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Best Zoos and Wildlife Parks in Devon

zoos and wildlife parks in devon

This is a post for animal lovers looking for the best zoos ad wildlife parks in Devon. The places listed below are not in a specific order, but all have unusual animals and are great days out.

Ideas for Zoos and Wildlife Parks in Devon

Devon, with its rolling hills, dramatic coastlines, and charming villages, is a haven not just for stunning scenery but for incredible wildlife encounters. Venture beyond the beaches and discover a world of fascinating creatures at zoos, wildlife parks, and animal sanctuaries. From majestic big cats to playful otters, Devon’s animal attractions offer unforgettable experiences for the whole family.

Dartmoor Zoo

darrtmoor zoo

Nestled amidst the rugged beauty of Dartmoor National Park, Dartmoor Zoo offers a unique and intimate animal experience. This award-winning zoo is dedicated to the conservation of rare and endangered species,providing a safe haven for animals from around the world.

As you explore the zoo, you’ll encounter a diverse collection of creatures, from the majestic Sumatran tigers and playful otters to the graceful red pandas and the critically endangered Amur leopards. Dartmoor Zoo goes beyond simply exhibiting animals; they offer interactive experiences that allow visitors to learn about these fascinating creatures and the conservation efforts underway.

Don’t miss the daily talks and feeding demonstrations, where keepers share their knowledge and passion for the animals.For a truly special encounter, book a behind-the-scenes tour or participate in a feeding experience, getting up close to some of the zoo’s residents.

Dartmoor Zoo caters to families of all ages, with dedicated play areas, a petting zoo featuring friendly farm animals, and a splash pad to cool off on a hot day. Grab a delicious lunch at the on-site cafe or picnic amidst the beautiful parkland,making a full day of your visit.

Paignton Zoo Environmental Park

Lizard at Paignton Zoo

Located on the sunny English Riviera, Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is a sprawling zoo with a global focus. Home to over 2,500 animals from over 250 species, the zoo offers visitors a journey across continents, encountering creatures from the rainforests of South America to the deserts of Australia.

Prepare to be mesmerized by the playful antics of chimpanzees, the powerful grace of lions, and the colorful plumage of exotic birds. Paignton Zoo prioritizes animal welfare, providing spacious enclosures that replicate their natural habitats.

Take a ride on the steam train for a unique perspective of the zoo, or hop aboard the glass-bottomed boat for an underwater view of the penguin pool. For a thrilling experience, embark on the high ropes course, offering stunning views of the park and a chance to test your courage.

Paignton Zoo Environmental Park caters to families with a dedicated children’s zoo, featuring friendly farm animals like goats, sheep, and alpacas. The interactive lorikeet feeding experience allows visitors to get up close to these colorful birds, while daily talks and feeding demonstrations provide valuable insights into the animals’ behaviors.

With its diverse collection, educational exhibits, and exciting activities, Paignton Zoo Environmental Park offers a fun-filled day for the whole family, sparking a love for wildlife and the importance of conservation.


The “Devon Visitors Map” by Devon-Z is an essential guide for exploring Devon, UK. This detailed and user-friendly map highlights key attractions, scenic routes, and local amenities, making it perfect for tourists and locals alike. Durable and easy to read, it’s an invaluable tool for navigating Devon’s beautiful landscapes.

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The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth

Donkey Sanctuary feeding

Nestled amidst the rolling hills of East Devon, the Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth offers a heartwarming experience for animal lovers of all ages. This sanctuary, one of several run by the national Donkey Sanctuary charity, provides a safe haven for rescued donkeys, mules, and hinnies.

As you enter the sanctuary, the gentle brays of these endearing creatures fill the air. Explore the well-maintained paddocks, where donkeys of all shapes, sizes, and breeds roam freely. Learn about their unique personalities and often-tragic pasts through informative displays scattered throughout the grounds.

The Donkey Sanctuary is a haven not just for rescued donkeys but for visitors seeking a gentle and heartwarming experience. Volunteer donkey carers are always happy to answer questions and share stories about the animals in their care. For a truly special encounter, participate in a grooming session, where you can brush these gentle giants and learn about their specific needs.

Children will be delighted by the opportunity to meet the friendly donkeys in the dedicated petting area. The sanctuary also boasts a play area with climbing frames and slides, allowing families to make a full day of their visit.

The Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth goes beyond offering a sanctuary for rescued donkeys. They actively educate visitors about the importance of donkey welfare and the threats these animals face. Through interactive exhibits and informative talks, they raise awareness about responsible donkey ownership and encourage visitors to support their vital conservation efforts.

