Paignton Zoo

Totnes Road, Paignton, Devon TQ4 7EU

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Opening Times

Paignton Zoo is open every day, except Christmas Day, from 10am.

Closing times vary throughout the year: check the zoo's website for details.

Last admissions are one hour before closing time.

Admission Prices



Child (3-15)


Children under 3


Senior Citizen / Student


Family (2 + 2)


Groups rates and joint entry tickets with Living Coasts attraction in nearby Torquay also available; see zoo's website for details.


Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is an education and scientific charity set in an 80 acre natural environmental park in South Devon. It was founded by Herbert Whitley and opened in 1923, then known as Torbay Zoological Gardens.

Paignton Zoo, now a world famous zoo, is committed to conservation and is home to thousands of amazing animals and plants. You can visit the desert, cross the savannah, explore the forest and trek through the tropics. Plants have been carefully selected to mimic the natural habitats of the animals and it creates a very natural landscape. The zoo is divided into six zones, all but one focusing on animals from a particular type of habitat:

Savannah: Features animals and plants from the tropical grassland areas, such as Elephants (both African and Asian), Giraffes, Zebra, Ostrich, White Rhino, and Maned Wolves.

Forest: A naturally wooded area with animals from the world's forested areas, such as Sumatran Tigers, Asiatic Lions, Gorillas, Orang-Utans, Gibbons, Cassowaries, Pygmy Marmosets, and Owls. This area also includes the Clennon Gorge Nature Trail through a steep-sided limestone valley. An easy walk, but unsuitable for wheelchairs.

Wetland: The wetland habitats of the world, where water meets land, are represented by two separate areas. The Brook Side Aviary is a large walk-through aviary features both wetland and forest habitats and a wide variety of birds from all over the world. Some, however, are taken indoors during the winter. The zoo's other wetland area is the lakes in the middle of the zoo, which surround several islands that are home to gibbons. The lakes themselves are home to pelicans, cranes, storks, and a variety of ducks, geese and swans.

Tropical Forest: The world's tropical rainforests are represented by the zoo's Reptile Tropics house, which features a variety of reptiles and amphibians, together with some insects, fish, and free-flying birds.

Desert: The Desert House is a giant glasshouse covering three types of desert habitat: rocky ravine, dry plain, and oasis. It is home to a large number of free-flying birds, together with several reptiles such as the Gila Monster and Beaded Lizards. The zoo's Bactrian Camels are house in their own large outdoor enclosure.

Primley: This is the oldest part of the zoo, and features animals from different habitats, including Red Pandas, Ground Hornbills, Cranes, Porcupines, Woodchucks, Prairie Marmots, Baboons, Monkeys, Parrots and Kangaroos.

Official Website

(Opens in separate window)


Car Park



Island Restaurant overlooking the Gibbon Islands, Coffee Shop, various fast food takeaway and snack kiosks, The Oasis Bar, several picnic areas

For Kids

Indoor play area (Jungle Fun), several outdoor play areas

Special Needs

The Zoo is accessible for wheelchair users although some of the Zoo is quite steep - it is advisable to ask for a map of the best routes upon arrival.

Disabled toilets.

Manual and electric wheelchairs and electric scooters are available for hire at the Zoo (please book in advance to avoid disappointment - 01803 697500)

Assistance dogs are allowed into the Zoo but they must wear their identifying jacket and you must have their ID card with you.

For the benefit of hearing aid users, an Induction Loop is provided at till 4 - please switch your hearing aid to `T'.

If you have any special dietary needs, the Zoo would be pleased to try and meet them - please phone 01803 697500 prior to your visit.

For the blind or visually impaired, special tours are available - please pre-book on 01803 697500.


No dogs (except guide dogs) or other pets


Animal Collections

Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fish, Invertebrates

Note: The animal pictures on this page are merely representative of this type of attraction; they do not mean that the animals can be found at this specific attraction.

Star Animals

African Elephants, Asiatic Lion, Hamadryas Baboons, Maned Wolf, Nine Banded Armdillo, Sumatran Tiger, Ostrich, Western Lowland Gorilla, Hornbill Rhinoceros, Two-toed Sloth and many, many more.

Special Attractions

Crocodile Swamp, with 2 Nile, 3 Cuban (the only ones in the country) and 1 Saltwater Crocodiles and 4 large snake species. The Crocodile pools are the largest in the UK with underwater viewing.

The Ape Centre, Reptile Tropics and the Desert House, Elephant and giraffe viewing gallery, Parrots flights, The Ranch (to get up and personal with animals such as gots, sheep, rabbits etc.), Lemur Wood walkthrough exhibit

Other Attractions

Lakes, Miniature railway, Functions, Birthday Parties, First Aid, Gift Shops, keeper for a day, adopt an animal.

How To Get There:

By Car

Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is located in Paignton, Devon. It is situated on the A3022 Totnes Road, 1 mile from Paignton town centre. Once in Paignton simply follow the brown tourist signs, marked with an elephant and Zoological Gardens.

From Exeter:

Take the A379, then A38 south, towards Newton Abbot and Plymouth. Shortly after the Kennford service area, bear left onto the A380 towards Newton Abbot, Torquay and Paignton. Continue on the A380 past Newton Abbot and Torquay, and though the western edge of Paignton. At traffic lights, turn left onto A3022 Totnes Road, towards the town centre. After about 0.2 miles, follow the signs to the zoo and turn right at traffic lights, and immediately bear left onto Claymans Drive and the entrance to the zoo.

From Plymouth:

Follow the A38 east towards Exeter. Shortly after passing South Brent, turn right onto the A385 towards Totnes and Paignton. Continue on the A385 through Totnes to the outskirts of Paignton. At traffic lights, continue forward onto the A3022 Totnes Road towards the town centre. After about 0.2 miles, follow the signs to the zoo and turn right at traffic lights, and immediately bear left onto Claymans Drive and the entrance to the zoo.

From Torquay:

Follow the A3022 south into and through Paignton town centre, towards Totnes. About 1 mile form Paignton town centre, look out for the signs to the zoo, and turn left at traffic lights, then immediately bear left onto Claymans Drive and the entrance to the zoo.

From Kingswear:

Follow the A379 north towards Paignton, and into Churston Ferrers. Turn left onto A3022 towards Paignton and Torquay. After about 1 mile, where the A379 branches right towards Paignton town centre, continue left on the A3022 around Paignton towards Torquay. After about 2 miles, follow the A3022 right at traffic lights onto Totnes Road and towards the town centre. After about 0.2 miles, follow the signs to the zoo and turn right at traffic lights, and immediately bear left onto Claymans Drive and the entrance to the zoo.

By Bike:

The Zoo has a free secure bike rack outside the main entrance.

By Public Transport

By Train:

The nearest train stations are Paignton and Torquay. Onward travel to the Zoo will be by bus.

By Bus:

Stagecoach and First Western National run bus services direct to the Zoo. Visitors travelling by bus are entitled to a 10% discount on the entry price on production of a valid bus ticket (not valid with any other discounted offer).

Stagecoach services: From Torquay and Plymouth.

First Western National services: Route 66 run from Brixham - Torquay via the zoo.

Data on this page last updated: Apr 13 2014

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