Our Favourite UK Animal Parks

We always love a day out that involves animals and LP and Little Man have grown to really love so many different animal species through seeing them in farms, wildlife parks and zoos across the country.

So I thought I would put together our favourite animal parks across the UK to help inspire your next day out. The only thing I’ve missed off is any Sea Life Centres – they’re all a great day out but they are all very similar.

South East

Marwell Zoo – Hampshire

Marwell Zoo covers 140 acres and is home to an incredible range of exotic and endangered species. Giraffes, tigers, penguins, cheetahs, rhinos and so much more. There are four adventure playgrounds, road and rail trains, a tropical house, lemur loop and cafes and picnic areas. They also have special events throughout the year like Brickosaurs and Boo at the Zoo.

You can read about our Marwell adventures here:

Marwell Zoo - Hampshire

Godstone Farm – Surrey

Godstone Farm is one of the best farms we have ever been to. With so many animals, a dino trail and incredible play areas, it’s a fantastic day out for the whole family.

You can read more about Godstone Farm here:


Drusillas Park – East Sussex

Drusillas Park is an award winning attractions and it has so many animals – camels, red pandas, meerkats and more. Plus, walkthrough exhibits and animal feeding demonstrations.

There are theme park rides, adventure play areas, a splashzone, indoor soft play and an adventure maze too. It’s an action packed, full day out for any family.

You can read about our trips to Drusillas Park here:

Drusillas Park - East Sussex

Longdown Activity Park – Hampshire

At Longdown Activity Farm there are so many animals to meet including donkeys, alpacas, cute chicks, Pygmy goats and Kunekune pigs plus bottle-feeding kid goats and calves, the Animal Encounter Barn, and duck feeding .

There’s a soft play, a den full of straw to play in and a barn full of trampolines. There’s an outdoor play area, go karts and ride of tractors as well as a new indoor toddler area for younger visitors too.

You can read about our day at Longdown Activity Farm here:

Longdown Activity Park - Hampshire

Beale Wildlife Park – Berkshire

Beale Wildlife Park is a 350 acre site full of small animals and fun for all the family. So many birds, otters, alpacas, meerkats and lemurs. There’s also a miniature train to ride, a Little Tikes village, outdoor play areas, indoor play and even a splash pool and sandpit! That’s not to mention the gardens to explore.

You can read about our day at Beale Park here:

Beale Wildlife Park - Berkshire

Finkley Down Farm – Andover

Finkley Down Farm is such a nice day out. As well as all the typical farm animals you’d expect, there are also llamas, alpacas, meerkats and owls! There’s also indoor and outdoor play areas, crazy golf, trampolines and so much more. It’s a really full day out.

You can read about our day at Finkley Down Farm here:


London

London Zoo

London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo and dates back to 1828. It has so many areas to explore with Penguin Beach, Land of the Lions, Tiger Territory and even a rainforest. Each day there are events to participate in from a natural trail to meeting meerkats and lion and getting up close with bugs.

You can read more about London Zoo here:

A Day at London Zoo thanks to Xeno

Richmond Park

Although it’s not strictly an animal park, Richmond Park is an amazing place to see deer and a great family day out too. With playgrounds, cafes and so much to explore, it’s a great day out for the whole family.

You can read more about Richmond Park here:


North West

We haven’t spent much time in the North West yet and so haven’t been to any animal parks there. Whilst we’re trying to fill up this section you can find some great suggestions of animal parks in the North West here.


East of England

Lee Valley Park Farms – Essex

Lee Valley Park Farm is so much more than just a farm. With a farmyard, exotic animals and birds of prey. It also has falconry displays, pig and sheep racing and even tractor rides. There’s sandy and water play, an indoor play barn, slopes to toboggan down and huge adventure play areas.

You can read more about Lea Valley Park Farm here:

Lea Valley Park Farms - Essex

Paradise Wildlife Park – Hertfordshire

Paradise Wildlife Park is a family-run animal park with so many different species to discover. There are big cats, primates and birds of paradise with regular feeding demonstrations and keeper talks throughout the day. There’s a whole World of Dinosaurs to explore, an indoor soft play, so many adventure playgrounds and even a splash pool.

You can read more about Paradise Wildlife Park here:

Paradise Wildlife Park - Hertfordshire

Colchester Zoo – Essex

Colchester Zoo is one of our favourite animal parks. It’s home to over 240 species of animals including so many rare and endangered species. There are indoor and outdoor play areas, a face painting station, hands on interactive exhibits and loads to do inside on a rainy day too.

You can read more about Colchester Zoo here:

Colchester Zoo - Essex

Woburn Safari Park – Bedfordshire

Woburn Safari Park has what may be my favourite drive through safari at any animal park. There’s both a road and foot safari with so many animal species to meet. There’s also indoor soft play, adventure playgrounds, the Great Woburn Railway and pedalo boats to enjoy too.

