Northumberland Country Zoo Review

Northumberland Country Zoo (formally known as Eshottheugh Animal Park) is just off A1 before Felton, a few miles North of Morpeth and 10 miles South of Alnwick. It's open all year round and admission is super reasonable. We decided to visit on a cold January day in 2018 where it was hail stoning one minute and sunshine the next. Got to love the Great British Weather. Despite the changeable weather, we really enjoyed ourselves and would recommend as a day out to be enjoyed by all ages. We spent around 2 hours there on a miserable day but you could easily spend half a day there in the warmer months (or even longer).

Northumberland Country Zoo Reviews

First of all, Northumberland Country Zoo can technically call itself a zoo but don't expect something like Edinburgh or Blackpool - it's much more like a farm park with a few exotic species, kind of similar to Kirkley Hall Zoo. That's fine though as it's reflected in the price I think and there are plans to continue expanding over the next few years too.

Northumberland Country Zoo Review

Indoor Enclosures

There are a couple of indoor enclosures near the zoo entrance which are perfect if the weather isn't on your side. Expect to meet a fancy rat, geckos, turtles and tortoises and there are even some super cute marmosets too. The star of the show for us though had to be the armadillos which were very active and coming right up to the glass to give us a sniff before running around looking for food. They were so comical to watch!

Northumberland Country Zoo Review

As we visited in winter time a few of the farm animals had been moved indoors too and we met the most beautiful horses, ponies, cows, donkeys and pigs as we made our way around the site. 

Northumberland Country Zoo Review

Outdoor Enclosures

Most of the zoo is outside. We visited on a day after heavy rain but the ground wasn't actually too muddy - trainers were fine. The enclosures were well spaced out and mostly on flat ground - there is a little bit of a hill down to see the eagle owls but nothing too strenuous. The walk around the site is fine for toddlers I would say.

Northumberland County Zoo Reviews - fox

Despite it being winter time, all of the animals were out and about and I am so chuffed I managed to take a snap of Mr Fox who had been rescued from the side of a road. There are Lemurs, Porcupines, Cabybara, Meerkats, Deer, Llamas, Racoons and a variety of farm animals, birds and reptiles too. We loved meeting the turkey and read on the information sign that turkeys try to 'out gobble' each other to be the loudest. This resulted in the kids pretending to be a turkey and the real turkey trying to outdo them which led to lots of giggles.

Northumberland County Zoo Reviews

Northumberland County Zoo Reviews - fox - Northumberland County Zoo

Northumberland County Zoo Reviews -  - Birds of Prey

Northumberland County Zoo Reviews -  lemurs

There are information signs next to each enclosure with fun facts, habitat and diet. Harry in particular enjoyed reading these and sharing his knowledge with the rest of us.

Northumberland County Zoo Reviews -  - farm animals

Animal Talks, Feeding and Walkabouts

As you enter the zoo there is a sign featuring various animal talks throughout the day. There were four talks on the day of our visit and we headed over to the Meerkat feeding and talk at 12noon which was interesting. They share an enclosure with a porcupine whose favourite food is raw onion!

Northumberland County Zoo Reviews -  keeper talks

Northumberland County Zoo Reviews - wallaby walkabout

One aspect of our day we really enjoyed was the Wallaby Walkabout. You can actually walk right through the enclosure and are able to get up close to the Wallabies. We may be mistaken but we're sure we saw some babies moving around in their mother's pouch which was exciting.

Northumberland County Zoo Reviews - wallabies

At other farms/zoos in our region you tend to buy a bag of food at reception. At Northumberland Country Zoo there are a couple of dispensers that took  20p pieces and dispensed a handful of food. There are signs around the enclosures advising which animals to feed and we loved feeding the donkeys and horses the best. I was given a tip to take a container or bag to catch the food in for little hands but we found it to be ok if I'm honest - might be an idea for little ones though. They offered us change in the form of 20ps when we paid our admission but if you can, I'd advise collecting 20p pieces before your visit just incase.

Northumberland County Zoo Reviews - feeding sheep

Cafe, Gift Shop and Play Area

As far as I'm aware, you can visit the cafe, gift shop and outdoor play area without paying zoo admission. The play area will be fab in warmer weather and there's plenty of outdoor seating too. I had read some rather negative reviews about the cafe online and the children's meals in particular seem to have been criticised for their small portions so we gave food a miss this time. We did stay for hot chocolates which were reasonable at £1.95 each. Service was very friendly and the lady serving brought us a jug of cold milk to help cool the kids' drinks down which was nice.

Northumberland County Zoo Reviews - gorilla in cafe

Northumberland County Zoo Reviews - hot chocolate in cafe

Northumberland County Zoo Reviews - outdoor play area

Northumberland County Zoo Reviews - gift shop

Northumberland County Zoo Reviews - fridge magnet

Northumberland County Zoo Reviews - bear at entrance

We spent a lovely few hours at Northumberland Country Zoo and I think it's fair to say we'll be back in the warmer months to check out new developments and make a day of it with a picnic. I'd definitely recommend you do the same.

Disclosure: We paid for our own entry to Northumberland Country Zoo

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Northumberland Country Zoo Reviews



  1. I love smaller zoos like this, I actually prefer them to the big ones. Never knew this place existed, definitely looks like one for our list!

    1. Definitely worth a trip - you'll have to make a plan to visit The Running Fox and here x

  2. I had never even heard of this place before, I think I will have to visit with my little two sometime x

  3. Looks great-can't believe I hadn't heard of it before. My friend is just down in longhorsley so would be a good meet up spot with the kids!

  4. I really like the look of this Zoo. It looks really family friendly. Sometimes bigger Zoos give me anxiety but I think this would be worth a visit. (Wonder if Fenton would like to go lol) Katie x

  5. this looks like a lovely place and the perfect place to go with a toddler, will try and take my niece up this summer x

  6. a wonderful day out for all ages well cared for animals watching the owls flying was just wonderful well done to all thr staff


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