4 of the Best Animal Sanctuaries to Visit in Cornwall

September 06th, 2021

Make the most of your family friendly holiday in Cornwall and get to know some of the local inhabitants with a trip to an animal sanctuary!

Cornwall’s breathtaking landscape is home to a vast array of native wildlife, including seals, dolphins, lizards, adders, turtles, and so much more. There are numerous brilliant animal sanctuaries across the county that do wonderful work to protect and rehabilitate all sorts of animals from Cornwall and around the world.

Each wildlife sanctuary offers a unique experience, with many including other great attractions to entice you and plenty of ways to support the animals on a long term basis.

We’ve narrowed down some of our favourite Cornish animal sanctuaries below.

1. Paradise Park and Jungle Barn, Hayle

Flamingoes in Paradise Park

Situated along the north Cornish coast, Paradise Park and Jungle Barn is the place to go for birds of every kind. This exciting bird sanctuary is home to over 130 species of birds from all over the globe.

You’ll also find red pandas, farm animals, Asian seals, red squirrels and miniature donkeys.

Things to Do and See at Paradise Park

There’s lots to do here with plenty of opportunities to see rare birds you might not find anywhere else. You’ll find everything from flamingos to kookaburras, bald eagles, penguins, golden eagles – and lots more.

The tropical aviaries are a must-see – these awesome exhibits include areas where you can sit or meander and watch the birds as they fly above you. Don’t forget to catch one of the brilliant bird shows where you can learn all about these wonderful animals.

Green, yellow and orange birds

From there, take a tranquil stroll through the tropical gardens where birds fly free amongst the beautiful botanicals, streams and ponds. Here, you’ll also find a children’s play area, bee garden and other features to explore.

Stop by the Fun Farm, where the kids will adore the chance to get up close and feed the sheep, rabbits, goats, guinea pigs and miniature donkeys. You can then head to the Jungle Barn indoor soft play area for even more fun.

Conservation at Paradise Park

Additionally, Paradise Park is home to the World Parrot Trust and the brilliant Cornish conservation project – Operation Chough.

Thanks to the great work of Operation Chough, you can see some of the red-billed choughs the charity is working hard to bring back to the area permanently.

Ticket Prices for Paradise Park

  • Adults: £14.75
  • Children: £10.75
  • Family of 4: £47.50
  • Over 60s: £13

(Add a couple of extra pounds for entry tickets to the Jungle Barn)

2. Porfell Wildlife Park, Liskeard

A lemur on a branch

Porfell Wildlife Park is another fun-packed adventure. As Cornwall’s largest exotic animal sanctuary, you can expect to see all sorts of animals here, with plenty of great opportunities to learn about the natural habitats they would usually call home.

Things to Do and See at Porfell Wildlife Park

The park is home to more than 250 animals who live in enclosures designed to replicate their natural environment. One of the most memorable sections is The Great Rift Valley which contains an authentic Maasai village constructed using traditional methods.

Native animals surround the village to replicate the beautiful way the Maasai people and local wildlife cohabitate. Inside the village, there are all sorts of artisan crafts to enjoy as well as insight into the clothes and the history of the people.

A closeup of a zebra's face

Another stand-out space is the Ancient Woodland, where you can follow the many trails to learn about the wetlands. You’ll also find woods filled with ancient Cornish ash, willows, alders, oak, plants and lots of other native botanicals.

The Children’s Farm is also tons of fun with everything from pigs to chickens, chipmunks, rabbits, sheep, goats and more. Ultimately, it’s a great day out with an enormous range of animals from around the world to see.

Tickets Prices for Porfell Wildlife Park

  • Adults: £10
  • Children: £7
  • Family of 4: £31
  • Over 60s: £8

3. The Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Gweek

A seal looking up at the camera

The beautiful Cornish coast is famous for its population of grey seals and lesser numbers of common seals. The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is part of The Sealife Trust, a charity that comes to the aid of Cornwall’s grey seals when in need.

Things to Do and See at The Cornish Seal Sanctuary

At the sanctuary, alongside grey seals who are rehabilitated then returned to the waters, you’ll also find common seals, South American or Southern sea lions and Humboldt penguins. Out in the paddock, there are also ponies, goats and sheep.

