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“Great Day Out.”

Dartmoor Zoological Park
Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Sparkwell
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Small friendly wildlife park/zoo on edge of Dartmoor featured on BBC TV series and the home of Hollywood movie, We Bought A Zoo starring Matt Damon.
Reviewed June 9, 2013 via mobile

Staff were brilliant. Great experience. Shame we didn't get to meet Ben.
Colin, the Curator of Animals, was on hand to answer any questions we had.
I love the capybaras.

1  Thank Jez1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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891 - 895 of 1,102 reviews

Reviewed June 9, 2013

This is a wonderful zoo, it has a lovely natural feel and yes there are lots of weeds, wild flowers and plants both in and out of the enclosures, for us that was part of the charm. All the animals looked really well cared for and we thought there was an impressive range of animals given the admission price, which we thought pretty reasonable.

This zoo has been made famous by the book (and film), if you read it you will understand how hard the team have worked to get where they are and that they don't have spare cash for all the niceties, they know they still have work to do, so if the odd sign post is missing or it isn't all neat and tidy that's because the money is being spent on caring for the animals, improving their enclosures etc.

We didn't go to the restaurant but thought the ice creams were well priced for this sort of place. We visited with friends who live locally knowing nothing about it and just loved our time here, there were several feeding times/displays (we saw both the otters and the lions) with educational talks and a great birds of prey display.

When we went to the "petting zoo" we enjoyed the company of the goats who welcomed a scratch of the heads. The meerkats outside the cafe were fascinating to sit and watch. We even got to see the tapir taking a swim and diving down blowing bubbles - fantastic! Ignore the negative comments, give the team your support and visit this lovely zoo.

1  Thank MrsP-Somerset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

Went 10years ago and went with my family today not a lot has changed and is definately not worth the money . Poor maintenance dirty and wheres the zebra ??? No hand gel for the kids and resturant like a bad school canteen awful !!! Feel very sad that the animals seem really unhappy and bored ,the bear is pacing and the cheetah looks thin and ill .loved the film but some serious issues here that need to be addressed and soon !!

2  Thank suziewong868
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

This is a very natural, unspoiled park for lots of different animals,it really is refreshing to see animals in relaxed natural surroundings where they are obviously happy. still lots of scope to grow over the next few years. Do pay a visit to see the fabulous work being done.
Great location for a wedding which was the reason for our visit, we will definitely return in the future to see how it develops.

1  Thank Trevor K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2013

We took 2 coach loads of Brownies to the zoo today and we had a great time.
Yes the zoo is on a hill but it is Dartmoor! The paths and enclosures are natural with beautiful wild flowers growing in them, I might have been tempted to take a strimmer to some but if it is wild flowers or manicured lawn at this time of year the flowers need to win.
The enclosures where interesting and the animals seemed to be happy. You had to make an effort to see some animals and the jaguar eluded us but this gave the girls a sense of excitement.
The play area is nice and the girls enjoyed it. The picnic areas were also nice and clean with plenty of tables and shady areas.
We did have to wait a long time for our ice cream but at our suggestion the young man at the kiosk called for some help which did speed things up a great deal.
Also the loos need to be thought about because there are not enough and they are not cleaned often enough during the day.
On the whole a great day but take a picnic.
I have to agree it is not as commercial and slick as other zoos I have visited and you dont feel like they are trying to get you to put your hand in your pocket at every turn.

1  Thank Eve W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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