5 Top Zoos and Wildlife Parks in Cornwall

Posted on 27th May 2014

For a change from a day at the beach, why not head to one of these fantastic family attractions around Cornwall for a day out the kids will love! If you’re planning a holiday this summer, make sure to check out one of the lovely holiday cottages to rent in Cornwall from our collection.

Newquay Zoo


Image Credits: Edward Webb (Flickr.com)

 One of Cornwall’s top visitor attractions, Newquay Zoo is open all year round and always has an exciting calendar of events and animal experiences to try. The zoo has a large collection of different animals and it’s the only place in Cornwall where you can see lions! There is also a farm area, a tropical house and a very interesting exhibit about the native species of Britain.

Newquay Zoo is very family friendly, with baby changing facilities and bottle warming in the Café Lemur, which offers a menu full of delicious and healthy meals that kids will love. The café even offers a barbecue during the summer on selected days. The zoo is also fully accessible for buggies and wheelchair users and assistance dogs are welcome.

The Monkey Sanctuary

Image Credits: Callum Hoare (Flickr.com)

 This charitable organisation protects the inhabitants of the park and uses the money from visitors to fund monkey conservation worldwide. It’s a fantastic day out for all ages, where you can see a range of different species of monkey, which have all been rescued from across the UK and the international pet trade. There are also beautiful wildlife gardens to explore where you will be able to spot other types of wildlife such as newts, frogs, birds and butterflies.

For refreshment and a bite to eat you can visit the Tree Top café, which offers a delicious range of vegetarian meals and homemade cakes. Baby changing facilities are available and some of the sanctuary is accessible for buggies and wheelchairs, but unfortunately, not all of it.

National Seal Sanctuary

Image Credits: L.A Morris (Flickr.com)

 This is the only sanctuary of its kind in Cornwall and during a visit you can learn about the dramatic rescues of stray, sick or injured seals and sea lion pups found along the Cornwall coastline. You can meet all the resident seals of the sanctuary during your visit as well as otters, penguins, goats, and sheep. The sanctuary is set in a beautiful riverside location along the banks of the Helston River; there are woodland trails to wander through and some beautiful picnic spots to stop and have a rest in.

Paradise Park

Image Credits: Spencer Wright (Flickr.com)

 This is a fantastic all weather attraction that will delight children of all ages. The indoor Jungle Barn play area is perfect for tiny tots to clamber around in, with ball pools, slides and a special play area for toddlers. Outside, there are more than 650 birds to spot, from bright pink flamingos, colourful parrots, rare birds and local birds, like the Cornish chough.

Throughout the day there is an array of events and feeding times where children can get close to and learn about the different birds.

There is also a farm area with goats, sheep, guinea pigs, and rabbits that visitors can feed and pet. Walking through the park, you‘ll also be able to spot the red pandas, red squirrels, and otters in their enclosures and learn about their important conservation schemes.

Blue Reef Aquarium

Image Credits: Joccay (Flickr.com)

 This is a great rainy day activity as all of the wonderful wildlife is in an indoor underwater enclosure. The animals in the enclosure range from huge sharks and a giant octopus to graceful sea turtles and tiny Caiman crocodiles. The aquarium provides many hands-on animal encounters, where visitors can feed and touch the animals while learning about the important conservation work the aquarium provides.