The Donkey Sanctuary

Written by Super User. Posted in Animals & Nature

Donkey Sanctuary Blackdown Barn


The Donkey Sanctuary near Sidmouth is a registered charity that provides sanctuary from suffering to donkeys and mules worldwide.

We are open from 9am until dusk every day of the year. 

No charge is made for admission or car parking as the sanctuary considers that, being a charity dependent on the support of the public, visitors should be able to see it's work free of charge.

Gifts and information about the work of the charity are available from the visitors’ centre, and the hayloft restaurant offers delicious meals and snacks! We also welcome dogs to visit us as long as they are on leads!

We have many children’s events at our wonderful Sanctuary. Why don’t you join the donkey hunt, or make some crafts in our indoor area to take home! (Please see our website for our event listings www.thedonkeysanctuary/calendar)

In the UK, Ireland and parts of Europe, the charity has provided a sanctuary for life to over 14,500 donkeys and mules and currently cares for 5,000 at its Sanctuaries in the UK, Cyprus, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Spain; guaranteeing a life of loving, expert care to each of them. Our overseas team work to help these loyal, long-suffering animals with major programmes in India, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya and Mexico.

Many animals arriving at its Sanctuaries each week are unwanted or have been neglected. Others come from loving homes for a secure future due to health reasons, for companionship, or the owner's circumstances may have changed.


Come and enjoy a wonderful meal at the Hayloft restaurant offering a range of hot foods, sandwiches and cakes! In the summer months, we also have an ice cream stall for you to enjoy the lovely Devonshire ice cream!


Vegetarian options are available and if you have any other dietary requirements, just let our staff know!


We sell any donkey related goodies from pens, key-rings and books to tea-towels and much more!


We have many toilet facilities as well as disabled toilets and baby changing facilities.


If you would like the warm a child’s milk, a member of our staff will be happy to help.


The Donkey Sanctuary is situated near Sidmouth in the South West of England, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is just one mile away from the Jurassic Coast. By SatNav - EX10 0NU By car Just 30 minutes from the M5 junction 30 on the A3052 between Sidford and Seaton. On leaving Sidford follow the brown tourist signs at the top of the hill. By foot South West Coast Path, access via Weston Mouth. By rail Honiton station is located less than 10 miles away and is on the Exeter St Davids to London Waterloo line.


If it’s a muddy day, you may want to bring your wellies! The donkeys may be in their barns, but this won’t stop you wondering around and having a look! We are buggy and wheelchair friendly, we just ask you to shut the gates after yourselves!