We aim to offer the best experience possible for all of our guests regardless of any physical or non-physical disability.
Please read further information below about accessibility at the zoo.
The zoo is based in an 80 acre natural environmental park and is considered reasonably wheelchair and pushchair friendly. Gradients are less than one in twelve however some appear fairly steep, therefore not all paths are easy to manage independently in a manual wheelchair. Wheelchair access is available to the Island Restaurant, shops and all exhibits. Please ask on arrival for a map of the best routes around the zoo. Path surfaces are either tarmac or crushed and rolled stone and there is plenty of seating around the site.
To see the routes around the zoo, please download our Accessibility Map here.
free carer - guests with a disability
With each guest with a disabililty ticket, we offer free entry for the accompanying carer or helper if required. Please inform front of house staff on arrival and they will ask you to provide one form of ID either:
- Disability living allowance letter
- Blue badge
- P.I.P award documentation
We have 29 parking spaces within the free car park dedicated to visitors with a disabled parking permit. 21 of these are on the first level with a gentle slope to the main entrance, with a further 8 spaces on the second level with a one in twelve gradient zig-zag path to the entrance. Those who prefer may use the drop-off and pick-up point at the main entrance.
disabled Toilet facilities
Disabled toilet facilities are provided in the main entrance, Island Restaurant, Jungle Fun play centre, Avian Breeding Centre and by Crocodile Swamp at the top of the zoo. With the exception of the Avian Breeding Centre, where they are shared, they all have independent disabled toilet facilities.
We are also fully registered with Changing Places, the accessible toilet campaign. The Changing Places toilet is located next to the Island Restaurant and includes a hoist system, adult sized changing bench, adjustable sink, privacy screen and space for one person with a disability and up to two carers. Please note that a sling is not provided in our Changing Places facility.
Wheelchairs and scooters
We are pleased to offer visitors the free use of a manual wheelchair. A returnable deposit of £20.00 is required. Alternatively we have a limited number of electric scooters which can be hired for £10.00 plus a returnable deposit of £20.00. Please telephone the zoo on 01803 697500 to ensure that they are available.
Bookings for our wheelchairs and scooters can be very popular during our peak season times, so to ensure availability on your preferred day, we advise making a booking at least 3-5 days before your visit.
Please note: You must be over 16 to hire an electric scooter.
Here at Paignton Zoo we welcome assistance dogs and want to make your visit to us as enjoyable as possible. To enable this to happen, we have put together the following policy to ensure the safety of yourself, your dog, our animals and members of the public during your visit.
Registered Support Dogs are welcome when accompanied by and under the control of their owners. These dogs must be registered and trained by one of the 8 accredited members of Assistance Dogs International (ADI) or the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF). These include:
• Canine Partners - Registered Charity No: 803680
• Dog A.I.D - Registered Charity No: 1098619
• Dogs for Good - Registered Charity No: 1092960
• Guide Dogs - Registered Charity No: 209617
• Hearing Dogs for Deaf People - Registered Charity No: 293358
• Medical Detection Dogs - Registered Charity No in England and Wales: 1124533
• Support Dogs - Registered Charity No: 1088281
• The Seeing Dogs Alliance - Registered Charity No. 1156790.
These are all member organisations associated with Assistance Dogs UK (ADUK). All ADUK dogs adhere to the highest health, behaviour/training and welfare standards as set out by Assistance Dogs International and the International Guide Dogs Federation. It is essential that we are able to guarantee such standards to fulfil our biosecurity regulations which is part of our Zoo Licencing requirements, and why we do not permit access to animals not registered with one of the above organisations.
We regret we are unable to allow assistance dogs on site unless fully trained.
You can view which areas of the zoo support dogs can have access to on our Support Dog map here.
Front of House staff
Our reception and front of house staff will be very happy to help you in any way they can, so please ask on arrival if you require any assistance.
At present our literature is only available as standard printed leaflets. If you would like an A3 photocopied version please ask any member of staff or telephone 01803 697500.
The Island Restaurant offers an extensive and varied choice of food. If you have special dietary needs we would be delighted to try and meet them. Please telephone the zoo on 01803 697500 prior to your visit to discuss your requirements.
Special needs education
We can provide an unforgettable experience for special needs groups. The Education Centre, which is conveniently situated in the centre of the Zoo, has three well-equipped classrooms and experienced teaching staff who can liaise with group leaders to arrange suitable input for your visit. Please telephone 01803 697500 for further details.
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