We absolutely love The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth, we live about 20 minutes away and have been visiting there frequently ever since moving to Dorset a couple of years ago.
There are lots of things we love about it so I thought I would share some of the reasons with you..
I’m not going to lie, in the winter this is probably one of the main reasons we visit! We always go and see the donkeys afterwards too but the café is new and absolutely huge, they rebuilt it recently as the old one was tiny. They have indoor and outdoor seating and it has an amazing view. They also have clearly marked vegan options including sweet treats so it’s a great place to visit for a cup of tea and a piece of vegan flapjack. They also do vegan roast dinners on a Sunday.
The outdoor space
The Donkey Sanctuary is huge and covers a lot of land so you can explore lots of different areas, you can even walk down to the coast from there. There is a also a little play area which has an old tractor to play on, Tiger loves sitting on it.
The kids never get bored of this and even in the freezing cold we have to do it! Luckily we know the secret code and can get in and out pretty quick these days!
Of course I can’t write about the Donkey Sanctuary without listing the donkeys as a reason to visit! We absolutely love the donkeys, they are such relaxing, peaceful animals to be around. All of the donkeys have been rescued from horrible places and are looked after so well at the sanctuary. They also have a hospital there to care for injured donkeys.
A lot of the time the donkeys are in a bad way when they come to the sanctuary. There is a room that tells you all about the health conditions that donkeys can suffer from, they have tools and even examples of parasites.
Laminitis is a risk for donkeys, as well as horses. It can result in donkeys being put down so it’s important that it’s prevented, and it can be with good nutrition. Spiller’s Guide To Laminitis has lots of information about the condition.
There is also a new visitor centre at the sanctuary which has lots of information about how it all started and the amazing lady who worked so hard rescuing all the donkeys. Sidmouth isn’t the only sanctuary, there are a few around the UK and even some in Europe.
You can get really close to the donkeys and stroke them, they are so soft and fluffy, you wouldn’t think it! They usually have a couple out with some brushes for the kids to brush their coats too.
If you live near one or are ever on holiday in Devon then it’s definitely worth a visit, oh and the best part is it’s totally free and it’s open 365 days a year.
‘Post in collaboration with Spiller’s’