If you’re looking for a great family day out in Colwyn Bay, then the Welsh Mountain Zoo has plenty to explore.
Located in the town of Colwyn Bay, the Welsh Mountain Zoo is home to thousands of animals, including rare and endangered species. Set over 37 acres, the zoo was founded in 1963 by local naturalist Robert Jackson and has been run by the family ever since.
The zoo's location on the slopes of the Great Orme provides stunning views of the North Wales coast which, alongside all the amazing animals, makes it a popular destination for tourists. The zoo also runs a number of conservation projects, including a Sumatran tiger breeding programme, which aims to help save this endangered species from extinction.
Alongside visiting the big cats, primates and other mammals, one of the zoo’s highlights is the sea lion show, which takes place several times a day. Visitors can take part in a range of exciting activities, including animal encounters, feeding sessions, and bird-of-prey experiences.
Plus, it’s easy to get to the Welsh Mountain Zoo by train, so you can make the most of your day out with the kids. Here's what you need to know about visiting and getting there by train.
Travelling to Wales’ Mountain Zoo by train
To get to the Mountain Zoo in Wales by train, visitors need to get a service to Colwyn Bay train station. Once you’ve disembarked on the beautiful north Welsh coast, you can enjoy the 30-minute walk to the zoo or take a five-minute taxi ride.
With trains running from many UK towns and cities to Colwyn Bay, the Welsh Mountain Zoo makes a perfect family day trip by train.
Liverpool to Colwyn Bay
If you're travelling from Liverpool, you can catch a direct train to Colwyn Bay. The journey takes around one hour and 30 minutes and trains run regularly throughout the day. This means you can travel from the centre of the city to the seaside for a big family day out easily.
Chester to Colwyn Bay
If you're coming from Chester to Colwyn Bay, there are several trains that run throughout the day. The journey is direct and takes around 40 minutes, making it the perfect location for a day trip with the kids.
Manchester to Colwyn Bay
If you're travelling from Manchester, you can catch a direct train to Llandudno Junction, which takes around two hours. From there, you can catch a connection to Colwyn Bay, which takes around 10 minutes. Alternatively, get a direct train to Chester and then change services to get to Colwyn Bay.
Holyhead to Colwyn Bay
If you're coming from Holyhead, you can catch a direct train to Llandudno Junction, which takes around one hour and 20 minutes. From there, you can catch a connecting train to Colwyn Bay, which takes around 10 minutes.
Stoke-on-Trent to Colwyn Bay
If you're travelling from Stoke-on-Trent, you can catch a direct train to Chester and then catch the connection to Colwyn Bay. The whole journey takes around two hours and 30 minutes.
Where to buy tickets for the Welsh Mountain Zoo
You can buy tickets to the Welsh Mountain Zoo on their website or at the entrance on the day of your visit. It’s worth noting that you can save money by purchasing tickets in advance.
An online family ticket costs £57.15 with a GiftAid donation to the zoo’s conservation work. This will give you access to the whole zoo, its daily species talks and sea lion feeding and training. Check the times for these at the information office when you arrive to be sure you don’t miss out.
Fun things to do in Colwyn Bay
If you've got some spare time during your day in Colwyn Bay or are there for a weekend away at the seaside, there are plenty of other fun things to do besides visiting the zoo.
Take a stroll along the promenade
As soon as you step outside of Colwyn Bay train station, you’ll get a glimpse of the sandy and beautiful Colwyn Bay beach. The promenade runs all the way along this coastline and is the perfect place to grab an ice cream, enjoy the view across the Irish Sea or take a picture on the pier.
If you can’t get enough of Victorian seaside vibes, take a trip to the nearby town of Llandudno to enjoy its own pier and promenade.
Explore the Great Orme
A limestone headland with stunning views of the sea and surrounding countryside, the Great Orme peninsula is a must-visit destination while you’re in the area. Head to the Great Orme Country Park Visitor Centre to find out all about the geography of this unique feature.
Alternatively, take the Tramway from Llandudno up to the summit (270m) to see if you can spot Snowdonia, Anglesey or maybe the Lake District in the distance.
Discover the local history
A unique part of the world, the Colwyn Bay area is the perfect place to find out more about Welsh history. Llandudno Museum contains 9,000 artefacts and holds regular events and talks. Plus, nearby Conwy Castle is a medieval fortress and UNESCO World Heritage Site which has overlooked the coastline since the 13th century.
Smell the flowers at local gardens
Alongside the Welsh Mountain Zoo's own Botanical Garden, there are plenty of places to take in stunning floral displays and beautiful scenery in Colwyn Bay. Bodnant Garden, the Queen’s Gardens and the Pwllycrochan Woods Nature Reserve are all ideal places for those who fancy an afternoon stroll or want to let the kids run off some steam.
Tips for visiting the Welsh Mountain Zoo
When visiting the Welsh Mountain Zoo, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make the most of your visit.
- Check the zoo's website before you go to see if there are any special events or activities taking place on the day of your visit
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothing, as there's a lot of walking involved. The zoo is spread out over a large area and there are some steep hills to climb, so you'll want to be prepared
- Bring a camera or smartphone to capture the stunning views from the top of the hill and the unique animals in the zoo itself
- Be prepared for the weather. The zoo is open all year round, but the weather in North Wales can be unpredictable, so it's a good idea to bring a waterproof jacket, suncream and a hat
Travel to the Mountain Zoo in Wales with Avanti
As a must-visit destination for animal lovers and families, the Welsh Mountain Zoo is also easy and convenient to get to by train, making it an ideal location for a day out with the kids. To get the cheapest train tickets possible, make sure to book in advance and look for family tickets and Railcards to get fares even cheaper.