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

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