Pupils should be off-loaded in the turning circle at the main zoo entrance. We have plenty of free parking for coaches in our zoo overflow car park, and mini-buses in our main zoo car park.
If payment is required, your school will normally be invoiced by email after your visit – please confirm the email address to be used for invoice and provide a purchase order number if it will be required. Alternatively, payment can be made by card or cash on arrival. Paignton Zoo is VAT exempt.
We will only charge you for the number of pupils you bring on the day so it is no problem if your numbers have increased or decreased on the day.
Any children who hold a zoo membership will not be required to pay. Passes, or good quality copies, will need to be shown on arrival.
Groups smaller than five paying guests will be required to make payment on arrival, by cash or card. Groups larger than this may be invoiced after your visit.
If you arrive before 11:00am, a member of our education team will try to meet you, check and pass on important information, and lead your group into the zoo for a short welcome.
This 5-minute welcome contains important information and instructions – but also includes fun zoo ‘gossip’. This sets pupils up for the day: we set a challenge that will link to our later meeting at an enclosure.
If children are desperate for the toilet on arrival, these are in the main entrance building.
We have a number of bag storage crates at the education centre – these are not secure but are sheltered. These are allocated on the day.
In addition to picnic areas around the Zoo, we have a limited number of sheltered lunch areas in the event of poor weather. These are allocated on the day and may be shared with other groups: none of these facilities are bookable in advance.
We want to encourage pupils to take in the animals and plants around them. Therefore we have moved away from offering worksheets. As an alternative, during your arrival briefing in the morning, our Engagement Officer will set your pupils challenges for the day that encourage them to use their observation skills.
To complement your visit, we have a number of videos and resources available to use before or after your day.
The nearest toilets to the Education Centre are on the lower level adjacent to Jungle Fun. There are no public toilets in the Education Centre itself. There are also toilets at the end of the restaurant building, where you will find a Changing Places accessible toilet with hoist system. More toilets are located in the main entrance building and near Crocodile Swamps.
On arrival, please let us know if you would like to visit the shop. We ask students to visit in small, accompanied groups to ease congestion.
If you need to contact us for any reason, on the day or in advance of your visit, the best phone number is 01803 697510.
If this number is engaged, please try 01803 697569 or 01803 697500 (main zoo number).