Animal Magic - The Best Zoos and Wildlife around our Holiday Parks

Embrace your inner Attenborough with a visit to one of these incredible animal havens.

Devon

Devon is an animal lover’s paradise. With 3 exceptional zoos and 2 wonderful aquariums close to our holiday parks, it's obvious that animal lovers in this area will be spoiled for choice.

Enjoy 54 amazing exhibits at Paignton Zoo, and 51 at Exmoor Zoo (home to the “Exmoor Beast”). For any fans of the 2011 Cameron Crowe movie "We Bought a Zoo" a trip to Dartmoor Zoo (where it was filmed) is a must. Whichever of these zoos you decide to visit, you’ll witness big cats, giraffes, birds, reptiles and monkeys.

Let’s not forget about the amazing marine life at Living Coasts, where you will find the ‘South American Fur Seal’, the ‘Blue Spotted Sting Ray’ and the ‘Macaroni Penguin’. And if that wasn’t enough, Devon is home to the UK’s largest aquarium – the National Marine Aquarium, where "over 4000 aquatic animals [are] waiting to meet you." So what are you waiting for?

Dorset

Dorset is known for its beautiful beaches, famous landmarks... and monkeys?

The popular and worthy Monkey World - Ape Rescue Centre is the home to recused and rehabilitated monkeys from all over the globe (23 different countries and counting). As a result of their remarkable work, the TV series "Monkey Life"was born (2006 – present), which tells the true stories of all the primates at Monkey World. Swing on by and see what all the fuss is about!

However, Dorset is not just all about monkeys, there’s also two wonderful aquariums nearby. Firstly, the Oceanarium in Bournemouth, with over 150 different species are on display, including the ‘Black Tip Reef Shark’ and the ‘African Dwarf Crocodile’. Secondly, Sea Life Weymouth, with their beautiful sharks, octopus, seals and penguins on show. Don’t forget to bring a pen and paper, because you’ll want to take note of all the scintillating “WOW” facts dotted all over the place.

Essex

A day among the animals at one of the UK’s very best zoos is a must when in Essex.

Colchester Zoo, is home to over 240 species from all over the world, and has beautiful enclosures such as ‘Lion Rock’, ‘Elephant Kingdom’ and ‘Penguin Shores’ - you’ll be blown away by a day out here.

Would you like to get to know the natural wonders in our oceans? At Sea Life Adventure you can pack your day full of educational talks. With 15 talks, the first starting at 10am and the final at 4pm, you’ll learn all about the incredible life of the seahorse, sting ray, sharks and more. Have fin (fun)!

Kent

The ‘Garden of England’ is the place to be to see beautiful wildlife. With Howletts Wild Animal Park and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks (both part of internationally renowned animal conservation charity ‘The Aspinall Foundation’) located within a 40-minute drive of one another, you could witness over 1,150 of the most incredible creatures of the natural world in one day. Head over to base camp to begin your adventure!

A little further North East lies Wingham Wildlife Park, home to over 200 native animals, past and present and set in 40 acres of ancient woodland where visitors can see bears, deer, wild boar, lynx, wild horses and so many more.

That’s a lot of wildlife to see, so you’d better get going…

Hampshire

It's easy to go wild in Hampshire!

Stop off at Marwell Zoo, with its enormous 140 acre park, hundreds of animals, live talks and feeds, and five adventure playgrounds. This means that keen walkers, animal lovers and kids will all be sure to have an amazing time! Some of you may also be relieved to hear that the zoo has two trains running, so you won’t have to walk all those acres if you don’t want to.

Also in Hampshire is the Blue Reef Aquarium, Portsmouth. Discover marine life from local area in the ‘Solent Seas’ zone, see what’s within our oceans at the ‘Tropical Treasures’ and don’t forget the fascinating aquatic animals at the ‘Freshwater Fun’ area!

Where will you be off to first?

Suffolk

Africa in Suffolk? That’s right! 1,000 animals are living within 60 acres of parkland at Africa Alive! After witnessing the natural wonders of the cheetah, rhino, elephant and giraffe, you won’t be able to believe that you’re still in Suffolk.

The same feeling of can be had at Banham Zoo, with wildlife you’ve only ever seen in the likes of in a "Planet Earth" or a "National Geographic" documentary, such as the 'Amur Tiger', 'Gelada Baboon' or the 'Bactrian Camel'. Once again, all of this can be found in Suffolk.

To witness the wonders of Asia, head over to Thrigby Hall where you’ll find endangered tigers, huge crocodiles, and noisy gibbons - a unique web of elevated footpaths allow you to get an intimate look at these magnificent creatures.

There’s so much to see when visiting Sea Life Great Yarmouth. Witness the ‘Jelly Invaders’, discover the fascinating world of jellyfish, and be blown away by the ‘Ocean Tunnel’ - 250,000 litres of natural seawater where the biggest inhabitants travel through the lost city of Atlantis! Did we forget to mention there are two 'African Dwarf Crocodiles' called Ntombi and Masozi? Yeah, you’ll want to see them too.

Sussex

Do you like monkeys, penguins, snakes? Of course you do! (Well, maybe not snakes so much?) At Drusillas Park all of those wonderful animals (and more) are to be seen. And if you want to make sure you get a great view of them all, then you won’t want to miss the keeper talks or feeding times. To get even closer than that, be sure to visit all the walk-through exhibits to be within touching distance of lemurs, sloths and parrots (which can perch on your arms and feed)!

The animal magic doesn’t stop there; how about a trip to Sea Life Brighton to see the beautifully coloured clown fish, 80-year old green sea turtles and all the other 5,500 amazing creatures that make up this fantastic aquarium?

Fancy petting some reptiles? At Blue Reef Hastings you’ll be encouraged to do so. Join them at 1pm & 3pm for the ‘Animal Encounter’ – you won’t regret it! And if you don’t like the sound of handling a reptile, you can look on and enjoy the wonders of marine life with their 'Hovercraft Cow Fish', 'Royal Python', 'Angel Shark' and so much more. Oh, and if you do find Nemo, let us know!

Caravan Holidays & Short Breaks

So much fantastic wildlife to see so which county will you choose? We're one of the largest providers of caravan holidays in the UK, with more holiday parks along the south coast of England than anyone else.

Liked this post? Why not share it?

Other articles you may like...