Our donkeys love to meet new people, so come and discover their unique characters and stories here in Sidmouth, Devon - completely free of charge.

Set along the historic Jurassic Coast and nestled in the tranquil East Devon countryside in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, our working farm is home to hundreds of donkeys, mules and hinnies who have been rescued from mistreatment or relinquished into the charity’s care.

Discover and be entertained

Explore our exciting new indoor attractions and find out just why donkeys matter through fun, interactive displays.

Embark on a journey into the far reaching work of The Donkey Sanctuary and the vital lifeline donkeys provide for communities around the world in the new Exhibition Barn.

Donkeys and mules are at the heart of everything we do; visit the Understanding Donkeys Zone to learn everything you need to know about these wonderful animals.

No visit is complete without a trip to Dr Svendsen’s Hut to learn the story of the sanctuary’s much-loved founder.

Opening times

15 February – 1 November: 9am - 5pm
2 November - 12 February: 9am - 4pm

While the sanctuary is open 365 days a year, The Kitchen, Gift Shop and Visitor Centre will be closed Christmas Day.

We are a working farm and many of our walkways are grass, so please dress appropriately and bring suitable footwear for the weather.

Explore and unwind

Enjoy the great outdoors with our scenic farm trails, discover our Nature Centre, burn off some steam in the farm-themed Play Area and get lost in the Maze. Or venture further afield to the South West Coast Path along the Jurassic Coast.

We also run activities during the school holidays to keep the whole family entertained as well as regular events throughout the year.

When it’s time to relax, unwind in the sanctuary’s stunning new restaurant, The Kitchen before browsing our unique range of donkey-design items in the new Gift Shop.

Feeding policy

We ask that you do not feed the donkeys as it encourages them to expect food from everyone and fingers can look deceptively like carrots to a donkey. Some foods also present a choking hazard. Kindly pass any treats to staff in the Visitor Centre who will ensure they are distributed to the donkeys at feeding time.


The Donkey Sanctuary was awarded second place in the Dogs Trust ‘dog-friendly attractions’ scheme and welcome well-behaved dogs but would ask that you keep them on a lead at all times and dispose of any waste in the bags and bins provided.


Wheelchairs can be borrowed from the Visitor Centre. One land mobility scooter is also available, subject to availability.

Our full accessibility statement outlines all the details for visitors planning a day at The Donkey Sanctuary.


The sanctuary is a non-smoking site and vaping is not permitted.

First aid

Staff at the Visitor Centre are trained First Aiders, several of whom are trained to use a defibrillator.