Paignton Zoo

What child doesn’t love a trip to the zoo?

When researching fun activities for all the family during our trip to Devon I came across Paignton Zoo and added it to my list of activities for the kids to choose where they wanted to visit.  Of course when it was time to choose it was the place they picked first, so we packed up the car and took the 20 minute drive from our campsite.

If I am honest, we are used to going to Marwell Wildlife Park and Longleat both which are huge so I didn’t have high hopes for Paignton Zoo.  I expected it to be small and half a days activity at best – I couldn’t have been more wrong!

Paignton Zoo has more animals than anyone else in the South West and you the opportunity to get close to over two thousand creatures including giraffes, lions, gorillas, an elephant, cheetahs, crocodiles, meerkats, colourful snakes, monkeys and more!

We arrived just before the zoo opened at 10am and I instantly regretted not packing coats as it was freezing.  There were also high winds which were not helping and once inside we didn’t get off to the best start as most of the animals were sheltering from the winds, but we did spot some birds in the aviary including a pigeon that looked as though it was wearing a super-hero mask.

Paignton Zoo

We also spotted some owls but sadly as they were behind wire my pictures didn’t catch them very well.  The disappointment for not seeing the big cats was soon gone as the kids discovered the park and it gave them a chance to run around and warm up and as we headed back out, we found that the warming sunshine had awoken the tigers at least, whilst the lions just snoozed.

Paignton Zoo

Next up was the Lemur walk, but they were more content hiding in their house so the kids decided pounding up and down the rope bridge was much more fun.

Once we convinced them to leave the rope bridge we headed back outside to witness something magical –  two Orangutans with their babies.  We stopped to watch them for about 15 minutes as the keepers had laid out their food all over their enclosure so we could all get a good look.

Paignton Zoo

The orangutans changed our luck with the animals and from here on in, they all came out to see us.

The zoo is quite hilly and on our way to find the giraffe and elephants you reach a point where you look down onto the sea below – it is a stunning view.  There are lots of houses on the hill above and they must get some lovely views of the animals as well as the sea.

Paignton Zoo

One of the things we loved about the zoo, apart from the huge variety of animals, were the extra activities for the children.  Most animals had a plaque on their enclosure teaching children how to sign their names and Isaac’s favourite one was a mirror where he had to mimic the faces a macquac was pulling.

Paignton Zoo

The zoo really is bigger than it looks and there are maps everywhere so you can see where you are and if you have missed any bits.  We had assumed we had seen most of it by now, but were only about half way round by this point.

Paignton Zoo

Next was a small petting area where we were greeted by a beautiful peacock and some rather peckish goats who seemed rather fond of nibbling my cardigan.  The staff in this area were lovely and were chatting to the kids about what animals they had seen and recommending which path to take next whilst they got to cuddle a guinea pig.

Paignton Zoo

The zoo has six habitats – Desert, Savannah, Primley, Tropics, Forest and Wetland to explore and we soon found the bugs.  The house where they were kept was fantastic with large glass cages and lots of information about the animals as well as medicines that their venom is used to make.

Paignton Zoo

Little legs were starting to tire now so we stopped for a bite to eat and a rest.  There are plenty of picnic areas with tables to sit with a picnic or there is a restaurant and lots of little refreshment stalls where you can buy food and drink.

Paignton Zoo

Named after the home of their founder, Herbert Whitley, our next stop was Primley which is home to the baboon troop, giant tortoises, snowy owls, crocodiles and pythons and we were excited to see a Crocodile who was ferociously guarding her eggs, alhtough Sebastian was more interested in watching the fish swim around.

Paignton Zoo

There are also indoor play areas and the Jungle Express train to visit but we decided on an ice cream pitstop before heading back to visit the animals that had been hiding earlier in the day.

Paignton Zoo

Paignton Zoo exceeded my expectations and really is a fabulous family day out and somewhere where you could happily stay all day.  We didn’t catch any of the keeper talks this time but intend to go back for another visit very soon.

As we came out of the zoo we walked past the flamingos to witness a “handbags at dawn” exhange.  Just wish I’d filmed it!

Paignton Zoo

A family ticket for Paignton Zoo costs a very reasonable £47.20 and if we were closer I would certainly consider buying annual membership as there is so much to do.

