If you feel like seeing some animals during your time in Cornwall but don’t fancy a trip to the zoo then why not visit one of the area’s many animal sanctuaries? Not only are you guaranteed a great day out but your visit will help to ensure that these sanctuaries can continue to provide a home for the animals in their care. Below you will find a selection of five great animal sanctuaries that would love to welcome you during your next trip to Cornwall.
Cornish Seal Sanctuary
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek is the only fully operational seal rescue centre in all of Cornwall with a dedicated team working tirelessly to help orphaned and injured seals get better before releasing them back into the wild. But they don’t stop there, as well as looking after both common and grey seals the sanctuary also tends to sea lions, otters, penguins, ponies, goats and sheep. Visitors to the sanctuary can enjoy the open spaces available in the 40 acre park before meeting the resident seals and enjoying a bite to eat at the Seal Sanctuary Café.
Prices: Adults £14.95, concessions £13.95, children (3-14) £12.50, children under three go free and family tickets are available from £46.20. Savings of up to 30% for tickets booked online, please visit the website for more details.
Opening times: Open every day (except Christmas day) from 10am to 5pm, last admission is 4pm. Winter opening times may vary so please check before visiting.
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The Monkey Sanctuary
Located along the south Cornish coast between the popular towns of Looe and Seaton you will find Wild Future’s Monkey Sanctuary. This fantastic sanctuary takes in and cares for a range of different monkey species including rescued Capuchins and abandoned Barbary Macaques. Visitors love the sanctuary’s resident monkeys and, as well as touring the enclosures and learning all about these intelligent animals from their keepers, guests can also visit the sanctuary’s ‘Bat Zone’, get creative in the craft workshops and enjoy a spot of lunch in the Treetop Café.
Prices: Adults £8.50, concessions £7, children (4-15) £5, children under four go free and family tickets are available from £26. Buy your tickets online for savings of up to 10% and don’t forget that your ticket grants you yearly membership with free unlimited re-entry.
Opening times: February 13th - February 21st, March 25th - September 29th everday except Friday, October weekeds only and half term, October 22nd - Octover 30th. Open from 11am till 4.30pm, last admission is 4pm.
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Screech Owl Sanctuary
Home to one of the largest owl collections in the south west the Screech Owl Sanctuary currently cares for over 42 different species from British and European owls to Asian and African owls. As well as caring for the permanent residents the staff also deal with a number of sick and injured owls before returning them to the wild. The sanctuary is a brilliant place to spend an afternoon with other animals on the site including meerkats, raccoons and alpacas. The children will have a fantastic time exploring the grounds and learning all about these special creatures.
Prices: Adults £9.95, seniors £9.50, children (3-13) £7.95, children under three go fee and family tickets are available from £21. Visit the website to collect a QR code which entitles you to a £2 discount per person.
Opening times: Open every day from 10am until the end of October, closing times vary from 4:30pm to 6pm depending on the time of year, please check with the sanctuary before visiting.
Porfell Wildlife Park
Porfell Wildlife Park in Liskeard is Cornwall’s largest exotic animal sanctuary and is currently home to over 250 animals from all over the world. The sanctuary is a lot bigger than it looks so visitors are advised to put aside at least half a day to explore the grounds. When visiting Porfell we would highly suggest a trip to the Maasai Village, a stroll through the ancient woodlands and a stop off at the Children’s Farm. Here, you can meet, touch and feed the farm’s residents including chickens, ducks, rabbits, sheep and goats.
Prices: Adults £9.50, seniors £7.50, children (3-15) £6.50, children under three go free and family tickets are available from £29. There are also unlimited annual passes available, please visit the website for more details.
Opening times: Open daily from 11am to 5pm February 14th to March 1st, weekends only from 11am to 5pm March 2nd to March 27th and daily from 10am to 6pm March 28th to November 1st.
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Wingz Bird and Animal Sanctuary
The Wingz Bird and Animal Sanctuary in the peaceful hamlet of Tressmill offers birds of all shapes and sizes a safe haven. The sanctuary cares for a number of birds including colourful Sun Conures, elegant Stanley Cranes and playful Cockatoos, but it’s not just birds that Wingz cares for, they also look after a family of Meerkats and Marmosets too! In addition the sanctuary offers a fantastic boarding service where they’ll look after your beloved bird whilst you’re away on holiday providing them with all their usual home comforts such as heated rooms, clean cages, feed and toys.
Prices: Adults £6.50, concessions £5.50, children (3-16) £4.50, children under three go free and family tickets are available from £21. There are also season passes available for £10.
Opening times: February half term Sunday to Thursday, March Saturdays only, March 29th to September 30th Sunday to Thursday, October Sundays only and October half term Sundays to Thursdays. Open 10am to 5pm, last admission 4pm except for October when it is 3pm.
Don’t forget that all of the animal sanctuaries mentioned offer you the chance to adopt one of their animals. Not only does adoption make a great gift for friends and family but it is a great way to support these amazing organisations.
For more information on days out in Cornwall please see the list of guides below.