Travel Guide

13 Best Zoos, Animal Farms, and Aquariums near Newcastle

I used to be born in Newcastle, so I spent all of my smiley-faced childhood roving across the place. Growing up, I hung out exploring seashores, cities, castles, animal parks, aquariums, and loads extra stuff.

So on this information, I’ve put my information to some use… and I’ve introduced you this: an enormous fats record of the 13 finest zoos, animal farms, and aquariums near Newcastle.

Bring some animal feed and come be a part of the enjoyable!

Best Zoos Near Newcastle

Best Zoos Near Newcastle (+ Wildlife Parks and Aquariums)

Here’s the map of the most effective zoos, animal farms, and aquariums near Newcastle upon Tyne:

1. Tynemouth Aquarium

Back once I was a cute little baby-faced boy, I used to come back right here on a regular basis.

The solely fully-fledged aquarium within the northeast of England, it’s a massively widespread household day trip… and everybody in Newcastle has heard of the place.

Their critters and creatures embrace pufferfish, sharks, axolotls, rays, flashlight fish, seahorses, clownfish, and hundreds extra. They even have some stonefish (probably the most venomous fish on the planet).

The place has 17 totally different interactive experiences and themed areas. Some of the highlights embrace a color-packed coral reef, a enjoyable and frenetic seal cove, a predator tank, an endangered zone, an entire load of playful otters, and a so-called ‘weird and wonderful’ exhibition.

And on high of all that enjoyable, Tynemouth Aquarium additionally has a type of ocean tunnel experiences that every one the most effective aquariums have.

Once you’re completed on the aquarium, be sure you discover Tynemouth. An endlessly-endearing coastal city simply east of Newcastle, it’s a stylish spot with good seashores, drool-inducing fish and chips, and a great deal of cozy locations to eat and drink. Surf Cafe is an area favourite.

2. Whitehouse Farm Center

Here’s one other place I at all times used to go to once I was a child.

A rural hangout sitting south of the stunning city of Morpeth, this is likely one of the hottest family-fun choices within the area.

Animals right here embrace rabbits, guinea pigs, skinks, tortoises, bearded dragons, geckos, pythons, tarantulas, big millipedes, hissing cockroaches, snails, parrots, kestrels, owls, donkeys, horses, pigs, sheep, wallabies, lamas, monkeys, skunks, and big snails. And although that’s a prolonged record, it’s just the start.

They even have numerous interactive exhibitions, together with play areas, racing vehicles, tractor rides, and an entire load of animal dealing with. And better of all, the place additionally presents 4 on-site lodging, for actually getting knee-deep within the immersive animal adventures.

Aside from the common occasions and points of interest, Whitehouse Farm additionally hosts particular occasions and seasonal stuff, together with performances, interactive Christmas experiences, picnics, costume characters, animal-feeding experiences, and hundreds extra. No matter whenever you come, there’s normally some particular occasion taking place. Highly really helpful!

3. Kielder Water Bird of Prey Center

Kielder is likely one of the most fun outside areas near Newcastle. A large reservoir with a prolonged perimeter of 27 miles (43km), it presents climbing, biking, operating, mountain biking, play areas, household points of interest, and hundreds extra stuff.

But it additionally has… as you’ve in all probability already intuited… a hen of prey middle. It’s one in every of northern England’s largest collections of birds, that includes owls, falcons, eagles, hawks, and even vultures. The middle can also be dwelling to a household of wallabies (who, as you doubtless already know, aren’t birds).

You can deal with a lot of the birds, however there’s additionally far more immersion on provide. The place presents falconry programs, bird-management programs (for people who find themselves interested by shopping for or rearing falcons), pictures classes, and hawk-walking experiences (the place you may feed swooping hawks from the sweaty palms of your trembling, terrified fingers).

Since you’re studying this, you in all probability like animals. And because you like animals, right here’s some excellent news for you: as a result of Kielder is so distant, rural and quiet, the area is dwelling to numerous wild creatures. Wander across the reservoir, and you may see badgers, bats, otters, deer, and hundreds extra.

4. Northumberland County Zoo

Sitting between Morpeth and Alnwick, Northumberland County Zoo is the closest factor you’ll discover to an precise zoo inside shut proximity of Newcastle.

In some methods, it’s just a little just like Whitehouse Farm, however (as is fairly obvious), it’s extra farm-like than zoo-like.

So they do have livestock, resembling pigs, horses, goats, and sheep. But additionally they have far more thrilling stuff, together with lynxes, porcupines, marmosets, meerkats, lemurs, servals, arctic foxes, snow leopards, turtles, chameleons, varied kinds of unusual frogs, and an entire load of bugs.

Other points of interest embrace a theater-style hen present, a walk-through lemur expertise, a walk-through parrot expertise, a tractor museum, an outside play space, a soft-play zone, and a load of zookeeper talks (the place you may study stuff concerning the animals you’re gawping at).