Axe Valley Wildlife Park

feeding at axe valley wildlife park

Nestled amidst the rolling hills of East Devon, Axe Valley Wildlife Park offers a captivating glimpse into the diverse animal kingdom. This family-run park prides itself on providing a relaxed and educational environment for visitors to connect with a variety of creatures.

Prepare to be charmed by a menagerie of animals from across the globe. Witness the majestic grace of Amur tigers, the playful antics of monkeys, and the captivating beauty of colorful parrots. Axe Valley Wildlife Park goes beyond simply exhibiting animals; they prioritize creating naturalistic enclosures that replicate the animals’ natural habitats.

Visitors can embark on a journey through the park, encountering creatures from different continents. Explore the tropical house, a haven for exotic reptiles and amphibians, or stroll through the walkthrough wallaby enclosure, where these curious marsupials may even hop right beside you!

Axe Valley Wildlife Park caters to families with a dedicated petting zoo featuring friendly farm animals like sheep, goats,and alpacas. For a thrilling experience, embark on a meerkat encounter, where you can get up close to these curious creatures and witness their fascinating social dynamics.

With its diverse animal collection, informative talks, and interactive experiences, Axe Valley Wildlife Park offers a fun-filled and educational day for the whole family. It’s a place to learn about the wonders of the animal kingdom, appreciate the importance of conservation, and create lasting memories in the heart of Devon’s beautiful countryside.

Woodlands Family Theme Park & Zoo

view at woodlands theme park

Located near Dartmouth in South Devon, Woodlands Family Theme Park & Zoo offers a thrilling combination of animal encounters and classic theme park fun. This sprawling park caters to families of all ages, providing a full day of excitement, education, and entertainment.

As you enter the park, the infectious energy of excited children fills the air. One moment you might be marveling at the majestic Bengal tigers in their expansive enclosure, and the next, you’re soaring through the air on a thrilling rollercoaster.Woodlands Family Theme Park & Zoo expertly blends the wonder of wildlife discovery with the adrenaline rush of classic theme park attractions.

The zoo section boasts a diverse collection of creatures, from playful otters and mischievous monkeys to graceful giraffes and majestic lions. Interactive exhibits allow visitors to learn about the animals’ habitats, behaviors, and the conservation efforts underway to protect endangered species. Kids will be delighted by the opportunity to get up close to friendly farmyard animals in the dedicated petting zoo, while daily feeding demonstrations provide fascinating insights into the animals’ diets and routines.

Beyond the zoo, Woodlands Family Theme Park offers a plethora of thrilling rides and attractions suitable for all ages.Little ones can embark on a gentle adventure aboard the carousel or take a whimsical spin on the teacups. For a dose of adrenaline, older adventurers can tackle the exhilarating rapids ride or test their courage on the park’s signature rollercoaster.

Woodlands Family Theme Park & Zoo caters to families with a variety of additional activities. Enjoy a splash in the water play area, perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day. Families can also test their problem-solving skills in the themed maze or challenge each other to a game of mini-golf.

With its diverse animal collection, exhilarating rides, and family-friendly activities, Woodlands Family Theme Park & Zoo offers a fun-filled day for the whole family. It’s a place to create lasting memories, embrace the thrill of adventure,and learn about the importance of animal conservation.

Shaldon Wildlife Trust

shaldon wildlife trust

Nestled amidst the rolling hills of South Devon, Shaldon Wildlife Trust offers a unique and intimate opportunity to connect with rescued otters. This dedicated sanctuary provides a safe haven for orphaned, injured,and abandoned otters, rehabilitating them whenever possible for release back into the wild.

As you enter the sanctuary, the playful chirps and whistles of these charismatic creatures fill the air. Observe the otters as they frolic in their custom-built enclosures, complete with pools, underwater tunnels, and lush greenery that replicates their natural habitat.

Shaldon Wildlife Trust goes beyond simply showcasing otters. Their passionate team is dedicated to educating visitors about these fascinating mammals, their role in the ecosystem, and the threats they face in the wild. Informative displays and interactive exhibits shed light on otter biology, behavior, and the conservation efforts underway to protect them.

For a truly unforgettable experience, participate in a guided tour led by one of the sanctuary’s knowledgeable staff members. Learn about the individual otters residing at the sanctuary, their unique stories, and the steps taken towards their rehabilitation. The trust also offers seasonal events and workshops, providing deeper insights into otter conservation and the importance of protecting these playful creatures.

Shaldon Wildlife Trust offers a unique and heartwarming experience for animal lovers of all ages. It’s a place to learn about otters, appreciate their playful nature, and gain a deeper understanding of the importance of wildlife conservation efforts.

