Accessibility

Meerkat at Paignton Zoo

We aim to offer the very best experience possible for all of our guests, regardless of any physical or non-physical disability.

Below are some of the ways that we help to make your visit to us easy and enjoyable:

General access

Paignton Zoo is based in a natural environmental park and is considered reasonably wheelchair and pushchair friendly. Gradients are less than one in twelve however, some hills appear fairly steep, therefore not all paths are easy to manage independently in a manual wheelchair. Path surfaces are either tarmac or crushed and rolled stone and there is plenty of seating around the site. 

Wheelchair access is available to the Island Restaurant, shops and the majority of our exhibits. 
To see the best routes around Paignton Zoo, you can download our Accessibility Map here.


Free carer for guests with a disability

With each guest with a disability 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

Disabled toilet facilities

These are located in the main entrance, Island Restaurant, next to Jungle Fun indoor play, Hangout play area and by Crocodile Swamp at the top of Paignton Zoo.

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.


Parking

We have 29 parking spaces within our free car park dedicated to visitors with a disabled parking permit or blue badge. 

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.


Wheelchair and scooter hire

We 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 that can be hired for £10.00, plus a returnable deposit of £20.00.  

All wheelchair and scooter hires must be pre-booked in advance of your visit by calling Reception on 01803 697500.

We reserve the right to refuse the supply of equipment if deemed in the interests of the safety of you and/or others. You are advised to disclose any relevant information likely to affect your ability to operate the equipment safely.

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 one week before your visit.


Assistance dogs

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.