The Donkey Sanctuary rescues unwanted and neglected donkeys, and supports projects in 28 countries worldwide. Around 400 of our residents live at Slade House Farm, Sidmouth, Devon which is open to the public. We have a range of walks around the site with easy to follow walk guides. The walks around the main facilities are wheelchair and pushchair friendly. Other walks are a little more challenging.
- A clearly worded leaflet is available describing the main facilities, directions, opening times, public transport and cycle access. The leaflet includes our contact telephone number, fax, email and web address. The leaflet is widely distributed to tourist venues and Tourist Information Centres in the area.
- The information is repeated on our website.
- The Sanctuary is accessible by car - just 30 minutes from the M5 junction 30 on the A3052 between Sidford and Seaton; on leaving Sidford follow the brown tourist sign at the top of the hill.
- By bus: bus stops are located within easy walking distance for the following services: Axe Valley Mini Travel 899, Coastlinx 53/54 Jurassic Coast, Stagecoach 52a. Also from June until the end of September there is a free bus that operates from Sidmouth to the Sanctuary, the Sidmouth hopper bus.
- By foot: South-west Coast Path, access via Weston Mouth.
- By bicycle: access via National Cycle Network Route 2.
- The nearest major town is Sidmouth, 3 miles distance; access to the Sanctuary is via foot, bicycle, car, bus or taxi. The nearest train station is at Honiton, 8 miles distance; access to the Sanctuary is via taxi. Accessible taxis are available in neighbouring towns, including Sidmouth, Seaton and Honiton.
- Shop-mobility scooters, wheelchairs and other equipment are available for hire from Sidmouth and Honiton. A limited number of manual wheelchairs, and one mobility scooter is available from the Visitors' Centre at the Sanctuary. Booking is advised.
- RADAR toilets are available in a number of nearby towns, including Sidmouth, Seaton, Honiton and Branscombe. Keys are available from local Tourist Information Centres.
Arrival and Car Parking Facilities
- Admission to the Sanctuary and car parking are free.
- The main car park has facilities for approx. 80 cars parking on stone chippings, plus 9 designated disabled spaces on tarmac. An overflow grass car park is used at the peak of the season, special events etc, and has spaces for a further 600 cars. The main car park has limited lighting; the attraction closes at dusk.
- The main car park is situated within the heart of the Sanctuary with easy access to the Visitors' Centre and main facilities. The overflow car park is located within approx. 200 metres of the main car park - access is along a grass pathway. Vehicles can be parked to allow rear access. Neither car park has a dropped kerb.
- Access to the main facilities is via even tarmac or concrete surfaces. All central walkways are wide with plenty of benches. Much of the main site is level; there is a slight incline to some areas.
- There are no speed bumps, or traffic calming devices. A barrier that controls vehicles to the heart of the Sanctuary operates between 10.00am and 4.00 pm each day. A cattle grid is located across the main vehicle entrance, with a side entrance for pedestrian access.
- A large format sign is located at the entrance to the Sanctuary giving details of opening times and a contact telephone number.
- All signage is large format, clear with text and pictorial images. Large directional maps are located at several places around the site.
Main Entrance and Reception
- The Sanctuary is open from 9am until dusk, 365 days a year.
- There is one main vehicle entrance. Visitors on foot, cycle or bus can enter the site at various points; the most accessible entrance is the main vehicle entrance.
- Visitors are free to wander the grounds of the Sanctuary; many choose to go to the Visitors' Centre on arrival. The Visitors' Centre is open from 9am to 4pm daily, later during the peak season. Walk guides containing text and maps are available for a small charge from the Visitors' Centre.
- The Visitors' Centre is easily accessible from the main car park; there are no steps to negotiate. It has wide, side-hinged doors for wheelchair access. Benches are situated outside the doors and wheelchairs can be requested from Visitors' Centre staff.
- All merchandise is clearly priced; many items are at a low level, assistance can be provided by staff. The Centre has good lighting, a level, easily negotiable surface with a separate entrance and exit; pens and paper are available from staff.
