Written on: 28/08/2012 by phil_mb (1 review written)
Following all the recent hype both from the film "We bought a Zoo" and the DVD about the zoo and various marketing blurb online from various sources including their own website - a trip to the Dartmoor Zoological Park (DZP) seemed the perfect day out when down in the west country this week. I don't know which zoo some of the other contributors have visited, but it wasn't this one! Or if I was being cynical I may suspect that these contributors had some connection to the DZP. I visited the... (read more)
Written on: 13/08/2012 by tracy9807fab (1 review written)
Visited DZP with my sister and her two kids last week (age 8 and 10). Zoos aren't really my thing generally, but have to say that I have a completely different view having spent the day at DZP. Staff were lovely and friendly from the start of the day, right to the end. The animals are very well looked after, have lots of space, and its amazing to be so close to them. It's not a big sprawling zoo so it's easy to walk round without getting over-tired, and it has a really nice friendly,... (read more)
Written on: 05/06/2012
We travelled for 7 hours to go to Dartmoor Zoological Park after our son watched the movie and became obsessed with it (He has aspergers syndrome hence the obsession :) We were so happy we did as it was fantastic! People keep commenting on the steep walk up to the zoo but we loved it,(we had a buggy and two 75 year olds and they enjoyed the walk too) there are animals all the way up and they have huge enclosures to roam around in. The whole feel of the zoo is so different to all the other... (read more)
Written on: 26/04/2011
This is the 4th or 5th time I have visited this place. Many years ago as a child I went with my parents and can only remember the smell. It was disgusting. Have been since and each time come away with a feeling of depression,mostly with an instilled memory of a poor bear sat waiting for people to throw peanuts to him. Since the fuss about a film etc I thought i'd give it another chance and hoped things had changed when I made the decision to take my 2 children. Well....what can I say....Nope... (read more)
Written on: 22/04/2011
One of the best days out we have had. A mixture of zoo and walk round safari park. Staff were helpful and the animals looked so happy and natural. Drinks expensive but loads of picnic places. The surroundings are beautiful. You can easily spend a full day here and not want to go home. Went with a 7 year old and 2 10 year old and they all thoroughly enjoyed it, including the 2 adults. Hope they don't put prices up as it is wonderful to get value for money for a change nowadays. (read more)
Written on: 28/12/2010 by Rewsefamilydayout (1 review written)
Our thoughts are that the Dartmoor Zoological Park could do with being better sign posted, around the area and at major route juntions, also a good sized "We are Open" at the entrance during holidays, such as just after Christmas. This would quite possibly draw more visitors!
This Zoo is very good and gets top marks for the animals, who are well kept and their enviroment. Well done keepers! The grounds are well kept, though the garden area (with the grave stones), could do with a over path... (read more)
Written on: 27/11/2010 by Carol D (1 review written)
While the zoo is still in need of some renovation the enclosures are of a good size for the animals housed there. If you love big cats,especially, tigers, this is a must visit for you. I have never been so close to these beautiful animals at any of the other parks we have visited and they are stunning. Vlad, the 10 year old male is awesome. The Jaguar is also stunning to look at. At £9.50 for an adult the entry fee is also one of the lowest. I am sure if I thought it was this good in the... (read more)
Written on: 28/10/2010
11 of us visited with age ranges from 1 to 59 for a birthday. We all had a fantastic day and the kids are still going on about it days after. Would definately go again and definately recommend. Food in the restaurant was also really good value for money and it was good having a few toys and books for the little ones whilst the big ones rested their legs a bit! (read more)
Written on: 19/09/2010
We visited the Park after I had read an article in the WMN re the tigers. I thought it was a lovely place, the animals look so well looked after and happy. We paid the £10 to see the tigers and I rate it as one of the best things I have ever done, what does it matter if some areas of the Park need some TLC, surely the animals wellbeing is the most important thing and I hope the money is raised to keep it open. We will certainly visit again in the not too distant future.