There are lots of great ways to see the seals and other marine animals during your visit. You can join the morning rounds on the Cornish Seal Sanctuary’s Breakfast Tour to uncover why seal pups end up getting rescued.

Or, why not discover how the seals are looked after on the Keeper For a Day Tour? For a private afternoon visit that starts with an exclusive Cornish cream tea, check out the Afternoon Seal Tour.

For an extra special experience, you can see the seals, sea lions and penguins up close with a visit to the underwater viewing experience.

Ticket Prices for The Cornish Seal Sanctuary

  • Adults: £15
  • Children: £12.50
  • Family of 4: £48
  • Over 60s: £14.50

4. Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary, Looe

A black and grey monkey among grass and yellow flowers

Wild Futures is a UK charity dedicated to the conservation and welfare of primates in need. The Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary is home to 40 primates, including Barbary macaques, capuchins, marmosets and woolly monkeys.

Things to Do and See at Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary

Alongside the monkeys, the children’s Wild Play Area will provide plenty of fun. This area has lots of room to run around, plus an adventure playground, children’s craft workshops, face painting and sanctuary-themed activities.

The Monkey Sanctuary’s south-facing garden is a resplendent space, surrounded by woodland and meadows with views across the coast. You’ll find over 285 types of wildflowers, 23 species of butterflies, 60 species of birds and lots more within the grounds.

An orange butterfly on a white flower

Watch the bees busy at work on the live feed in Bumblebee Corner, then take a quiet moment to sit and spot all the birds from the Bird Hide.

Before you go, visit the Wildlife Room to learn about all the animals and plants that inhabit the site’s nine acres, as well as the essential work done by Wild Futures.

Ticket Prices for Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary

  • Adults: £9.50
  • Children: £5
  • Over 65s: £7

A trip to any one of these attractions is sure to make your holiday to Cornwall one to remember!

To round off your perfect Cornwall break, you’ll need the perfect place to stay. Take a look at our luxury award-winning cottages today and start planning your next break.

Image Credits: Visit Cornwall

Primestock Show 2019

November 25th, 2019

The Primestock Show in Truro returns again for another year, making it the 116th! Visitors can celebrate Cornwall’s agricultural community and enjoy a day of competitions, auctions and activities. In this blog, we share everything you need to know about The Primestock Show and explain why you should visit this year.

What is The Primestock Show in Truro?

The Primestock Show in Truro is an event that celebrates the countryside and farming in the heart of the city. Visitors can observe closely some of the very best Cornish prime cattle and sheep and watch as they are judged and auctioned. Alongside this are some brilliant shows of cookery, floral art, photography, farm produce, and a whole lot more of other exhibits. Below is a video from 2018’s Primestock Show displaying the highlights of the event.

When is The Primestock Show in Truro?

On the 4th of December 2019

Where in Truro is The Primestock Show?

The event is held at the Lemon Quay in Truro. Parking is available in the area, with a few multi-storey car parks on offer. For the main Lemon Quay car park, prices are as follows:

1 Hour: £1.40

2 Hours: £2.50

3 Hours: £3.90

4 Hours: £5.00

6 Hours: £10.50

There is also a bus stop at Lemon Quay which has frequent services running in every direction. So, if you don’t have a car or would rather park outside the city and then travel in, this is a great option.

A close-up picture of a sheep

The schedule of The Primestock Show:

6.30am to 8.30am: Welcome of primestock (cattle and sheep)

7.30am to 8.45am: Outstanding table entries to be staged

9.00am: Judging commences of table exhibits

9.30am: The judging of cattle starts, and the event opens to the public

12pm: Champion beast judging

12:30pm: Judging of sheep commences

2:00pm: Trophies are awarded for cattle, sheep and farm produce

2:15pm: Auction begins for fundraising

2:30pm: Cattle and sheep auction

3:30pm to 4:30pm: The cattle and sheep leave the event

6:00pm: Presentation of trophies for domestic and children

6:30pm: Evening activities begin

A black and white cow in a field

History of The Primestock Show

Back in December 1902, the West Briton & Royal Cornwall Gazette had a headline of “Truro Fat Stock Show – The Biggest in the County”. The article stated that the show lacked in importance, and this was due to the size of the city; this resulted in Truro citizens deciding to host a proper Truro Fat Stock Show. The request was taken up by the Truro Mercantile Association, and then the Fat Stock Society was created. Up until 1907, the show continued to be held at the Cattle Market to which they relocated to the City Hall. The annual event was referred to as a huge day for Truro, and it was the day that the country comes to the town. The show took place annually at Truro City Hall, apart from some breaks for the two World Wars and the foot and mouth disease in 1967.