For more information and offers from Paignton Zoo you can like them on facebook or follow them on twitter @PaigntonZoo.

Disclaimer:  I was given a family ticket to  for the purpose of a review.  All opinions are our own.

26 thoughts on “Paignton Zoo

  1. Amanda says:

    Oh wow, what amazing memories, such great captures of your time too!
    Amanda recently posted…Lindeman’s Red Wine, Pea and Wild Mushroom RisottoMy Profile

  2. We love visiting the zoo, never been to this one
    Clare @ Emmy’s Mummy recently posted…If you had £100 spare how would you spend it?My Profile

  3. It sounds like you had a great day! We would certainly return to this zoo when in the area too x
    Emma | TheMiniMesAndMe recently posted…Would You Purchase Adult Games For Your Children?My Profile

  4. We’ve never been to this particular zoo but if we ever find ourselves nearby it looks like a great day out 🙂
    Abi – Angel Eden Blog recently posted…The Here And There Art Walk with Woollen Woods in Belper, Derbyshire.My Profile

  5. Ickle Pickle says:

    Oh I would love to go here – I love animals! I have never been to a proper zoo x
    Ickle Pickle recently posted…SeaLife ManchesterMy Profile

  6. Mari says:

    We love a zoo too and can spend hours watching the animals go about their business, I love the Flamingo handbags at dawn comment, I wonder what the problem was?
    Thanks so much for linking up to #TimeTraveller
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  7. Jaime Oliver says:

    This looks like such a fantastic place to visit. Last time we took Joshua to a proper Zoo he was tiny but we plant to go soon 🙂
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  8. sally says:

    Looks like a lot of fun. We’ve been down that area for holiday a number of times but never been. Colchester Zoo is a great day out as well.

  9. chickenruby says:

    I love the flamingoes, they are my joint favourite bird along with penguins
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  10. emma says:

    The baby orangutan would make me want to visit alone! Love your pictures, looks like a great day out! 😀 #timetravellers
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  11. oana79 says:

    Oh wow, absolutely stunning pictures, beautiful place, indeed!xx
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  12. Globalmouse says:

    We haven’t been to PAignton Zoo but it looks great – love your flamingo pictures.
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  13. Michelle says:

    I went to Paignton Zoo many years ago, it’s lovely for a day out xx
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  14. Sarah Bailey says:

    What a lovely sounding zoo – amazing to see animals so close up.
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  15. What a lovely place to visit. I am sure kids would love this place.
    Nayna Kanabar recently posted…Apple Cake ~ Secret Recipe Club Challenge 20th April 2015My Profile

  16. Rachel says:

    I absolutely love the zoo and this is on my list of places to visit x
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  17. I love Paignton Zoo. Haven’t been there for years, but I used to take my daughter when she was small. I always appreciated the amount of space the animals had and how comfortable they looked!
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  18. lisa prince says:

    i have to be honest in saying that although i am 31 i have never ever been to a zoo and woul love to go

  19. Laura says:

    Looks like a great day out, I have never been but I would love to go along!
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  20. I’m impressed they have so many exotic creatures – I never knew that. And it’s always good when zoos have educational stuff for the kids, too. recently posted…Children’s Summer theatre in LondonMy Profile

  21. I haven’t been to Paignton Zoo since I was a little girl so can’t really remember what it was like but it looks brilliant! Elliot would love it there with all those big animals, especially the tigers! x

  22. Becky Cowley says:

    I’ve been to Paignton zoo a couple of times when we’ve holidayed in Devon, it’s a brilliant zoo with so much to see. We were a little luckier with the weather when we were there a couple of years ago and the lemurs were out wandering around. It is hilly isn’t it! I felt like I’d done a work out by the time we got back to our campsite 🙂

  23. Michelle says:

    We love a trip to a zoo. We’ve not been to Paignton Zoo though, although always meant to when we were down in that part of the world. I love the photos of the orang-utans!
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  24. Jen Walshaw says:

    One of my earliest memories is of standing with my mum looking at the Flamingo’s opn holiday at Paignton Zoo. It will always have a place in my heart. We went there on holiday for the summer for around 13 years!
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  25. Erica Price says:

    We love a trip to the zoo and this is one that I haven’t been to – will have to find the chance to visit.
    Erica Price recently posted…Needing A Bit Of A BreakMy Profile

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