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World of Country Life

Goat at World of Country Life

Immerse Yourself in History at World of Country Life

Just outside of Exmouth, the World of Country Life transports visitors back in time to discover over 50 authentic historic shops, houses and workplaces. Meticulously recreated on a scenic site covering over 6 acres, it provides a vivid glimpse into traditional Devon life through the centuries.

Wandering the extensive indoor/outdoor exhibits feels like stepping into a living museum. With knowledgeable costumed guides and daily demonstrations, the immersive World of Country Life makes history come alive in an engaging way for visitors of all ages.

World of Country Life

Getting There

The World of Country Life is located just outside of Exmouth, around 5 miles east of Exeter. It sits just off the B3178 in the village of Ottery St Mary. Brown tourist signs make it easy to find.

By Car

The attraction has ample free parking making it very convenient to reach by car. Simply follow signs from the A376 Sidmouth Road through Ottery St Mary.

Public Transport

You can also get to World of Country Life using the 57 bus from Exeter or Sidmouth to Ottery St Mary town centre. From there, it is a short taxi ride or 30 minute uphill walk to the attraction.

Opening Times and Prices

The World of Country Life is open daily from February half term through to the end of October:

Feb Half Term to Easter: Weekends only
Easter to Oct: Daily 10am – 5pm

Admission prices:

  • Adults £16.95
  • Seniors £10.50
  • Children £13.75
  • Under 3s Free
  • Family (2A + 3Ch) £39

The Historic Village

An entire historic village has been recreated inside World of Country Life with every corner bursting with heritage and charm. Some must-see exhibits include:

  • Village shops – Explore over 12 stores from the butcher to blacksmith.
  • Cottages – Nose around quaint cottages decked out in era style.
  • Orchard farmhouse – See a traditional family home through the ages.
  • Victoria classroom – Sit at old desks for a lesson with strict teachers!
  • Village square – Bustling hub with horse-drawn carriages.
  • Allotments – Learn traditional growing techniques first-hand.

It’s a vibrant, immersive step back in time admiring how Devonians lived, worked and shopped.

Quince honey farm external

Trades and Crafts

Uncover more traditional skills being demonstrated by costumed craftspeople around the site:

  • Forge – Watch the blacksmith stoking the roaring fire to shape red-hot iron.
  • Tannery – See how leather is prepared using age-old techniques.
  • Bakery – Smell fresh bread cooking in a traditional oven.
  • Print works – Marvel at antique printing presses still used for demonstrations.
  • Cider press – Observe scratting and pressing apples into cloudy apple juice.

Have a go at crafts like weaving, broom-making and pottery. The chance to get hands-on adds extra interactivity for younger visitors.

Daily Timetable

The attractions and daily demonstrations really bring World of Country Life to life. Be sure to check the day’s timetable on arrival to catch highlights like:

  • Milking demos
  • Pony and trap rides
  • Vintage car rides
  • Gardening talks
  • Dance performances
  • Cookery classes
  • Traditional games sessions
world of country life

Special Events

The World of Country Life runs themed events and activities throughout the season like:

  • Easter egg hunts and trails
  • Apple juicing days
  • Harvest festivals
  • Halloween fright nights
  • Festive Victorian Christmas events

Facilities and Food

The Courtyard Tea Rooms provide hot meals, cream teas and refreshments in charming surroundings. Picnic lawns are dotted around for DIY lunches. The onsite shop stocks locally made souvenirs.

Making a Day of It

There is easily enough heritage discovery to fill a whole day at World of Country Life. Avoid overload by focusing on certain zones in the morning, stopping for lunch, then exploring other sections in a more relaxed afternoon session.

With costumed re-enactors bringing interactive demonstrations to life all day, the living history museum captivates kids and adults for hours on end. Take a trip back in time appreciating Devon’s rich heritage.

ducks in exmouth

Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed at the World of Country Life? – Only guide dogs are allowed.

When did the World of Country Life first open? – 1978

How long to we need for a visit to the World of Country Life? It all depends how much you want to do, but you really need to allow for about 4 hours to get the best experience.

Other nearby attractions

  • Donkey Sanctuary – Charity donkey sanctuary in Sidmouth where you can meet and learn about the rescued residents. Fun and educational visit.
  • RSPB Darts Farm – Nature reserve protecting birds like cirl buntings. Trails wind through wetland, grassland and woodland habitats. Family activities available.
  • A La Ronde – Unusual 18th century 16-sided house in Exmouth with intriguing shell and feather artwork collections.
  • Bicton Park Botanical Gardens – Beautiful ornamental gardens from the 18th century with glasshouses, woodland walks, play zones and railway.
  • Exeter Underground Passages – Explore the medieval tunnels beneath the city on a costumed guided tour and discover Exeter’s hidden history.
  • Powderham Castle – 600 year old castle near Exeter, home to the Earl of Devon. Guided tours offer a glimpse into stately living.
  • Pecorama – Quirky miniature world near Beer with model railways, gardens and exhibitions. Ride the narrow gauge railway for scenic views.
  • Crealy Adventure Park – Top family theme park near Exeter with over 60 rides and attractions including animals, rollercoasters and water fun.
  • Seaton Tramway – Nostalgic narrow-gauge tramway between Seaton, Colyton and Colyford offering delightful Axe Valley views.

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