It wasn't easy... (read more)
Written on: 05/09/2010
My partner and I are both 49+ and my mother is 80. What do you buy your 80 year old mother for her birthday when she already has everything including a family of 6 Yes you got it a keeper for the day at the Zoo. We travelled from the north east and thoroughly enjoyed our day. On arrival mum managed the hill and we had a coffee before starting. Staff were very friendly and it may not be a 5* restaurant but it is a zoo. we set off on our day and yes we were lucky as we had an escort the... (read more)
Written on: 04/09/2010
As a child I used to visit Dartmoor zoo with my parents and have been meaning to visit again since watching Ben's zoo on the TV.I am so glad we did I can see a lot of time and effort has been used to improve enclosures and all the animals were in amazing condition. A visit to this zoo is a must there is no other place that you can get such a up close experience of these beautiful happy relaxed animals.We will definately be visiting again and will be recommending it to friends and family. (read more)
Written on: 04/09/2010
As my daughter (age 6) loves big cats we thought that Dartmoor Zoo would be the place to go and I have to say we were not disappointed in the slightest. We all had a fantastic time. You could tell that all the animals were content and well cared for. We spent a great deal of time with the tigers and couldn't believe how close we could get to them!! My daughter was so excited. We have also been to Paignton Zoo and Longleat in the holidays and my daughter and I both agree that Dartmoor Zoo was... (read more)
Written on: 31/08/2010
August Bank Holiday. Arrived at the zoo restaurant at 10.20pm to find about a dozen keepers and staff sat around tables drinking coffee or tea, thought this was strange since the zoo opened at 10pm, just a glance in our direction no smiles or welcomes! Gifts in "shop" woeful, toilets unclean.
Basic layout of the zoo remains pretty much unchanged since our last visit about 11 years ago but a lot more appears to be derelict. The loss of the viewing tower, falconry displays and flamingos seems... (read more)
Written on: 22/08/2010
Dartmoor Zoo. Oh my. What an awful experience! I had just finished reading Ben's book and was inspired to visit to see the improvements that the book refers to. I took my 5 & 7 year old kids. Firstly the steep hill on entrance and the general unkempt walk up was not a good start. Everywhere need a good tidy: overgrown grass, messy paths, general feeling of uncleanliness. We had to visit the so called toilets in the middle of the zoo to wash our hands (as the hand disinfectants were all empty... (read more)
Written on: 14/08/2010
Really love visiting to watch the tigers for hours on end (one of my passions in life) but really disappointed in facilities. I have been a constant visitor for many years and even now, have become a member. I have no issues regarding the animals but i do think that the paying customers, myself included, expect to find clean toilets for example. On this visit as well as my previous, i have found that on entering the restrooms they are extremely smelly to the point of my feeling the urge to... (read more)
Written on: 28/07/2010 by maddazza35 (1 review written)
set in beautiful woodland sencenery, with very close access to the animals and unobstructed photo oppurtunities !! i was very pleased with the keepers who were very friendly and spent time talking about the animals, overall a good value for money day out with the family, strongly suggest you visit for a once in a lifetime experience. (read more)
Written on: 19/07/2010
bit shocked lots of disused pens, the cafe needed work on, i am sure if they put a bit more money in to it ,it could be great, at that price i am sure they can , 1 bear two lions three tigers, one jag, two meerkats, it reaily needs to sort it out, needs more imagination , there staff needs something in curictor with a zoo (read more)
Written on: 16/07/2010 by newtonorient (1 review written)
Went during the week so it was quite quiet which was nice. Amazing weather so we had a picnic in the picnic area while watching the animals around us.A couple of the animals were hiding but we managed to see most of them, including the lion feeding.
Went many years ago (approx 15) before the real decline and would say its back to those standards.
Quite a few derelict buildings on the sight and you find yourself looking for animals in them. You can see the amount of work and effort that is... (read more)
Written on: 15/07/2010
We had a fantastic day out here; inexpensive, not overly commercial with no crowds and great viewing of animals (other than those which chose not to be on show - and that's really up to them!). Never have I been so close to tigers and lions!
The children (13, 11 and 4) loved it, as did the adults.
Our only complaints are that the shop is lacking in merchandise (more T shirts with the DZP logo please, in child sizes) and the restaurant could be better supplied?
Will definately return. (read more)
Written on: 14/07/2010
I first went to Dartmoor Zoo before Benjamin Mee took it over and loved it's grungy feel, so much less an animal prison than other zoos. Having read the book 'Ben's Zoo', I was interested to take another visit and have to say it was very good value at £8.50 to get in. The staff are very friendly, knowledgeable and obviously take great care of the animals. The Zoo is easy to get around, no insanely steep hills and the resteraunt prices are reasonable.
My only criticism is that the ice cream... (read more)
Written on: 21/06/2010
My family, (9 months, 5 years and adults of indeterminate, though youthful age), love this zoo. The location is stunning and you discover new things around every corner. Tiger mountain is especially impressive and the unique pen lets you see them without mesh in the way at very (worryingly) close quarters, but as far as I'm aware, they haven't eaten anyone yet so I assume it's safe.
