Paradise Wildlife Park is part of the Zoological Society of Hertfordshire and located north of Enfield not far from the A10 off the M25. It has both animals as well as a dinosaur area with play areas also.
We have enjoyed different zoos, activities, adventures out but has never been here. Even though I’ve driven on the M25 now hundreds of times, I have never noticed that this is a place not far from it. The kids love seeing animals especially piglet, but the fact there was dinosaurs meant this was a must-visit.
It’s not too bad to drive to, some places are in the middle of nowhere, even though this is a little in the countryside it’s only the last 15 minutes this applies to. The roads are easy to get to it, there are additional carparks across the main road, this gets used when it’s busy, so if you arrive earlier you can be in the main carparks a lot close the entrances. If not there’s a walk back along the road leading in, however, it’s fenced in for safety.
The main area has a toilet block, not very modernised or very big, a discovery centre, and the main entrance. Once you enter through the doors and building etc… You have an open area with several small things, Aswell as the Dino area, going parallel down the road in as mentioned earlier is outside play areas, with two mini walks, one for reindeer and one for wolves. These are shaded and a forest feel, these along with the beehives are the only real animals this side of the park. There is a stage area near some stalls, in the centre of this side, this is where they do interactive shows and talks.
There is a little train ride that goes through the forest as just mentioned alongside the dinosaur part, it’s £2 per ride, which for a family of 5 is a little pricey, I’m not a big fan of having to pay extras in parks etc… If you have to pay a significant amount to get in. The dinosaur area though is good, it’s met by a huge gate looking entrance, much like Jurrasic Park, which for a family who Loves dinosaurs it’s a great thing to see! We then follow a Dino trail around meeting a selection of dinosaurs.
These are great as not only are they well designed but that all have noises and basic animatronics, which really adds a different effect, especially for the kids. Several main dinosaurs are featured that people will know, like raptors, stegosaurus, triceratops etc… Along with someones heavily featured in both Jurassic World and Park, which again helps kids relate to them. The indoraptor is a nice touch along with the T-Rex chasing a jeep, again much like the Jurassic Park. There’s a shop at the end along with a sand fossil play area.
To make your way over the other half of the park you have to exit gate, across the entry and exit road into the other, these are controlled by a member of staff both controlling gates and traffic lights. This is a little odd but fine, if you have young kiddies something to be aware of. As you enter this area you have options, the left is discovery centre, show arena and safari golf.
Through the entrance sign, you can venture in different ways. We went right towards the outback trail and past the lions, some meerkats zebras and Tapirs, these are all open areas but the lions and outback trial have had some investment, the lions you can see high or lower-level, depending on where they are lol. The outback trail you can walk through gets you close to emus, penguins(I know odd), camels, more meerkats, wallabies and alpacas.
Out of here, we went to the amazon and beyond, we seem to miss the gibbons as these were located at the back, the rainforest was frustrating, not great for a pushchair, the entrance and exit were the same, which caused issues, especially with the pushchair. Inside was OK, not a lot to see and difficult to see what there was. The snake part was easier but not great, but on the flip, the reptile house was better, luckily they were on the show a lot more. The otters and red pandas look great, I like red pandas so I’m biased lol.
We then moved on to the big cat territory, this is great as you can go low and high, I had the pushchair so couldn’t go to the top, but the kids went high, both these walks when across the whole area looking at tigers, jaguars, and cheetahs. There is a new area being made so I’m not sure, what that will be, for the kids there was a little farm area, which made a change, we then saw the lemurs, moved onto some play areas and we were done.
Overall like many there’s pros and cons, being spread over two parts is odd, but the manage it OK. The animal part was generally good and you can see the investment that is being made, my only issue is it didn’t flow in my opinion, it almost felt like I was confused when I came out and where to go next, you almost as t times go back on yourself. Even the walks were a great flow, you either come to a dead-end in the forest or you come out in a place that does keep the flow. The gibbons are Completely out of the way, the other end you finish the cats and you come back towards to middle again. Which isn’t terrible but you’re not flowing around the place. The dinosaurs are great, arguably my favourite part, not just because it’s dinos but they were really good. The expectation to pay extra for things like the golf and train is wrong in my opinion, the facilities across the board could better, the food areas, picnics area, and the toilets. Overall it’s a good place to visit, you could easily spend 4 to 6 hours there, depending on the family. Its a good day, and as a mini-zoo there’s still stuff to do.