Where to See Animals and Wildlife Across Yorkshire this Summer
From seabirds to deer and even African lions, here's where to see wonderful wildlife in Yorkshire
Sledmere House & Gardens
This country house in East Yorkshire has captivated visitors for more than 200 years. Whether you’re enjoying a stroll around the walled garden, enjoying a picnic lunch in the grounds, having fun in the adventure play area then meeting the animals in the rare breed farm park or immersing yourself in fine art and architecture, there’s something to keep all members of the family entertained here. The little museum in the entrance area of the house tells the story of the Wagoners’ Special Reserve (some of the first men to go abroad in the First World War). With the Coach House Café, farm shop, The Pantry and The Tin Roof Takeaway all on site, you’ve got plenty to choose from when it comes to refuelling too.
Sledmere, Driffield YO25 3XG
Yorkshire Wildlife Park
With more than 400 animals and 60 different species, the UK’s number one walkthrough wildlife experience is your chance to see a whole host of exotic animals. Take a walk on the wild side as you wander around the park meeting amazing animals including tigers, polar bears, giraffes, red pandas, leopards and spotted hyenas. You’ll also learn about the vital work the park does with charities to help the conservation of the many endangered species found in the wild (and in the park). If you want to make memories from dusk til dawn, stay in the new Hex Hotel, just metres from the Yorkshire Wildlife Park entrance.
Doncaster DN9 3HQ
Thorp Perrow is where you’ll find some of the largest and rarest trees and shrubs in England, including five National Plant Collections, and it’s home to an abundance of wildlife. As well as the gardens created by Sir Leonard Ropner, there are plenty of workshops and talks held throughout the year, including an introduction to beekeeping, blossom tours and willow weaving. Children can let off steam in the adventure playground, the whole family will enjoy the Bird of Prey displays, and you can even hand feed the wallabies in the Mammal Centre. Don’t forget to try the homemade cakes and treats in the tearoom before you leave.
Bedale DL8 2PS
RSPB Bempton Cliffs
With a seabird centre, guided walks and nature trails, there’s so much to see and do at Bempton Cliffs, home to around half a million seabirds. The birds (including gannets, puffins, guillemots, razorbills, fulmars, kittiwakes, herring gulls and shags) gather on the white chalk cliffs at Bempton which overlook the North Sea between March and October to raise their families. The grass and scrub at the top of the cliffs provide the perfect habitat for birds but if you look out over the cliffs, you might be lucky enough to spot seals and porpoises in the water. As well as their self-guided trails (a Puffin Trail, Gannet Trail and Scavenger Bug Hunt Trail), every year from May to September, they run seabird cruises from nearby Bridlington Harbour. Their popular puffin and gannet cruises take you to the seabird colony for close-up encounters with the wildlife.
Cliff Lane, Bridlington YO15 1JF
One of the most popular attractions in Yorkshire, award-winning Flamingo Land offers visitors two very different days out (or the best of both worlds), because it’s not just a theme park, it’s a zoo too. The newest addition, Sik, is Flamingo Land’s latest high thrill rollercoaster featuring an incredible 10 inversions – including an enormous 25-metre loop, a cobra roll, a corkscrew and a dizzying five heart-line rolls. If you like that, you’ll love the UK’s first and only motorbike launch coaster Velocity and Mumbo Jumbo’s 112 degree vertical drop. If you’d rather keep your feet firmly on the ground, see the Bactrian camel, the laughing kookaburra and Rothschild’s giraffe in the zoo. Daytime shows and events will keep you entertained and don’t miss the Party in the Park events this summer including performances from Go West, Blue, Vengaboys and 2 Unlimited (until September).
Malton YO17 6UX
Sewerby Hall, Gardens & Zoo
Restored to its Edwardian glory, this Grade-I listed house is well worth exploring before you head out into the walled garden, pleasure garden, picnic areas and zoo. A total restoration in 2014 saw the hall re-presented as an Edwardian Country house, circa 1910. The rooms are furnished with impressive pieces from the Victoria and Albert Museum as well as other important collections. From magic shows and face painting to a craft fair and various activities in the zoo, as well as concerts in the Orangery, there’s plenty to enjoy throughout the summer. Don’t miss Rusticus Adventure’s open-air performances hosted by larger-than-life characters for a good laugh.
Church Lane, Sewerby, Bridlington YO15 1ED