9 farm parks and zoos to visit this summer

Colchester Zoo reopened to guests on June 18 after months of closure Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

There are plenty of zoos and farm parks for families to head to this summer - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Colchester Zoo, Africa Alive and Suffolk Owl Sanctuary are just some of the animal attractions that are now open in Suffolk and north Essex - here we list some of our favourites.

Make the most of these great outdoor attractions during the summer of staycations, they can all be found right here on our door step in East Anglia and offer family fun, and entertainment, in a Covid-secure way. 

Colchester Zoo believes the effects of the second Covid-19 lockdown 'may prove too much'. Picture: S

Colchester Zoo believes the effects of the second Covid-19 lockdown 'may prove too much'. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

1 Colchester Zoo  

One of the best known attractions in the region, Colchester Zoo is open and welcoming visitors to its Heckfordbridge site. 

From chimpanzees to bears and giraffes to otters the zoo has over 200 species for visitors to see.  

Visits to the zoo must be pre-booked to ensure visitor safety, however, zoo passholder rules do vary - check the website for latest arrangements.


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Tickets cost up to £24.99 for adults and up to £18 for children, under threes are free.


Tobias, Suffolk's first baby tapir has been born at Jimmy's Farm. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Tobias, Suffolk's first baby tapir has been born at Jimmy's Farm. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant/Sarah Lucy Brown

2 Jimmy's Farm and Wildlife Park  

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The park in Wherstead - owned by TV personality Jimmy Doherty - underwent its biggest expansion ever earlier this year and now has its own Africa exhibit.  

Among some of the other new arrivals at the park is Tobias the baby tapir, the first of its kind to be born in Suffolk.  

All visits to Jimmy’s Farm must be pre-booked before arrival. 

Tickets for non-members cost £12.50 for adults, £10 for children, and £8.50 for over 60s, students and disabled guests. Children under two go for free.  

3 Africa Alive 

Set in 100 acres of land near Kessingland is home to over 80 species of animals.  

At the centre of the park is its ‘plains of Africa’ experience which features animals such as giraffe and rhinos.  

Earlier this year the park welcomed a new endangered southern white rhino named Belle.  

Tickets for non members cost £20 for adults, £15 for children (aged 3 –15),  £10 for registered disabled adults and children as well as carers. Concessions are £17.50 and under threes cost £1.  

Baylham Rare Breeds Farm celebrating Easter.
Picture: RACHEL EDGE

There are many rare breed animals at Baylham - Credit: Rachel Edge

4 Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm 

Between Ipswich and Needham Market lies the Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm.  

The farm looks after breeds of sheep, cattle, pigs and goats and poultry that are either rare or under threat.  

As well as having an extensive breeding programme for rare species, Baylham remains a working livestock farm.  

They also have two resident alpacas called Ivan and Monty.  

Tickets cost £8 for an adult, £4 for children (aged 4-16) and £7 for concessions. Under 4’s are free and there are separate family ticket prices.  

Fledgling barn owls are counted by the group to investigate how thier population is doing. Pictures:

The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary is home to over 80 owls and birds of prey - Credit: SUFFOLK OWL SANCTUARY


5 Suffolk Owl Sanctuary  

The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary (S0S) at Stonham Barns is home to over 80 owls and other different birds of prey.  

As well as birds the sanctuary is also home to other animals such as meerkats and red squirrels. 

SOS offers a range of different flying displays each day and also offers sessions where you can meet the sanctuary’s meerkats.  

All visits should be booked in advance.  

Tickets cost £10 for adults, £8.50 for children (aged 4 – 16) and concessions.  A family ticket for five people costs £37.50.  


Oasis Camel Park in Halesworth is a great day out for all the family. Picture: ANNA WEISS-HINDLE

Oasis Camel Park in Halesworth is the only attraction of its kind in the UK - Credit: citizenside.com

6 Oasis Camel Park  

The Halesworth-based Oasis Camel Park is the only dedicated camel park in the UK.  

Set in 11 acres, the park describes itself as more of a “natural countryside experience” than a theme park.  

It offers camel and donkey rides as well as llama and alpaca walks.  

Go karts, play areas and crazy golf are also on offer.  

You do not need to book in advance.  

Tickets cost £10 for adults, £9.50 for children (aged 3-15) and children under three go for free. A family ticket costs £35.50.  


Families returning to Banham Zoo as the attraction reopened to non-members this weekend 

Families returning to Banham Zoo as the attraction reopened to non-members - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

7 Banham Zoo  

The sister zoo to Africa Alive, Banham – just over the border in Norfolk – is home to over 2,000 animals from across the planet.  

Tigers, monkeys and kangaroos are just some of the creatures that can be found at the zoo.   

Feeding experiences with animals like leopards, cheetahs and giraffes will be available from May 17.  

You need to book in advance.  

Tickets for non-members cost £20 for adults, £15 for children (aged 3 –15), £10 for registered disabled adults and children as well as carers. Concessions are £17.50 and under threes cost £1. 

8 Hollow Trees Farm 

Located between Hadleigh and Stowmarket, Hollow Trees Farm offers a special trail for families to enjoy.  

You can get up close to all sorts of friendly farmyard animals including goats, pigs and cows.  

There’s also plenty of play spaces on the trail including pedal tractors and tyre swings.  

Pre booking is essential. 

Tickets for the farm trail cost £5.25 for adults and children. Those aged under two go free.  


Jessica feeding a pony at Easton Farm Park. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Jessica feeding a pony at Easton Farm Park. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

9 Easton Farm Park  

Easton Farm Park near Woodbridge is home to a variety of farm animals including some of the county’s beloved Suffolk Punch horses.  

The park offers a variety of animal experiences and activities for families and also has a green trail and meadow walk.  

You need to book in advance.  

Tickets for the farm park cost £9.50 for adults and children. Under twos go free.  

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