Best Zoo Yorkshire

Bob Roberts
• Monday, 07 December, 2020
• 7 min read

With plenty of events and activities to keep everyone entertained, they make for a great day out, so go wild and check them out. Nestled in Thor Per row’s stunning 100-acre arboretum is The Bird of Prey and Mammal Center.

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(Source: imfromyorkshire.uk.com)


This Yorkshire zoo boasts a huge collection of exotic birds, from colorful parakeets to rare kookaburras. There are daily flight displays, where you can get up close to powerful birds of prey as they swoop over your head.

It’s also home to loads of cute animals too, including markets and pygmy goats. It’s a wonderful Yorkshire aquarium where majestic rays, cute seals and menacing sharks all await.

They’re passionate about ocean conservation and the kids can learn about it at their turtle rescue experience. You’ll find over 400 animals at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, spread across 15 different habitats.

Make your way to Wallaby Walkabout or Lemur Woods and you can get as close as you like to the cheeky monkeys and mischievous marsupials as there are no fences. There are beautiful Chilean flamingos, teeny-tiny Bali starlings and peculiar burrowing owls, which prefer to spend their time on the ground rather than up in the air.

If you want to really get to know each unique character, you can book onto their penguin feeding experience where you’ll get to hand-feed the birds. You can see Asian red pandas, South American tapirs and African hippopotamuses, all in one place.

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They offer special encounters with the zoo’s friendliest residents too, like the lemurs and the penguins. You can see a gang of markets in the desert, a troop of cotton-topped monkeys in the rainforest and an army of poison dart frogs behind the waterfall.

That means you’ll get to learn plenty about the natural world as you explore each of the enclosures. If you’re a fan of the cute and cuddly, you won’t be disappointed either as they have tiny tamarins, sugar gliders, chinchillas and Swine’s striped squirrels.

This Yorkshire wildlife park is set in a historic arboretum, which is lovely to wander around. They have an underwater viewing tunnel 10 meters down, so you can get up close to the sharks and stingrays that lurk in the depths.

Another highlight is the Awakening Seas exhibition, which showcases fossils of prehistoric monsters that once ruled the oceans. There’s an eclectic mix of domestic and wild animals at this Yorkshire zoo, with strange-looking raccoon dogs just a stone’s throw from the micro pigs.

The whole brood will be kept entertained with a regular program of family-friendly activities that range from Meet the Keeper talks to Animal Encounters. They have even won awards for their efforts, which includes using filtered rainwater in their exhibits and up-cycling waste products from local businesses to create sustainable enrichment materials for the animals.

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They first began their collection of creatures with the Bird Garden, where you can see exotic species like horn bills. Over the years, it has grown into a fully-fledged safari park, split into multiple sections with different educational themes.

Wander through the forest zone and meet their resident tapir, while learning about the threats to its ecosystem. Wildlife World, Atherton, Collier Lane, Waterford, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS25 3 EB.

The Tropical Butterfly House first opened its doors over 25 years ago and has since grown into an impressive collection of creatures. They specialize in tropical animals from the likes of Costa Rica and Madagascar, so expect a host of unusual critters.

They have a busy timetable of events each day to keep you entertained, including tractor rides and feeding experiences. The Tropical Butterfly House, Wood setts Road, North Anton, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S25 4EQ.

They’re looked after by a passionate team of staff and volunteers who know everything there is to know about the animals, and they’re always happy to share their knowledge. York Bird of Prey Center is home to an array of cool feathered creatures.

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After you’ve visited the winged wonders, you can have a go on their 9-hole mini-golf course that’s free to play or have a spot of lunch in the on-site café. York Bird of Prey Center, Boston Lane, Hub, North Yorkshire, YO61 1JB.

Falconry UK is set in a beautiful country garden and gives you a great chance to experience the excitement and thrills of falconry. Talon Falconry will give you a truly gripping experience that is fun for all the family.

York Indoor and Outdoor Zoos and Wildlife Parks Animal lovers and science buffs alike will jump at a chance to visit Ask ham Bryan Wildlife camp; Conservation Park.

Ponderosa Zoo has everything you could wish for, being home to over 120 animals and featuring multiple outdoor areas for your kids to discover. Make the most of Mother Nature at Manor Heath Park and Jungle Experience.

South Cave Outdoor Zoos and Wildlife Parks South Cave Falconry cherish a special relationship between families and their feathered friends.

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Get in touch with your senses at File Bird Garden and Animal Park! We've rounded up the best zoos and wildlife parks in North Yorkshire in our quest to discover brilliant family attractions and places to visit near you.

There are 13 North Yorkshire zoos and wildlife parks to pick from. Many of the places we list are historic or educational in nature and would be suitable for class trips or as ways to keep the learning up whilst having fun over the school holidays.

Sub CategoryAnyAquariumsPetting ZoosSafari Parsons and Wildlife ParksChildren's Farms Visitors can enjoy lemurs, leopards, markets, tigers, monkeys and giraffes amongst others in different themed areas of the zoo.

Wildlife at The Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Photo Credit Conor Ives, (IF Community)If it is a break you need from the thrill seeking rides at Flamingo land near Milton, the theme park also houses one of the most visited and established zoos in Yorkshire. The site has a wide variety of animals and birds to view, including the endangered White rhinoceros, which has become a victim of habitat loss and civic unrest in its native North Africa.

The Humboldt penguin pool is also a popular attraction amongst younger visitors, while the flamingos, which were one of the first birds brought to the zoo when it was first opened in 1959, are also a prominent feature. Along the cliff tops, Sikh deer, Shetland sheep llamas and Capuchin monkeys can be seen roaming their paddocks, while aviaries give visitors a close up view of cockatiels, budgerigars and wildfowl.

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One of the biggest highlights is feeding time at the penguin pool, around 3pm, where they can be seen swimming after fish thrown into the water. This five acre site has a mixture of domestic animals, such as ponies, goats, donkeys and Peasants, the smallest sheep in the world.

There are also aviaries full of birds, including parrots, owls and pheasants plus ducks, geese and turkeys wandering the park. Another zoo and bird garden to be found in Yorkshire is Atherton Hall, located just off the A1 near Waterford.

It is set in the hall’s expansive grounds and has 200 species of rare and endangered birds, making it one of the largest collections in the country. The African enclosure houses exotic creatures, such as cassowaries and an Andean Condor, the world’s largest land bird.

Down the road at one of Yorkshire’s most prominent stately homes, Hardwood House is another extensive collection of birds. These wild birds of prey had become extinct in England by the end of the 19th Century, but now thanks to this re-introduction program led by Hardwood House and the RSP there are now 300 red kites in Yorkshire.

Amongst these are spectacled caimans, Egyptian fruit bats and mouse lemurs, the smallest primates in the world. Uniquely throughout the day there are various sheep and ferret races to watch, along with feeding demonstrations and talks on the different animals.

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(Source: www.tripadvisor.co.uk)

Temple News am in East Leeds is one of the largest working rare breeds farm in Europe and has over 400 types of animals, including goats, cattle, pigs and poultry. Amongst the 3,500 fish in this museum’s aquariums are Europe’s only pair of green saw fish, a colony of Gentoo penguins and species of sharks.

The Sea life Center in Scarborough has 50 displays of marine life and is one of the few places in Yorkshire to see seals and otters close up. Whether it flies, swims, or crawls there are many zoos in Yorkshire which offer a fun, informative and truly wild experience.

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