Paradise Wildlife Park

We were kindly given the opportunity to review a day out at Paradise Wildlife Park, which is fairly local to us. It is a place that both Sam and I have wanted to take Emily for a while, due to the fact Sam has visited there many times when he was younger. Emily was so excited to be heading to the zoo, and the first thing she asked was if there were penguins - which she was delighted to find out there was!

Once we got into the park, we headed straight for Penguin falls, as the penguins were all she could talk about on our car journey there. The enclosure for endangered African penguins is based on their homeland in the south of Africa. The penguin's amazing new habitat provides much-needed space for excellent quality of life and breeding. Paradise wildlife park is one of only two zoos in the UK to be recommended for African Penguin breeding. The enclosure was so clean, I have seen penguins at many other zoos and aquariums but never have I seen them have so much space and be so clean, it really was lovely to see. Emily loved the fact she could see through the glass and was able to stand and watch the penguins. I have to admit we ended up back at the Penguins 5 times during our visit - it was definitely one of her favourite things.

We started off in the main zoo area, which has lots of farm animals, otters, reptiles, red pandas, meerkats, lemurs, penguins and more. While it is quite a compact zoo, it became clear how well thought out the layout is. There are plenty of places to eat/rest and playgrounds around the animals. While Emily really loved seeing the animals, there were a few times during the day where she just needed 10-15 minutes to run around and burn off some energy, so always having a play area close by was definitely a positive in our eyes. It also gave me some time to sit and feed Isabelle while Emily was running around meaning she didn't have to stop and wait for Isabelle to finish her feed before we carried on exploring.

The thing I was most excited for was the white tigers, they are by far my favourite animal and they are so beautiful, there was also lions, cheetahs and snow leopards there too. I was really impressed with the big cat viewing platform that was high up. Emily loved being able to see over the enclosure, the thing that really made a difference to us, was the fact there is wheelchair and buggy access to them. It meant that I could go up on the viewing deck with Sam and Emily, and not worry about where to put Isabelle's pushchair as I could just take it with me.

We also got to see the big cat feed. Each day there are different talks you can meet the keepers at different animal enclosures to hear intresting facts and information. Like we did you can even watch feeding time! The park have a dedicated team of animal keepers who are more than happy to share their knowledge about the animals in their care at the park. It is clear to see how much the keepers care and love the animals, they were more than happy to ask any additional questions you had too. On the back of the park map you can find a list of all these opportunities - there are also a few boards around the park telling you the showing talk times, and feed times.

There are also large pens of reindeer, wolves, monkeys and Zebra - Emily's favourite. Emily was able to get up close to the Zebra, and she loved that, we had to tear her away from the Zebra enclosure because she just would have stood watching them all day if she got the opportunity to do so.

While she was standing looking at the Zebra, she then noticed that the keepers were feeding the camels, she loved standing there watching them. Which then led to her singing us the song 'Alice the camel' does anyone else remember that song?

Considering we went on a hot bank holiday weekend, and it was quite busy. We never felt like Paradise Park was overcrowded. We took along a picnic with us, and we managed to find a picnic table fairly easily. Emily loved that she could sit and watch the otters while she ate lunch, and it just so happened they were doing an otter talk while she was eating, so she sat and listened to the whole thing.

Another thing Emily loved was the meerkat lookout. You were able to crawl through tunnels which lead you to a little look out in the middle of the meerkat enclosure. Emily absolutely loved being in there watching the meerkats out of the window as they could climb around the little lookout giving her a better view of the enclosure. She has been a little obsessed with meerkats since she has seen the compare the meerkat adverts.

After Emily asking, we brought some animal food for £1 as she really wanted to feed the rabbits in the farm section. Emily never actually got to feed the bunny, as he/she was laying on top of their enclosure, not bothered at all by people attempting to feed it - After about 10 minutes of standing there waiting for the rabbit to move, Emily came to the conclusion that the 'bunny was full' and moved on. There are other farmyard animals such as goats, pigs, sheep and also some smaller animals like gerbils, guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, ferrets and chickens.

Emily decided that since the rabbit wasn't interested in her food, she was going to give it to the sheep. At first, she was really scared and wasn't sure about feeding them at all, but after seeing both Sam and I do it a few time, she got up the courage to feed the sheep. She was so happy with herself after, and kept saying 'I did it, mama'.

Before we left, we took a ride on the woodland train, it was £1 per person which I think is a bargain as other places charge £2-3 per person. The woodland railway takes you on a magical journey back through time as you'll pass giant model dinosaurs and the wolves enclosure. You can also look out for deer and owls, and even the bug hotel! Emily loved the train ride and the train driver was lovely, he took time to actually talk to the passengers on the train whilst everyone was getting on and off the train, he didn't rush you along which was lovely. In fact all of the staff we ran into during the day were fab, it was never too much trouble to stop and answer any questions we may have had.

Paradise Wildlife Park is a place we want to go back and visit again, we got there at 11.30 and we didn't leave until it closed at 6pm - considering we were there pretty much all day, we still didn't get to see or do everything the park has to offer. Emily wanted to play in the play area for longer, we also wanted to do the woodland walk but didn't get the time. 

The other thing I wish we took advantage of was the Lagoon paddling pool. They have a hippo fountain and an Aztec slide, which I know Emily would have loved to splash about in. You can also get your hands on a nice cold drink, or ice cream from the Paradise Lagoon ice cream and drinks kiosk. It would have been so handy to let Emily have a splash about in there whilst I fed Isabelle but there is always next time. It's safe to say we will definitely be returning in the near future.

We were given free entry into Paradise Wildlife Park in exchange for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are my own.


  1. Such beautiful photos! This looks like a lovely family day out and I love that they have penguins, my favourite animal :)

  2. Wow this looks amazing! I can't get over how near you are to all the animals! That's a great shot of the lion!

  3. What a fab zoo. You have managed to capture some gorgeous photos from your day.

  4. Looks like a fabulous place for a day out. We love visiting the zoo

  5. What a wonderful place for a day out, Sophie would love this! x

  6. We love a nice day at the Paradise Wildlife Park as it is only up the road from our house!

  7. I have not been to a zoo in years now and would be awesome to check out a local one. Glad you guys had fun at Paradise wildlife

  8. This looks like a great day out for the whole family. Love the inclusion of dinosaurs!

  9. This park sounds so wonderful. I can't get over how many different experiences and animals there are. Oh seeing the South African Penguin enclosure made me really miss my recent holiday. We went to South Africa and we went to Boulders Beach where they live and we got to swim with them in the wild. ( I really love how they've re-created the boulders here for them and how they're helping the endangered penguins!!
    It's great that the layout is so well thought out so they can have little breaks. More parks need to do this! All the ones we've been too, the little park and play zones have been so far away.
    I also love that you crawl through tunnels to get to the meerkat enclosure. It sounds like such an interactive park. We'd love to go there! It sounds like you had such a fab time. xx

  10. What a fabulous place. Wish I lived closer so I could take my boys

  11. It looks fantastic, so many animals and so close to you too!

  12. As an adult in my late 30's, this is still my idea of a day out. Looks incredible!


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