The National Marine Aquarium

tunnel in plymouth aquarium

Set in the heart of Plymouth, The National Marine Aquarium is a mesmerizing journey into the underwater world. This award-winning aquarium boasts a diverse collection of marine life from around the globe, offering visitors a chance to explore the wonders of the ocean without getting wet.

As you enter the aquarium, a sense of awe washes over you. Stroll through a series of themed exhibits, each showcasing a unique marine ecosystem. Witness the graceful dance of sharks in a vast ocean tank, marvel at the colorful coral reefs teeming with tropical fish, and come face-to-face with mesmerizing jellyfish pulsating in their illuminated enclosures.Touch pools allow visitors to get up close to starfish, sea urchins, and other fascinating creatures, creating a truly interactive learning experience.

The National Marine Aquarium prioritizes education and conservation. Interactive exhibits and informative talks delve into topics like ocean acidification, climate change, and the importance of sustainable fishing practices. The aquarium also offers behind-the-scenes tours, providing a glimpse into the vital work undertaken by their dedicated team to care for their diverse collection and inspire future generations of marine conservationists.

Pennywell Farm

Pennywell Farm

Nestled amidst the rolling hills of South Devon, Pennywell Farm offers a charming and educational experience for families of all ages. This award-winning working farm isn’t just a petting zoo; it’s a window into the world of agriculture and the vital role animals play in our everyday lives.

As you enter the farm, the sounds of clucking chickens, mooing cows, and excited chatter fill the air. Explore well-maintained enclosures, meeting a diverse menagerie of friendly farm animals. Cuddle adorable rabbits, witness the gentle giants of the Shire horse breed, and be mesmerized by the colorful plumage of pheasants and other farmyard birds.

Pennywell Farm goes beyond simply showcasing animals. Through interactive displays and informative talks, visitors learn about different breeds of animals, their role in food production, and the importance of sustainable farming practices.Children can participate in daily feeding sessions, helping to care for the animals and gaining a deeper appreciation for their needs.

For a truly immersive experience, embark on a tractor ride through the picturesque farmland. This provides a chance to witness the farm’s beautiful setting and gain insights into daily operations. Pennywell Farm also offers seasonal events and workshops, allowing visitors to learn about traditional farming methods like butter churning and sheep shearing.

Quince Honey Farm

Quince Honey Farm

Nestled in the rolling hills of North Devon, Quince Honey Farm offers a fascinating and interactive glimpse into the world of bees and honey production. This award-winning working farm isn’t just about delicious honey; it’s an educational journey into the world of these vital pollinators and their critical role in the ecosystem.

As you enter the farm, the sweet scent of honey fills the air. Embark on a guided tour led by a passionate beekeeper,learning about different bee breeds, their social hierarchy, and the fascinating process of honey production. Witness these industrious creatures up close through specially designed observation hives (don’t worry, a safe barrier keeps you protected!).

Quince Honey Farm goes beyond simply showcasing bees. Interactive exhibits and informative talks delve into topics like the importance of bee conservation, the threats these pollinators face, and the sustainable practices employed by the farm.Children can participate in hands-on activities like candle rolling and beeswax craft making, creating lasting memories and a newfound appreciation for these essential insects.

The farm boasts a well-stocked shop filled with their own honey varieties, alongside beeswax products and locally-made crafts. Enjoy a delicious cream tea in their charming tea room, featuring homemade cakes and, of course, their famous honey. Quince Honey Farm offers a delightful and educational experience for families of all ages, sparking a curiosity about bees and the importance of protecting these vital creatures.

Totnes Rare Breeds Farm

sheep at the totnes rare breed farm

Located amidst the rolling hills of South Devon, Totnes Rare Breeds Farm offers a unique opportunity to encounter heritage breeds of farm animals. This charming working farm goes beyond entertainment; it plays a vital role in preserving rare and endangered breeds of farm animals, ensuring their survival for future generations.

As you enter the farm, a cacophony of sounds welcomes you – the gentle moo of heritage cattle breeds like Belted Galloways and Longhorns, the rhythmic clucking of rare poultry breeds, and the excited squeals of friendly pigs. Explore well-maintained enclosures, meeting a diverse menagerie of these fascinating animals. Learn about their unique characteristics, historical significance, and the challenges faced by these dwindling populations.

Totnes Rare Breeds Farm goes beyond simply showcasing animals. Interactive exhibits and informative talks delve into the importance of breed conservation. Visitors learn about the threats these animals face, such as habitat loss and industrial farming practices, and the vital role heritage breeds play in maintaining biodiversity and sustainable agriculture.

