Wild Times At Yorkshire Wildlife Park

I recently went to Yorkshire Wildlife Park (link here) with Clare, N and Nana, and I have to say, I’m not sure what I expected but it certainly exceeded my expectations. It’s really a superb place for a whole day out, much bigger than expected and with loads of animals. I can’t believe how many steps I walked when we visited, over 10,000 and we didn’t cover everywhere!

The Basics

They have four polar bears and plans for more!
They have four polar bears and plans for more!

Yorkshire Wildlife Park is essentially a big zoo. Perhaps that’s not serving them right in terms of their marketing efforts, but in essence is somewhere with loads of animals. It has all sorts, quite a wide variety of animals including:

  • Lions
  • Tigers (though they were hiding from us!)
  • Meerkats
  • Mongeese
  • Polar Bears
  • Armadillo (not often you see these!)
  • Giraffes

Plus many many more.

It’s based in Doncaster which is quite a good location for us so I’m pleased with that. I’m surprised that we’ve not been there before given the location. It has a huge shop for various memorabilia (including items in the image of animals not actually in the park which I always find a bit weird), specialist shops to buy other things in (like sweets, beer and clothes) plus restaurants. There’s also some indoor and outdoor play areas for the kids, but N is a bit too young yet!

Spacious and Organised

Just look at the amount of space here!
Just look at the amount of space here!

The whole area at Yorkshire Wildlife Park was very impressive for the animals. I always find it quite difficult to see animals in enclosures that are far too small for them. Without naming any particular location there are some zoos I can think of immediately where I think the enclosures are too small for them and that makes me very sad indeed, genuinely really sad. I’m a great lover of animals of many types so seeing a place with animals where there are loads of space for them to roam around is fantastic. The picture above shows this space to some degree for deer, zebras and giraffes, but their enclosure was much bigger than anything I could hope to take a photo of.

Also, in terms of the layout of the park it was great, and very easy to navigate. The park is pretty large. So large we ended up doing over 10,000 steps going around there and could well have gone further quite easily but we had to leave.

In terms of the terrain the ground was quite mixed to be honest. Many areas were tarmac which was great, but some were pretty uneven. Some areas have the potential to be quite muddy in the rain (some small areas were muddy in areas on our visit even though it was baking hot) and very uneven and bumpy. I carried N around by coincidence for these parts (I just wanted a hug!) so it didn’t have any impact on him, but pushing a wheelchair around could be difficult in these areas for example. They have made these specific paths to mix in with the surrounding area in all fairness but I just wonder what they would be like for those pushing a wheelchair.

The Practicalities

King of the jungle!
King of the jungle!

Changing facilities at Yorkshire Wildlife Park were pretty good. Unisex which is always a good start, but the ones we went to were in the disabled toilets which I always think is a bit unfortunate for those with a disability.

Parking is pretty good and spacious here. It would have to be because it seems to be pretty popular!

The entry fee for adults is £17.50 and it’s £14.50 for kids (3-15 years old). At first when I paid I thought it seemed a little bit steep. However, I thought that when I didn’t know what the park was like. Having been around it, spent hours there and walked a long way around there, I have to say it’s worth it. It’s good value for money for what you get.

In terms of food we went a South American inspired place doing street food where all the tables were outside (good job it was sunny!). We each got a ‘savoury cone’ (meat inside a savoury wrap basically) with some seasoned wedges, corn on the cob and a drink. This was £8.75 each which is pretty reasonable, fairly standard zoo sort of prices.

Finally I was very impressed by the number of benches there were around Yorkshire Wildlife Park. In fact we sat and fed N on a bench whilst looking at the polar bears. That’s not a very common experience! They were playing in the water with a long tube while we were feeding him, great to watch them play.

In Summary

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my time visiting Yorkshire Wildlife Park. I was so impressed with many elements of it, largely influenced by the large areas that the animals have to roam about in perhaps, but that counts for a lot to me. It’s good value given the size of the place and number of animals you can see. The one question is whether all of the terrain is good for wheelchairs. I’m guessing they must have done their research to check that it’s ok for wheelchairs though.

Overall, if you’ve not been here then go. It’s great. I’d highly recommend it.

If you want to see my other reviews and days out then see my ‘Days Out‘ page.

For other days out reviews written by other bloggers check out this site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.