Photo above by Adam King on Unsplash
Get ready for a wild adventure with your family at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park – the perfect place for a fun and educational day out! If you’re on the hunt for a thrilling experience that’s suitable for all ages, then look no further.
As a family who recently visited the park, we’re eager to share our first-hand experience and expertise with you, which is why we have written up this personal Yorkshire Wildlife Park review.
With an incredible range of animals to see up close and personal, it’s no wonder that loads of families flock to this exciting attraction every year.
And I can already tell you that we all had an absolute blast exploring the park. From the moment we arrived at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, we were blown away by its vibrant atmosphere and stunning surroundings.
As animal lovers, we couldn’t wait to explore the vast range of creatures that call this park their home. From majestic lions to playful meerkats, we were hoping to see it all. And let me tell you, we weren’t disappointed, even though the weather was a bit rainy and cold.
We know planning a family day out can be a bit overwhelming. With so many attractions to choose from in Yorkshire (never mind the UK), how do you know which one is right for your family?
That’s where we come in. We’re here to help you make the right decision and show you why the Yorkshire Wildlife Park should be at the top of your list for a weekend day-trip in Yorkshire.
Whether you’re an animal enthusiast or just looking for a fun-filled day out with the family, this post is for you.
So sit back, relax, and let us take you on a journey through our wild day out at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park – we promise it’ll be an adventure you’ll never forget!
ABOUT YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK
Located near Doncaster in South Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Wildlife Park is a relatively new zoo that opened its doors in 2009.
Since then, it has become a specialist in large mammals and boasts a 260-acre park filled with majestic wildlife from around the world. We were pleasantly surprised by the sheer size of the park and the wide range of animals on display.
One thing that sets the Yorkshire Wildlife Park apart from other zoos is its emphasis on providing the animals with much larger living areas than in most zoos. All their animals are free to roam in large enclosures that mimic their natural habitats. This gives visitors a more authentic safari experience, and we felt like we were walking amongst the animals in their natural environments.
While it is one of the most expensive family-friendly attractions in Yorkshire, we feel it is worth every penny for the memories and experiences you’ll gain.
WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK
We recently (April 2023) visited the Yorkshire Wildlife Park with our toddler and were blown away by the amazing experience. Here are our top reasons why we think you should visit too!
Firstly, the enclosures are absolutely fantastic. The animals looked happy and content in their spacious living areas, and the park has done a great job of ensuring that visitors can view the animals without disturbing their peace. T It’s evident that Yorkshire Wildlife Park has worked hard to ensure that visitors can view the animals without disturbing their habitat. The walkways are often higher than the animals, and there are viewing platforms to allow for great views. We really loved the feeling of being up close and personal with the lions, tigers, and polar bears.
Speaking of polar bears, Yorkshire Wildlife Park is the only place in England where you can see them. We were both amazed by their size and power, and watching them in their huge enclosure was definitely a highlight of our day.
Another reason to visit is the Pangea – Discovery of Dinosaurs area. It’s a relatively new addition to the park, and it features huge, life-sized dinosaurs that move and make noises as you walk through. Our toddler was absolutely delighted by this area, and it definitely added a whole new dimension to our visit.
In addition to the large animals and dinosaurs, we also loved seeing the lemurs come out to feed. It took a little patience, but it was well worth the wait to see these beautiful creatures up close.
Finally, one of the best things about Yorkshire Wildlife Park is that every visit is different. Depending on where the animals are and what they’re up to, you might have a completely unique experience each time you go. We loved that the park felt like a walking safari rather than a traditional zoo, and we appreciated that the animals had plenty of space to roam.
All in all, it was an excellent day out for our family, and we’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and educational day trip.
GETTING TICKETS FOR THE YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK:
Before you embark on your adventure at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, it is essential to get your hands on some tickets.
HOW MUCH DOES YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK COST IN 2023?
As a family with a toddler, we understand that budgeting for a day out is important.
At Yorkshire Wildlife Park, tickets currently cost a maximum of £29.99 per person over the age of 16 and £25.99 for kids between the ages of 3-15 if you buy the tickets on the day during peak season.
If you plan ahead and book the tickets online however you can save £5 per person (both for adults and children). And if you book an off-peak ticket you can save an additional pound per person.
So, for a family of four, you can currently expect to pay a maximum of £111.96 if you buy tickets on the day in peak season and a minimum of £87.96 if you book your tickets online outside of peak season.
Keep in mind that under 3s go free, and there are also concessions for disabled visitors and their carers.
If you plan on visiting Yorkshire Wildlife Park more than once, then the annual membership might be worth considering. The annual membership prices start from £79.99 per adult and £69.99 for children between 3 and 15.
Overall, ticket prices at Yorkshire Wildlife Park are not cheap, but they are comparable to other zoos.
Note it’s important to check their website for up-to-date pricing as prices may change after April 2023. We recommend booking your tickets online in advance to save money and have a stress-free visit.
HOW TO BOOK TICKETS FOR YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK
We highly recommend you book your tickets in advance as it will save you a fair bit of cash, especially if you are visiting with the whole family. Doing so is easy and convenient.
First, visit the Yorkshire Wildlife Park website and look for the “Park Admission Tickets” section. From there, select the date of your visit and choose the number of tickets you need. You will also need to choose a timeslot for your arrival.
Once you’ve added everything you need, review your order and proceed to checkout. At this point you can choose to add some optional extras like stroller hirer, an afternoon tea or admission to the uproar play barn.
You will then need to provide some personal information such as your name, email address, address and payment details.
After you’ve completed the payment, you will receive a confirmation email with your ticket(s) attached. There’s no need to print them out as you can simply show your ticket(s) on your phone when you arrive at the park.
It’s important to note that tickets can be booked online anytime up to the day before your visit.
If you’re in the area and end up wanting to visit the Yorkshire Wildlife Park on a whim, you can always purchase your tickets on the day at the entrance gate. This is also a great alternative option if you are unsure about your schedule.
The ticket booth is easily accessible at the entrance of the park, and there are staff members available to help with any queries. You can pay for your tickets with either cash or card, which is very convenient.
It is however worth reiterating that purchasing tickets on the day is more expensive than booking them in advance online. And remember you can book your tickets online until one day before your visit.
Also, be aware that during peak season, there may be long queues at the ticket booth, and you might have to wait for a while to get your tickets.
We personally recommend you purchase your tickets from the official Yorkshire Wildlife Park website.
That being said, while there are some risks associated with purchasing tickets from third-party websites, it can be a great way to save some money on your visit to the park, as third-party websites do sometimes offer discounts or promotions.
We recommend that you always weigh the potential savings against the risk of receiving fake tickets or paying extra fees before making a decision.
So, try to ensure that you are purchasing from a legitimate source by doing some research beforehand. Read reviews and check the website’s customer service policies, refund policies, and any additional fees that may be added on.
ARE THERE DISCOUNTS OR CHEAP TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK?
If you’re looking to save some money on your visit to Yorkshire Wildlife Park, there are a few ways to get discounts on tickets.
One way is to become a member of Kids Pass, which currently offers 28% off the ticket price.
It’s also a good idea to check out websites such as Picniq to see if they have any current offers before you book.
And if you’re planning a longer stay, it’s worth taking a look at Holiday Extras, which offers deals on tickets and accommodation.
ARE THERE ANY EXTRA CHARGES ONCE YOU’RE AT YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK?
When we visited Yorkshire Wildlife Park, we were pleased to find that there weren’t any unexpected hidden costs once we got in.
The maps were free and there is even a free app that helped us navigate the park pretty easily and plan our route, which was very useful. More about that later.
There are plenty of options to purchase snacks, drinks, and meals on site. And prices for food and drink can be quite high. However, you are allowed to bring your own food and drink, and this is a very manageable option. In fact, if you forgot to make some sandwiches at home there is a Co-op not far from the entrance to the car park, which sells plenty of picnic ingredients at cheaper prices than you will find inside the park. Bringing your own food and drink will definitely save you money.
However, if you do want to indulge a bit, there are certainly plenty of options for additional spending.
We bought doughnuts and drinks within the wildlife park, which cost us a total of £7. And then we booked and enjoyed a meal at Evolution which cost £57 for the three of us.
There are also a lot of shops both at the entrance and within the park, so the ‘please can I have one, Mum and Dad’ potential is fairly high. So, if you have children with you, you might want to budget for souvenirs or gifts.
