Go to the adventure-full Dartmoor National Park, is known for beautiful landscape & wildlife tour and most visited by hikers and tourists.
Dartmoor National Park in the South West of England is the most southerly of Britain’s National Parks ( See in the Google Map at bottom ). It’s home to 368 square miles of ruggedly beautiful moorland, ancient ruins, wooded valleys and magnificent wildlife. Take a trip to the zoo with a difference. Dartmoor encloses some of the wildest, bleakest country in England: suitable terrain for The Hound of the Baskervilles – one of Sherlock Holmes’ more notorious foes. The landscape and weather can make this an extremely eerie place; try not to think of An American Werewolf in London on a dark, foggy night. With its forbidding landscape and scattered prehistoric remains, it’s magnificent walking country, but bring a good map: it’s easy to get lost, particularly when the mist rolls in.
Dartmoor zoo park is not just about the landscape, the ponies or the dramatic granite tors. There’s plenty of heritage and history to discover, going all the way back to Neolithic times and throughout the ages. Dartmoor zoo park encourages you to get out and about, to explore and discover its secret places and hidden gems. This living, breathing, working landscape is as rich and as fascinating now as it was hundreds of years ago, and those who live and work on the moor are determined that, with care and a sense of stewardship, the future of Dartmoor is both sustainable and green. From ancient woodland to tradition, folklore and farming on horseback, Dartmoor has it all. Dartmoor is England’s richest National Park for evidence of humankind’s influences on the landscape within which they live
Spend few hours with your experienced zoo keeper and even enjoy lunch at the Jaguar Restaurant. Once you’ve finished your tiger activity you are free to get back to exploring the wildlife. This is one incredible experience, you will never forget. Entrance to the zoo is free for all permanent residents of Sparkwell village. Please bring both proof of address and proof of identity that you are a genuine resident.
Best Things to See and Do
- Get your walking boots on and climb High Willhays, the highest point in Dartmoor.
- Visit the famous Becky Falls, set within a spectacular ancient valley.
- Spend the night under the stars, wild camping on the moors.
- Explore the remains of Okehampton Castle, once the largest castle in Devon.
- Treat yourself to a slap-up meal at the Michelin starred Gidleigh Park.
Wildlife Animals in Park
Dartmoor is home to all manner of wildlife, and various parts of the moor have been designated as Special Areas of Conservation. From the native Dartmoor ponies wandering the moor, to rare butterflies, birds, bees and even the occasional ‘Beast of Dartmoor’ – there’s every type of wildlife to be found on Dartmoor.
The Beautiful woodland with some stunning views of the surrounding countryside, Dartmoor Zoological Park is a unique family owned zoo with a fantastic collection of animals.There are lot of animals at Dartmoor Zoological Park: from tiny stick insects to Ben Brown Bear or Solomon Lion. Discover something different, learn something amazing and help us make tomorrow’s world rich in animal life. These include tigers, lions, jaguar, lynx and cheetah, bears, Serval, Ocelot, Racoon, Kinkajou, Coati, European Lynx, Timber Wolves, tapir, capybara, racoons, meerkats, monkeys, a fantastic collection of bugs and reptiles and much more. Dartmoor must be one of the few zoos in the UK that still has African Lions. The lions were being kept there as pets and the local council were threatening to shoot them when Dartmoor Wildlife Park stepped in and offered them a home.
A large metal barn with its collection of tanks and cages housing a macaw, some coatis and various reptiles has the look of an outsized pet shop and the cages in the zoo shop which housed Senegal and African Grey Parrots makes the place look amateur. Despite my criticisms, Dartmoor wildlife park seems to be fairly successful. It has been operating for over thirty years and it’s collection has grown a lot since the days that only British species were exhibited. It should also be remembered that Dartmoor is only an hours drive from Paignton zoo. All in all then, Dartmoor must be doing something to please the paying public who have visited the park over the last thirty two years.
Natural world highlights
Seeing the areas of heathland in full bloom is fantastic. With different varieties of heather mixed with bilberries and the yellow flowers of western gorse, this is a really colourful time of the year. Haytor is one of the best places to see this and nearby is Holwell Lawn, which is covered with a carpet of bluebells during the spring.Less well known are the rhôs pastures, which are poorly-drained areas found in valleys away from the open moor. These can be full of colourful plants like meadow thistle, devil’s-bit scabious, and heath spotted orchid which grow in among the purple moor-grass and rushes. They are also home to a range of butterflies including marbled whites and the marsh fritillary, which is protected under both British and European environmental laws.
It’s easy to reach DZP following the right direction. Take the Plympton turn off at Deep Lane Junction. Follow the brown “Wildlife Park” tourist information signs through Langage to the village of Sparkwell. Pass through the village and you’ll find the park approximately 300 yards outside the village. There is ample free parking adjacent to the main entrance. Disabled parking facilities are available outside the Jaguar Restaurant at the top of the drive. Should you wish to make use of disabled parking, please first pay at the main gate before proceeding to the top of the drive. Bus services are usually reliable. Timetables are available here. Please note that the type of bus used by Target Travel for this route is the small type with a small staircase up to the driver. Parents travelling on their own may find it difficult to get their push chair onto the bus without help. Route 59 operates from Monday to Saturday – excluding Bank Holidays. There is no service on Sundays. The 59 leaves Royal Parade (stop A8) in Plymouth City Centre, takes around 30 minutes and stops at our main gate.
Address: DZP -Sparkwell, Plymouth Devon, England PL7 5DG
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