Photo credit - Matt Austin

A new East Devon attraction has attracted its 20,000th visitor as it prepares for a busy summer season.

Seaton Jurassic was only opened in early April but its mix of quirky displays and interactive exhibits aimed at families already seems to be a hit. Owned by East Devon District Council and operated by the charity Devon Wildlife Trust, Seaton Jurassic has brought visitors and the attention of the nation’s media to the town of Seaton. 

One glowing review in The Guardian newspaper spoke of the journey through prehistoric time that visitors to Seaton Jurassic could enjoy as being “educational entertainment at its very best”, before giving the attraction a star rating of 9 out of 10. The Independent newspaper also gave Seaton Jurassic a big thumbs-up before advising visitors to “come soon before the crowds catch on.”

But high numbers of visitors don’t seem to worry Seaton Jurassic’s manager is Mike Ruiter, who said:

It’s been a busy first few months since our opening and so much has happened. We had a very special guest, HRH the Princess Royal, join us for our opening and since then we haven’t looked back. We’ve now welcomed more than 20,000 visitors through our doors. The reactions and feedback from people has been wonderful. People seem to be really enjoying Seaton Jurassic, its exhibition galleries, gardens, shop and café.

Visitor numbers so far has seen Seaton Jurassic surpassing expectations. Devon Wildlife Trust had estimated that 15,000 people would pay to enter the attraction in its first three months, but this target was comfortably beaten.

Mike Ruiter added:

We have had people from as far as London and Falmouth visiting for the day. Many local families have become repeat visitors taking advantage our offer of paying once for an annual pass. One family told us they had returned xx times! To me this highlights the interest in the Jurassic Coast and its magnificent natural environment. What we offer at Seaton Jurassic is a great way for people to begin to discover the story of this fascinating coastline.

East Devon District Council’s Leader, Councillor Paul Diviani, said:

I am delighted at the public’s response to Seaton Jurassic and it is immensely rewarding to see the enjoyment they are getting out of this unique visitor attraction. But most importantly, the success of Seaton Jurassic will contribute hugely to the regeneration of Seaton itself, both inwardly through the local community and by attracting businesses to invest in the town. With its spectacular Jurassic Coast setting and wonderful natural assets, Seaton has an exciting future ahead.

Visitors to Seaton Jurassic over the summer holidays can expect to be entertained at a series of special events. Falconry displays, sea stories, talks about Seaton in World War Two and a chance to help build a giant sea monster are all on offer. All are free (entrance charge to Seaton Jurassic applies).