Two lambs in a field

Unfortunately, in 1985, safety regulations and the proposed development of the City Hall resulted in the society having to relocate and search for a new site. It was then moved to the outside of the city to the Livestock Centre, and the name of the event was changed from Fatstock to Primestock, much to the disappointment of many traditionalists who felt that fat was a necessity to make the meat flavoursome. Then, in 1990, it was decided that 2002 would be a big year; the Queen’s Jubilee, 125th anniversary of Truro becoming a city and when The Primestock Show would celebrate 100 years. With this in mind, it was decided that the show should be moved back into the city centre and this is when they moved to Lemon Quay. Since then, the event has been held in a marquee at Lemon Quay due to the success of the centenary show.

Here at The Valley, we have a range of luxury Cornish cottages in Truro, so what better place to stay when visiting The Primestock Show? Our accommodation is family-friendly, and we welcome dogs to join in on the holiday fun. While you are in Cornwall, there are many things to do as well as The Primestock Show, so take a look at these weird and wonderful places.

Winter Wildlife to Look Out For in Cornwall

January 07th, 2019

With plenty of impressive landscapes to enjoy in Cornwall, from valleys and woodlands to sandy stretches and steep cliffs, it may come as no surprise that the coastal county is also a haven for a wide variety of exciting wildlife. Head out with a camera and a pair of binoculars if you are set on spotting a particular creature that calls Cornwall their home, or embark on an exciting winter stroll and simply enjoy seeing what you can find. Our guide to Cornish winter wildlife will help you to discover some of the birds and animals you may see in the colder months of the year.



Places to Go for Animal Lovers in Cornwall

July 30th, 2018

Cornwall is full of natural beauty, from the moorland to the coastline, so it should be no surprise that the county also provides a haven for an interesting collection of creatures. There are several zoos, sanctuaries and sea life spots around Cornwall, so we’ve picked out five of our favourites.


Porfell Wildlife Park

The largest exotic animal sanctuary in Cornwall, Porfell Wildlife Park provides a home for an amazing assortment of fascinating animals, many of which were injured, neglected or unwanted. There is an incredible mix, with wallabies, lemurs, meerkats, capybaras, zebras, porcupines, marmosets and lynx. Many of these animals now live at the sanctuary having retired from zoos. Over on the children’s farm, you can pet and feed the little guinea pigs and rabbits, as well as the donkeys and goats.


red panda

Image Credit: Michelle Turton


Paradise Park

A true paradise for nature lovers, Paradise Park is home to a vast assortment of tropical birds and mammals, set in stunning exotic gardens. Over 600 birds from 140 different species can be found here, from colourful parrots to powerful birds of prey. A number of bird shows will take place each day, including parrot feeding and Eagles of Paradise display, giving you the chance to get up close and interact with the fancy flyers. Also at Paradise Park is the Fun Farm, an assortment of farmyard favourites such as mini donkeys, pygmy goats and sheep. Straying into the wilder side, there are also cute red squirrels, adorable otters and cuddly red pandas to watch as they play, as well as penguins that you can watch getting fed.


Healey’s Cyder Farm

While their ciders, spirits and preserves are what they are best known for at Healey’s Cyder Farm, beyond the orchards you will discover a sweet range of friendly farm animals. With peacocks roaming freely throughout the site, the courtyard area is home to Shire horses, Shetland ponies, pygmy goats and Cornish black pigs, as well as the slightly smaller rabbits, ferrets and chickens!



Image Credit: tracey_dw


Cornish Seal Sanctuary

As a coastal county, it is only fitting that Cornwall is also home to a number of sea life rescue centres and aquariums. There is only one seal sanctuary though, and it is definitely worth a visit. Home to a number of very cute seals, as well as equally adorable sea lions, otters and penguins, these rescued marine animals are in the best of hands as the sanctuary doubles up as Cornwall’s only seal hospital. Nestled in by the Helston River, the sanctuary is both a site of special scientific interest and an area of outstanding natural beauty and also features a woodland trail, complete with a quiz for the kids!


