Can you believe there’s a safari park in Doncaster? I can’t, either. But that’s where Yorkshire Wildlife Park is. I was born and breed in Doncaster. So it seems insane to me that there is a whole wildlife safari park where I grew up! It’s not far from my parent’s house so when we went, we invited my parents along as well, along with my aunt and uncle.
We visited Yorkshire Wildlife Park on one of those really hot days a few weeks ago. We had already paid for the ticket so we couldn’t just NOT go. But we were well prepared for the sun.
We had factor 50 suncream on, Leo spent most of the time in his pram with the shade over him and his pram fan on. I also had an umbrella which I used every so often to give myself a break from the sun. Although the first part of our visit to Yorkshire Wildlife Park did seem to be out in the open, the second part was a lot more shaded as there was a few woodland areas with trees that give us a break. I’m super sun conscious and I burn very easily, so I’m always really careful about the sun for me and Leo.
I have visited the wildlife park before when it first opened. It was such a long time ago that I don’t remember a lot about it.
Before you get to the actual entrance to the safari park, there is a lot going on at the Yorkshire Hive.
The Yorkshire Hive.
The Yorkshire Hive is free to enter. It’s a shopping, food and entertainment destination.
There’s a small selection of independent shops and boutiques at The Yorkshire Hive. You can browse the artisan food and drink, locally sourced produce and delicious sweet treats or take a peek at beautiful homeware, cards and accessories. There are some gorgeous children’s clothes and gifts, stunning African art and wildlife photography or take home a stunning new plant.
There’s a coffee shop, snack shop and the Evolution Restaurant which offers a theatrical dining experience on a Friday and Saturday evening.
The kids can have some fun at Uproar, an indoor adventure play barn. You can catch some free live shows at the small amphitheatre and then there’s the Yorkshire Wildlife Park itself.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park
When you enter the park, you can show your tickets to the people at the gate or buy tickets from the booth. We got ours online. You don’t have to go indoors, it’s just gated similar to at a theme park. So we didn’t need to wear a mask (masks were not a legal requirement when we visited, but we still wear them indoors by personal choice).
After we got into the wildlife park, we nipped to the toilets and then set off. As it was a hot day, some of the animals were sleeping or hidden in the shade. The first animals we saw were seals.
These are not seals. I didn’t get a decent photo of them as they were bobbing in and out of the water a lot and would not smile at my camera. Rude. These animals were much better at posing so enjoy them instead.
We wandered around the park and came across lots of different animals. Here are some of the animals at Yorkshire Wildlife Park:
- giraffes (the best animals)
- many types of money
- polar bears
- red pandas
- african painted dogs
- bush dogs
- warty pigs
and that’s just SOME of them. There are lots! You can read more about all the different types of animals at Yorkshire Wildlife Park here.
Leo had a lot more fun than he did at the Askham Bryan Wildlife Park in York as he’s now a few months older so was able to take more notice of the animals. He wasn’t entirely sure what we were showing him most of the time! His favourite animals were the meerkats as they were running around outside and he could see lots of them quite close!
Picnics at Yorkshire Wildlife Park
We managed to find a seating area that was undercover. It was a big area with lots of benches that had a huge canopy over it. There was also lots of other picnic areas dotted about which didn’t have shelter. But due to the sun, we needed the shade. We took a packed lunch with us. A major perk of having a pram is that we can fit a cool bag under it which we had lots of drinks, sandwiches and snacks.
After eating we continued our walk around and visited the lions and polar bears. Again, how is it there are polar bears in Doncaster? It blows my mind!
Of course, our favourite animals were the giraffes, so we had to get a quick sneaky picture of them! Sadly the photo isn’t very clear as the camera lens was smeared in something. Probably suncream!
We had such a lovely day at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. I just wish it was a bit cooler so we could see more animals. We will probably go once a year now as it’s so close and a lovely thing to do in the summer holidays!
Have you been to Yorkshire Wildlife Park?