That being said, you don’t have to walk through the gift shop to get in or out of the park, just past them. So, you can easily avoid any temptation, if that’s your preference.
It’s also worth noting that there are several animal experiences you can book at an additional cost, including VIP experiences with polar bears, lions, tigers, red pandas and more. These experiences do come at an additional cost, so it’s worth factoring them into your budget if you’re interested. While these experiences can be pricey, they can also make for a memorable day out, especially if you’re celebrating a special occasion.
Finally, we would strongly suggest checking the park’s opening times and any special events that may affect your visit. This will help you plan your day more effectively and avoid any unexpected disappointments.
GETTING TO YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK
Getting to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park is easy, and there are several transportation options available depending on your location and preference.
GETTING THERE BY CAR
Getting to Yorkshire Wildlife Park by car was the most convenient option for us, and we recommend arriving early to avoid any traffic and to secure a good parking spot.
The park is well served by motorways and major roads, located just off the M18 which connects into the M1.
We entered the SatNav postcode DN9 3HQ and began to see brown signs directing us to the park’s car park as we got closer.
It took us around 1 hour and 15 minutes to drive to the park from our home in Yorkshire, pretty much straight down the A1. The journey was easy and well signposted, and we managed to get there without making a wrong turn!
Once we arrived at the park, we were pleased to find that there were no charges to park, which was a refreshing change from other attractions that we had visited previously.
The car park was large and staff were on hand to direct us to a space upon arrival. We parked just 5 minutes away from the entrance, which was convenient for us, and getting out of the car park and into the park with our toddler was a breeze too.
Overall, we found driving to Yorkshire Wildlife Park to be hassle-free and convenient.
GETTING THERE BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT
While we travelled to Yorkshire Wildlife Park by car, we did notice that there are several public transport options available to visitors.
If you live in Doncaster and would like to travel by bus, there are regular services that stop close to the park, including the X4, X19, and 57a.
The X4 bus service operates from Doncaster Interchange and stops at the park entrance, while the X19 bus service runs from Doncaster and Sheffield. The 57a service operates from Doncaster and Rossington, and the bus stop is just a 10-minute walk away from the main entrance.
For those who live further away, the nearest train station to the park is Doncaster. From Doncaster train station, you can then take a bus or taxi to the park.
It’s worth noting that prices for public transport can fluctuate, but you can usually find a great deal by booking in advance or using a railcard.
Overall, the park is easily accessible by public transport, and it can be a convenient option if you’re traveling from nearby locations.
However, we would recommend checking the schedules and routes in advance, especially if you’re traveling with young children, to ensure a smooth and stress-free journey.
EXPLORING YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK
ARRIVING AT THE PARK
As we drove up to Yorkshire Wildlife Park, we were immediately impressed. The entrance was easy to spot, and the parking area was well-organized and spacious.
It’s worth noting that the park has moved to a new entrance in 2021. You now park in an even larger car park on the opposite side to where the parking used to be.
This then takes you through The Hive, which is a new area with shops, the Evolution-themed restaurant, and a new indoor play area. The Safari shop is where you can get your tickets from if you haven’t booked them online.
We found a spot close to the entrance and made our way towards the park, passing through Yorkshire Hive and its many independent shops and cafés. We made a mental note to visit the gift shop on our way out and decided on the spot to book a table at Evolution for lunch.
As we entered Yorkshire Wildlife Park, we were greeted by a clean and well-maintained entrance, and friendly staff members who scanned our tickets and welcomed us in. There was almost no queue to speak off.
Oh and if you have booked a stroller for your little one, this is where you can pick it up.
Overall, arriving at Yorkshire Wildlife Park was a breeze, and we felt welcomed and ready to start our adventure.
PARK LAYOUT AND WHAT ROUTE TO FOLLOW
The park is design in such a way that you can take a variety of routes and explore it at your own pace. Nonetheless, if you have a basic idea of the route you plan to take it is hard to get lost and the app makes it really easy to plan your journey through the park in advance.
By not having a designated route and being so spacious Yorkshire Wildlife Park successfully eradicates crowds. In fact, we noticed during our visit in peak holiday season that even when we spotted a bunch of people near a particular enclosure, by the time we got there they would have moved on an we could take some great pictures.
The park is split in two on either side of a canal. You enter the park at the Yorkshire Hive. On this side the park trail pretty much loops around a large lake. We decided to follow the route that led along the bottom of that lake, where most of the animal enclosures are located. First to Point Lobos, then through the Atlantic Forest and the Himalayan Pass and finally to Experience Ethiopia.
After crossing the canal, there are a bunch of routes you can follow. We decided to grab a snack and drinks at Leopard Heights before continuing on to Into Africa and then following the Woodland Trail.
We then headed over to Lion Country, before looping back to project Polar, nipping over to the Amazonas, before heading back through land of the tiger, over the canal, along the top edge of the lake and to the new Pangea section of the park.
ANIMAL EXHIBITS AT YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK
Exploring Yorkshire Wildlife Park is an unforgettable experience, especially if you’re an animal lover. The park is home to over 400 animals across 70 different species from around the world.
As we have already mentioned, the animal exhibits at Yorkshire Wildlife Park are truly incredible. The enclosures are large, well-kept, and filled with enrichment activities for the animals. It’s clear that the staff at the park care deeply about the animals’ welfare and work hard to ensure they are happy and healthy.
This does however also mean that you won’t always be able to see all of the animals. And if you do, it might not be up close.
In fact, when we visited quite a few were sleeping in their private quarters or simply not visible due to the size of the enclosures.
But in our opinion, this is all part of the experience of visiting a zoo that puts its animals first. And personally, it did not dimmish our day out in any way.
POINT LOBOS – THE SEA LION ENCLOSURE
This was the first animal exhibit we came across. And it is in fact the largest purpose-built sea lion habitat in the world!
The enclosure features two naturalistic lakes with varying water depths, sandy shorelines, sheltered caves, grass banks and rocky beaches.
The Californian sea lions were so funny to watch, we could hear their loud barking and see them play with each other, it was truly entertaining. Especially for our toddler who found great pleasure in imitating the sounds they were making.
ATLANTIC FOREST – BUSH DOG, TAPIR AND MANED WOLF ENCLOSURES
In this area, Yorkshire Wildlife Park has tried to recreate the unique biodiversity hotspot of the Atlantic Forest stretching along the Atlantic coast of Brazil, northeast Argentina, and eastern Paraguay. The exhibit is home to some fascinating animals like the solitary Maned Wolf, the funny looking Lowland Tapir, and a pack of Bush Dogs, which are one of the smallest pack of hunting dogs in the world.
Unfortunately, when we visited this section of the park, the sky was overcast, and it was still quite early in the morning, so we didn’t get to see much.
The only animal we got to see was the Lowland Tapir, but they manage to entertain us all by themselves. These wonderful creatures have a unique nose and upper lip that combine into a flexible snout to help them pick up fruits and grab leaves in lowland forests.
Our toddler found their funny nose and the way they moved around their enclosure particularly hilarious.
Even though we didn’t get to see the other animals in the exhibit, we could still appreciate the effort the park has put into creating a habitat that is as close to the Atlantic Forest as possible. The exhibit is a great place to learn about the animals and the ecosystems of this unique part of the world.
HIMALAYAN PASS – BINTURONG, SMOOTH OTTER AND RED PANDS ENCLOSURE
The Himalayan Pass area of Yorkshire Wildlife Park is meant to mimic the temperate valley forests of Southern Asia. It houses enclosures for Binturong, smooth otters and the red panda walkthrough.
We were really looking forward to meeting the three red panda sisters Alice, Ariel and Aurora, as they seem to be a favourite among visitors. Unfortunately, all three were curled up sleeping in the tree.
This was definitely a bit disappointing, but it’s important to remember that animals have their own schedules and sometimes they may be resting or hiding away.
Unfortunately, we didn’t spot any of the other animals of the Himalayan pass either.
However, despite not being able to see any of the animals, we did enjoy walking through the bamboo trail and taking in the beautiful scenery. The watchtower lookout post offered a great vantage point to take in the views and appreciate the area’s natural beauty.
Our toddler son also had a great time letting off some steam in the Kukulu Island play area, which is conveniently located next to the Himalayan Pass exhibit. The play area has plenty of climbing equipment to keep little ones entertained.
