Find the nearest Animals & Wildlife
Our Animals and Wildlife category brings all Coast Radar’s listings related to looking for something to do or a place to visit together where they offer some form of animal or wildlife activity.
Finding the best things to see and do on a day out with your family or friends is easy – simply explore the animal and wildlife links below, hit the jump to my location button or use the search bar to plan your next UK and Ireland activity.
- Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve runs for about three miles from Skegness to The Wash and covers around 430 hectares of sea shore, an extensive complex of sand dunes, marshes and freshwater habitats. It is a totally unspoilt stretch of coastline important for its international scientific interest and managed by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust The public is welcome here and there are pathways that lead you easily through the different habitats and keep the intrusion on nature to a minimum. An observation platform for the public to view the Mere and the lagoon is at Mill Hill and gives you a wide panoramic view of the area. Designated as a site of international wetland importance, the reserve is an area of geomorphological importance. There’s a great visitors centre where you can explore the habitats through the multi media and interactive displays. We’ve heard The Point Cafe is good too with scrumptious food being served while you kick back and soak up Mother Nature at her best. The reserve staff offer guided walks, children’s activities, day and residential training courses. The reserve is open from 10am to 4pm daily but may close early in bad weather conditions. Admission is free but car parking charges apply and they ask that groups book in advance.
- Saltfleetby–Theddlethorpe Dunes in Lincolnshire is a coastal habitat for many species of bird and animal life and covers about eight kilometres and about 952 ha of land on the North East coast. This reserve is made up of salt marsh, dunes and foreshore with more marsh on the landward side and is home to dune flora, migrant birds and wild fowl. It’s open all year round and many events are held there including walks, nature rambles, bird watching, outdoor activities for children (including wheelchair users) as well as picnics! The dunes are a natural attraction and their formation continues daily due to the wind and tidal activity. They support a wide variety of grass and flowers. Prolific insects, birds, amphibians and mammals inhabit the salt and fresh water marshes with at least 11 species of dragonfly and damselfly, water beetles and spiders, horse leeches, voles, shrews and the very rare Natterjack toad! The birdlife listed included skylarks, oystercatchers, little tern, meadow pipit, redshank, Brent geese, teal, wigeon, ringed plover and a host of other waders that stop by. Seals are common in this area and delight the kids and adults alike but they are shy by nature so you’ll have to be quiet and visit at low tide if you are see them. Dogs are allowed but on leashes preferably and you’ll need to clean up after them to keep the environment stable. Plenty of parking all year round and it’s easy to find.
- Abbotsbury Swannery is unique, the only place in the world where you are able to walk through the heart of a colony of nesting Mute Swans. The Swannery was established by Benedictine Monks who built a monastery at Abbotsbury during the 1040’s. The monks farmed the swans to produce food for their lavish banquets. St Peter’s monastery was destroyed in 1539 during the dissolution. Some of the ruins are still visible around St Nicholas’ Church in the village. Since that time the Swannery has been under the stewardship of the Ilchester Estates.
- Colchester Zoo has over 260 rare species many part of breeding programmes. Interactive daily displays get you closer to the animals and the zoo offers a wide range of educational activities for schools and groups as well as team building for corporate groups. Colchester Zoo’s Action for the Wild is the zoo’s charitable arm and is responsible for conservation work around the world.
- Paignton Zoo is a large zoo on 30 hectares (75 acres) on the outskirts of Paignton. The zoo has approximately 300 species that can be seen within natural habitat. Attactions include opportunities to hold and feed animals, minature railway, Monkey heights and Gibbon Island.
- The Hermaness Cliffs can be found on the north-eastern side of Unst in the Shetland Islands. Rising to 170m, the cliffs are located in the Hermaness National Nature Reserve and are home to thousands of breeding seabirds. During the summer months, the cliffs come alive the sound of bird cries, making it an unforgettable wildlife experience. The types of birds you can see include puffin, guillemot, gannets, kittiwakes, razorbills and much much more. Access to the nature reserve and the cliffs is unrestricted, although visitors are asked to keep their distance from breeding birds and follow the marked route.
- The Aberlady Bay Nature Reserve is also part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest, due to its botanical, ornithological and geomorphologic significance. The Reserve covers an area of 582 hectares (1,439 acres), of which two-thirds falls below the high-tide mark and consists of tidal sand, mud flats and pioneer salt marsh. The aim of the Reserve is to conserve the habitats, flora and fauna found within the area and the resultant landscape character. The only facilities in the reserve are some rather basic toilets by the car park. Please note that dogs are not permitted on the Reserve April-July inclusive, and that they must be kept on a lead at all times during the rest of the year.
- The Isle of Wight Zoo specialises in the care and conservation of big cats and Madagascan animals. It is situated at Yaverland near the sea and the staff are really friendly and encourage visitors to participate as much as possible. Offering a close encounter with a big cat is a brilliant way to get people to appreciate these gorgeous creatures and have a once in a lifetime experience with tigers or a lemur. The zoo also offers tours which are a big success. The friendly guides help you explore the zoo, stopping off to meet the zoo keepers who introduce you to their animals. These are the people who will be able to tell you how much poo tigers do and what the monkeys like for breakfast. An average time schedule for the zoo is like this10:30am – Meet the Monkeys 11:00am – Big Cat Tour 11.30am – Zoolittle Farm 12:30pm – Lemur Feeding 1:30pm to 2.30pm – Animal Encounters Drop-In Session in Zoo at Home 2:00pm – Porcupine Feeding 2.30pm – Big Cat Feeding 3:30pm – Monkey Feeding 4:00pm – Tiger Sanctuary 4:30pm – Big Cat Feeding 5:00pm – Animal Encounters Drop-In Session in Zoo at HomeWell worth a visit and the kids will love it! They are open seven days a week including bank holidays from 10am staying open a bit later in the Summer months! Check the website for any closures due to adverse weather!
- Skomer Island lies off the coast of Pembrokeshire in south-western Wales. Covering 1.13 square miles in area, the island is renowned for its amazing wildlife and is a National Nature Reserve as well as a Site of Specific Scientific Interest. A third of the population of Manx Shearwaters nest here, with Atlantic puffins and many other seabirds also congregating in their thousands every year. Ferries sail between Martins Haven, on the mainland, and Skomer during the Easter to October period. There is a maximum number of visitors allowed on the island every day but you can either get on a day boat trip to Skomer or book to stay in some of the island’s self-catering accommodation during the spring and summer months.