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“Under new management, so needs a bit of tlc, but great day out”

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 October 31, 2012

Signs up saying under new management since Feb 12. The light show was closed down. The dinosaurs needed a lick of paint and the train ride broke down while we were there :( But the animals were great. The wolves were amazing, the gibbons always a hit. The sea lion show is amazing as always. Very funny and laugh out loud. Racoons lovely. The feed the lemurs wasn't available either, so that was a bit disappointing too. It's a killer walking back up the hill to the car park, so if you have kids or buggies - definitely use the pick up point by the shop exit. Brill day out and will be even better when theyve made these few updates.

Thank SuzanneD25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,142 - 1,146 of 1,287 reviews

Reviewed October 31, 2012

We went here in September and thought it was worth a try. My Sons are really into dinosaurs so I thought it would be great. First off the car park is ok, but the walk down to the park was soooo steep ( we had a pushchair and thought it might run away from us!) That said it is on a cliff but it took us by surprise. The sea loin show was brilliant and the girl who did the show was really good and this was the first thing we went to see so we were filled with high hopes. Unfortunately the rest of the site was so small and the dinosaurs part was really disappointing. It is very clean and tidy and I know the new owners are trying to improve it. I think they are trying to do so many things with it, with the tomb (that was very pretty) but what did that have to do with anything in the park?? Then there was a dinosaur museum.... it was a room with teeth in it and then a display that looked like it was made on blue peter with plastic dinosaurs placed on it. (me and hubby had a real laugh at this!) It cost us about £45 and we were out in 2 hours and an hour of that was eating our picnic. Such a shame, looked good, but no, keep your money in your pocket!!

1  Thank Vicki O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2012

Our kids love this place and we're glad that it seems to be having money spent on it to upgrade it.
You'll enter down a steep path from the car parks (although parking for people with disabilities is available) and, if you time it right (on the hour) you'll hear the dinosaurs roaring through the trees.
The main square has the animated dinosaurs which are a little worn but still generate squeals of delight from younger viewers - especially if they stand right at the front where the wet patch on the ground is. The rest of the dinosaurs down the hill are a little hidden but well worth seeking out.
The main point of the park is not the dinosuars, but the wildlife and it's well worth timing your day around the special talks listed on the map provided. Staff are informative and very friendly and the displays are enjoyable. I felt uneasy about the lion enclosure... it seemed very small...but was happy to see a lot of building and development of other enclosures taking place.
The park is set on the edge of a valley so has steep paths in places - if you aren't able to cope with that, it's not for you, but the valley is beautiful and the walk from the meercats to the sealions is stunning. Plan to have your picnic by the chinese bridge here - really pretty and nicely shaded if it's sunny.
The train ride was £1 each and made our kids laugh lots - well worth it.
They loved the animals and spent hours walking around - the entrance price seems steep but it does entertain you all day.
Finally, I'd recommend learner drivers practice hill starts before coming, or get someone else to drive. The car parks are steep!

Thank Eddie H
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 November 2, 2012

Thank you so much for your rating and I am really pleased that you all enjoyed your day so much with us. I do not quite understand your concerns about the lion enclosure as it actually covers an area of 3 acres, and our two Lions also receive lots of daily enrichment as well. I am wondering whether they were in their smaller enclosure when you saw them maybe not realizing that they also have constant access to the large enclosure to the left of it as well. Thank you for mentioning your concerns on this website giving me the opportunity to address them and also for taking the time to write your full review.

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Reviewed October 27, 2012

The grandchildren loved this place real animals and lots to do lovely cafe, but best of all were the fantastic dinosaurs that spit water.

Thank JeanTaylor79
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 November 2, 2012

Thank you so much for taking the time to write your review and we are really pleased that your grandchildren enjoyed their day with us so much.

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Reviewed October 16, 2012

I first came across the park in 2004, I was on holiday in south Devon and looking for days out, however it was too far to travel back then. I am so glad I waited until now to visit. We were on holiday in Bude, Cornwall, so the journey wasn't too long. We booked the sea lion meet and greet and the fly a bird of prey, sadly this was cancelled due to a problem with the experienced bird. The staff let us know the day before arrival, which we appreciated. On the day we were offered a refund or an exchange for a lion feed, we chose to exchange, and so glad we did!

The staff were all excellent, continually greeted with a 'hello' and a smile. I was impressed how they would tell you the next thing coming up so you didn't miss out, such a personal service. All the staff were committed and obviously enjoyed their jobs and loved the animals dearly.

The animals are all in excellent condition, and very content, they loved humans! Whenever we approached an enclosure the animals came over to greet us! My husband was especially happy when the wolves came straight over, in other zoos we have never seen a wolf, they have always been hiding!

The lions were in amazing condition, and very content and playful, such a joy to see. Feeding them was amazing, getting that close and hearing the roars and getting eye contact was very special.

Pidwidgeon. What a gorgeous little owl! I was honored to get to hold him and get a photo. He is so cute.

Morgan the sea lion was amazing. Getting many kisses and doing tricks was very special, getting to spend time with such an intelligent and gentle giant was a joy. He obviously loved doing the tricks and loved the stimulation.

Shane the photographer was excellent, so friendly and we bought the disc of all images, a bargain at £25, the photos are immense, and Shane is obviously a brilliant photographer.

We loved the meercat experience, so unique.

As the rain was so heavy we skipped the train ride as the seats looked wet, but it gives us a great incentive to come back!

The food was good, and the hot meal warmed us up in the cold rain!

We are looking forward to the park improvements. Even more animals, shows and unique experiences would be great. Another toilet would be useful too, maybe it's already on your to do list for future improvements.

We can't wait to visit again!

Ignore the poor reviews, I read them all before I came, and came with an open mind. This park deserves 5 stars, the staff work their socks off, and it's excellent value for money. £25 for the sea lion meet and greet was the best £25 I have ever spent! Most parks would charge a lot more.

This park deserves lots more visitors, I can't believe more people weren't there (we attended on a Monday in October). It was lovely having the park quiet, but it saddens me to think so many people are missing out on experiencing some memories that will last a life time.

You MUST visit, you will regret it if you don't!

Gemma

Thank GemmaW719
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 October 26, 2012

Thank you so very much for such a lovely review Gemma. I am really pleased that you enjoyed your day so much with us. Yes we would love more visitors, it would help us invest even more on improvements around the park, and additional toilets are definitely on our 'to do' list. However the animals come first so enclosures are the priority at the moment. We are also in the process of upgrading the old light show into our exciting new 'Bug World' which we hope our visitors will find interesting. Thank you for your support and recommendation to others to visit us and we look forward to seeing you again sometime in the future.

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