The first thing that surprised me when we visited Newquay Zoo in Winter was the size – Newquay Zoo was much bigger on the inside than it had looked from the outside. I was surprised to learn that it covers 14 acres and is home to an incredible 1641 animals of which several are critically endangered. I really liked the informative signs that were by each animal as you went round, they showed where in the world the creature was from and how endangered they were.
The second thing that surprised me was the range of the animals within Newquay Zoo. It houses everything from tiny,bright, poisonous tree frogs to enormous fully grown lions. The male lion, named ‘the Boss’ was particularly impressiveand we could definitely tell how he’d gotten his name. We saw a herd of zebras which we learnt is called a dazzle, lots of different kinds of primates from lemurs to marmosets, birds including a snowy owl, pelicans and tropical parrots, a snake, meercats, a tortoise and a sloth. Many of those animals, particularly the tropical animals are housed inside giving you a respite from the weather if you’re visiting Newquay Zoo on a particularly cold day in Winter.
We were lucky enough to watch the penguins at feeding time and enjoyed seeing them swim to catch their fishy snacks. We were all fascinated by the beautiful red panda – I’m going to be honest and say I’d never heard of them before our visit. However, I think my family’s favourite exhibit was the otters. They were such characters and were absolutely fascinating to watch as they moved around their enclosure and interacted with each other.
If you wanted to learn even more about the animals, there was a series of free talks on throughout the day where you could join the keepers to find out more about meercats, lions and being a ranger. There was also lots of information around the zoo about the importance of conservation – Newquay Zoo is actively involved with 20 animal conservation projects.
If you do go and visit Newquay Zoo in Winter or next time you’re in Cornwall, and I highly recommend that you do, and your children want to take a break from looking at all the animals, there is an outdoor play area near the lions and a café near the entrance and shop.
The final thing that surprised me about Newquay Zoo is when I learnt that it’s over 50 years old, however after our fantastic day out, I wasn’t at all surprised to learn that it attracts 157,000 visitors a year. Newquay Zoo is open from 10am every day apart from on Christmas Day. Tickets can be bought on the door or prebooked online which guarantees you the best prices. The link to their website is here: https://www.newquayzoo.org.uk
Our tickets were complimentary but all views and opinions are my own.
A mum of two, Naomi Jones is a freelance editor and author of several acclaimed picture books including The Perfect Fit, One More Try, The Odd Fish, How to Catch a Rainbow and How to Make a Story.
Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.