If you’re an animal lover visiting Cumbria, you're in for a treat. The Lake District has many animal attractions that promise a fun day out for the whole family. At Cumbria’s zoos, wildlife parks and aquariums, you'll have the chance to get as close as physically possible to experience the rarest and most endangered animals in unique natural environments.
You’ll also be able to learn about these organisations’ conservation efforts and take part in care and feeding experiences.
Plus, visitors can access zoos in Cumbria by train from all parts of the UK, making them ideal for a short break or family train holiday. Here is a rundown of the best zoos in the region for you to travel to by train.
South Lakes Safari Zoo
One of the most popular zoos in Cumbria is South Lakes Safari Zoo, located near the town of Dalton-in-Furness. Spread over 50 acres, it is home to over 1,000 animals and 120 different species.
Visitors can get up close and personal with tigers, giraffes, lions, rhinos and kangaroos. They can even hand-feed some smaller animals like lemurs and meerkats.
The zoo also runs educational talks and feeding demonstrations, making it a great place for children to learn about animal behaviour and conservation.
Get to South Lakes Safari Zoo by train
To get to South Lakes Safari Zoo, you need to take a train to Dalton station. From there, take bus number X6 or 6 to South Lakes Safari Zoo. The journey from London Euston to Dalton typically takes just under four hours.
Lake District Wildlife Park
Another excellent zoo in Cumbria is the Lake District Wildlife Park near Keswick. The park is set across 25 acres and houses more than 100 species of animals.
Zebras, wallabies, lemurs and European brown bears are all available to view at this park alongside a wide variety of birds of prey. These take part in daily flying demonstrations that are scheduled alongside educational talks and feeding experiences.
Get to the Lake District Wildlife Park by train
To get to the Lake District Wildlife Park by train, you need to get a service to Keswick train station. From there, take the X4 gold bus direct to the park entrance.
For those interested in aquatic life, the Lakes Aquarium in Ulverston is a must-visit.
Set on the shores of Lake Windermere, this aquarium showcases everything from piranhas to sharks. Visitors can also see and feed otters, seals and penguins.
With interactive exhibits and daily talks, it’s the perfect place for visitors who want to find out more about conservation and protecting marine habitats.
Get to Lakes Aquarium by train
To get to Lakes Aquarium by train, catch a service to Kendal station. From there, you can take the X6 bus directly to the Hotel stop before walking or getting a taxi to the aquarium.
Lake District Coast Aquarium
The Lake District Coast Aquarium is an exciting aquatic attraction in Maryport, Cumbria. Visitors can expect to spot many species in the tanks, including fish, crabs, lobsters and seahorses.
One of the highlights of the aquarium is the touch tank. Here, visitors can get hands-on with some specially chosen sea creatures, including starfish and anemones.
The Lake District Coast Aquarium also offers a variety of educational programs and activities for families to find out more about life underwater.
Get to the Lake District Coast Aquarium by train
To get to the Lake District Coast Aquarium, take a train to Carlisle Station before getting a local connection to Maryport Station. The Coast Aquarium is just a five-minute walk from there.
Lakeland Wildlife Oasis
Another unique animal attraction in Cumbria is the Lakeland Wildlife Oasis near Milnthorpe.
This small zoo in Cumbria is home to various exotic animals, including lemurs, meerkats and even armadillos. Visitors can also see native wildlife, like red squirrels and barn owls.
The zoo runs daily talks and animal handling sessions, allowing visitors to interact more closely with the animals.
Get to Lakeland Wildlife Oasis by train
To get to the Lakeland Wildlife Oasis by train, head to Lancaster station before boarding a local service to Carnforth. Then, get the 755 bus which will drop you half a mile away from the sanctuary.
To see some of nature's best hunters, take a trip to the Predator Experience near High Newton.
Spend some time with a wolf pack or foxes or learn how to handle eagles in their natural habitat. The Predator Experience also lets you meet creepy crawlies like snakes and tarantulas.
Get to Predator Experience by train
To reach the Predator Experience by train, get a train to Kendal before catching the X6 bus service to Snowdrop Villa. From there, it's a one-mile walk or taxi ride to the park entrance.
Make the most of your visit to a zoo in Cumbria
Cumbria has diverse animal attractions suitable for visitors of all ages. Whether you're interested in exotic wildlife, marine life or domestic animals, there's something for everyone to enjoy. With lots of educational programs and activities, they are great options for families wanting to learn more about animal behaviour and conservation.
To make the most of your visit, download the Avanti West Coast app for an easy and stress-free way of planning your trip. With quick and simple train booking with no fees, visiting animal attractions around the Lake District is straightforward when you buy tickets with us. All you need to do is sit back and get ready to meet nature’s most awesome creatures.