The zoo additionally locations a concentrate on conservation. It’s at present concerned in numerous initiatives, together with selling the preservation of the ever-more-rare Scottish Wildcat.

5. Washington Wetland Center

Washington Wetland Center is a very distinctive spot, and it’s approach totally different from another venue on our record.

First of all, it’s all concerning the animals that dwell and breed within the UK’s wetlands (and migrate by means of these wetlands on their journeys to extra unique locations).

But it’s additionally not only a vacationer attraction — it’s a real-life wetland area, the place numerous creatures truly dwell and go by means of. The middle is devoted to preserving wetlands like this one and selling schooling on them.

Based over greater than 100 acres of land, Washington Wetland Center presents kingfishers, otters, dragonflies, child animals, flamingos, ducklings, and numerous uncommon, uncommon, and migrating birds.

Because the venue is all about schooling and preservation, they provide an entire bunch of informative and attention-grabbing talks and experiences. You can study each native and unique birds, and even spy on birds as they feed, nest, and put together for his or her large lengthy onward journeys.

For youthful youngsters, the middle has a play space, topical occasions, and hands-on interactive displays.

6. Ouseburn Farm

Admittedly, this place isn’t as thrilling as another choices on our record. But it presents a enjoyable slice of motion, and it’s just about proper within the middle of Newcastle… so when you’re brief on time (or don’t have entry to a automotive), that is the place you need to go to. And as a result of it’s free to enter, it’s possibility for budget-friendly enjoyable.

A charity-run metropolis farm, it’s an enthralling little place and is dwelling to goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, tortoises, lizards, and extra. And although it’s small, it’s fairly numerous: the pokey proportions of the place include ponds, woodlands, and meadows.

It’s much more than only a vacationer attraction. It’s a hub for schooling, and the place is devoted to elevating consciousness about how we will use nature to eat, drink, and shield the setting.

The opening instances are normally fairly restricted, particularly in darker months. So verify prematurely if it’ll be open whenever you plan to go to.

When you’re carried out exploring the farm, spend a while exploring different components of the Ouseburn. My favourite a part of Newcastle, it has fashionable cafes, cozy pubs, gentrified hangouts, and even The National Center for Children’s Books.

7. Bill Quay Community Farm

Bill Quay Community Farm is lots like Ouseburn Farm. And as a result of it’s simply over the river from the town (and accessible by public transport), it’s one other nice fuss-free possibility.

Although it doesn’t provide an enormous variety of uncommon or distinctive animals, it’s a very hands-on place, with a pleasant neighborhood vibe. Another not-for-profit charity with enthusiastic employees and pleasant welcomes, you may feed, contact, and study concerning the animals.

They have alpacas, pigs, goats, horses, geese, chinchillas, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, and bargain-priced baggage of feed (priced at solely £1 every).

For little youngsters, the farm is dwelling to a brief however fairly Gruffalo-based woodland path. They even have a pleasant on-site cafe, with tasty do-it-yourself meals and super-reasonable costs.

If you’re with little ones, this can be a incredible farm to take a look at, and they’ll completely love the place. If you’re not, you’re finest off visiting one of many different entries on our record.

8. Northumberland College Zoo (Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens)

In a rural a part of southern Northumberland, there’s an enormous well-known constructing known as Kirkley Hall. A large Seventeenth-century mansion sitting inside 190 acres of land, it’s surrounded by gardens, crops, flowers, and a great deal of locations to hike.

But get this: inside Kirkley Hall, you’ve Northumberland College Zoo (which, till just lately, was known as Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens). Unsurprisingly owned and managed by Northumberland College, it’s an academic facility for learners who examine animal-based programs on the school.

But on weekends (and generally throughout college holidays), the place opens as much as the general public. And there’s a shocking quantity of enjoyable on provide, with greater than 200 totally different species.

Some of the highlights embrace meerkats, porcupines, wallabies, alpacas, monkeys, bush canines, numerous uncommon reptiles, quite a lot of frogs, and an entire load of unusual, uncommon and colourful birds.

Because it’s an academic facility, it’s a fantastic place for getting concerned in interactive experiences. The venue presents experiences with meerkats, lemurs, reptiles and squirrel monkeys, whereas different enjoyable features a walk-through wallaby expertise, an schooling room, and numerous zookeeper talks on quite a lot of themes.

If you truly need to study, that is the most suitable choice on our record.

9. Crazy Creatures North East

Alright, we’ve already featured some fairly distinctive locations on this record. But that is probably the most distinctive of all of them.

Instead of getting a hard and fast venue, Crazy Creatures North East is a so-called ‘mobile petting zoo,’ that runs out the again of a car.

So whilst you can’t go to them, they’ll go to you. That’s not supreme on your common vacationer, however it is supreme when you’re looking for one thing for a birthday, a company occasion, an important day, or a college go to.

If you’re questioning how a lot furry enjoyable may be stuffed into the confines of 1 measly van, right here’s the reply: a surprisingly large quantity. The van’s inhabitants embrace ferrets, rats, mice, snakes, tarantulas, a bearded dragon, a tortoise, a scorpion, and loads extra.