You can read more about Woburn Safari Park here:

Woburn Safari Park - Bedfordshire

North East

We’re heading up to the North East at some point but until then here are a few ideas of places to see animals in the North East. We’ve added Whitehouse Farm Centre to our list to visit after reading Samantha’s review too!


West Midlands

Trentham Monkey Forest – Staffordshire

Compared to other animal parks across the UK, Trentham Monkey Forest is so unique. You get to learn so much about barbary macaques whilst they roam around you and see them being fed too. There’s also two fantastic play areas and a lovely cafe as well as plenty of space for a picnic.

You can read more about Trentham Monkey Forest here:

Trentham Monkey Forest - Staffordshire

West Midlands Safari Park – Worcestershire

West Midlands Safari Park has an incredible drive through safari and walk through areas to get up close to animals. The drive through takes you through Asia and Africa, seeing all the big mammals and big cats. You can walk through an African village and the Ice Age, experience the sensory play area of Boj’s Giggly Park, get to meet animatronic dinosaurs and spend time in the theme park too!

You can find out more about West Midlands Safari Park here:

West Midlands Safari Park - Worcestershire

East Midlands

Here are some great suggestions of places to see animals in the East Midlands – and Twycross Zoo is high on our list to visit!


South West

Bristol Zoo Gardens – Somerset

Bristol Zoo is a city zoo like London Zoo. It has so many different animals species in different habitat areas. There’s the meerkat lookout, seal and penguin coasts, the butterfly forest and even gibbon island. Around the whole zoo are beautiful gardens to explore, adventure playgrounds and even an aquarium. It’s a great place for a picnic too.

You can read more about Bristol Zoo here:

Bristol Zoo Gardens - Somerset

Monkey World – Dorset

Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre is centered around rescuing and rehabilitating monkeys. It’s so different to typical animal parks and has so many monkeys to get to know and learn about.

You can read more about Monkey World here:

Monkey World - Dorset

The Wild Place Project – Gloucestershire

Wild Place Project is a wildlife conservation park and the sister site of Bristol Zoo. It’s made up of different areas dedicated to different parts of the world and special like the Bear Wood, Benoue National Park, Discover Madagascar and Gelada Rocks. There’s also so many other activities like the Barefoot Trail, play areas, gardens and Camp Baboon if you want to turn your visit into an extended break.

You can read more about The Wild Place Project here:

The Wild Place Project - Gloucestershire

Cornish Seal Sanctuary – Cornwall

The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is a sanctuary for injured seal pups which is owned by The SEA LIFE Trust. It’s set in beautiful grounds, has lots of farm animals to meet too and it’s own little sea life area too. Plus, there’s a lovely play park and woodland walk to explore as well.

You can find out more about the Cornish Seal Sanctuary here:

Cornish Seal Sanctuary - Cornwall

Monkey Sanctuary Looe – Cornwall

The Monkey Sanctuary in Looe is a really eye opening place to visit as it’s home to many rescue monkeys that have come from pretty awful backgrounds. There are gardens to explore, a wild play area and children’s workshops on most days too.

You can find out more about the Monkey Sanctuary here:

Monkey Sanctuary Looe - Cornwall

Longleat Safari Park – Wiltshire

Longleat is another of our favourite safari parks across the country. It has a safari to drive through and so many species to explore and discover and walk through areas with smaller animals, a farmyard and even a place to hand feed lorikeets. There’s a boat and train to take a ride on, house and gardens to visit, a hedge maze and play areas. It’s a really full day out for the whole family.

You can read more about Longleat here:

Longleat Safari Park - Wiltshire

Yorkshire and the Humber

Until we spend some time in Yorkshire, check out some suggestions for animal parks in Yorkshire and the Humber here.


Wales

Folly Farm – Pembrokeshire

Folly Farm is so much more than a farm. It has so many zoo and farm animals to see, keeper talks and feeding times. There’s a land train to ride on to see animals, the piggery and petting corner as well as the lion reserve, penguin coast and giraffe heights too! We loved seeing the black rhino there. There’s also a fairground and huge indoor adventure playground which is fantastic when the weather isn’t at it’s best.

You can read more about Folly Farm here:


Scotland

Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo is the only place in the UK where you can see koalas and giant pandas as well as so many other species. There are so many different areas to explore – with Penguins Rock and the Wallaby Outback firm favourites of ours. There is so much to see and so much to learn at Edinburgh Zoo plus play areas, places to enjoy a picnic and indoor animal enclosures that are great to explore in the wet weather.

You can read more about Edinburgh Zoo here:

Edinburgh Zoo

So there you have our favourite animal parks across the country that the kids love to visit. I’ll be adding to this post as we visit more so make sure you let us know your favourites and we’ll add them to the list. We have plans to visit Howletts and Port Lympne as soon as we can!

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