Animals and Conservation in and around the English Riviera
Please find below a selection of animal attractions in and around the English Riviera. If you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we will be happy to help
Torquay Harbourside, Beacon Hill, Torquay TQ1 2BG
Living Coasts is a coastal zoo owned by South West Environmental Parks as part of the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, which also includes Newquay Zoo and Paignton Zoo. It is a registered charity, and is based around seabirds and other coastal wildlife. An all-weather attraction, located on Torquay seafront where there’s plenty to see and do: mingle with the playful penguins, get up close to the otters, octopus and seals, and much more. Visit Penguin Beach to walk with the African and macaroni penguins and catch the entertaining feeding time talks. Below the decks the fun doesn't stop. With more fascinating habitats and creatures, there are games, activities and panoramic underwater viewing areas for the stunning species. Open to all, the Living Coasts Café is free entry to non-visitors too, so come in anytime for family friendly, local food and drink with panoramic sea views overlooking the Bay. Grab some feel good shopping at Tradewinds Gift Shop. It's packed with wonderful products to suit all ages, from plush toys and games to books, clothing and confectionary. There's also a huge range of Fairtrade jewellery and local art. All profits go towards conservation work.
Totnes Rd, Paignton TQ4 7EU
Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, is a zoo in Paignton, Devon, England. The zoo is part of South West Environmental Parks Ltd which is owned by the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust. It is a combined zoo and botanic garden that welcomes over half a million visitors a year. With over 2,500 animals across 80 acres – you’re in for a really wild time at Paignton Zoo Paignton Zoo is one of the South West's most exciting visitor attractions. It’s a place to roam, discover and get in touch with your inner animal. Get up close to some of the animal wonders of the world across the specially designed habitats - from the savannah to the wetlands and the tropical forest. Also a registered charity and part of a worldwide network of zoos which cares for and breeds rare species thanks to guests who help to fund the conservation work. Come rain or shine, Paignton Zoo is a fun filled day out, and you’ll need all day to see it all!
Station House, Dart Bridge Rd, Buckfastleigh TQ11 0DZ
A small, friendly and very different visit for everyone. Run by a small dedicated team they aim to make your visit educational and fun. You can enjoy and learn about the tropical butterflies in the specially designed habitat of which you become part. You not only see the butterflies but feel the rainforest atmosphere that they enjoy as you see their amazing life cycle unfold. In the Otter Sanctuary there are three species of otter to see, the native British otter, the playful Asian short clawed otters and the large North American river otters who love to show off. The keeper is on hand to explain all about the otters to visitors, some are here for breeding, some for retirement, some just for fun and some because they are unsuitable to be returned to the wild.
Totnes TQ9 5XW
Totnes Rare Breeds Farm is a family owned attraction, which relies on the work of volunteers and the great support of its customers. It aims to preserve endangered species of farm animals and the diversity of British wildlife. It is also a fantastic day out! Totnes Rare Breeds may be small, but it is the perfect size to provide a friendly and personal service for all ages. Tucked away behind Totnes in the rolling Devon countryside, once you find the Rare Breeds Farm you won’t want to leave.
Lower Dean, Buckfastleigh TQ11 0LT
Take a snap of the activity board in the Farmyard when you arrive and make sure you don't miss a single thing! One of Pennywell's most popular activities is cuddles with the world famous Pennywell Miniature Pigs. We always have pigs to cuddle but if you are travelling a long way to see piglets, we suggest you give us a quick call first to make sure we have them. The piggy cuddles barn is a quiet, cosy area where you can enjoy the pigs for as long as you like.
Plymouth PL7 5DG
Dartmoor Zoological Park (originally Dartmoor Wildlife Park) is a 30-acre zoo near the village of Sparkwell, on the south-west edge of Dartmoor, in the county of Devon in the South West of England. It was opened in 1968 by Ellis Daw who ran it until its licence was revoked and it was forced to close in 2006. The zoo was bought in August 2006 by Benjamin Mee who moved in with his two children Milo and Ella and reopened the zoo in July 2007, later writing a book about his experiences called We Bought a Zoo (2008). A 2011 film of the same title was loosely based on the book.
Plymouth PL4 0LF
The National Marine Aquarium is a marine aquarium built on reclaimed land in the city of Plymouth, England, in Sutton Harbour, next to the Barbican and fish market. It was opened in May 1998, with charitable aims of research, education and conservation. It is the largest aquarium in the United Kingdom.
Discover an underwater world – starting in with local animals Plymouth Sound and journeying all the way to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia! You’ll start your visit with the largest native exhibition in the UK – exploring fish you’ve heard of and the many more mysterious animals that live on the doorstep. As you dive deeper into the Aquarium, the Eddystone Reef tank will blow your mind with the UK’s largest single-tank viewing panel (it’s like a fishy cinema screen).
If British beauties aren’t enough, the Atlantic Ocean tank – home to large nurse sharks, sand tiger sharks and the new lemon sharks – is the deepest in the UK, with 2.5million litres of water. The Atlantic Ocean tank is home to three species of ray – if you see them, don’t forget to take a selfie! We’ve also got fantastic smaller displays, from lionfish to family favourites such as clownfish and some very, very smiley pufferfish. To finish your marine adventure off, the Great Barrier Reef tank is home to two new Zebra sharks that have a really interesting story as they have no father! As well as favourites Cooper the Humphead Wrasse and Samson the Giant Grouper!