We do hope to come back to Yorkshire Wildlife Park another time and who knows, we may get lucky and catch the red pandas and otters at play or foraging for food then.
EXPERIENCE ETHIOPIA – GELADA MONKEYS AND SPOTTED HYENA ENCLOSURE
The final area in this section of the wildlife park is Experience Ethiopia, which represents the semi-desert flats of Harah and the lush Simien Mountains. It is home to the gelada Monkeys and the spotted Hyenas.
Unfortunately, luck was again not on our side as the hyenas didn’t want to come out to play just yet. Instead, they were snoozing far off in the distance.
But we did briefly catch a glimpse of the playful Gelada Monkeys foraging and chasing each other around the hill. There was plenty of space for visitors to observe them on either side of the hill in their enclosure.
These monkeys were quite the sight to see! We were in awe of their pink heart-shaped chest patches and the males’ impressive canine teeth.
It was fascinating to learn that they are the last surviving species of grazing primates and consume around a quarter of their body weight in grass every day.
We wished we could have spent more time observing the Gelada Monkeys, but they quickly disappeared back into their private quarters. Probably because it was a little cold that morning.
LEOPARD HEIGHTS – LEOPARD AND GIRAFFE ENCLOSURES
Leopard Heights at Yorkshire Wildlife Park is a purpose-built breeding and reintroduction facility for the Amur Leopard, the most endangered big cat in the world. It is in fact the largest amur leopard exhibit in Europe.
Unfortunately, during our visit, we did not get to see any leopards, but we did get a great view of the exhibit from the 10m tall viewing tower and through the 8m tall glass at groundfloor level. The enclosure is capped to ensure the leopards cannot escape when they climb up the walls.
It was also interesting to learn that the Amur Leopard is the only big cat with a reintroduction programme approved by the IUCN. And it’s incredible to know that Leopard Heights won the 2013 BIAZA Award for Significant Advances in Husbandry & Welfare.
Although we were disappointed not to see the leopards, it was still a great experience to see the facility designed for their conservation.
Right beside Leopard Heights is the Giraffe enclosure and viewing Platform. So after we grabbed some doughnuts and drinks from the Leopard Kiosk, we headed up the stairs of the Giraffe viewing platform.
From here we got to see the multiple subspecies of Giraffe that live at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, including the endangered Rothschild’s and Niger Giraffes. It was great to get to see them from up above as it helped us appreciate the differences in the markings of the Rothschild and Reticulated subspecies.
It was also interesting to learn that Giraffes have black/blue tongues to avoid getting sunburnt and a special system of veins in their neck to prevent a rush of blood to their head when they bend down.
At this juncture a trail actually leads down to the Camel enclosure and the second Polar Bear Exhibit, but somehow, we managed to completely forget to visit this park of the Wildlife Park. We probably were too distracted by the Giraffes, although I also hadn’t downloaded the app yet at this point.
INTO AFRICA – BLACK RHINO, COMMON ELAND, OSTRICH AND ZEBRA ENCLOSURE
Instead, we moved straight on to Into Africa, which represents the African Plains and houses 50 animals including 10 different subspecies. This mixed-species exhibit is home to ostriches, black rhinos, zebras, lechwe and elands.
What impressed us the most was how the park has designed the exhibit to feel like all the animals are together in one large enclosure, which creates a more authentic African safari experience.
Whilst I was personally lucky enough to see a black rhinoceros out in the wild in Kenya, we were excited to learn that Yorkshire Wildlife Park is one of only seven zoos in the UK where you can see the more endangered of the two African rhino species.
And during our visit, we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one of the three majestic black rhinos, which was quite a sight to behold. It was running around with its tail raised in the air, showing off its impressive strength and speed. Our son found this really entertaining.
From a distance, we were also able to spot the ostrich and zebras grazing in the savannah-like enclosure. Although we couldn’t get too close, the raised walkway allowed us to get a great view of the animals in their natural habitat.
One thing we really appreciated about the ‘Into Africa’ exhibit was the attention to detail in the animal enclosures. The park has done an excellent job in creating a space that feels like the African plains. The animals seemed content and well-cared for, and their enclosures were spacious and well-maintained.
We were impressed by the variety of animals in the exhibit. Although we didn’t manage to spot them the enclosure houses a large herd of Kafue Flats Lechwe, an elegant antelope that is distinguishable by its golden-brown colour and white belly.
The male Lechwe has beautiful swept-back horns, and the hooves of these animals are spread wide to allow them to move easily on swampy terrain.
Into Africa also houses a pack of Eland, a type of grazing gazelle which has beautiful black and white banding on its legs.
We also learned some interesting facts about the animals. Did you know that Ostriches are the largest and heaviest birds in the world. They are excellent at evading predators and can run at speeds in excess of 40mph, making them the fastest animals on two legs. We were also amazed to learn that their powerful legs are capable of killing lions with a single kick!
Another interesting detail we learned is that the striped pattern on Zebras is as distinctive as a human fingerprint!
Next up was one of our personal favourite enclosures at Yorkshire Wildlife Park – the Wallaby Walkthrough. This is guaranteed to be a highlight for any family with small children.
Wallabies are called Macropods, which means “big foot” due to their large hind feet. They are often mistaken for kangaroos but are much smaller in size.
The Wallaby Walkthrough is an interactive experience that allows you to get up close and personal with these adorable marsupials from Australia and Tasmania. It is great fun, especially if you have kids that are excited about the prospect of petting or stroking a Wallaby.
However, keep in mind that they are still wild animals, and you are only allowed to approach them with caution if they are lying close enough to the path. If they are not, visitors are asked to respect their space and this can potentially be a bit of a disappointment for the little ones.
As soon as we entered the enclosure, we were surrounded by these cute and curious creatures. It was amazing to see them up close, hopping around and even coming close enough to give them a stroke.
We also appreciated the informative signs in the enclosure that helped us learn more about the different types of wallabies and their behaviour. It was interesting to see the differences between the Bennett’s Wallaby and the rare Swamp Wallaby.
During our stroll through Wallaby Walkabout, we learned that Bennett’s Wallabies are also known as Red-necked Wallabies. Bennett’s Wallabies have long, powerful tails that help them balance and sit upright, while their hind legs are used to bound along at high speeds and even kick predators if necessary. Swamp Wallaby, are a rare sub-species with a different body shape and much darker coat colouring.
Apart from getting so close to these cute fluffy animals, the best part was seeing the wallaby joeys peeking out of their mother’s pouches. It was fascinating to learn about the unique reproductive process of these marsupials and see it first-hand.
Wallabies have a unique pouch used to nurse their young. A joey stays in its mother’s pouch, drinking her milk, until they are around six months of age. After that, they come out to hop around but still return to the pouch until they can no longer fit!
Our toddler son was absolutely thrilled to see these adorable baby animals and couldn’t stop talking about them for the rest of the day.
WOODLAND TRAIL – PAINTED DOGS, BABOONS, LEMURS AND VISAYAN WARTY PIG ENCLOSURES
Next up was the woodland trail, which is home to a diverse range of animals including Painted Dogs, Baboons, Lemurs and Visayan Warty Pigs.
Whilst again we didn’t get to see all the animals in this area of the park, we did experience the absolute highlight of our day at Yorkshire Wildlife Park in the Lemur Walkthrough. The walk-through exhibit was fantastic, allowing us to get up close and personal with several species of lemurs.
Luckily, we timed our visit of this enclosure just right for a feeding and one of the rangers talks. So we had a great time watching these adorable creatures eat, play and interact with each other.
The ring-tailed lemurs in particular were a sight to behold, with their long black and white striped tails. We also saw red-bellied lemurs, which were equally adorable.
As we learned, Ring-tailed lemurs are native to Madagascar and use their long-striped tails to communicate with each other and in “stink battles”. It was fascinating to hear how lemurs spend their time foraging for food on the ground and jumping from tree to tree.
Watching these lemurs jump from platform to platform was something our toddler son absolutely loved, and it was a great opportunity for him to learn about the behaviour of these animals in a gentle age-appropriate way.
We would suggest you check when the ranger talk is scheduled. You can find this information on the app. Then be sure to get there a few minutes before feeding time and position yourself near the wooden posts to get the best view.
Remember that although the lemurs might come up very close, you are not allowed to touch them. So, if you have a toddler in tow like us, make sure to hold on to them.
