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Five must-visit places in the UK for animal lovers

Lion sitting at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Let’s face it, we are a nation of animal lovers and thankfully there is an abundance of wildlife parks, bird sanctuaries and nature reserves dotted around the country for us all to enjoy.

Whether you are a fan of the fluffy, feathered or scaly varieties, our guide offers five fantastic places to come face-to-face with animals of all kinds and get your wildlife fix.

Make sure to check out the nearest train stations to each venue and view our train timetables for the latest arrivals and departures to make sure your journey runs smoothly.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster

Enjoy a walk-through wildlife adventure at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, conveniently located in the heart of Doncaster.

Meet over 400 animals from beautiful Amur tigers to giant otters, baboons and painted dogs – all spread out over 100 acres of beautiful parkland.

Fans of creepy crawlies will appreciate the deadly bugs demonstration, exploring some of the world’s most gruesome and terrifying many-legged critters! Plus, there is a fantastic café and many spots for ice-creams and coffees along the route.  

York Bird of Prey Centre, York

Home to 80 birds of 45 different species, this is the perfect place for bird lovers to visit and safely handle birds in a natural environment.

Suitable for kids and adults alike, there are opportunities to feed the kookaburras, handle golden eagles and watch mesmerising flying displays featuring various birds of prey.

Check out the centre’s events schedule for details of their hawk walks, owl experiences and falconry courses, which run all year round.

National Sealife Sanctuary, Birmingham

From dainty seahorses to black-tipped reef sharks, The National Sealife Sanctuary in Birmingham is a great day out for those who are fascinated by sea creatures and marine life.

Get close to giant sea turtles, see the penguins at feeding time and be hypnotised by the fluorescent jellyfish as they swish past you.

Fish fanatics can even sleep over in the centre’s 360 ocean tunnel, spending the night in the company of tropical fish, stingray and of course, the sharks!! (minimum occupancy applies).

The Donkey Sanctuary, Sidmouth

Donkeys, in our eyes, are very much underestimated! These gentle, highly-intelligent and friendly animals have been instrumental in human evolution – being used to carry water, food, crops and building material for many centuries.

Located in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth is home to hundreds of donkeys, mules and hinnies who have been rescued or abandoned. Take a scenic stroll through the sanctuary, making many furry friends along the way, and enjoy great views along the beautiful Jurassic Coast.

London Zoo, London  

The world’s oldest scientific zoo, London Zoo is a must-visit for all animal lovers visiting the capital city. Handily situated near Regent’s Park, you can jump on the train to London King’s Cross station in the morning and be there in time to meet the lions and the lemurs for lunch.

Observe the playful gibbons in their treetop habitat and marvel at the magnificence of the giant Galapagos tortoises that can live for up to 150 years! Photography workshops are available for keen photographers and animal lovers, as well as the opportunity to become a zoo keeper for the day if that tickles your fancy!

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