Yorkshire Wildlife Park | A Review

This post is based on a rather rainy visit to Yorkshire Wildlife Park in August 2021. As always, please check with venue direct for the most up to date info, prices and booking. Apologies for the distinct lack of photos in this post - the rainy weather just didn't lend itself to animal photography on the day! 

Yorkshire Wildlife Park | A Review

We visited as part of a 'Sunset Safari' deal where you pay a reduced fee and the park stays open late from 4:30pm-9pm ish. It was ideal as we travelled down from the NE during the day, got checked into our hotel and then visited the park in the evening.

This doesn't look like it's available for 2022 but they do have 'Safari Nights' with live music which may be worth checking out. Safari Nights often don't sell out and they usually put discounted deals on groupon/wowcher etc.....so look out for those. 


Yorkshire Wildlife Park is near Doncaster and very easy to get to by car from Newcastle - just straight down the A1. It should take around 2 hours 15 minutes. There is a large free car park and staff will direct you to a space on arrival. 

It is possible to visit Yorkshire Wildlife Park by public transport too. The park is 6 miles from Doncaster Bus & Rail Interchange. From here you can easily jump in a taxi or take the bus 57a to the Yorkshire Hive entrance (which is just outside of the wildlife park). Find out more about visiting by public transport here. 

Prices can fluctuate and I actually think you could get this for about £40 if you booked well in advance, but for 2 adults and 2 children with a (ad affiliate) friends and family railcard, it works out at £55.70 return Newcastle-Doncaster on the train and takes 2-2.5 hours direct with no changes. I don't think that's bad at all (prices checked in Jan 2022 for a trip in March 2022 on the LNER website). 

Yorkshire Wildlife Park | A Review  - train info

Tickets can be booked ahead online anytime up to the day before your visit. You will save £5 pp if you do this so well worth it in my opinion. Or if you are in the area or fancy a day out on a whim, you can pay on the gate. These winter prices are valid until 4 March 2022. After this date, I imagine there will be an increase. Click here for up to date pricing.

A family of 4 with two adults and two kids aged 3+ can expect to pay £72 if booking in advance. Not a cheap day out but en-par with other zoos I would say. 

Yorkshire Wildlife Park | A Review  - prices

You just show your ticket on your phone on arrival (no need to print it out) and you can enjoy over 70 species of animals, 150+ acres of walk through adventures, access to the big indoor Monkey Playhouse and car parking. 

If it's a special occasion, you can book several animal experiences at an additional cost including VIP experiences with polar bears, lions, tigers, red pandas and more. Find out more about animal experiences here. 

If you intend on visiting more than once or live close by, it might be worth considering annual membership which starts at £62.50 per person and gives you unlimited access during the day plus a few extra perks. Find out more here. 

We had a brilliant time at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. I preferred it here to Edinburgh Zoo or Blair Drummond and think it's en-par with Chester Zoo. Everything was so clean and well kept, it was nice and flat, the animal enclosures were huge with lots of enrichment and there is a really big focus on education and environment projects. There are a wide range of animals to see and learn about too. 

If you like visiting zoos, I would definitely recommend a trip and suggest it as an alternative to Edinburgh. 


Yorkshire Wildlife Park is accessible and suitable for wheelchair users and pushchairs. The paths are surfaced, wide and generally flat, there are disabled toilets throughout with a changing places toilet available at Hive at the park entrance.

There are ground level viewing areas for many animals and where safety requirements state a fence of a certain level is required, viewing windows have been put in place. Wheelchairs are able to access the three 'walk through' enclosures where animals are not separated, there are seating and rest areas throughout the park, there are wheelchair wash stations and manual and mobility scooters are available to hire. 

Yorkshire Wildlife Park really strive to make their park accessible to all and it really shows. Sometimes I really struggle to find any accessibility info when writing about attractions but that's not the case here at all. You can read their full access statement and find out more here (scroll the the bottom of the link and open the PDF). 

