see you again soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2018

We went as a family and what great value! No charge for admission and no pushy staff trying to sell you stuff - everyone was so helpful, friendly and enthusiastic. We all loved being able to stroke the donkeys and learn about their habits.
Finished off our visit with lunch in the cafe. Service was so quick and the food very tasty with good portions. Our dog was also allowed in the cafe and settled down under the table as usual.

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank Head_H0nch0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 April 2018

Unusual in these days, but parking and entrance is free. Te children enjoyed getting close to the donkeys and we adults were blown away by the friendliness and enthusiasm of the Volunteers.
Great cafe / restaurant that even does Vegan

Date of experience: April 2018
Thank davidgZ9308PO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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