The enterprise locations an enormous concentrate on the ‘petting’ a part of the ‘petting zoo’—you may contact all of the animals, so it’s a pleasant possibility when you’re on the lookout for an interactive expertise.

10. North East Falconry

Small-scale North East Falconry is open by appointment solely and presents distinctive and intimate experiences. Rather than being a normal zoo, it’s an experiential venue providing quite a lot of totally different bird-based actions.

Their three fundamental choices are:

  • An ‘introduction to falconry’ course, for people who find themselves interested by getting their very own feathery pal
  • Photography days, in which you’ll be able to seize snaps of huge birds swooping round
  • Hawk walks, the place you stroll by means of the woods with a hawk, feed it out of your gloved hand and watch it fly across the forest.

They’ve been providing these experiences for greater than 5 years, and the place is managed by a tiny crew who’re tremendous keen about large birds. They have numerous specialist tools, and they actually know what they’re speaking about.

If you’re genuinely all in favour of studying about birds, you’ll love this place. But when you’re simply on the lookout for one thing just a little extra informal, it is best to go to one in every of our different choices.

11. Kirkleatham Owl Center

Another bird-based possibility, Kirkleatham Owl Center is likely one of the oldest owl-dedicated facilities on the planet—it’s been serving up hefty parts of feathery enjoyable since 1990.

Included among the many owl-based enjoyable, you get owl-centric talks, owl-feeding shows, and massively-passionate employees who know all the things concerning the birds who dwell there. If you may, attempt to go to the venue throughout one in every of their wonderful flying shows, when you may watch the lovable little guys swooping round.

But, regardless of its identify, the middle additionally presents far more than simply owls. Other notable highlights embrace vultures, porcupines, emus, kookaburras, tropical birds, and numerous livestock. The place can also be dwelling to a bunch of meerkats—and the middle repeatedly hosts outrageously-endearing meerkat-feeding shows.

When you’re carried out on the Kirkleatham Owl Center, head east to beautiful Saltburn seashore (and the stunning coastal city of Saltburn-by-the-Sea).

12. Wetheriggs Animal Rescue

Sitting between Darlington and Barnard Castle, Wetheriggs Animal Rescue is a family-run animal-rescue farm, and it’s outrageously loveable and healthful.

This isn’t a normal vacationer attraction—as a substitute, the crew who work right here takes injured animals and undesirable pets, and provides them a brand new life and a brand new dwelling.

But regardless of it being a rescue middle, it’s dwelling to greater than 500 critters, with an entire vary of various stuff.

Included among the many beasts and birds, you get alpacas, llamas, snakes, geese, chinchillas, ferrets, geese, horses, quails, sheep, tortoises, and some surprisingly-rare animals. For the measly price of £1, you should buy baggage of animal meals, and hand-feed a number of the creatures.

It’s additionally potential to undertake the animals, if a one-off go to simply isn’t sufficient to satiate your animalistic urge for food.

If you’re on the lookout for one thing heartwarming, I completely suggest visiting Wetheriggs Animal Rescue. You’ll depart with an enormous fats smile in your face, and listening to concerning the animals’ new lives will make you need to cry (in a great way).

13. Edinburgh Zoo

Okay, this selection is admittedly fairly removed from Newcastle. But it’s among the finest zoos within the UK (by a good distance)… so when you’re actually eager to go to a very good zoo, it’s completely definitely worth the journey.

Here, you’ll discover a entire load of good stuff, and you may simply spend a whole day wandering across the enclosures (I’ve visited a number of instances, and I’m nonetheless fairly certain I haven’t seen all the things). They have greater than 2,500 animals, and all of the enjoyable is unfold over greater than 80 acres.

Highlights embrace the one pandas within the UK, a knighted penguin named Sir Nils Olav, a large penguin enclosure (with underwater viewing areas), a walk-through monkey expertise, a walk-through lemur expertise, a walk-through tiger expertise, topical occasions, each day talks, be-a-zookeeper experiences, and loads extra.

Other notable animals embrace hippos, lions, solar bears, gibbons, chimpanzees, armadillos, sloths, and numerous endangered animals. They even have a wonderful part with numerous unusual lizards, frogs and snakes.

While you’re visiting the zoo, it is best to clearly additionally discover Edinburgh. Yeah, it’s a vacationer cliche, however it’s a superb metropolis—and it presents an enormous bunch of underrated stuff.

Final Thoughts and Further Reading

There they’re—the 13 finest zoos, animal farms, and aquariums near Newcastle.

For extra data on one in every of my favourite cities on the planet (yeah, you’re proper—I in all probability am a bit biased), take a look at my guides on the 22 finest issues to do in Newcastle, and the highest causes it is best to go to the place.

Thanks for studying, thanks for stopping by, and thanks prematurely for visiting us once more sooner or later!

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