Buckland Abbey Review – Visiting With Kids 

Buckland Abbey is just a few minutes drive from the Moorland Garden Hotel and very close to Yelverton, so it’s a perfect family day out if you are visiting Devon.  As you may remember from our review of the hotel, we had to postpone our visit to Buckland Abbey due to the rain.  After spending a day relaxing at the hotel, we were certainly ready to get started again and were very much looking forward to seeing which moor otter we were going to meet and learn more about Buckland Abbey.

Buckland Abbey Review

Moor otter outside Buckland Abbey National Trust Devon

When we arrived we found the gorgeous Otterman in the courtyard.  My daughter and I agreed that he was a beautiful otter, and spent a few moments getting some photos and writing his details in our otter spotting guide.

It was lovely to see other children equally as excited at the otter they found join us during their moor otter trail.  Otter spotting became quite a social activity for us as we went around the area.  It was nice hearing other people’s experiences, how many otter’s they had found, and where they were heading to next in Dartmoor.

child by gate at Buckland Abbey Devon holding National Trust activity pack

With Otterman ticked off our list we headed inside Buckland Abbey to find out what was activities and exhibitions were planned that day.  One of the National Trust volunteers gave us a quick overview of what to expect, showing us the different areas we could explore at Buckland Abbey on the wall map.

We also found out that Buckland Abbey was currently hosting an art exhibition called Art of Reflection by Andrew Logan.  We were given a children’s activity sheet to help us explore the exhibition and were feeling excited about what we were going to see that day.

Exploring Buckland Abbey With Kids Devon UK Devon travel guide | Trip to Devon | Travel to Devon | Visit Devon | Best time to visit Devon | How to travel to Devon | Where to stay in Devon | How to get around Devon | Devon points of interests | Things to do in Devon | Best tours in Devon | Hostels in Devon | Hotels in Devon | Flights to Devon | What to eat in Devon | What to do in Devon | What to see in Devon | Weather in Devon | Where to go in Devon | Restaurants in Devon | Best places to eat in Devon

Our first stop was to see a film about the history of Buckland Abbey.  It was fairly short, but perfect for helping both myself and my daughter understand the history of Buckland Abbey and give our day out some context.

Buckland Abbey has had an interesting journey from a place of devout worship in its origins to being the home of Sir Francis Drake.  This local hero made a big impression on both the area and the country with his famous expeditions overseas.

Art at Buckland Abbey

Goldfield Art Exhibit by Andrew Logan Buckland Abbey National Trust Devon

We explored the barn first, and this was a great source of fascination for both my daughter and I.  It was where the Goldfield exhibit from Andrew Logan’s collection was currently being displayed.  It honestly looked amazing and very much at home at the barn.

The gold corn plants towered above my daughter making her look like a little mouse scurrying though the field.  She spotted several other mice hiding in the ‘field’, along with some beautiful butterflies who, caught by the breeze, appeared to fly between the corn.

Gardens at Buckland Abbey

child looking at walled gardens at buckland abbey Devon

There are several gardens at Buckland Abbey, and it was interesting exploring them with my daughter, who is primarily a city kid.  We talked  a lot about what we found growing in the garden, and it was interesting to see what she did and didn’t recognise.  This quickly became a great learning opportunity for her as there are so many fruits and vegetables established here.

sword in lake

The grounds at Buckland Abbey are just beautiful and we really enjoyed exploring and finding more of the Art of Reflection exhibition hiding out in the greenhouses or emerging from the lake.  You can also enjoy woodland walks around Buckland Abbey, which we would have loved to have explored.  Unfortunately, time wasn’t on our side as we were heading to Bath that afternoon, but it has given us a reason to go back and spend longer at Buckland Abbey someday.

Buckland Abbey devon - fruit and vegetable gardens

Inside Buckland Abbey

We ended our visit by going into Buckland Abbey to explore the house.  It was interesting to see how it had been converted from a peaceful monastery into a home for the Grenville and Drake families.  There is lots of information about the history of Buckland Abbey, and especially about Sir Francis Drake and his time here.  His famous drum is also in residence at Buckland Abbey, which is pretty impressive to see.

mirror sculpture by andrew logan - buckland abbey devon

We also very much enjoyed finding more of Andrew Logan’s works inside Buckland Abbey.  It made for lots of interesting discussions with my daughter about how they made her feel and which she enjoyed the most.  I think it’s safe to say that the unicorns ticked a lot of boxes for her and she would happily have took one home if she thought she could have got it under her coat.

winged unicorns by andrew logan - buckland abbey devon

We were very sad to have to cut our visit to Buckland Abbey short as we really enjoyed our time here.  It has certainly inspired me to take my family to more National Trust properties as it was clear to me that my daughter got a lot out of our visit.

Useful Information about Buckland Abbey

Address & Postcode 

Buckland Abbey, Yelverton, Devon, PL20 6EY

Opening Times

Daily from 10am – 5pm

Check Buckland Abbey website for seasonal variations and closures

The house is closed for the winter between October and February, but you can access the garden and he estate during these months.

Buckland Abbey Prices

If you are a National Trust Member you can access Buckland Abbey, the gardens and the estate as apart of your membership.

To enter the House, garden and estate between Feb & Oct ticket prices are:

Adult £13.60 Child £6.80 (Group & Family Tickets available)

To enter  the Garden and estate between Jan – Feb and Oct – Dec ticket prices are

Adult £8.80 Child £4.40 (Group & Family Tickets available)

Hotels Near Buckland Abbey

Moorland Garden Hotel 2 miles

Two Bridges Hotel 10 miles

The Bedford Hotel 8 miles

We were guests of Buckland Abbey for the purposes of writing this review, but all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

Zena's Suitcase
Zena's Suitcase

Zena Goldman is a UK based travel, family & lifestyle blogger who left her 9-5 job behind in the not-for-profit sector to follow her creative dreams and enjoy a more flexible family life. She began writing Zena’s Suitcase in 2011 and shares the holidays and adventures she goes on with (and without) her 2 young daughters. She wishes her son would join them more often but he’s carving out his own dreams now and enjoying university life.

Since beginning Zena’s Suitcase she has worked with a number of brands and also has a regular monthly feature in the ASDA Good Living Magazine feature, ‘Ask The Expert’ where she shares helpful parenting tips. In 2018 she was also a finalist in the prestigious BIBs Awards for Social Media.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

5 Comments

  1. Sidrah Ahmed
    August 24, 2017 / 1:23 am

    This looks amazing and lots to see and explore

  2. Margaret gallagher
    August 26, 2017 / 10:24 am

    Looks a FAB place to visit
    I’ve not heard of this place
    Another great place to explore

  3. Marie Evans
    September 1, 2017 / 6:56 pm

    Sometimes when going to places like Abbey’s there isn’t much to do,But from your write it seems plenty to keep kiddies occupied we have been to Devon many times.And will certainly keep this place in mind when on hols with the Grandchildren.Thanks for review.

  4. Sally Hill
    September 3, 2017 / 10:46 am

    Oh my gosh I love all those totally amazing art installations! That barn in particular looks totally magical! Thanks for sharing!

More About This UK Travel Blog

Whether you are looking for travel tips to make the most of your next cruise holiday or you need UK travel ideas we’ve got you covered on Zena’s Suitcase UK travel blog.  We started sharing our holiday and travel reviews in 2013, so if you can’t find the travel, family or lifestyle blog above you are after make sure you head over to the search bar to find what you need.  Think of us as one of the best travel blogs brimming with ideas to get you out and about with and without the kids.