Although we didn’t get to see the baboons at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, we did learn about their fascinating behaviour.
Guinea Baboons are intelligent primates from West Africa who love to play and solve complex problems. They communicate their feelings and dominance through vocal and visual displays such as staring or raising their eyebrows at each other.
It’s great to know that the baboon enclosure at the park is designed to mimic their natural habitat and provide them with plenty of space to move around. The enclosure is massive and can hold a large family unit, which is amazing!
We also didn’t manage to see the painted dogs. However, their enclosure seems like a fantastic space designed to mimic their natural habitat. Their enclosure includes two habitats, a Savannah-esque area with large pool and the second a wooded forest.
We learned that they live in packs, led by an alpha female and male, and are playful and curious animals.
The dogs will often dig their own dens and shelter in the naturalistic caves found around the watering hole. Which is probably the reason we couldn’t see them.
We were a bit disappointed to have missed out on seeing them up close and observing their pack behaviour. But again, it is worth reiterating that we appreciate the efforts of the park to create such a naturalistic and spacious environment for these animals to thrive in.
It’s important for zoos to prioritize animal welfare and provide spaces that allow them to express their natural behaviours, and it’s great to see that Yorkshire Wildlife Park is committed to doing so.
It’s exciting to imagine watching them prowl through their exhibit, and we’re looking forward to coming back to the park and hopefully catching them in action.
The final enclosure in this part of the wildlife park is for the Visayan Warty Pigs. Which surprise surprise we didn’t get to see.
We didn’t know much about them before our visit, but we quickly learned that they are one of the most critically endangered pigs in the world. It was great to see the park taking a leading role in their conservation efforts by working with the EAZA Ex-situ Programme.
It’s heart-breaking to hear that hunting and deforestation are pushing this at-risk species to complete extinction. The Visayan Warty Pig is already extinct on four of the six Philippine islands they once inhabited, and a staggering 98% of their former range is now depleted.
It’s so sad to think that very little is known about these pigs in the wild because their numbers are so limited.
We hope that the European breeding program can help to prevent their extinction and that future visitors to Yorkshire Wildlife Park will be able to see these fascinating animals up close.
It’s a powerful reminder of how important it is to protect the natural habitats of all animals, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant they may be.
MEERKAT AND MONGOOSE ENCLOSURE
As parents to an impatient toddler, we always enjoy seeing animals up close and personal, and the meerkats certainly delivered on that front. We loved watching them scamper around and interact with each other.
The mongoose were an unexpected bonus, and we were impressed with their enclosure, even though it was probably the smallest in the entire park.
It was clear that the Manor and its interlocking reserves were carefully designed to replicate the harsh South African desert terrain that these animals call home. We appreciated being able to observe the rock formations, towering termite mounds, and natural sand that made up their habitat.
The meerkat and Mongoose enclosure is near the original entrance. There are therefore a whole bunch of restaurants, food stalls, play areas and a gift shop nearby.
Since this enclosure now sort of marks the midpoint of a journey through the park, it is a great location to grab a bite to eat. It is also a good occasion to let your toddler or children burn of some steam in the indoor play area.
We had already booked a table at the Evolution restaurant in the Yorkshire Hive, which is why we grabbed some doughnuts earlier to quell our hunger.
However, since we visited Yorkshire Wildlife Park during the Wizard of Oz Festival there were also a bunch of additional activities for our toddler to enjoy in this area of the park. So, we did spend a little bit of additional time here and we will tell you more about that further down in this post.
Next, we moved on to the Lion Country. This was definitely one of the highlights of our visit to Yorkshire Wildlife Park. We were all excited to see these majestic creatures up close, and we were not disappointed. Our toddler son was absolutely thrilled when he heard the lions roaring – it was a moment he won’t forget for a long time!
The exhibit is enormous, spanning over seven acres, and it’s easy to spend a lot of time here just watching the lions. There are five of them in total, and we were amazed at how close we were able to get to them. It was also fascinating to learn about their history and how they were rescued from poor conditions in Romania.
The enclosure has been purpose-built to replicate the natural habitat of the African lion, complete with rock formations, towering termite mounds, and natural sand ideal for digging and burrowing. It’s clear that Yorkshire Wildlife Park has gone to great lengths to ensure that the lions have a suitable and comfortable home.
One thing to note is that the walk around Lion Country can take quite a while, especially if you’re traveling with a little one. But we think it’s definitely worth it to take the time to see these magnificent creatures. Plus, there are plenty of viewing areas and a spectacular waterfall bridge where you can enjoy 360-degree views of the lions’ home.
One of the biggest highlights of our visit to Yorkshire Wildlife Park was the incredible “Project Polar” exhibit. In fact, Yorkshire Wildlife Life Park is the only place in all of England where you can see real live Polar Bears. But I think we already said that.
We were blown away by the sheer size of their enclosures, which are designed to replicate the natural habitat of these magnificent creatures. The exhibit is divided into two areas, each covering 12 acres, and home to eight polar bears in total.
We were also particularly impressed with how well the animals were cared for and how varied their enclosures were. It was a far cry from the cramped, concrete cages we remembered seeing at other zoos when we were younger.
The bears had plenty of room to engage in their natural behaviour roaming, swimming, and playing. And watching them interact with each other was a real treat.
The bears appeared to be kept in pairs rather than solo, which seems like a much better way to simulate their natural behaviour.
The walkway raised above the enclosure provided us with a unique view and made it easy to spot the bears. We were lucky enough to see several of them during our visit, and we were amazed by their size and majesty.
We also learned that Yorkshire Wildlife Park is an official Polar Bears International Ambassador Centre, which aims to educate the public about climate change and reduce carbon emissions in communities to sustain a future for Polar Bear populations across the Arctic. It’s reassuring to know that our visit is contributing to such an important cause.
If you’re planning a visit to Yorkshire Wildlife Park, we highly recommend setting aside plenty of time to explore the “Project Polar” exhibit.
AMAZONAS – CAPYBARA, MARA, ANTEATER, ARMADILLO, AGOUTI AND RED HOWLER MONKEY ENCLOSURES
Although we didn’t get a chance to see the Amazonas section due to it still being in construction, we were excited to learn about the amazing animals that will call this area their home. From Capybaras to Red Howler Monkeys and Armadillos, the diversity of species is incredible.
And the best part is that it will be an interactive walkthrough, which we quickly discovered are our favourite at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
We hope to visit again once the new development is open and get a chance to see the animals up close and personal.
We learned that Yorkshire Wildlife Park is the only place in the UK where you can see Roloway Monkeys. These monkeys are one of the world’s most endangered primates, with only 200 left in the wild.
The park is part of the European Breeding programme for Roloway Monkeys, and they have had some success in breeding these rare animals. In fact, they celebrated the birth of baby Roloway Monkey Kumasi in 2020, which was the first of its kind in the UK.
It’s truly amazing to think that we could have had the chance to see such a rare animal in person. Unfortunately, we were not able to see them as they were in their house during our visit.
We were disappointed to miss out on the opportunity to see them during our visit, but we hope that others will get the chance to see them and appreciate the important work that Yorkshire Wildlife Park is doing to help protect these incredible creatures.
DIK DIK AND OKAPI ENCLOSURE
As we headed back towards the exit of Yorkshire Wildlife Park, we stumbled upon the Dikdik and Okapi enclosures.
We could see the Okapi off in the distance and just about make out the unique horizontal stripes on their hindquarters and upper forelegs.
The Okapi, also known as the “Forest Giraffe,” was a fascinating animal to see in person. Even though it was a bit further away from us, we could still make out its unique features and observe it in its natural habitat.
These shy and elusive animals are under threat, and it’s impressive to see the park contributing to their conservation efforts.
Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to spot any Dikdiks during our visit. The Kirk’s Dikdik, which is native to eastern and southern Africa, is the smallest antelope in the world. These tiny creatures, which only grow up to 40 cm tall, are known for the distinctive noises they make.
It’s a shame we didn’t get to see them, but we did learn from the park’s mission to protect their numbers and raise awareness of their plight. We found it inspiring that Yorkshire Wildlife Park is part of a global conservation project to preserve these creatures and introduce them to visitors.
LAND OF THE TIGER
The last animal enclosure we walked past at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, just before crossing back over the canal was Land of the Tiger.