Download the App 

There is a free Yorkshire Wildlife App with is worth downloading. It features an interactive map, helps you find the nearest loo/cafe etc..... and has links to interactive talks about the animals. Get the kids to download it too and bring their earphones if you think they'd like to listen to this extra info. 

Yorkshire Wildlife Park | A Review  - map

Click on the map above the enlarge it. You enter the park at Hive and it is pretty much a one way walk around the first half of the park then it is easy to walk around the loops at the second part. If you have a basic idea of the route you will take before you visit, it's pretty hard to get lost. 

As a basic guide, we did the first section then at Leopard Heights we went around to the Giraffe House, Camels and Project Polar 2 (this is a good spot to stop for a coffee), then we walked up to Lion County, around the South Africa section, Project Polar and along past Land of the Tiger before heading back. 


As mentioned above, the animal enclosures are all large, very well kept and filled with enrichment activities for the animals and places for them to hide if they want to. There are regular keeper talks and feeding available throughout the day (including meerkat, lemurs, monkeys, lions, wallaby, painted dog, sea lion, leopard and polar bears). I would recommend checking these out if you can as they are really informative. 

There are over 400 animals across 70 species at Yorkshire Wildlife Park (see here for the full list) including: 

  • Polar Bears 
  • Lions 
  • Tigers
  • Sea Lions 
  • Giraffes
  • Red Pandas 
  • Leopards
  • Hyenas 
  • Howler Monkeys 
  • Maned Wolves 
  • Baboons 
  • Zebra 
  • Capybaras 
  • Camels 

There are three 'walk through' experiences included with your ticket where you can really get up and close with the animals with no separation between you and the animals. Obviously, follow the safety advice given but these are so much fun and areas you don't want to miss. Walk-through experiences are available with the following animals: 

  • Lemurs
  • Meerkats 
  • Wallabies 

    Walk through Lemur Experience 

    Yorkshire Wildlife Park | A Review  - lemur walk through
    Walk Through Lemur Experience 

    Walk Through Wallaby Experience 

    Walk Through Lemur Experience 

Simply turn up to the animal area and follow the instructions. 

Stand out areas for us were the Sea Lions (they were so funny to watch), the Lions (absolutely incredible and we heard one roar) and 'Project Polar Bear' which is one of the leading centres for Polar Bear conservation in the world. There are 8 Polar Bears here spread across two areas which have been built to replicate their natural habitat. You can read more about Project Polar Bear here. 

There are clear information boards next to every animal enclosure and the keeper talks had a real focus on animal welfare and conservation rather than 'look at the tricks this animal can do'. Each animal also had a 'conservation status' appointed to it with tips on how you could help them / their habitat. 

I liked that there were often multiple ways to view and animal. For example with the tigers, you could view from ground level through the glass windows, view from a special viewing platform/hut and then view as you walk along the upper walkway above and adjacent to the enclosure. 

Food & Drink 

The food and drink offers at Yorkshire Wildlife Park are excellent and above the standard I've come to expect from UK attractions. You can take your own picnic and there are covered and uncovered seating areas available. The car park is quite far from the picnic sites so personally, I would not leave my picnic in the car, I'd bring it with me. 

There are several coffee shops and snack huts where you can grab a light bite. The interiors were all lovely and well maintained and prices weren't too pricey. In the peak summer season, you won't want to miss the dole whip bar! 

We dined in the Tsavo Bakehouse (below) which serves pizzas, sausage rolls, jacket potatoes, sandwiches, wraps and kids options. The staff were great, there was plenty of seating, service was pretty quick and the pizzas were really nice. 

We were very tempted by iCaramba too which serves burritos, nachos, dirty fries and churros however it is al fresco seating here and we needed a break from the rain. Next time! 

You can find out more about the food and drink options available here.  I will be sharing info about a dinosaur themed restaurant at the bottom of this post which may also be worth considering. 

