Newquay Zoo

In Brief

Type: Animal attraction
Suitable for: All the family
Address: Trenance Gardens, Newquay
Price: Adults £16.35, seniors £13.90, three to 15-year-olds £12.30 and under-threes go free
Dog friendly?: No

Done with the surf in Newquay? Sampled the restaurants and bars? Walked along Fistral and Porth beaches? Been out on the railway at Lappa Valley and seen the army of planes at the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre? Well, now it’s time to meet more than 1,000 of the globe’s cutest and rarest animals at one of the best zoos in the South West.

Newquay Zoo, which is in the heart of the famous Cornish town, is packed to the rafters with rare and exotic animals. Surrounded by 13 acres of lush tropical gardens, there’s a lot to see and do in a day. More than 130 species are ready to meet all visitors, including penguins who love diving in and out of their frosty pool, deadly spiders in the Tropical House and a pride of proud lions who can be seen tucking into their grub at lunchtime.

Get acquainted with the black wildebeest, the nyala antelopes and the zebras in an African Savanna area. Marvel at the colourful Southeast Asian songbirds that freely fly around the Gems of the Jungle area. Look up to the trees to see the red pandas in another part of the zoo or meet the meerkats and otters in their natural environments. More than 1,000 of the world’s rarest and endangered animals await visitors alongside some beautiful grounds, including the Oriental Garden that hosts a variety of pretty Asian plants alongside some wily squirrels and civets.

And then there’s the Village Farm that has a collection of more traditional British animals like pygmy goats and chickens in its pens so both young and old can get up close and personal with them. Plus, there are activity trails, two children’s play areas and a special Dragon Maze for the kids. Newquay Zoo is also a charity that supports conservation projects at the attraction and around the world, particularly in the realms of saving animals from extinction. So, plenty of information is posted up around the site to help make all visitors aware of the countless conservation issues out there in the wilds.

For food and drinks, Café Lemur in the zoo is recommended for coffee, cakes and lunchboxes for the youngsters. There’s also the Lazy Lion Grill that does some roaring snacks and ice cream kiosks are dotted across the attraction. Picnics are encouraged too and of course there’s a gift shop for cuddly red panda toys and souvenirs with all the profits going towards the zoo’s never-ending conservation work. So sack off the surf for a day in Newquay and get to know the collection of curious critters at one of the best zoos in the Westcountry.