Is Paignton Zoo Good? A Review & Advice




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A visit to the Zoo—an event that promises enjoyment for all ages. Paignton Zoo Environmental Park stands out making it a wonderful experience whether you’re entertaining small children, exploring with teenagers, or celebrating a birthday. Moreover, if you’re considering organising a special business event or party, the Zoo offers a unique and memorable venue that will leave a lasting impression. Our day was truly delightful, and I’m keen to share my tips as a Devon local on how to make the most of your visit. Giving you advice on planning and getting to the Zoo.

About Paignton Zoo

Being a local I’d visited the Zoo before, I knew I was in for a big day out. It was actually my husbands 60th birthday it seemed like a fun family day. Who doesn’t like a visit to see the monkey’s and lions? Even my teenager who wasn’t sure soon was very soon enthusiastic once she saw the animals. We all have different favourites, the ‘big game’ animals are a big draw as well as the monkeys, but there were lots of other smaller animals who delight. We all have our favourites.

It is a big site that has grown over the decades, this means there is usually some enclosure or exhibit under improvement and maintenance. We did see maintenance and building equipment on site, just in a couple of places, this did not affect the visit at all, there is so much to see.

Accessibility: Hire a Wheelchair, Scooter & Stroller

The Zoo itself is stretch across quite a large area of what you could say it is park land, with enclosures nestled between the trees and planted areas, the pavements are mostly flat, and most appeared accessible to wheelchairs or buggies. Some paths are on a gradient. There is a page dedicated to accessibility on the Zoo site. If you have a passion to see a particular exhibit it is advisable to check out whether there are any closures on the Zoo website. Carers of guests with disabilities enter free of charge.

Strollers, scooters, and manual wheelchairs can be pre-booked by calling the Zoo, a reasonable charge applies.

There are designated disabled parking bays and visitors can be dropped outside and collected from the turning circle outside the Zoo entrance.

Only registered assistance dogs are allowed in the Zoo.

Visiting Paignton Zoo With Young Children

There are play areas across the site for young ones to climb, play and burn off their energy, if they need a change from looking at the animals. There are baby changing facilities throughout, the main location is located in the Island Restaurant. This is not a petting Zoo, the Zoo tries to keep the animal life as natural as possible. There is a junior Zoo keep experience that is available for children between 7-14 years of age.

Get the Most Out of Your Visit

You can spend hours at the Zoo, it is an 80 acre site, the right footwear and clothing is a good idea. It is predominantly an outdoor attraction; not all attractions have cover.

  • Top Tip! The best tip I have is to consider attending some of the organised talks or activities. See here for times.
  • Plan for at least half a day to visit, you can easily spend most of the day there.
  • Take a picnic there are plenty of picnic tables around the park.
  • Book online in advance to get the best price from the Zoo website. The Zoo cannot issue refunds for cancellations, check the weather forecast for the day before you book.
  • If you are a group of 15 or more you can receive a discount by calling the group booking office.
  • Consider annual membership if you are in the area, or live near one of the other Zoo’s in same scheme. For an adult, the annual membership is currently £64 The other Zoo’s in the scheme spans the length of the UK, additionally TWO reciprocal visits to Paignton’s sister Zoo, Newquay Zoo. Most Zoo visits for an adult are between £20-£30 for the day therefore annual membership soon pays off especially with the 10% onsite membership discount.
  • There are discounts available for carers.
  • Home educators can take advantage of reduced education rates for entry.

Rain Cover and Indoor Activities at the Zoo

There is a theory that there is no bad weather just the wrong clothing. In truth the Zoo is mainly an outdoor experience and whilst you can ignore the odd shower like we usually do in the UK it is good to know that there are some covered activity areas at the Zoo.

  • Limited indoor seating at the Island restaurant
  • Indoor exhibits – though you will need to walk in the open between these sites
  • Jungle fun indoor soft play area for under 12’s.

Getting To Paignton Zoo

  • Set your Sat Nav for TQ4 7EU. Paignton Zoo is located on the A3022 Totnes Road, one mile from Paignton town centre.
  • There is a bike rack at the main entrance that is free to use, ask staff.
  • Bus 22bus 100, and gold bus run frequently from Paignton station to the Zoo. It’s a 5-minute bus ride and then a 5-minute walk – the journey planner will show you the way.
  • The nearest train station is Paignton – a 30 minute walk, there is a bus station next to the rail station and a taxi rank. Again, use the journey planner to review bus service to the zoo. If you intend to take a taxi during peak times or Sundays you may wish to pre book a taxi to be sure.

Fun Facts

  • There is a sloth called Mo!
  • The zoo celebrates 100 years in 2023
  • In 1952 a large male Skyes monkey escaped from ‘monkey row’ on Easter Monday 1952, but thankfully was recaptured in January 1953, quite a long time on the run!
  • Paignton Zoo has its own monopoly board, as you move through the board you can obtain increasingly rare animals to those most at threat, the proceeds go towards the conservation work the Zoo does in the UK and abroad.
  • Want to learn more about the animals at Paignton Zoo try this A-Z

Can’t Get to Paignton Zoo? Want to See More?

Did you know that there are some fun resources provided by the Zoo, so if you are stuck at home and want to learn more or watch the animals but can’t get to Paignton you can!

Oraganising a Business Event or Party – Have a Zoo Experience?

If you’re responsible for planning your next work event, meeting, or party and you have been searching for an interesting venue, consider reserving a room at the Zoo. By doing so, you not only treat your colleagues to a unique experience but also contribute to the Zoo’s important conservation work. Our venue offers all the necessary facilities and support for corporate gatherings, and as an added bonus, you’ll receive complimentary access to Paignton Zoo. Additionally, during the winter months, you can enjoy the special GloWild experience. It’s a thoughtful way to combine business with environmental support More details.


Paignton Zoo General Enquires: 01803 697500

Please note I do try to keep this site up to date, but as things change often, it is recommended that before travelling any distance you do your own checks.

If you wish to feedback on the site content please get in touch.

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