It’s hard to miss the massive wooden walkway that towers above the tiger’s habitat, and it certainly provides an incredible vantage point to view these magnificent creatures.
This area of the park is home to two endangered Amur Tigers, Sayan and Tschuna. It was another highlight of our visit, and we were fortunate to catch a glimpse of the tigers twice during our visit.
The first time was a brief but exciting encounter as we were waiting in line for some doughnuts, and we spotted one of the tigers running in the distance. Later on, as we walked over the raised walkway of ‘Land of the Tiger’, we saw two of the majestic cats once again.
The tigers were freely roaming their woodlands and grasslands or playing in their very own waterfall pool. It was a truly remarkable experience.
The Amur Tiger is the largest big cat in the world, and we were amazed to see these creatures roaming freely without bars interrupting our view.
It’s hard to believe that these magnificent animals are endangered, but unfortunately, that is the reality. We’re glad that Yorkshire Wildlife Park is doing their part to protect these tigers and raise awareness about their plight.
One thing we also really appreciated about the exhibit was that there were multiple ways to view the tigers. We could view them from ground level through the glass windows, from a special viewing platform/hut, or from the upper walkway above and adjacent to the enclosure. We loved that the park offered so many different angles to admire these magnificent creatures.
OTHER ATTRACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES AT YORKSHIRE WILDILFE PARK
In addition to the animal exhibits, the Yorkshire Wildlife Park has other attractions that will keep your whole family entertained and ensure that you have a truly complete experience whilst you are there.
WALK THROUGH EXPERIENCES
Animal walkthrough experiences are one of the most exciting things to do at Yorkshire Wildlife Park in our opinion. It’s an opportunity to get up close and personal with the animals, and you won’t want to miss them. The park currently has three animal walkthrough experiences – Wallaby Walkabout, Lemur Woods, and the Red Panda Walkthrough.
We are also excited about the upcoming Amazonas walkthrough experience. It’s set to open this year (2023).
It’s important though to always remember to follow the rules and safety advice given in these walkthrough areas to ensure the safety of both visitors and animals.
Animal talks and ranger presentations are a fantastic way to learn more about the animals at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. The rangers are knowledgeable and passionate about the animals they care for, and they offer informative talks throughout the day.
We particularly enjoyed the talks around feeding times, where we could learn about the animals’ diets and behaviours. We found the talks to be really informative and interesting, and it was great to learn more about the natural behaviour of the animals and their habitats.
If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to chat to the keepers. We found them to be very friendly and approachable, and they were more than happy to answer our questions.
The schedule of activities changes depending on the season, but there is always something happening at the park. You can find out when things are happening at the various enclosures by looking at the app.
During the busy summer months, there are multiple activities every half hour, so you could easily spend your whole day learning and observing the animals.
As parents of an energetic easily distracted toddler, we were thrilled to discover that Yorkshire Wildlife Park has an impressive range of play areas included with admission.
Our son had an absolute blast exploring all the different play areas, and it was a great way to break up our day and give him a chance to burn off some energy.
The outdoor play areas were fantastic and in excellent condition, with plenty of fun wooden play equipment to keep our son entertained.
Two of our son’s personal favourites were the Kukulu Play Island and the Big Bug Play Zone. He isn’t the bravest (think he gets that from me) but he loved climbing around the Kukulu Play Island and really pushed his personal boundaries.
The Big Bug Play Zone was also a great hit, and our son loved bouncing, hopping, and climbing around like he was the size of a bug! Although he wasn’t the biggest fan of the spider.
Although our son was a little too young for the older Jungle Lookout in the forest near the Lemur Walkthrough, it still looked like a really cool play area for older kids. It had bridges and a tall tower with a big tube slide. We saw plenty of older children having a blast climbing and sliding around on the wooden structures, and we’ll definitely be back to explore it when our son is of an appropriate age.
The indoor play area with the Slide Barn and Monkey Play House also looked really nice, but we never got a chance to check it out. However, we heard from other parents that it was a great option for rainy or cold weather.
Overall, we were impressed with the range and quality of the play areas at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. If you’re visiting with young children, we definitely recommend taking some time to explore the play areas.
PANGEA – DISCOVERY OF DINOSAURS
Pangea – Discovery of Dinosaurs is one of the newest attractions at Yorkshire Wildlife Park and it’s definitely worth a visit. We were a bit unsure if our son would be scared by the giant animatronic dinosaurs, but he absolutely loved it!
Walking through the five unique lands of Pangea was a truly immersive experience. It was amazing to see thirty-five life-size dinosaurs come to life with animatronics, sound effects, and lights.
Our son was thrilled with the experience, right from the start when my husband lifted him up towards the Pterodactyl, which looked like it was flying overhead
He was particularly mesmerized by the T-Rex, which was one of the most ferocious creatures to ever walk the earth. With jaws capable of crushing a car, the T-Rex was truly a sight to behold.
My personal favorite was the Diplodocus, which was one of the largest dinosaurs that ever existed.
The other species at Pangea were also fascinating, ranging from the Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus to the Velociraptor, which was the size of a large turkey despite what the films depict.
It was incredible to stand next to these life-sized dinosaurs and imagine how they must have roamed the earth so many years ago. We felt like we were transported back in time.
And we learned so much about these pre-historic beasts, from the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex to the smaller Velociraptor.
So, we highly recommend making your way to Pangea – Discovery of Dinosaurs at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
BIG BUGS LIVE SHOW
The Big Bugs Live show at Yorkshire Wildlife Park is definitely a must-see for anyone visiting with kids. The show takes place twice a day in the amphitheatre and is an interactive and educational experience that transports you into the world of giant insects, arachnids, and arthropods.
The show takes you on a 25-minute journey through the incredible world of bugs, from the deserts of South America to the African undergrowth.
The show is perfect for the whole family, with interactive elements that will keep even the youngest visitors engaged. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the different species of bugs and their habitats, and even hold some of them if you’re feeling brave.
The host of the show is knowledgeable and engaging, providing interesting facts and information about each bug that appears on stage.
One thing to note is that the show can get quite crowded, so it’s best to arrive early to get a good seat. We recommend sitting near the front so that your child can get a good view of the bugs. The show runs twice daily, at 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm, so plan your visit accordingly.
FOOD AND DRINK OPTIONS
After a morning of exploring and discovering all the amazing animals at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, you might be in need of some refuelling. Eating and drinking can be a vital part of any day out, and Yorkshire Wildlife Park has got it covered.
We found the range of food options available impressive, and the park seems to cater to a variety of tastes and preferences.
Whilst not cheap, the prices also seem somewhat reasonable, which is always a plus when visiting an attraction.
If you wish, you can even meet prehistoric creatures and mythical beasts while dining at the Evolution Experience Restaurant for a unique and exciting touch. This is what we decided to do for a full day out experience.
You definitely won’t go hungry during your visit to Yorkshire Wildlife Park!
You can find out more about the food and drink options at YWP on their official website. But here is a little personal summary of the options we came across:
KIOSKS IN YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK
One of the things that pleasantly surprised us during our visit to Yorkshire Wildlife Park was the variety of kiosks scattered throughout the park.
These kiosks offer a range of snacks, ice creams, and drinks, and are perfect for those who want to grab a quick bite or refreshment without having to go to a full-service restaurant.
We were pleasantly surprised that that there were vegetarian and vegan options available at most of the food outlets.
Here is a full list of the kiosks at the park (as of 2023):
- Sea Lions Snack den
- Hyena Snack Den
- Masai Coffee House
- Leopard Snack Den
- Monkey Snack Den
- Polar Ice cream parlour
- Lemur snack den
- Dole soft serve
- Snack Kiosks near Giant Anteaters, Camels, Leopards and Experience Ethiopia
The Masai Coffee House serves coffee and serves a selection of treats including kids lunch boxes.
Feeling a bit peckish we decided to grab a bottle of diet coke and some donuts at the kiosk near the Tiger enclosure. Whilst we did have to queue for a while, the doughnuts were definitely worth to wait.
If you visit during the peak summer season, don’t miss the dole whip bar! And you’re in the mood for something sweet, don’t miss the Polar Ice Cream Parlour or the Dole Soft Serve.
We were also tempted to try the burritos, nachos, dirty fries, and churros at ¡Caramba!, but since we had already booked a table at the Evolution Restaurant we had to stay patient a little longer.
