The Best Zoos in Cornwall holiday cottages

The Best Zoos in Cornwall

Elianne Reed 25 October 2019

If you’re looking for something a little different on your holiday to Cornwall, and want something away from the beaches and historical attractions, why not put aside a few hours to visit some of Cornwall’s wildest residents? Visiting a zoo or wildlife park makes a great family adventure, where all ages will be kept busy, meeting and helping to look after some of our most rare and endangered species. What’s more, many of these centres have strong ethical values, giving talks and demonstrations to explain how they are helping vulnerable animals and what you can do to help.

Go wild with our favourite animal adventures in Cornwall!

Newquay Zoo, Newquay


Get up close to over a thousand of the rarest and most endangered animals at Newquay Zoo on the North Cornwall coast. This zoological garden is located in Trenance Leisure Park and makes a fun day out for all the family. Take little ones to see African lions, nyala antelopes and red pandas and see if they recognise the slender-tailed meerkats from the TV adverts!

All the animals are living in recreated natural habitats, with the zoo passionate about conserving their future and protecting them from extinction. For a special birthday, why not book one of the animal experiences and go behind the scenes with the keeping team? We bet there isn’t a child out there that doesn’t want to be a junior keeper for their favourite animal!

Magical Animal Adventure:

The penguin encounter – get within touching distance of the humboldt penguins and help the keepers to feed them their lunch! Over 8’s only.

Discover more things to do in Newquay


Porfell Wildlife Park and Sanctuary, Liskeard


Cornwall’s biggest exotic animal sanctuary with more animals than ever before, Porfell Wildlife Park and Sanctuary do an amazing job looking after neglected and injured animals, as well as those seized from animal traffickers. Since 1989, they have welcomed all sorts of animals into environments that are designed to meet each species’ individual needs to make it as natural as possible for them.

Visitors can get up close to wildlife and feed the animals while learning all about them and the countries that they have come from. The park also offers owl flying and ‘being a keeper for a day’ experiences which older children will love as an alternative to a birthday party.

Magical Animal Adventure:

Join the lemurs for lunch! Sit down next to the lovely lemurs with a keeper and feed them as they come up to you for a bite to eat. Over 8’s only.

Stay nearby in Liskeard


Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary, Hayle

red panda

Situated on the west Cornish coast just 5 miles from St Ives, this award-winning wildlife park has over 650 birds and animals and is also the home of the World Parrot Trust. There’s so much to do to keep all ages occupied, include amazing flying displays, a 1,000-bird collection and a Penguin Photocall, as well as a JungleBarn indoor play centre for the tiny tots.

Meet mini donkeys, pygmy goats, sheep, rabbits and guinea pigs in the Fun Farm and meet the keeper who is rearing the sanctuary’s first-ever Caribbean Flamingo chick!

Magical Animal Adventure:

Find some cute new friends in the Red Panda Experience – if you book it as a present, you will also receive an ‘Experience Certificate’ that you can give to the lucky recipient. Over 10's only.

Explore more of Hayle


Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary, Looe

Capuchin Monkey

Offering a safe haven to 40 monkeys, this charity has been helping these cheeky primates since 1964, when the sanctuary was established as a cooperative to care for rescued woolly monkeys. Meet the residents, many of whom have not had the best start to life, and find out about the work that goes into looking after them – bear in mind there are some areas that can’t be accessed so that vulnerable monkeys can recuperate away from the crowds.

You will see capuchin monkeys, woolly monkeys, Barbary macaques and marmosets as well as other wildlife, including 23 butterfly species and over 285 wildflower species in the wildlife room, bat-cam areas and wildlife gardens.

Magical Animal Adventure:

Adopt a monkey and help to protect primates and support the hugely important work of this wonderful sanctuary. You will receive a personalised certificate of your adoption, a photo of your adopted monkey and an optional monkey toy.

Find out more about Looe


Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Gweek


Looking for a fishy encounter with some of our favourite sea residents? The Cornish Seal Sanctuary, on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall, offers rest and recuperation for injured seal pups, before returning them to the ocean when they are better. Set in the picturesque Helford Estuary, the sanctuary is open to the public who can watch feeding time with the hungry seals and get up close to penguins, cheeky otters and big old sea lions.

Attend a fun talk or do the quiz trail with the kids and then finish off with a woodland walk through the grounds and a hot chocolate in the café. Well-behaved dogs are welcome too, so no need to leave Fido behind on this one!

Magical Animal Adventure:

Book a ‘Breakfast with the Seals’ experience and join the staff for a breakfast and fish feeding experience like no other. Under 16's welcome as long as accompanied by an adult.

Stay close by in Helston


Stay with us in Cornwall!

Thinking of visiting one or more of these animal attractions in Cornwall? If so, you’ll need somewhere to stay. Have a peek at our cottages in Cornwall which offer self-catering accommodation to families, groups of friends and couples looking for a romantic few days away.

We have a selection of gorgeous properties, from cosy country boltholes and sweet coastal cottages to luxury properties and those which accept your four-legged friends too – whatever you are looking for, our collection of properties is the place to start looking.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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