Considering the troubled history of the zoo before the new owners took over, it is near miraculous how much... (read more)
Written on: 15/06/2010
Oh, Where do I start on our trip to Dartmoor Zoological Park?
On Entry, Big Steep hill with not much to see. At the top of hill is the restaurant where we went to have lunch first. The restaurant was filthy, especially the under 5's area, which had dead flies all over the carpet and window sill's. The food, well there wasn't much to choose from, A few sandwiches and some dried out looking pasties, but none of it was very nice. After apologising for the mess made by my toddler we went on... (read more)
Written on: 20/05/2010
Unfortunatley not one of the best days to go it was drizziling with rain very expensive to go in and a steep hill on entry. went to see the mere cats and found there was only two and they dissappeared all the animals were along way away or in there homes ( very few animals )very dissapointed will not be going again went in the cafe there were more animal keepers having there break than visitors and it was again expensive to eat. We left after two hours dissapointed but the local senery was a... (read more)
Written on: 02/08/2009
I was very interested to find out how the Dartmoor Wildlife Park zoo had progressed since I last visited over 12 years ago. Good to see that there was now a purpose built entrance however the young girl was lacking in people skills and did not interact with the public. Steep walk up to the main area. Could do with something of interest on the way up apart from the few deer. Perhaps a botanical garden area. When we reached the top I was pleasantly surprised by the amont of dear, lamas and... (read more)
Written on: 24/01/2009 by Natasha Bennett
We have just returned having spent the day at the Dartmoor Wildlife Park and had a fantastic time. It's a work in progress so we will return again and again to see how it's coming along. The animals all seem happy and healthy which is the main purpose of a zoo. The grounds are unspoiled and almost like a nature walk with adventure. The information on the animals is easily read and understood. Children need to be more aware of the animals in their world and how precious they are and,I'm sure... (read more)
Written on: 29/10/2008 by Barryt (14 reviews written)
It is difficult to make adverse comments on the Park's situation as the owners have taken on a tremendously hard task in turning it around. Even so, they must provide exhibits for visitors to see, or they simply won't succeed.
The previously seen good features have declined and, given the location and limited nature of exhibits at present, it is difficult to see how Dartmoor Zoological Park can succeed unless drastic changes are made.
We certainly wouldn't say a visit is inadvisable, but would... (read more)
Written on: 14/09/2008
The animals at Dartmoor Wildlife Park are fantastic, well looked after, well housed and clearly well loved, the staff are polite and the setting is beautiful. Take your own food and drinks! Very expensive to get in, 4 adults and a small child cost us around £45 entrance fess. The food is way too expensive, £1.60 for a small tub of ice cream, £2.50 for a small bowl of cheesy chips which were cold and had to be replaced, which took 20 minutes. The coffee was also cold, so all in all the... (read more)
Written on: 01/09/2008
Intimate well cared for animals, nice views. run down, tired and overpriced... after two years with a new owner ... still tired. Could and will do better (read more)
Written on: 05/08/2008 by guyblackwood (1 review written)
A good value for money day out to an animal park that has had some vitality and tlc put into it and can only continue to improve. (read more)
Written on: 03/08/2008 by mark lucas (13 reviews written)
Dartmoor wildlife Park, now known as 'Dartmoor zoological park' is actually worse than the 2nd time we visited. I think it's down to a couple of health safety issues and possibly mismanagement. Dogs are now no longer allowed inside (which seems more sensible considering how many diseases can be passed onto neighbouring species).
The first time was pretty uneventful, with a majority of attractions broken, out of order or unavailable on the day. The 2nd and 3rd time were the same. Also... (read more)
Written on: 22/03/2008 by Barryt (14 reviews written)
Dartmoor Zoological Park is perhaps better known now throughout the UK as 'Ben's Zoo' following the BBC documentary series.
This is a Zoological Park and not a traditional zoo. Starting less than 18 months ago with a very run down venue in danger of being closed down by the Local Authority, Ben Mee (Zoo owner and Director) and his family and Zoo Staff have made herculean efforts to renovate, restore and build new animal accommodation since taking over the Park. There has been a huge amount... (read more)
As rated by real users
"Beast" Read More
"Relaxing and Enjoyable" Read More
"Fantastic day out!" Read More
"Somewhat lacking....." Read More
"Diabolical dozy staff ruined m..." Read More