Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Family Days Out - Paignton Zoo

If you're going to South Devon on holiday, I cannot recommend Paignton Zoo highly enough. As a family we have also visited Bristol Zoo & ZSL London Zoo this year, but Paignton is our favourite without a doubt.

Clean & well maintained with ample free parking, Paignton Zoo is set in lovely gardens with large, well equipped habitats for the animals who live there. There are over 2000 creatures at Paignton Zoo, including giraffes, monkeys, a rhino and elephant, coatis, crocs and lots more besides. There are several outdoor and indoor play areas as well as the Jungle Express train (you'll need change for the machine to purchase tickets for this) so there is plenty to see and do.
It cost my family £74.35 to visit the Zoo for the day. Currently, you can buy a 'Zooper' ticket which gives you entry to both Paignton Zoo, and the Living Coasts Coastal Zoo at the harbourside, this ticket offers a 20% discount and allows you to visit each attraction once (valid for 6 months). I think the entrance fee is very reasonable considering what the Zoo has to offer.
There is lots of space to sit & enjoy a picnic if you bring one along, as well as several kiosks selling ice creams & snacks located around the Zoo. There is also a restaurant and cafe bar on site if you'd rather buy your lunch, offering hot & cold food and drinks. We received outstanding customer service throughout the day, the two ladies at the pasty shack where we bought L's sausage roll were particularly friendly, happy & helpful.
We made a couple of snack pit stops on our way around the Zoo, the children each enjoyed 2 delicious Marshfield ice creams during the day (clotted cream is my absolute fave) to cool off in the lovely Summer sun, and bought our lunch in the restaurant. As expected, the food was on the pricey side but as I have said before, that is not unusual when you're out somewhere for the day & it's worth taking along your own food if you're on a strict budget.
I loved visiting the Western Lowland Gorillas in the Forest Habitat. I adore Gorillas and could have stood and watched them all day. I love seeing them interacting with each other, and just how human their behaviour is, they are absolutely beautiful creatures.
I think one of them took a dislike to me though, as seconds after I took this picture at the bottom left of the next collage (without flash), it ran up the net and smacked its hand against the window where A and I were stood! I had turned around to talk to the Mister and didn't see him coming, the bang certainly made me jump though and we had to peel A off of the ceiling...

The Orang Utans in the next enclosure are very funny to watch, and one came over and was hanging from the edge of the window staring back at everyone. They're just gorgeous, I could have stayed in there with them for the whole visit.
Everything is very interactive and educational and there are lots of opportunities at each habitat and enclosure to learn more about the animals and to read about where they come from. The kids loved rushing off to read the information and then coming back to tell the Mister & I what they had learned, they're now all full of fun & fascinating facts that they are thoroughly enjoying sharing with anyone who will listen!
A beautiful setting for a fun-filled - and educational - family day out. We will certainly visit Paignton Zoo again, and look forward to doing so!

This is not a sponsored post and our visit to Paignton Zoo was paid for in full out of my own pocket. All opinions, as always, are honest and written in my own words.

6 comments:

  1. We are always ready for a day out to the Zoo!

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  2. i love Paignton zoo too and i took the boys for their first visit there last year. x

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  3. I've not yet taken N to a zoo, so should really get to one soon.

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  4. Zoo's are great for a family day out! I know Paignton is a well maintained one with a great variety of animals. Thanks for sharing your fab photos of your day out with Country Kids.

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  5. I love the Zoo, I haven't been to Paignton but looks like you had a great time.

    @Nortonmum

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