Zoos across the nation have now been allowed to reopen safely so you can head to out to see all kinds of exotic creatures with the kids.
We’ve been stuck at home for months so a trip to one of these farms or zoos is just what you and the family minght need. A bunch of them have reopened across Yorkshire, reopening with covid measures in place. We’ve rounded up 10 of the closest to Hull & East Yorkshire that are no more than an hours drive away. Starting with the closest to Hull, here goes…
East Park Animal Education Centre
Located in East Park, Holderness Road | Website
This looks to be the only “zoo” in the Hull boundary, but it’s pretty decent and completely free too! It has a wide range of different domestic, farm and exotic animals. Starting off with all kinds of insects and reptiles, and exploring a whole range of different birds. There are farm animals like goats, alpacas, peacocks and even wallabies. Before the pandemic, there used to be a range of events to engage and educate people of all ages about animals and wider nature topics, but this is currently on hold.
For more info you can check out the website here. And due to covid restrictions, the indoor Avery is closed and you must pre-book before you go (select Golf, Parks, Fishing, Pitches & AEC from the menu).
East Hull Community Farm
Now this is a real hidden gem! This farm is based in East Hull, located on 7 acres of land, right in the middle of the Bilton Grange housing estate on Barham Road (next to Andrew Marvell College). It’s got a nice range of farm animals that the kids will love; especially the lambs, rabbits and guinea pigs. There are also cows, horses, sheep, donkeys and chickens.
This one is also free but hasn’t reopened just yet. In the meantime, you can enjoy the all videos that they regularly post on their Facebook page.
Honeysuckle Farm has been around a good few years now, first opening in 1992! It’s privately owned and run by a family and is currently open every Saturday and Sunday in April and May plus the two bank holidays on 3rd and 31st May. They expect to be open every day from June.
Along with seeing all the farm animals, there will be horse and cart rides available later in the year when restrictions are eased up. There’s a kids play area with slides and also a straw bales in the barn for the kids to climb over. Adults are £5.50 with Concessions at £5. No pre-booking is needed.
Sledmere House in Driffield is home to a ‘Rare Breed Conservation Farm Park and Approved Shire Horse Centre’. Expect the usual farm animals there but this title means it’s an officially approved Rare Breed Survival Trust Conservation Farm Park. They’re dedicated to the preservation of beautiful rare breeds and are helping to add to their numbers with a comprehensive breeding program. It is also recognised as one of only eight Shire Horse Society Visitor Centres in the country.
And not only does Sledmere House have the farm, there are some really nice gardens for the kids to run around in, and also an adventure play park. It’s not essential to pre-book but Sledmere House strongly advise you do to help them control numbers during the pandemic. It’s £10 for adults, £5.20 for kids if you book online.
Sewerby Hall, Gardens & Zoo
Like Sledmere House, Sewerby Hall is a large country estate which also features a zoo which has recently reopened. There are a huge range of animals there, domestic and wild animals from various countries such as pygmy goats from Africa and llamas from South America. You can watch the Capuchin monkeys playing around their home and there are some interesting birds to see including a chatty Eclectus Parrot, pheasants and a colony of Humboldt Penguins.
Sewerby Hall also has some beautiful gardens and large open fields to explore. The house itself isn’t open until 17th May. Prices are very reasonable at £5 for adults and children £3.50 (under 2s free). Annual passes are available too if you fancy several trips throughout the year.
Bridlington Animal Park
Bridlington Animal Park is quite possibly the largest zoo in our region, with a huge range of animals across 21 acres of land. This includes wallabies, meerkats, zebras, camels, armadillos, lemurs and so many more that you won’t find at other farms and zoos in East Yorkshire (full list here). There are no additional attractions there but you can buy exclusive animal experiences with owls and meerkats. Entry is pretty reasonable at £6.95 per adult, £6.50 for seniors and £5.95 for kids.
Elsham Hall, Gardens and Country Park
Elsham Hall, Gardens and Country Park has a selection of small domestic and farm animals which live in the park and garden areas; rabbits, pheasants, ducks, geese and occasionally swans. They have a giant carp which can be fed from the feeding jetty which is very popular and from the bird hide, you’ll see many native british birds.
They’re currently opening every Friday – Sunday and during the school holidays. Entry is very reasonable at £5.75 adults, £4.75 children.
Flamingo Land Zoo
Yes, as well as a brilliant theme park, Flamingo Land also has an outstanding zoo and conservation park with Lions, Zebras, Wallabies, Lemurs, Kangaroos, Tigers, Warthogs and even Porcupines. There are also farm animals and a variety of birds. It’s definitely the most extensive zoo on this list, but is one of the furthest away as it’s located in Malton, North Yorkshire (about an hour’s drive).
It’s also the most expensive at £20 – £30 a ticket. However, that does include access to the theme park for the day too so it’s a proper, full-on, family day out.
Murton Park, at only 50 mins drive away is a pretty decent family day out with the kids. It’s got the usual farm animals, but there’s an education museum about the history of farming, and they often put on shows entertaining history shows for the kids. There’s sizeable playground, picnic tables, toy tractors and even an heritage railway that runs every Sunday and bank holiday weekends. Adults are £11 and concessions are £9.
Filey Bird Garden & Animal Park
Further north than Bridlington, Filey has this great garden and extensive animal park / zoo. It’s not as large as Bridlington’s Animal Park, but they still have a great range of animals to see including racoons, meerkats and even corn snakes. Admission is reasonable at £7 adults, £6 kids.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Yorkshire Wildlife Park is a fantastic place to experience a walk through the wild. They have 400 animals and 70 different species (many of which are endangered or threatened) so there will be lots to see, from the giraffes and baboons to the lions and leopards. There are also play parks on site as well as places to eat and drink, such as the Safari Café, so you can make as many stops as you need through your tour of the park. It’s a full day out.
You must pre-book your visit, which can be done on their website here.
The Jungle Zoo, Cleethorpes
The Jungle Zoo in Cleethorpes is one of the newest interactive zoo attractions in the UK. They have got lots of different animals, from frogs and parakeets and macaws to scorpions and snakes, and tortoises, turtles, capuchins and a sugar glider. More than that, this zoo places a lot of emphasis on the educational benefits of animals and how kids especially should learn and discover the natural world around them and how to take care of wildlife.
Tickets are really good value at just £4.80 adults, £4 kids. You can’t book online, so you just turn up and pay at the gate.