If you are a family of animal lovers, then this is the post for you. As an animal obssessed family with a five year old who asks to go see the animals every single weekend, I feel like we’ve been to every animal park in South Wales a million times. Here are the details of them, and my personal opinion on the pros and cons of each one. Please always check the website or contact the park to find out if they’re still open and what’s available, as this information was accurate at time of posting, but things can always change.
Something I’m asked a lot from visitors to Cardiff and South Wales is “Does Cardiff have a zoo?” Cardiff does not have a zoo at all, and never has. We have some nice Victorian parks, but unfortunately green space is a premium in Cardiff and it is unlikely there will ever be a zoo in the city. That being said, if you like reptiles, check out Reptile Cymru – a reptile shop near the city centre, where you can look at, and even hold, some of the reptiles! After that, The Meadows is the closest to a zoo as it has some small exotic animals, but is still mostly an animal farm park. So, Cardiff does not have a zoo, but it does have lots of other options for animal experiences!
The next question is “Does Cardiff have an Aquarium?” Cardiff does not have an aquarium. It does have several aquatic shops where you can see tropical fish for sale, but it has no aquariums as tourist attractions, and none of the animal farms have aquatic displays. The closest aquarium is Bristol aquarium, about 50 minutes from Cardiff.
If you know an animal park or animal opportunity that isn’t posted here, please let me know and I’ll get it added!
Cefn Mably Farm Park, St Mellon’s, Cardiff
Cefn Mably Farm Park is in St Mellon’s and has been our most visited Farm Park with 20+ visits. With recent renovations they’ve come back better than ever, and have an animal park with horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, cows, pigs, chickens etc. as well as petting of guinea pigs and rabbits. You can buy bags of animal feed, and you can pay extra for a train ride around the park, mini golf or a pony ride. There’s outdoor play equipment and a small cafe tent. Their brand new soft play warehouse is now open!
The Meadows Farm Village, Caerphilly
The Meadows Farm Village (previously known as Playworks The Meadows) has both farm animals and some more exotic animals such as meerkats, racoon dogs, emu, and peacocks. You can get up close and personal with the mini pigs in their enclosure, and there’s guinea pig and rabbit petting too. There’s also an extra cost for a hands-on reptile experience and lorikeet walkthrough. They have some outdoor play equipment and offer special toddler sessions. There’s a cafe and plenty of places for a picnic.
Raglan Farm Park, Monmouthshire
Raglan Farm Park is about 40 minutes from Cardiff and has multiple barns full of soft play equipment, as well as massive inflatables and trampolines, so it’s ideally for a wetter day. On the animal front they have all donkeys, horses, cows, sheep etc. and in the spring you can watch their lambing and even feed lambs with bottled milk. You can buy carrots to feed the animals. There’s plenty of outdoor equipment, an optional tractor ride and 4 big zip lines as well. There’s a cafe and a farm shop on site. I think Raglan Farm Park offers one of the best value in South Wales and you can easily spend a full day here if your kids enjoy soft play.
Wiggleys Fun Farm, Bridgend
Wiggley’s Fun Farm is about 40 minutes outside Cardiff, not far from Bridgend. It has a very large indoor wooden climbing play area, with smaller areas for younger children. It has outdoor areas and traditional farm animals such as horses, donkeys, pigs and sheep. You can buy food, but they ask that you feed it via a feeding shoot rather than using your hands. There’s also a nice nature trail walk. Adults are free with a paying child which makes this budget friendly and especially good for both parents or even grandparents to come along and watch the fun.
Amelia Trust Farm, Barry
Amelia Trust Farm is a charity farm which helps provide therapeutic support to disadvantaged and vulnerable people in a Care Farm setting, whilst also being open to the public. There are a traditional farm animals, a small reptile room, and a small amount of birds and ferrets to watch. The animal section in general is quite small (probably about 30-45 minutes) and you’re not allowed to feed the animals. There is also an outdoor climbing frame and swings, a lovely forest walk with lots of natural activities, which can easily add an extra hour to your visit, and a cafe with plenty of seating. On the whole I’d allow 2-3 hours for this visit if you’re fit and able to do the nature trails. This may be a small farm, but it’s very well priced for the family to visit on a budget, and you’re supporting a fantastic charity by visiting as well. Dogs welcome on leads!
Margam Country Park, Port Talbot
Margam Country Park is a massive park with loads to see and do, historic buildings, multiple playgrounds, and a farm trail. The Farm Trail is quite a walk away from the main entrance and I’d recommend it for dry days as there’s little cover on that side of the park, but you can then see pigs, sheep, chickens, rabbits and more. You might catch a glimpse of some of the deer herd that lives in the park as well. With the park being free entry, it’s a great low-budget day out. Dogs welcome on leads!
Walnut Tree Farm Park,
Walnut Tree Farm Park is about half hour drive outside Cardiff, in St Brides, Newport. It’s a family run working farm with all the usual animals you can expect to see. It also has go-carts, tractor rides, quad bikes and both indoor and outdoor play areas. The lovely coffee shop has a small enclosed soft play area suitable for under 5s. Ideal for keeping the little ones busy whilst you rest with a cup of coffee.
Greenmeadow Community Farm, Cwmbran
Greenmeadow Community Farm is located in Cwmbran. In addition to lots of traditional farm animals, they host a Julia Donaldson ‘Stick Man’ themed trail. There are daily activities including milking demonstrations, tractor rides, animal activities and opportunities to hold guinea pigs and rabbits.
Warren Mill Farm, Pendoylan
Warren Mill Farm is a small farm with lots of traditional animals. It has a small playground and sand pit and you can buy animal feed and many of the animals such as sheep, geese, ducks and chickens are free roaming and very tame and friendly. This offers a great opportunity to get up close and personal with the animals.
Mountain View Ranch, Caerphilly
Located in Caerphilly, Mountain View Ranch hosts the Gruffalo trail as well as loads of outdoor activities. It’s mainly an outdoor adventure playground, but it does have ponies and guinea pigs.
Sometimes it’s worth travelling a little bit further so I’ve included a few other days out with animal experiences and animal parks that you might want to consider.
Cantref Adventure Farm, Brecon, Mid Wales
Cantref Adventure Farm is located 1 hour from Cardiff, in Mid Wales, just outside of Brecon. It has rides, both indoor and outdoor activities, and lots of farm animals and even has camping and holiday accommodation on site. It’s a full day out so well worth a visit for animal lovers.
Folly Farm, Pembrokeshire, West Wales
Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo is located in Kilgetty in Pembrokeshire, not far from Tenby. It’s about 1 hour 40 minutes drive from Cardiff, so may be a bit far for a morning out, but if you want a full day trip or somewhere to go for a special occasion, it has a farm park, a zoo, soft play, adventure playgrounds both inside and outside, and carnival style rides. We go here once a year and it’s well worth the travel time!
Wild Place Project, Bristol
Wild Place Project is located about 50 minutes outside of Cardiff, so not too long a drive! I’ve been visiting Bristol Zoo every year since I was a child. In fact I picked it for William’s first birthday! Finding out Bristol Zoo was closing was devastating to me, but where one thing ends, another begins, and all the animals and staff are now at Wild Place Project, just outside of Bristol. Wild Place Project is a wild sprawling zoo