The Monkey Snack Den also seemed to have a great selection of light bites.
RESTAURANTS IN YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK
As a family with a hungry and picky toddler, we were glad to see that there were several restaurants inside Yorkshire Wildlife Park to choose from. Perfect for a sit-down meal to keep little ones fed and happy.
The Monkey Burger Bar is perfect for families with young children. We noticed they had a particularly good deal where you could get a burger, chips, and drink for £8 or a kid’s version for £5.75.
One of the best spots for sit-down tea and cakes is the Safari Cafe, which seemed to have a lovely atmosphere. A pot of tea here will set you back £2.30, whilst a huge slice of strawberry and vanilla cheesecake cost £2.90 and £3.95 respectively. You order at the till and then food is brought to your table, , making it an easy and stress-free dining experience.
For those looking for something more substantial, the Tsavo Bakehouse offers a range of hot meals and snacks. The food served here includes burgers, pizza, and sandwiches. It seemed reasonably priced, and the portion sizes looked generous. The food here also looked like it was of high standard. Note that this restaurant runs a self-service system. And the seating area did look quite crowded and noisy though, which may not be ideal for all families.
RESTAURANTS AND SNACKS IN YORKSHIRE HIVE
We made the most out of our day trip by also taking some time to explore the shops and dining options at The Yorkshire Hive, located just at the entrance to Yorkshire wildlife park.
As we walked past the Yorkshire Hive in the morning the idea of having an immersive dining experience at the Evolution Restaurant caught our attention and so we booked a table. After a long day of exploring the park, we were ready for a good meal.
The restaurant has a unique theme, inspired by Charles Darwin’s voyage on the HMS Beagle, and we were excited to see what it had to offer. We were not disappointed, as the restaurant’s ambiance and decor were truly impressive.
It has two themed areas, which was exciting for our little one. We were given a table in the lost Jurassic Island part of the restaurant, where a pirate ship encounters a jungle forest filled with dinosaurs and easter island scalps.
But we also had a peak at the other area where a fantasy world of caves meets mythical dragons and castles.
The menu had a variety of options, from classic British dishes to international cuisine, and everything we ordered was delicious. The staff were friendly and attentive, and our toddler son enjoyed his meal as well.
The portion sizes were incredibly generous. We had to ask to pack up half of our meal for later. But our meal at Evolution restaurant was not cheap!
While we didn’t have the chance to dine at the other restaurants and cafes, they all looked great and offered a range of options to suit different tastes and dietary requirements.
If you’re looking for a cosy spot to relax and unwind, Wild’s Café Bistro is a great option. You can enjoy their breakfast and lunch menus, as well as their coffee and cake offerings. The venue has a comfortable and inviting atmosphere that is perfect for catching your breath after a long day of exploring.
For a quick bite or refreshment, Uproar Bites is conveniently located at the entrance foyer of Uproar Play Barn. It offers delicious sweet and savoury snacks, hot and cold drinks, and ice creams that are perfect for a quick pick-me-up.
Cornerstone Gelato and Cornerstone Coffee Bar could be a sweet and refreshing way to end our day. They offer a selection of gelato, waffles, donuts, and other sweet treats that are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth cravings.
TAKE A PICNIC
If you’re looking to save some money during your visit to Yorkshire Wildlife Park, bringing your own food and having a picnic is a great option.
We didn’t do this ourselves, as we ended up booking a table at the Evolution restaurant, but we did notice plenty of designated picnic areas with benches spread around the park.
We were glad to see that the park provided plenty of outdoor seating options, including a huge area near Wallaby Walkabout. We will keep this in mind for future visits, as visiting Yorkshire Wildlife Park can quickly become an expensive day out if you don’t.
If you’re planning to bring your own food, keep in mind that the car park is quite far from the picnic sites. Therefore, we would recommend bringing your food with you instead of leaving it in the car. Just make sure to pack it in a way that makes it easy to carry about.
It’s important to note that you’re not allowed to take food through any of the walks through areas, so you’ll need to plan your picnic accordingly.
YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK INTERACTIVE MAP AND APP
Yorkshire Wildlife Park has a free app that you can download to your smartphone, and it turned out to be an incredibly helpful tool during our visit.
The app provides an interactive map of the park, which is great for planning your day in advance. It shows you the location of all animal enclosures, restaurants, kiosks, play areas and shops and you can filter them by category.
One of the best features of the app is that it allows you to enter the names and ages of the people visiting and suggests a route based on that. This helped us plan our day and make sure we didn’t miss anything important.
It also gives you information about the animals and their habitats, as well as the schedule of ranger talks and feeding sessions, which helped us plan where we needed to be and when. Finally, it also gives you an estimate on how long it takes to walk to a specific area of the park.
We didn’t realise that the app was an option at first, but once we downloaded it, we found it to be simply brilliant.
We loved the idea of being able to plan our day in advance, creating a checklist of everything we wanted to do and creating a schedule around it. So, we highly recommend downloading the Yorkshire Wildlife Park app before your visit.
FACILITIES AT THE YORKSHIRE WILDIFE PARK
During our visit to Yorkshire Wildlife Park, we were overall impressed with the facilities and accessibility options available.
TOILETS AND BABY CHANING FACILITIES
When visiting any attraction, one thing that can make or break the experience is the quality and availability of toilet and baby changing facilities.
At the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the toilets and baby changing facilities were clean, well-maintained, and easily accessible throughout the park.
After almost two hours’ drive, our first stop was the toilets near the entrance, which had separate disabled and baby changing facilities. We were pleased to see that there were no queues and that the toilets were clean and well-stocked.
As we walked around the park, we found that there were plenty of toilets and baby changing facilities located at various points throughout the park.
One thing we appreciated was the availability of disabled toilets without the need for a radar key. This made it easier for visitors with disabilities to access the facilities without having to carry around a specific key.
We also noticed a Changing Place in the Safari Cafe, which looked to be open and available for use.
During our visit to Yorkshire Wildlife Park, we were impressed by the quality of the signage throughout the park.
Every animal enclosure had a corresponding sign that provided plenty of information about the animal’s habitat, diet, and conservation status.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that each sign also included an extra snippet of information about topics such as exhibit design, poaching, and animal behaviours.
The signage did not bombard us with too much information that would have required us to stop and study it for a long time, but it was informative and educational.
We were so impressed by the quality of the signs that we wish we had taken more pictures for reference and to show our friends and family.
In addition to the excellent signage, the park also provides visitors with a useful map when they enter the park.
The map, combined with the signs and app, made it easy for us to navigate our way around the park. We were able to find our way to each exhibit and enjoyed learning about the animals as we went along.
Overall, we found the signage and information at Yorkshire Wildlife Park to be of a high standard, and it added to our overall enjoyment of the park.
IS YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK FUN FOR FAMILIES?
Is Yorkshire Wildlife Park fun for families? Absolutely! Our experience visiting with our toddler son was a blast. There was so much to see and do that we all had a great time.
The park is designed as a walk-through wildlife experience, so you’re always on the move and exploring new areas. There is not much time for kids to get bored.
The park also offers plenty of activities for children, including an adventure playground, and there are expert talks and seminars for older kids to learn more about animals and ecosystems.
The park is definitely suitable for families with children of all ages. We saw a range of visitors, from groups of teenagers to families with young children like our boy.
One thing to keep in mind when visiting Yorkshire Wildlife Park is that it is quite large, with enclosures spread out over a significant area.
So, if you are visiting with young children, you may want to bring a pushchair or hire one at the entrance to avoid tired legs and ensure they can make the most of their day.
We made the mistake of not bringing our son’s pram and my husband had to carry him a fair bit. But with plenty of rest areas and seating throughout the park, we were able to take breaks and recharge as needed.
Visitors with young children will find the park relatively easy to navigate with pushchairs, although the forested areas may pose some challenges.
HOW WELL DOES YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK CATER FOR DISABLED VISITORS?
One thing that stood out to us was the park’s commitment to ensuring that visitors with different needs can have an enjoyable experience.
There are discounted tickets available for those with disabilities, and carers also receive discounted admission. The park has 120 spaces for blue badge holders and multiple accessible toilets throughout the site.
We also noticed that the disabled parking waslocated close to the entrance, which made it more convenient for visitors with disabilities.
