Paignton Zoo Environmental Park
Totnes Road Paignton Devon TQ4 7EU
This is a brilliant zoo, with lots of wide open spaces, carefully thought-out habitats and an impressive track record of wildlife conservation projects. There are over 2000 animals living in the zoo's 80 acres, which you can learn about and explore in desert, forest, savannah, tropical and wetland environments. Come to see the 'big five' and lots of other more unusual creatures. There's also a 700-metre circuit Nature Trail, and lots of activities for children, including daily feeding sessions and keeper talks, slides, swings and play areas for burning off excess energy (including one indoors for wet weather), inspiring bird shows and school holiday workshops. The central café overlooks a lake graced by pelicans and with monkeys high in the trees. Bring a picnic and sit outside, or you can buy standard meals such as jacket potatoes, paninis and pasta dishes – they also do fair-trade coffee and some organic teas, and there's an (albeit uninspiring) bar area. Parking is ample and free.