Children will be delighted by the opportunity to get up close to the friendly farm animals in the dedicated petting zoo.They can bottle-feed young lambs, groom gentle goats, and learn about the importance of responsible animal care. The farm also offers daily feeding sessions and milking demonstrations, providing a glimpse into the daily workings of a traditional farm.

For a truly immersive experience, embark on a tractor ride through the picturesque farmland. This scenic journey allows visitors to witness the farm’s beautiful setting and gain insights into the practices employed to ensure the well-being of their rare breed animals. Totnes Rare Breeds Farm offers a charming and educational experience for families of all ages,fostering a deeper appreciation for the importance of biodiversity and heritage breed conservation.

Occombe Farm

sheep at occombe

Nestled on the outskirts of Paignton in South Devon, Occombe Farm offers a delightful and interactive farmyard experience for families of all ages. This family-run farm isn’t just about petting animals; it’s a chance to learn about sustainable farming practices and the vital role working farms play in our lives.

As you enter the farm, the fresh scent of hay and the happy sounds of farmyard animals fill the air. Explore well-maintained enclosures, meeting a friendly menagerie of animals, from gentle giants like Shire horses and Shetland ponies to fluffy sheep, playful goats, and a variety of farmyard fowl.

Occombe Farm goes beyond simply showcasing animals. Through interactive displays and informative talks, visitors learn about different breeds of animals, their role in food production, and the importance of sustainable farming practices.Children can participate in daily feeding sessions, helping to care for the animals and gaining a deeper appreciation for their needs.

The farm boasts a dedicated “hold a chick” area, where little ones can gently cradle these adorable creatures and learn about the hatching process. They can also participate in egg collecting and witness the marvel of life firsthand. For a truly immersive experience, embark on a tractor ride through the picturesque farmland. This provides a chance to witness the farm’s beautiful setting and gain insights into daily operations.

Occombe Farm offers a delightful and educational experience for families of all ages. It’s a place to learn about where our food comes from, appreciate the importance of sustainable farming, and create lasting memories while connecting with friendly farmyard animals.

World of Country Life

World of Country Life

Set in Exmouth in East Devon, World of Country Life offers a captivating journey into the world of rural life and traditional farming practices. This award-winning attraction isn’t just a zoo; it’s a living museum showcasing the rich agricultural heritage of Devon and beyond.

As you enter the expansive grounds, the sights, sounds, and smells of a bygone era transport you back in time. Explore meticulously recreated historic farmyards, complete with traditional buildings, vintage farm machinery, and breeds of animals that were once commonplace in the Devon countryside. Witness sheepdogs herding flocks, watch skilled craftspeople demonstrate traditional skills like blacksmithing and weaving, and learn about the challenges and triumphs of rural life throughout the centuries.

World of Country Life goes beyond simply showcasing the past. Interactive exhibits and informative talks delve into topics like the evolution of farming practices, the impact of agriculture on the environment, and the importance of sustainable food production in our modern world. Visitors can also explore working farmyards featuring rare and heritage breeds of farm animals, learning about their unique characteristics and the vital role they play in preserving agricultural biodiversity.

For a truly immersive experience, participate in a traditional countryside craft workshop. Learn the art of bread making,cheese making, or willow weaving, taking home a handmade souvenir and a newfound appreciation for the skills of yesteryear. World of Country Life offers

Encounter the Wild at Exmoor Zoo

exmoor zoo

Nestled amidst the rolling hills of Exmoor National Park, Exmoor Zoo offers a captivating glimpse into the animal kingdom. This family-friendly zoo caters to all ages, boasting a diverse collection of creatures guaranteed to spark curiosity and wonder.

Imagine encountering majestic big cats like lions and tigers lazing in their spacious enclosures. Move on to the playful world of primates, where monkeys swing through the trees and mischievous lemurs dart across branches. Exmoor Zoo even features a dedicated reptile house, allowing visitors to come face-to-face with fascinating snakes, lizards, and even the occasional scaly surprise.

Exmoor Zoo goes beyond simply showcasing animals. Through interactive exhibits and informative talks, visitors gain a deeper understanding of the various species, their habitats, and the vital role they play in the ecosystem. The zoo prioritizes conservation efforts, educating visitors about the threats faced by endangered animals and the ongoing efforts to protect them.

Don’t miss the daily talks and feeding demonstrations, where passionate keepers share fascinating insights into the lives of the animal residents. Witnessing these interactions firsthand allows visitors to appreciate the unique personalities and behaviors of these incredible creatures. With its diverse collection, educational approach, and beautiful setting, Exmoor Zoo promises a fun-filled and unforgettable day for the whole family.

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