If you’re planning a trip to Yorkshire Wildlife Park and have accessibility needs, rest assured that the park is generally very accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs. You may encounter mildly uneven surfaces in some areas, but there are no steps or stairs to navigate.
The majority of the paths are level with shallow gradients and are fully usable by wheelchairs and pushchairs. There are a few paths around that are more natural and perhaps uneven, but these are well-signed and there are alternate routes available.
If you require a manual wheelchair or mobility scooter, a limited number are available to book for the day in advance. You can find more information about this on the park’s website.
We noticed plenty of seating across the park, which could be useful if you need to take a break. Assistance dogs are welcome, except in animal walk-through areas.
For visitors with autism, the park offers a sensory guide that can be downloaded from their website. The guide provides detailed information about the sights, sounds, and smells that visitors can expect to encounter at the park, which can help prepare visitors with autism for their visit.
EVENTS AT YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK
Attending a special event at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park is an excellent way to enhance your visit and create unforgettable memories with your family.
There are different seasonal events held at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park throughout the year, such as the Easter Wizard of Oz Festival, their Summer Safari, their Halloween Spooktacular, the winter Illuminations and the Yorkshire Hive Christmas Fair.
These events offer additional activities and entertainment on top of the regular park attractions and offer a unique way to explore the park. All of them include educational shows, fun entertainment and even magic shows for the little ones.
The park also sometimes hosts music concerts in the evenings, although these require separate tickets.
So, it’s always worth checking their website’s event page to see what’s coming up soon. Here is a brief overview of the events we personally experienced:
WIZARD OF OZ FESTIVAL
If you’re a fan of the classic movie “The Wizard of Oz,” then attending the Wizard of Oz Festival at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park is a must.
This takes place during the Easter Break and our family had the pleasure of attending this event during our visit to the park. It was truly a magical experience.
From the moment we arrived, we were transported to the world of Oz. The park was decorated with all sorts of wonderful decorations inspired by the movie, and we even saw characters like the Wicked Witch of the West, a Flying Monkey, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion walking around.
One of the highlights of the event was the live Wizard of Oz musical show.
There were also plenty of other activities to keep us entertained throughout the day. Our toddler son enjoyed getting his face painted and meeting a friendly giant.
Overall, the Wizard of Oz Festival at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park was a fabulous experience for our family. Although our toddler son was a bit scared by the witch, it was a magical and memorable day that we will always treasure.
We highly recommend attending one of their special events, and we can’t wait to come back for more in the future.
While we haven’t had the chance to attend the Winter Illuminations at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park yet, we have heard amazing things about this magical event.
From what we’ve gathered, it seems like the Winter Illuminations would be a fantastic outing for the whole family, and especially those with young children.
The lantern and light trail, combined with the unique and beautiful displays, are sure to create a winter wonderland feel that is sure to captivate children’s imaginations.
With enchanting worlds to explore, like the Fairytale Kingdom and Animal Adventure, it sounds like there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
We love the fact that this event combines a refreshing winter walk with the chance to see some of our favourite animals and also enjoy the festive lights of the Christmas season.
Although it might be a bit chilly, we think it would be the perfect excuse to wrap up warm and sip on a hot chocolate while taking in the magical atmosphere.
Note, if you’re planning to attend with young children, it might be worth bringing a flashlight or use your phone’s torch function, as apparently some parts of the trail are dimly lit.
As we wandered through the vast enclosures of Yorkshire Wildlife Park, we were struck not only by the beauty and diversity of the animals, but also by the park’s clear dedication to conservation and animal welfare.
From the incredible efforts to rescue and rehabilitate endangered animals to the innovative research projects aimed at securing the future of at-risk species, it was clear that the team at Yorkshire Wildlife Park is passionate about making a real difference in the world of wildlife conservation.
In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the park’s conservation efforts and explore some of the ways that visitors can get involved and support this important work.
ENDANGERED ANIMALS CONSERVATION EFFORTS AT YWP
We were really impressed by the focus on animal welfare and conservation efforts at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
With over 40,000 species currently threatened with extinction worldwide, the conservation work done by Yorkshire Wildlife Park and the Wildlife Foundation based at the park is crucial.
It was heartening to see that the park is home to many endangered and critically endangered species, including the Black Rhino, Giant Otters, Amur Leopards and Painted Dogs.
We were pleased to see that each animal had a “conservation status” displayed, along with tips on how we could help them and their habitats.
We also enjoyed the keeper talks, which had a real focus on animal welfare and conservation rather than just showcasing animal tricks. We felt that the park is not just a place to admire animals, but a dynamic centre for conservation with over 60 species and 300 animals.
One of the highlights of our visit was learning about the ground-breaking research project sponsored by the park, which aims to improve the lives and welfare of polar bears and help secure their future in light of the current climate emergency.
The park’s ten-acre Polar Project reserve, which opened in 2016, is a leading site for conservation and was part of the 35-strong panel of experts engaged in the polar bear research project.
It was amazing to hear that the park is at the forefront of global efforts to save the species, whose numbers are dropping alarmingly because of the melting of their sea-ice habitat.
We also learned that Leopard Heights, which opened in March 2012, is one of the largest leopard reserves in the world.
Overall, we left the park with a renewed appreciation for the importance of conservation efforts, and we felt grateful to have had the opportunity to support the park’s vital work.
YORKSHIRE WILDIFE PARK’S DEDICATION TO THE PRESERVATION OF BRITISH WILDLIFE
Furthermore, we were impressed by the dedication shown by the park to the preservation of British wildlife.
It was wonderful to see that the park had taken steps to maintain the existing treescape in most of the enclosures, giving the animals a more natural habitat.
The painted dogs exhibit, for example, was set in a British woodland nature reserve where we could hear the loud calls of goldcrests, chaffinches, and various tit species.
WE also appreciated the thought and planning that had gone into the lemur walkthrough. It was cool to think of the lemurs playing around British pine trees as they might in the rainforests of Madagascar.
The amazing wetland stretching the length of the zoo is an attraction in its own right, and we even overheard a guide talking with a family about an osprey that had been seen that morning. It was heartening to see that the park was providing a habitat for native species like ospreys, which are increasingly rare in the UK.
It’s great to see that the park is not only focused on exotic species, but also on those closer to home.
We left feeling inspired to do our part in supporting local conservation efforts.
ANIMAL RESCUE EFFORTS OF THE PARK
Finally, we wanted to mention that Yorkshire Wildlife Park is not only dedicated to the preservation of endangered species and British wildlife but also actively engaged in animal rescue efforts.
During our visit, we learned about the park’s efforts to rescue animals from poor living conditions and give them a better life.
In February 2010, the park rescued 13 lions from a dilapidated zoo in Romania. The lions were living in poor conditions, and the park took them in and released them into a newly built 10-acre Lion Country enclosure.
We were impressed to learn that the park was able to provide these majestic animals with a better life and a more suitable living environment.
In 2018, the park once again demonstrated its commitment to animal rescue by rescuing four Brown Bears from a Japanese museum. The bears, Riku, Kai, Amu, and Hanako, were living in tiny cages with concrete floors and were being fed scraps from school dinners.
The park provided the bears with a huge grassy reserve, lakes, toys, hay beds, and shelters. We were moved by the park’s dedication to rescuing these bears and providing them with a better life.
It was heart-warming to see these animals being given a second chance at life, and we left the park feeling grateful for the work that they do.
WHERE TO STAY TO VISIT YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK
If you’re planning a visit to Yorkshire Wildlife Park, you might want to consider staying in the vicinity to make the most of your experience.
Luckily, there are plenty of accommodation options available, including the hotel on site that is currently being extended, as well as glamping and camping options for those who want to stay close to the park.
In summer Yorkshire Wildlife Park sometimes offers “roar and snore” packages, where you can camp on site next to the lions! If you’re interested, you can find out more on their website.
If you prefer to stay in a hotel, there are many options in and around nearby Doncaster.
The Doncaster Lakeside Premier Inn is perfect for families. It’s only a few miles from the park and offers free parking, with a pub attached where you can order wine to take to your room after a busy day.
The hotel is part of the Lakeside Shopping Outlet which is handy if you want to indulge in some retail therapy or need to find a place to eat with the whole family.
If you’re planning a longer trip or need a hotel with interconnecting rooms, you might want to consider staying at the Doncaster Central East Premier Inn. It is located close to Doncaster Dome, where you can find swimming, ice skating, soft play, and more.