Newquay Zoo

There are over 1000 creatures who find their home at Newquay Zoo, so there will definitely be something there that every animal lover will be excited to see. Here you’ll find animals from all areas of the world, from the African Savannah exhibit, where wildebeest, zebras and antelopes roam, to the vibrant Madagascan Walk, featuring the bright and brilliant parrots and lovebirds. Zoo favourites, including monkeys, lions and penguins, can also be found here. Newquay Zoo is an incredible day out for families, with feeding sessions, a maze and play areas to keep the kids entertained.


Animal-based activities are perfect for keeping both kids and parents entertained, making for a great family friendly holidays in Cornwall. What animal are you most excited about seeing while on holiday in Cornwall? Let us know in the comments below!



Image Credit: Airwolfhound


What’s On: The Royal Cornwall Show

June 04th, 2018

The Royal Cornwall Show celebrates all that the coastal county has to offer. Starting on Thursday June 7th until Saturday June 9th, this year marks the 225th year the show has taken place. The agricultural show not only puts a wide range of animals on display but also promotes local businesses and industries, with plenty of food, flowers, entertainment and art on offer!  Here are just some of the things you can expect to see over the three-day show.



Of course, being an agricultural fair at heart, the Royal Cornwall Show will have thousands of animals on display, of all different breeds. Vying to be awarded best in show are a number of cows, sheep, pigs, goats and dogs. Horses will also be competing, with show jumping and the Inter-Hunt relay, putting each horse and rider to the test. If you’re more interested in the smaller end of the animal kingdom, then there are also plenty of birds, bunnies and even bees to be seen at the show as well!


For fans of man’s best friend, there will be a parade of hounds each day from Cornish hunts, as well as an insightful display from the Devon & Cornwall Police dogs.




As well as all of the animal shows and stalls to visit, there will be a wide range of entertainment over the show days, from live music to fair rides. A variety of local bands and musical acts will be taking to the stage throughout the day, keeping you entertained as you explore the show. World-class stuntman, Kangaroo Kid, will be taking to the main ring to wow with his adrenaline-pumping quad bike show, while the RAF Falcons will show-off their skills in an impressive parachuting display.


For the kids, a scarecrow trail will be laid out around the showcase, with an assortment of friendly scarecrows waiting to be found. If you find them all, you could be in with a chance of winning a ticket to next year’s show! There is also a traditional Victorian-style fun fair in the grounds, with vintage carousels, swing boats, a helter-skelter and big wheel providing fun for all of the family.



With so much incredible natural beauty in Cornwall, it is of no surprise that the Royal Cornwall Show also features a delightful flower show, known as one of the best in the country. Exhibitors from around the UK will be turning up to show-off their vibrant blooms in the hopes of winning an award.


If you’re more into motors, the motor fair or steam fair may be more up your street! The motor fair sees an assortment of cars, vans and other vehicles on display, with many up for sale. Whether you’re just looking, or there to make a purchase, there are an astonishing number of makes and models on offer. Likewise, the steam fair will be exhibiting an impressive array of vintage engines; from tractors to traction engines! Learn all about the steam-powered history of the county through this interactive exhibit experience.


Cornish Pasties 


One of the busiest areas of the show is the food pavilion, set up so that local businesses can showcase their very best produce. Sample some of the counties delicious delicacies from a variety of small businesses and bigger brands. It’s bound to be so yummy you’ll even want to take home a taste of Cornwall for your family to try at home!


Craft Stalls

Across the 95 acres showground, there will be over 1000 trade stands, offering up the best local produce on offer. As well as food stands, there will be over 80 craft stalls selling handmade goods from local artists. The craft section of the show will have its own tent so you can browse the stunning artistic works away from the bustle of the rest of the show. Products from all sorts of artistic disciplines will be on offer, including jewellery, pottery, paintings, furniture, porcelain and photography.


If you are interested in attending the Royal Cornwall, it is taking place on the 7th, 8th and 9th of June, and the gates open each day at 7am for ticket holders. Looking to see what Cornwall has to offer? Come and stay with us here at The Valley for an amazing Cornwall short break!



Image Credit: Edward WebbChris Goldberg