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“Kids loved it!”

Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park
Ranked #5 of 40 things to do in Ilfracombe
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A wildlife park that demonstrates how life was for the dinosaurs.
Reviewed August 1, 2012

We visited on a wet day in June with our five and two year olds & a pushchair. Despite the rain we stayed for hours and got round the whole park. It's true we were all tired by the end, but there was a very helpful shuttle service which took us back to our car.

We found the whole place really engaging. I've read some of the poorer reviews on this site and can only think that these visitors expected Disney like experiences from their trip. If you look at the park through the eyes of your children you'll see how enjoyable it is: the sealion show made our kids laugh out loud as they stood transfixed in the pouring rain! The lion roared at our daughter and she still talks about how it wanted to eat her. The Earthquake experience tricked us into thinking we were in for a soaking and the animated dinosaurs delighted them both with just the right amount of noise to be a little bit scary for a two year old, but made him keep wanting to go back and see it again.

It's true some bits could be updated (the light show for instance) but these were all free and we weren't expecting them when we came, so they were just a little bonus thrown in. We found staff helpful, food reasonably priced and enough to do to fill up the whole day.

Perhaps the entrance fee is a bit steep, but it's in line with prices of other attractions in Devon (many of which are a bit over the top). Having said that you can often find vouchers for free kids entry in fliers and there is enough there for a whole day's worth of fun. I'm sure we'll be back, we have a little boy with a score to settle with the 'squirty dinosaur'!

Thank PaulEmmaRosieJamie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dawn G, Owner at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2012

Thank you so much for your support and for writing such a lovely review. It is a shame that we cannot please everybody all of the time but I am pleased that the majority of our customers have a fantastic time. Sometimes bad weather affects peoples enjoyment yet if our visitors participate in all the shows, talks and animal encounters the park has to offer they do have a much better time. As new owners we are aware there are a few things that need updating and we will be doing it as soon as it is feasably possible. I will tell our 'spitting' Dilophosaurus to keep a look out for your little boy!

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1,218 - 1,222 of 1,289 reviews

Reviewed July 29, 2012

A lovely wildlife park, in gorgeous surroundings. Plenty of animals and experiences to keep even the oldest children occupied.

Thank hannjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dawn G, Owner at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, responded to this reviewResponded July 31, 2012

Thank you so much for your review and I am so glad you all enjoyed your day. You obviously got involved in all the experiences the park has to offer which always increases our visitors enjoyment. I am also pleased you enjoyed the gorgeous surroundings. I know being situated around a valley makes it hard work for visitors with disabilities and pushchairs but if the park was flat you would not have the beautiful tropical trees and plants, the lovely streams and waterfalls and all the indigenous wildlife living here. Thank you for appreciating it.

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Reviewed July 29, 2012

I'm sorry to say that we found the park disappointing. For the cost of entry there wasn't a great deal to see and it's looking rather tired.
I understand that the park is under new ownership and the are signs everywhere saying they will update/upgrade things but the admission charge does not reflect this.
I don't feel the dinosaur element warrants the equal billing on the name of the park.
Prices were pretty high for simple things like a coffee and cake too.
A comparison in terms of price is The Cotswold Wildlife Park near Burford...it's far superior though.

Thank JoBaish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dawn G, Owner at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, responded to this reviewResponded July 31, 2012

I am sorry that you were disappointed, did you participate fully in all the park has to offer? We do find that if visitors follow all the activities on the back of their map they do find that they get value for money as they can experience close encounters with animals that they would not be able to get in bigger zoos such as the Meerkat and Lemur encounters and the handling sessions. I understand your comparison in entrance price between us and The Cotswold Wildlife Park which is far bigger. Fortunately for them they are located in Oxfordshire so their visitor numbers are so much higher and they can therefore afford keep their entrance prices at the same level as ours. However you may be aware that they also charge £50 for their animal encounters for each person whereas the majority of ours are free. Attractions based in holiday destinations are mainly reliant on visitors during school holidays. Our admission charges are in fact lower than all the other themed tourist attractions in this area and we have tried to keep all our prices as low as possible. I am surprised you thought £3.00 for a coffee and home made cake (or 70p more if you had the fresh bean coffee latte from the Deli) was expensive. We are very conscious of providing value for money particularly in these cash strapped times. With reference to the Dinosaurs did you see all those situated in the Domain in the middle of the park as well? There are currently 23 static Dinosaurs of various sizes there in addition to the animatronic Dinosaurs at the top of the park. There is also the Dinosaur Museum and the Parks own Dinosaur film which is continually showing in the small cinema. We have also employed a full time Dinosaur Technician who is currently unearthing even more Dinosaurs in the Domain at the moment. As new owners we are also planning to embark on more of a prehistoric theme across the whole park. Thank you for your review and your balanced rating of three stars and for giving me the opportunity of addressing your issues.

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Reviewed July 22, 2012

I went with my family a few summers ago. We were swayed by the mention of dinosaurs and were just intrigued. I had a lovely lemur feed encounter which didn't cost any extra the park is well kept and quite big the sea lion talk was brilliant and the train ride has quite the unexpected finale!! The moving dinosaurs were brilliant my brother got a scare (told him he shouldn't have had his ace buried in his phone) most of the animals were out and about which is always good. The falconry was brilliant and the little musuem. The only disappointment was the light show I just didn't get what it had to do with aliens (not much of a back story I guess) but pretty none the less :)

1  Thank Debbie435
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dawn G, Owner at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, responded to this reviewResponded July 28, 2012

I don't get the relevance of the lightshow either, it's a bit like marmite, you either love it or hate it! As new owners of this park we are planning to theme the additional park attractions to fit in more with the Wildlife and Dinosaurs.The lightshow will probably be turned into an indoor animal handling arena and education center. I am so pleased that you enjoyed your visit to the park and love our animatronic Dinosaurs. They are great aren't they! We have employed a full time Dinosaur Technician who is currently unearthing even more Dinosaurs in the Domain and we plan to have the best Dinosaur Park in the country! We look forward to your return visit when you are next in this area.

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Reviewed July 20, 2012

lots to do and see even in very wet conditions check out the owls and meercats

Thank srforryan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dawn G, Owner at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, responded to this reviewResponded July 26, 2012

Thank you so much for your short but great review. I am so pleased you enjoyed your day even though it was a very wet day. I always worry adverse weather conditions spoil our visitors experience. It is great to hear you still enjoyed your visit.

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