Northumberland Country Zoo Review (with a pushchair)

This post is by Bethanie from Northumberland Family Diaries and based on a visit in Summer 2021. As always, please check with venue direct for the most up-to-date info especially regarding booking, opening hours and prices. Over to Bethanie....... 

Northumberland Country Zoo Review (with a pushchair) - snow leopard
Credit : Northumberland Country Zoo

We first visited Northumberland Country Zoo around six years ago when our oldest was just two years old. We liked it. It was small, the entry was cheap and they handed you bags of popcorn to feed the traditional farm animals that always seemed pleased to see you. 

Northumberland Country Zoo Review (with a pushchair) - location map

Fast forward to 2021 and Northumberland Country Zoo has grown to a size that could rival other farm attractions across the North East. In fact, it has now become one of our favourites as a family. 

From the majestic snow leopards to the play area cleverly built from wooden beams, there is something for all the family and you could easily spend the whole day here. And the plans haven’t stopped for developing this family attraction either.

Coming in Winter 2021 is a new soft play area inside the café and a parrot exhibition.

Planning your visit to Northumberland Country Zoo

Located nine miles north of Morpeth, just off the A1 use the postcode NE65 9QH and look out for the yellow van parked at the side of the road. 

Northumberland Country Zoo Review (with a pushchair) - zoo map

At the time of writing this post, you still need to pre-book your tickets online and from experience it becomes booked up quickly during school holidays, so make sure you book in advance where possible.

The entry cost has risen over the years to accommodate the expansion of the site, but I think it is still worth every penny and remains competitive with other local attractions.

Northumberland Country Zoo Review (with a pushchair) - meerkat keeper talk

Arrive early to make the most of your day. The Keeper talks take place daily and seem to start at around 11am and you will need to drag the kids past the diggers and go karts before then. Timings can change depending on the day but below is an example of what to expect: 

Northumberland Country Zoo Review (with a pushchair) - keeper talk timings

A note about those while we are at it: these are only operational after inserting a pound coin so make sure you bring some change with you. My older two loved digging up the little stones but I only had enough cash on me for one turn each. 

Entry is through the gift shop which is open and airy; from here you walk back outside and find the café which offers hot and cold food as well as takeaway drinks, with plenty of seating inside and out.

Credit : Northumberland Country Zoo 

Credit : Northumberland Country Zoo

There are toilets here too with a small green area for picnics. If you aren’t ready for food just yet, you will find other picnic areas dotted around the Zoo, including at the play area. 

Opening times vary depending on the time of year you are visiting:

March to October 31st – 9.30am to 5pm with last entry being at 3.30pm.

October 31st to March 27th – 9.30am to 4pm with last entry being at 2.30pm.

Price of entry:

Adult - £12.50

Child (16 and under) - £10.75

Under 2’s – FREE

Carer for a paying disabled guest - FREE

There are a range of family tickets available as well as annual passes and discount for group bookings. 

The Animals

The thing I love most about visiting the Zoo here, is that the enclosures have been cleverly thought out to allow best viewing opportunities of the animals. There is nothing worse than visiting a zoo and all the animals seem to be sleeping or hibernating and all you see is a glimpse of a tail, is there?

With both indoor and outdoor viewing platforms, the enclosures are large and provide plenty of space for the animals. 

So what can you expect to see?

Credit : Northumberland Country Zoo

The snow leopards are obviously a main attraction, they are beautiful and the kids will be amazed by their giant paws and tails. Another big cat found here is the lynx. Every time we have been, the lynx has come down to the window where we have been standing and you get a real up close look at these big cats. 

Northumberland Country Zoo Review (with a pushchair) - lemurs

Owls, racoons, donkeys, otters, armadillos and arctic foxes are just an example of the animals at Northumberland Country Zoo, I like that they are different animals to what you would normally expect to find. As well as this, you have your standard farm animals: pigs, sheep etc. 

Northumberland Country Zoo Review (with a pushchair) - tractor

Make sure to visit the indoor “hot house” to see the parrots and a wonderfully colourful chameleon and there is also a tractor museum if old engines are your kind of thing. 

The paths are pushchair friendly, it is just asked you leave the pushchair outside of the Lemur Walk, which is just a short walk anyway. 

Keep an eye on the Facebook page for the Zoo for special events they may be holding throughout the year, in the past we have enjoyed taking part in a pumpkin hunt during the October half term. 

Have you visited the Northumberland Country Zoo recently? I would fully recommend a visit if you haven’t, for a great day out for all the family, plus your little ones will love the play area and soft play which is opening Winter 2021. 

Find out more and book:

Thanks Bethanie! 

About the author: 

Bethanie lives in Northumberland with her husband and their three children. As a family they enjoy travelling, walking in the Lake District, discovering great days out across Northumberland and having family games nights. 

Bethanie is a freelance writer, Early Years educator and author and blogs at Northumberland Family Diaries. You can follow her on social media at Northumberland Family Diaries or visit her website  

Northumberland Country Zoo is just off the A1 near Felton and not to be confused with Northumberland College Zoo which is at Kirkley Hall (also a good value day out - read our review here). 

Northumberland Country Zoo FAQs 

Q - What is the postcode & is there parking? 
A - Postcode NE65 9QH. There is a large free car park. 

Q - Are dogs allowed? 
A - Assistance dogs only 

Q - What age do you recommend the zoo for? 
A - All ages from babies to grandparents 

Q - Is Northumberland Country Zoo suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs? 
A - Yes, most of the pathways are surfaced and wide. At the entrance to the zoo, there are loose stones in the car park which may be difficult to navigate. Pushchairs should be left outside of the Lemur Walkthrough experience and the river walk is not accessible. 

Q - Are there disabled loos and baby change? 
A - Yes and there are facilities to warm baby food

Q - Is there a cafe? 
A - Yes with indoor and outdoor seating 

Q - What do I need to bring? 
A - £1 coins for some of the machines 

Q - Are animal experiences available? 
A - Yes, a large range of encounters and experiences are available. See here for details. 

Q - Is Northumberland Country Zoo accessible by public transport? 
A - Arriva buses do stop nearby but it is on the other side of the A1 and around a 0.9 mile walk away. You would need to cross the busy A1 and personally, I would not feel comfortable doing this. Taxis will probably be your best bet. 

Q - How long would you spend there? 
A - You could spend all day there but I think around 3-4 hours would be enough time to see everything. 

Q - Can you feed the animals? 
A - No, the animals receive a special formulated diet. 

Q - Where can I find keeper talk timings? 
A - You can find keeper talk timings here. 

Q - What is there to do nearby? 
A - The Running Fox for delicious Afternoon Tea (including a kids version) is a few miles from the zoo
Morpeth is less than 10 miles away where you will find a fantastic park and steppy stones, a Chinese van which is loved by localsPirate themed Crazy Golf and Plessey Woods Country Park. Alnwick is just over 12 miles North straight up the A1 (here are some ideas for things to do in Alnwick). 

Q - Where can I stay nearby? 
A - I have stayed with Acorn Leisure at Felmoor Park and AGL Holiday Homes at Bockenfield - both are practically next door to the zoo, have hot tubs, are finished to a high standard and are dog-friendly. Would recommend them both. 

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