Play Areas 

There are five play areas included with admission at Yorkshire Wildlife Park which really help to break up your day. They are all fantastic and in really good condition too. I have used photos from Yorkshire Wildlife Park here as it was raining on the day of our visit / my kids were too old for the indoor areas. There are four outdoor play areas and one indoor play area. You can find out more here.  

We spent 3.5 hours (in the evening in the rain) at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. This included two keeper talks, three animal walkthrough experiences, stopping for a quick coffee overlooking the giraffes and stopping for tea. If it was a nice day, we 100% could have stayed longer and I would recommend 4-5 hours for a first time visit. 

As I have been writing this post I've reminded myself how much we enjoyed it and I'm actually thinking about booking a return trip and taking my mam for her birthday in the summer holidays. 

Dinosaur Fun at Yorkshire Hive 

Yorkshire Hive shares the same site as Yorkshire Wildlife Park and is just by the wildlife park entrance / car park. You pass Yorkshire Hive on foot as you enter and leave the wildlife park.

You can visit Yorkshire Hive without purchasing a ticket to the wildlife park. We did contemplate visiting as it looks fab but I think my kids were just on the cusp of being too old for it. If we visit again this summer with Evan, I will probably book the restaurant here as it does look unique/fun and although on the expensive side, I've heard good things. 

Uproar! Play barn - credit Hive

Yorkshire Hive includes Uproar! - a Dinosaur-themed Play Barn (admission is £1-£8 per person depending on age for two hours) and Evolution Restaurant where you dine amongst in a unique experience amongst Dinosaurs and more. If you book after 6pm on a Friday or Saturday there are live entertainers, magicians, acrobats and more. I think it's the closest we'll get to Rainforest Cafe / a Disney dining experience up North.  You can view menus and special offers here. 

Evolution Restaurant - Credit : Hive 


I think it's perfectly possible to visit Yorkshire Wildlife Park as a day trip from the North East, however if you would like to stay over, there are plenty of options in the vicinity. We stayed at (ad affiliate) Doncaster Lakeside Premier Inn which was ideal for us. It is a few miles from Yorkshire Wildlife Park and offers free parking with a pub attached (you can order wine from the bar to take to your room if you've had a busy day). 

The hotel is part of the Lakeside Shopping Outlet which is lovely for a little look around. It kind of reminded me of a bigger Dalton Park. There are loads of outlets including B&M, Cadbury, Claire's, Cook N Dine, M&S, Procook (our fave), Next, Trespass......See the full list here. 

There is also a range of fast food outlets on your doorstep which keeps the teens happy including McDs, KFC, Costa, Greggs and Pizza Hut. 

Another nearby option is (ad affiliate) Doncaster Central East Premier Inn which is close to Doncaster Dome where you'll find swimming (with slides), ice skating, soft play and more. 

If you need a Premier Inn with interconnecting rooms, (ad affiliate) Doncaster Central is the best bet. You do need to call (0333 003 8101) to book interconnecting rooms though and they aren't available online. 

Yorkshire Wildlife Park offer 'roar and snore' packages in the summer months where you can camp on site next to the lions! You can find out more here. 

Find out more and book: https://www.yorkshirewildlifepark.com/


There are plenty of places to visit nearby including the Hive Dinosaur themed soft play or Evolution Restaurant and the Doncaster Dome with swimming, ice skating and soft play mentioned above. 

Brodsworth Hall 

Brodsworth Hall is a lovely English Heritage site with beautiful gardens and a lovely outdoor play park and around a 20 minute drive away. Yorkshire Sculpture Park is another attraction I'd recommend and around a 40 minute drive from the Wildlife Park. 

Yorkshire Sculpture Park 


1 comment

  1. My eldest and her girlfriend have visited Yorkshire Wildlife Park a few times and love it. They went to one of the Safari nights and saw Ronan Keating doing a concert. They have said it's a great day out x


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