My day out: Newquay Zoo

Newquay Zoo is one of the few visitor attractions in Cornwall that remains open all year round. We hoped that visiting at a cooler time of the year we might see more of the hundreds of animals, as when we’ve previously visited they were hiding in the shade to keep out of the sunshine.

There were very few people about on a weekday in December, so it was easy to walk around at a leisurely pace and spend as much time as we liked at each enclosure (the otter pups were exceptionally cute).

Newquay Zoo is a not-for-profit charity in Cornwall, however admission is a little pricey. The cold weather had driven a lot of the animals indoors and out of sight (the opposite to what we were hoping would happen compared to our summer visit) which was a shame.

All areas were reasonably wheelchair and pushchair friendly, with plenty of outdoor seating if you needed a breather, so it's perfect for families of all ages.

A bit like Goldilocks, you don’t want it to be too hot or too cold to visit, so I would probably go again either in the spring or autumn in the hope of seeing the most of the animals – and don’t forget your camera. Within the zoo itself there is only the Café Lemur serving food, so you may want to make use of the picnic areas. 

Adjacent to the zoo and within the Trenance Leisure Park is crazy golf, an adventure playground, miniature railway, tennis courts and Waterworld Leisure Centre.

The car park is council owned and charges apply April to October via pay and display (but limited number of spaces on site). Allow 2–3 hours for an average visit time.

Top tips for visiting Newquay Zoo:

  • Study the animal feeding times on entry to the zoo and plan your visit around them
  • The exit is via the gift shop so you might want to hide your purses
  • For something a little bit special to eat, take a pleasant ten minute walk through the neighbouring Trenance Gardens to the Lakeside Café alongside Newquay’s boating lake 
About the author: Alison is a holiday home specialist who visited Newquay Zoo in December 2018.