Public Areas - General (inside)
- Inside public areas include: Visitors' Centre (see above), Events barn (Box 16), restaurant, video room, donkey viewing area, riding centre for children with additional needs.
- All inside public areas are located at ground level - there are no steps to negotiate. All have side-hinged doors. They are clearly sign-posted with large format signs. Lighting levels are good.
- In some areas, access is via wooden gates; some are fitted with specially-designed catches for ease of use.
Public Areas - General (outside)
- Seating is available in the Hayloft Restaurant and Video Room.
- Numerous benches are located throughout the site.
Public Areas - Toilets
- There are two WC blocks; one is located next to the main car park, the other is near the restaurant. Both blocks are easily accessible with a wheelchair. Each block has baby changing facilities, non-slip flooring and facilities for visitors with limited mobility.
- Doors are side-hinged, one block has a cubicle with an outward opening door. Each block has a cubicle with grab-rails.
- Hand-washing facilities are designed for ease of use by visitors with limited mobility, e.g. lever taps.
- Children's changing facilities provided in the WC block located near the restaurant.
- The Hayloft Restaurant is centrally located on the site within easy access of the car park; there are no steps to negotiate. It has both indoor and outdoor seating.
- Outdoor wooden picnic benches allow wheelchair access.
- Internally there are wide aisles between tables, the furniture is moveable. The wooden flooring is easily negotiable. The tables and chairs are of a sturdy, pine construction. There is also a number of high chairs for use by families with small children. The restaurant is well-lit with clear signage and menus on each table.
- Food is ordered at the counter and brought to the table.
- There are two separate picnic areas located away from the restaurant for visitors who have brought their own refreshments. One area is located at the top of a grass slope and has wooden picnic benches, the other is located between the toilet block and the walkway leading to Walks B and C.
- A children's play area is provided along Walk A.
- We have a range of walks around the site with easy to follow walk guides.
- The walks around the main facilities are wheelchair and pushchair friendly. There are tarmac, concrete and firm, grass surfaces. All central walkways are wide with plenty of benches. Much of the main site is level; there is a slight incline to some areas.
- Other walks are a little more challenging, with steep inclines, steps and uneven surfaces, e.g the Nature Trail and the walk to the sea.
- Most signage is large format, clear with text and pictorial images. Large directional maps are located at several places around the site.
- In some areas, access is via wooden gates; some are fitted with specially-designed catches for ease of use. On the more challenging walks there are stiles and kissing gates.
- Lighting is limited to the main route and car park - the facility closes at dusk.
- Dogs should not be left in cars at any time.
- The Donkey Sanctuary was awarded second place in the Dogs Trust "dog friendly attractions" scheme and welcome well behaved dog but would ask that you keep them on a lead at all times.
- Drinking water is provided in a dog bowl outside the Visitors' Centre.
- Please dispose of waste in the bins and bags provided.
- No smoking areas are clearly labelled. Fire points are clearly labelled.
- Staff at the Visitors' Centre are trained First Aiders, and there are several first aiders trained to use a defibrillator.
- Wheelchairs can be borrowed from the Visitors' Centre. 1 Land mobility scooter is also available, booking is advised.
- Address: The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 0NU
- Telephone: 01395 578222
- Fax: 01395 579266
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk
- Hours of operation: 9am to dusk 365 days of the year
- Local equipment hire companies:
- Sidmouth: 01395 519850
- Honiton: 01404 46529
- Local public transport numbers:
- Axe Valley Mini Travel: 01297 625959
- Coastlinx: 01305 783645
- Stagecoach: 01392 427711
- Local accessible taxi numbers:
- Mike's Taxis: 01395 513408
- Select Cars: 01395 512512
- Sid Valley Cars: 01395 577633
To introduce new visitor information signage from 2013.
We welcome your feedback to help us continuously improve if you have any comments please phone 01395 578222 or email email@example.com