With so many animal lovers taking holidays in the UK and so many zoos and animal parks to choose from, it’s easy to overlook the ones that are suited to you and your family. No doubt there will be one near you, so this list is a quick guide to make it possible for you to see some amazing animals and create some amazing memories in the process. Holiday-makers of all ages will be kept entertained with the wide variety of activities and things to see.
Monkey World, Dorset
At Monkey World you'll see all kinds of primates from orangutan to ring-tailed lemurs, and loads more. The rescue centre was set up in 1987 to provide a home for abused chimpanzees, and later other kinds of primates. Now open to the public, you can admire these fantastic creatures in a comfortable environment. If you are interested in learning about the monkeys you can attend one of the many talks at the park. There are also several events at the park throughout the year, so best to check in advance so you don’t miss out. Only 45 minutes fromWest Bay Holiday Park, it’s worth swinging over for the day.
Courtesy of Monkey World, Dorset
Dairy Land Farm World, NewquayDairyland Farm World is a great place for families to find out what it’s like to work on a farm and even have a go at feeding some of the animals. Take a walk through the farm or even hop on board the Lamborghini ‘Hayride’, a tractor designed to carry many passengers across different areas of the farm. There are various trails for different age groups ranging from under 5 up to 11, and younger members of the family will enjoy the indoor play area known as ‘The Bull Pen’. Plus there are plenty of exhibitions and museum pieces about the history of the farm and how farms worked in days gone by.
Courtesy of Dairyland Farm World
Jimmy’s Farm, IpswichYou may have seen it on TV, now to experience Jimmy's Farm for real. Get up close to all the farm yard animals, and even witness animals being born (keep an eye on the farm’s Facebook and Twitter for announcements). Spend the day there, take one of the designated nature trails, and even have a meal in Jimmy Doherty’s equally famous restaurant. Visit the various shops where you can purchase Jimmy’s jams, butchery products and gifts for the home and garden. There are also interactive events and opportunities for groups, which can be found on their website and social media channels. Valley Farm Holiday Park isn’t too far away, so this is the ideal way to get a genuine farming experience when staying in Essex or Suffolk.
Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, DevonCombe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park’s aim is ‘more animals with less cages’ so you will experience all kinds of species while walking around the park’s exotic environment. You will able to spot everything from lions to sea lions, otters to wallabies and so much more. Plus there’s plenty of amazing memories to be made with the different kinds of animals, such as swimming with sea lions and feeding the lions (don’t worry, they are trained). The popular Dinosaur Valley is filled with animatronic beasts and The Dino Express Ride simulates an earthquake, making you feel like you’re on a Hollywood movie set. For families with very young ones, baby carriers are available to hire as there is a lot walking to do around the valley. This park is about 20 minutes’ drive from Ruda Holiday Park so worth a look if you want to see some exotic wildlife.
Welsh Mountain Zoo, Colwyn BayWelsh Mountain Zoo is host to variety of rare and endangered animals and exotic plants, set in stunning gardens and woodland. Resident animals include red pandas, snow leopards, meerkats, Mississippi alligators and, of course, Welsh mountain goats – plus many, many more.
The daily timetable offers animal shows featuring sea lions, chimpanzees and the Winged Wonder Bird Display and Penguin Parade. This fantastic day out for all offers free entry for under 3’s and wheelchair users. The zoo is open every day (except Christmas Day) and is only down the road from Ty Mawr Holiday Park.
The Lakeland Wildlife Oasis, HaleThis park is filled with all kinds of animals, including some you might not even have heard of before. There’s a butterfly hall with all kinds of insects, reptiles, mini mammals, birds and an aquarium among the many things to see here. You will be amazed at how many animals you can discover at Lakeland Wildlife Oasis. Book a 'zookeeper for the day' experience in advance to make the most of your visit, or opt for the 'junior keeper' experience for 7-15 year-olds. Also, for an extra cost, you can get involved in animal encounters and experiences. Although this is close to the Lake District - Regent Bay (near Morecambe) is the nearest holiday park at 12.5 miles away.
Pettitts Animal Adventure Park, NorfolkThis is a family-friendly animal park which contains theme park rides, so there’s no chance of getting bored. Animals range from meerkats to micro pigs, with educational shows for all the family to learn about the animals they see. As well as visiting all the animals, there are various shows for children at the on-site theatre. If that wasn’t enough - there are many rides to enjoy such as a roller coaster, mini pirate ship, tea cups and more (toddlers to be accompanied by an adult). There’s even a picnic area with a pizza cabin. Being so near to Great Yarmouth, this attraction isn’t hard to get to from Summerfields and California Cliffs Holiday Parks.