For those who prefer a home-away-from-home feel, there are plenty of deals on holiday cottages that you can find online. Booking.com is a great place to look for family-friendly deals near the park.
Wheatley House is within walking distance of Doncaster town centre. It has 3 bedrooms and gardens to the front and rear.
TIPS FOR VISITING YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK
Here are some of our best tips and advice for making the most out of your visit to the park, that we wanted to include in our Yorkshire Wildlife Park Review.
- Plan Ahead: Before you go, take a look at the park’s website and plan your route around the park to ensure that you don’t miss anything you want to see. Also, check the weather forecast and dress accordingly.
- Research the zoo: Before visiting the park, take some time to read about its history and learn about its culture and ethos. This will give you a better understanding of what to expect and appreciate during your visit.
- Check out the animal list: The park has a wide variety of animals from around the world, so it’s worth taking a look at the animal list to see if there’s anything you’re particularly interested in seeing.
- Look for current research projects: Many zoos conduct research on their animals to learn more about their behaviour, genetics, and health. Check if Yorkshire Wildlife Park has any current research projects that might interest you.
- Arrive Early: The park opens at 10 am, so we recommend arriving early to avoid the crowds and long lines. We found that the park was much quieter in the morning, giving us plenty of time to explore without being jostled.
- Avoid Weekends: If possible, avoid visiting the park on weekends or during school holidays. These are the busiest times and you may find yourself waiting in long lines for rides and attractions.
- Take Breaks: The park is quite large and there’s a lot to see, so take breaks throughout the day to rest, recharge, and grab a snack or drink.
- Plan your meals: The park has a range of cafes and restaurants, so it’s a good idea to check out their menus in advance. This will help you plan your meals and ensure you have enough time to enjoy them.
- Don’t Miss the Feeding Times: Check the feeding times for the animals you want to see and plan your visit around them. We found that the feeding times were a great opportunity to get up close to the animals and learn more about them from the keepers.
- The best spot to see the animals: During our visit, we discovered that the best way to see the animals up close was to head to the back of the enclosures, where the animals often come right up to the fence.
- Bring a stroller: if you’re visiting with young children, be sure to bring a stroller or carrier, as the park can be quite tiring for little legs.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (100-150 WORDS EACH)
HOW MUCH TIME SHOULD I PLAN TO SPEND AT THE PARK?
The average visitor spends about 4 to 6 hours at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
However, since the park covers a large area and there’s a lot to see, we would suggest that it is worth planning to take your time to avoid rushing about, especially if it is your first time visiting.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to take breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge, especially if you’re visiting with young children.
Arriving early in the morning and leaving in the late afternoon would give you ample time to see all the animals, take part in any activities, and enjoy the park’s facilities.
However, if you’re short on time or an annual pass holder, it is definitely possible to pop in for 3 to 4 hours, especially if you prioritize the exhibits you really want to see.
Keep in mind that the park can get crowded during peak times, so planning ahead and arriving early can help you avoid long lines and crowds.
ARE THERE ANY AGE RESTRICTIONS FOR VISITORS?
No, there are no age restrictions for visitors to Yorkshire Wildlife Park. People of all ages are welcome to visit the park and enjoy its exhibits and attractions.
However, children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Some of the animal walkthrough experiences have height restrictions for safety reasons, but these are clearly indicated, and staff members are always on hand to provide assistance.
Overall, Yorkshire Wildlife Park is a great place for families with children of all ages to spend a fun day out.
WHAT IS THE BEST AGE FOR VISITING YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK?
The best age for visiting Yorkshire Wildlife Park is typically between the ages of 6-14, as children of this age typically have a longer attention span can learn a lot about the animals in a short amount of time.
However, the park is still good fun for younger children aged 2-6 and for older visitors aged 14 and above.
There is something for everyone to enjoy, from the interactive animal experiences to the beautiful park grounds.
WHAT ARE THE OPENING TIMES OF YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK?
The opening times of Yorkshire Wildlife Park vary depending on the season. During summer peak weeks, the park is open from 9am to 6pm on weekdays, with last entry at 3pm.
However, it’s best to check the park’s website before you go as opening times can sometimes be 9:30am.
During winter, the park opens at 10am and closes at 4pm.
ARE THERE ANY DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE FOR TICKETS?
Yes, there are various discounts available for tickets to Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
Children under 3 can enter for free. Additionally, there are discounts for students, seniors, disabled visitors, and groups of 12 or more.
We would also recommend checking the official website for any seasonal or promotional discounts that may be available.
CAN I PURCHASE TICKETS IN ADVANCE?
Yes, you can purchase tickets in advance on the Yorkshire Wildlife Park website.
In fact, we highly suggest you do this, especially during peak times, to avoid long queues and to secure your preferred date of visit.
Additionally, purchasing tickets online is generally cheaper compared to buying them at the gate on the day of your visit.
IS YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK SUITABLE FOR VISITING ON A RAINY DAY?
If you are planning to visit Yorkshire Wildlife Park on a rainy day, it’s important to keep in mind that the majority of the park is outdoors and there are limited indoor activities.
While the animals may still be visible and active, it may not be the most enjoyable experience if you are not prepared for the elements.
Therefore, we wouldn’t recommend visiting on a really wet day.
However, if you do decide to go, make sure to bring appropriate clothing and footwear to keep you dry and comfortable.
ARE THERE ANY SCARY OR BORING ELEMENTS THAT YOUNG OR SENSITIVE CHILDREN MIGHT NOT ENJOY?
There aren’t any particularly scary or boring elements that young or sensitive children might not enjoy at Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
While it’s possible that small children may be scared by some of the bigger animals, it didn’t feel like a major concern to us.
Overall, the park is designed to be family-friendly and enjoyable for visitors of all ages.
CAN I BRING MY OWN FOOD AND DRINK INTO THE PARK?
Yes, visitors are allowed to bring their own food and drinks into Yorkshire Wildlife Park. There are plenty of picnic tables and areas to eat in, including shaded areas near the adventure playground.
However, it is worth noting that if you bring a picnic, you may have a long walk back to the car to retrieve it or need to carry it with you around the park, which could be tiring.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO TAKE TO YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK?
We would recommend to you bring sunscreen and plenty of drinks, as they can be expensive once inside the park.
Instead of a pushchair, a beach trolley could be useful for carrying bags and picnic items.
Additionally, we would suggest you wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a camera to capture the animals and your family’s experience.
WHAT ARE THE QUEUES LIKE?
The queues at Yorkshire Wildlife Park are generally manageable, even on busy days like bank holidays and weekends in July.
The only queue we experienced was at the doughnut booth, but we didn’t have to wait long to see any of the animals or attractions.
The size of the park and the abundance of picnic benches and seating areas made it easy to find a place to rest.
Additionally, the staff were efficient and friendly, which helped keep queues short.
The entrance road into the park and the ticket booths also didn’t have long queues, and we were able to park quickly.
IS YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK WORTH A LONG CAR JOURNEY?
Based on our experience, YES, Yorkshire Wildlife Park is worth a long car journey. Ours took about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Additionally, the fact that our son fell asleep on the way home suggests that he had a great time at the park.
IS YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK DOG FRIENDLY?
Yorkshire Wildlife Park only allows assistance dogs and doesn’t permit pets or other animals.
CONCLUDING OUR YORKSHIRE WILDLIFE PARK REVIEW
After spending a day at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, we can confidently say that it is a fantastic destination for families looking for a fun and educational day out.
From the moment we arrived, we were impressed by the cleanliness and organization of the park, and we were immediately drawn in by the fascinating animal exhibits.
We appreciated the park’s focus on animal welfare and conservation efforts, and we learned a lot about the different species and their habitats.
Our toddler son was particularly thrilled to see the animals up close, especially the lemures during feeding time.
Although we didn’t get to see all the animals, this was a minor issue in the grand scheme of things.
Although it may not have as many reptiles, birds, and fish as some other zoos, the park’s focus on animal welfare and education is impressive.
Overall, we had a great experience at Yorkshire Wildlife Park and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a family-friendly day out.
If you’re considering a visit to the park, we encourage you to go for it! It’s definitely worth the trip, and we think you’ll come away with some amazing memories.
Thank you for taking the time to read our review, and we hope it helps you plan your visit to Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
What is your favourite enclosure at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park?
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