Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park.

 

We had a staycation at East Thorne in Cornwall over the Easter holidays, but being so close to the Devon border we did pop over a few times for days out, and one of my favourite ones was definitely Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park. It was also the boys favourite!

 

When we arrived there, we had to park in the overflow car park which was an extremely steep walk down to the park, and a challenging one on the way back, but worth it. We hadn’t been there before, and decided to go there last minute on a whim so I didn’t do my usual research before hand, so had no idea what to expect.

 

Well what we got was a brilliant day out, and a request from the boys to go again next time we’re near Devon. We had lunch as soon as we arrived, a little early but Fin’s blood glucose dropped so we thought we might as well combine lunch with treating his hypo since we’d need to sit for at least 15 minutes anyway.

 

The cafe had trees in it….obviously not real ones, but trees nonetheless and they added to the atmosphere of the place. The food was cheap and cheerful, and we of course ate healthily. Okay we all had chips, I had a huge burger as well, and it was delicious. The service was quick, they had an extensive menu to cater for even the fussiest of eaters, and the staff were friendly.

 

Combe Martin Cafe

 

After lunch we were just in time for the Sea Lion show, and I am so glad that we were. The Sea Lions were huge, powerful and mostly well trained. On the day that we watched the show it was unintentionally hilarious, as the day was so hot the Sea Lions kept wanting to cool off by getting back in to the pool when they were supposed to be doing tricks, and ignored the keepers more than I imagine they usually do!

 

#thewildlifeanddinosaurpark #sealion show ☺

A video posted by A Cornish Mum Blog (@acornishmum) on

 

When they were listening though, they were brilliant ‘clapping’, bowing and even collecting hoops. Now for those who are about to say how cruel it is to have them putting on shows, they genuinely seemed to enjoy it and the keepers (who were brilliant) explained to us that they teach them how to do most of the tricks for reasons other than entertainment, such as to make it easier to examine them when they are unwell or need injections etc.

 

Sea Lion Show Combe Martin

 

Walking around the park, there are different dinosaurs that you can spot, some of which move and make noises, which the boys loved. Admittedly though one did make me jump, much to everyone else’s amusement.

 

Dinosaurs at Combe Martin

 

I loved the fact that they had keepers giving talks about the animals at certain times, and not just the usual ‘watch us feed them for five minutes’ that you get at a lot of zoos and wildlife parks, we actually learned a lot.

 

The keeper for the White Hudson Bay Wolves was really interesting to listen to, and he was telling us that wolves aren’t actually as dangerous as you might imagine, and about some of the history of where big bad wolf tales come from, and lots of other interesting facts. The wolves were beautiful, and had all come from other zoos where they had been rejected from their packs.

 

You can actually go in with the MeerKats at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, and feed them. We didn’t though, as there was a bit of a crowd waiting and we didn’t fancy queuing, but I’d imagine it’s good fun to do. Some of the other animals there include Lions, Penguins, and Baboons.

Combe Martin animals

 

There is also an Egyptian exhibit there, which sneakily (cleverly) gets you to exit via the gift shop. The Egyptian bit was good other than one thing, in some parts they have made it a little bit too atmospheric, in that it’s so dark you can’t see what it is you are meant to be looking at. Still fun though!

 

We walked through the small dinosaur museum, which the boys whizzed through, but I really enjoyed reading all the information in there.

 

Dinosaur museum at Combe Martin Devon

 

Now for a little confession, there is a huge indoor play area there apparently, but Si and I told the boys it was shut as we wanted to leave to be back in time for tea, but ssh if you don’t tell them I won’t and I can apologise when they’re older and reading this blog for fodder for their teenage angst.

 

We had a brilliant time at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, and we will definitely be going back at some point in the future. I really recommend it as a great family day out in Devon. Have you been there before?

 

If you want more information on and directions to (NEVER ask me for directions, my internal compass has never worked) Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, then pop to the Combe Martin website.

 

Stevie x

 

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18 Comments

  1. Penny Pincher (Dawn)
    21 April 2015 / 1:07 am

    Looks like a fun day out and those dinosaurs reminded me of somewhere I went when I was younger. I forget where it was but they made noises too and I nearly had a heart attack when it roared and I ran away hahaha x

    • 21 April 2015 / 10:42 am

      It really was, the sea lion show was everyone’s favourite bit, it was hilarious!

      Stevie x

  2. Becky, Cuddle Fairy
    21 April 2015 / 9:33 am

    What an amazing sounding place! Full of fun & learning. You were right to fib about the indoor play area, it would have been so hard to get them out of there! Looks like you had lovely weather too! :)

    • 21 April 2015 / 10:44 am

      I have to admit indoor play areas for children do drive me a bit mad, I give in and go to them sometimes but arghh the noise!

      Stevie x

  3. 21 April 2015 / 8:29 pm

    What a fab day out! Must come to Cornwall with the boys for a holiday – hubby has been but I’ve never ventured that way x

    • 21 April 2015 / 9:17 pm

      Cornwall is amazing, and the dinosaur isn’t far from Cornwall (it is in Devon though ;) ) If you do come down at some point, we definitely need to meet up!

      Stevie xx

    • 21 April 2015 / 9:19 pm

      It really was brilliant, it’s probably an hour and a half or so away from where we live, but there’s loads of fun places in Cornwall and South Devon! Slight trek for you though lovely I know!

      Stevie x

  4. 22 April 2015 / 10:14 am

    Looks lots of fun and educational too

    • 22 April 2015 / 11:19 am

      It really was both, I think when we go again we will get there earlier to hear more of the keeper talks, as we did miss a few!

      Stevie x

  5. 22 April 2015 / 11:00 pm

    Those sea lions look great, we are off to Devon in a while, so thanks for the recommendations. Mich x

    • 23 April 2015 / 10:28 am

      My pleasure, I’ll keep an eye out for your blog posts when you get back!

      Stevie x

  6. Charlotte @ Educating Elsa
    23 April 2015 / 6:00 pm

    I think I have a memory of going here when I was younger. We definitely went on holiday to Combe Martin with my Dad and I have an image of my sister in an animal enclosure (maybe meerkats or lemurs?) and the dinosaurs. I’ve been looking at Devon holidays today actually so will definitely have to take Elsa there if we do end up going somewhere nearby!

    • 24 April 2015 / 9:44 am

      My boys absolutely loved it there, so I suspect we’ll be going again next time we’re in that part of Devon!

      Stevie x

  7. 24 April 2015 / 9:59 am

    I’ve driven past loads of times, when holidaying there, but that was pre child so never called in. I must say it looks great, and a visit has now been put on the cards.

    It also means that we will have to make a stop at the pancake shop, (if it’s still there), in Combe Martin!

    • 24 April 2015 / 10:21 am

      Ooh I wish I’d known there might be a pancake shop, I would definitely have had to have looked for it! KIds are definitely a good excuse to go to fun places!

      Stevie :)

      • 25 April 2015 / 6:36 pm

        My bad! It’s in Woolacombe! but that’s only a short drive away.

        G Js Dutch Pancakes. Please note they are only open in season.

        • 25 April 2015 / 10:40 pm

          Ha no worries, I like Woolacombe, we stayed in a lighthouse keepers cottage near there last year!

          Stevie :)