Blackpool Zoo welcomes all visitors to view its extensive collection of exotic animals. It is situated just two miles inland from the famous Golden Mile, in a very picturesque part of the resort, nestled between Stanley Park, Marton Mere and Victoria Hospital.
The site is generally level throughout and all areas are wheelchair and pushchair friendly.
A clearly-worded leaflet is available to all visitors and this outlines the main facilities, opening times and transport routes. All contact details are listed. Leaflets are distributed to hotels, leisure venues, railway and bus stations, via our website and through Tourist Information Centres.
The Zoo is easily accessed by car, 10 minutes from the M55 motorway or from Blackpool town centre. A large, level, pay and display car park is available. The location of the Zoo is now very well indicated with brown, tourist signs.
Public buses are available all year round. As the site is on the eastern perimeter of the town, it is quite a long walk from the town centre (approximately 2 miles), but is easily accessed to those visitors from the neighbouring Stanley Park or Blackpool Model Village.
The nearest town centre is of course, Blackpool, and taxis are always available throughout the town. A free phone has been installed at the Zoo for those visitors wishing to call a cab to return to Blackpool or their home.
Battery operated scooters are available to hire from an outside company via the Zoo’s reception. These should be booked prior to a visit on 01253 405457.
A limited number of manual wheelchairs and pushchairs are available from the Zoo and these can be reserved in advance at busy times of the year, by calling our reception on 01253 830801.
RADAR toilets are available in Blackpool town centre, keys being available from the Tourist Information Centre.
Arrival and Car Parking
An admission fee is charged at the Zoo as is a small parking charge (£2.50 per day).
The car park has been completely resurfaced and now offers level, tarmac car parking for up to 400 vehicles including 12 dedicated spaces for those with disabilities. The car park is well-lit and closes at 5.00pm or 6.00pm. unless an evening event is in progress.
The car park is, at its closest, about 30 metres from the main Zoo entrance doors which are accessed via a wide, level path. A large sign indicated the entrance to the Zoo and offers large format details of opening times and prices.
Unfortunately, dogs cannot be allowed past the main entrance building, but assistance dogs are welcomed and looked after by staff. It is helpful to know in advance if you would like this service.
Large, directional maps are available to view around the site, and printed maps are given free at admissions.
Main Entrance and Reception
The Zoo opens at 10.00 am every day except Christmas Day, but closing times vary seasonally. Last admission is 45 minutes prior to closing.
There is one main vehicle entrance, but a second pedestrian gate on East Park Drive close to the bus stop and neighbouring park, is open during the summer holidays.
There are no steps to the main entrance hall which has double glass doors, making wheelchair access possible with ease.
Wheelchairs are available free of charge from the Reception office just by the main entrance. (A returnable deposit of £10 is requested). Pushchairs can also be hired at a nominal charge.
There are toilets just inside the main entrance doors, including a fully accessible facility for those with a disability.
Within the Reception office, there is a medical room with changing bed for more personal care and a small meeting room with comfortable chairs which can be used for privacy whilst breastfeeding.
Blackpool Zoo will provide a mobile hoist, changing table and wash basin facilities in a private room in Reception (main entrance building). A personal sling will be required. These are not provided due to our Health and Safety regulations.
Public areas within the Main Entrance
Inside the main entrance concourse can be found an accessible lecture theatre for meetings, an exhibition room, a coffee shop and gift shop. All areas are level with wide passageways for ease of use with wheelchairs. Prices are clearly marked and visible, and staff always on hand during opening hours to be of assistance. All areas are very well-lit.
Admissions’ desks are low enough to be accessible to wheelchair users.
We offer discounted rates for our visitors with disabilities and official carers.
Please bring relevant proof of entitlement to receive these rates, in the form of a disability allowance award or PIP letter, Blue/Orange Badge, signed letter from your GP or DWP Book.
Public areas - WCs
There are four toilet blocks on site for public use, each with disabled facilities.
All are signposted, accessible by wheelchair and are equipped for use by visitors with disabilities. E.g. handrails, non-slip flooring, sliding doors etc.
Baby changing facilities are available in both male and female toilets throughout the site.
Public areas - Restaurants & Eating areas
There are two “sit-down”, indoor eating areas within the zoo, the Coffee Shop in the main entrance hall, and the Lake View Café in the zoo grounds.
The Coffee Shop serves mainly drinks, snacks and cakes with a limited hot food menu. Baby bottles and liquid diets can be warmed by the staff on request. Food ordered at the counter will be brought to the table by staff if required. Toilets are available in the same building.
High chairs are available at all times.
The Lake View Café is situated in the zoo grounds and has ramp access to the main door. The floor is level and the tables spaced out generously to allow wheelchair access throughout. Most special diets can be catered for, a microwave and highchairs are available for free use and staff on hand to assist if necessary. Toilets are available in the café.
Picnic tables are scattered around the site for consumption of visitors’ own food, and a designated indoor eating area available for pre-booked schools of all ages and abilities. This, too, has level access and space for wheelchairs.
Outdoor seasonal snack kiosks are scattered round the site and are easily accessible, other than that at South West gate (near reindeer), which has a step. A member of staff is visible through the hatch and can easily be asked for refreshments to be brought out. These are mainly open in high season.
Public areas - Shops
As well as the large gift shop in the main concourse, there is a smaller gift shop in the grounds near to the elephants’ viewing area. This caters mainly for children, but wheelchair access is possible as this is also the exit from Amazonia, the free-ranging monkey exhibit.
Outdoor areas / Animal enclosures / Gardens
Blackpool Zoo is mainly an outdoor attraction covering approximately 32 acres of level parkland, although this is mainly allocated to exotic animal enclosures.
The Zoo opened on the site in 1972 and has since been improved with regard to access by those with disabilities.
There are designated disabled areas at the front of the Sealion Arena and the Bird Arena.
There is plenty of seating at intervals around the zoo.
New animal housing has low viewing windows to inside areas, and outdoor enclosures are being designed with full glass panel viewing for those in wheelchairs and small children.
Covered viewing is included in all new enclosures and, where it is necessary to raise the platforms, ramps and handrails are incorporated into the design.
All areas of the zoo are accessible to wheelchairs or visitors with limited mobility.
Signage of animal enclosures and public facilities is carefully researched and positioned to ensure maximum visibility to all visitors, including those with limited vision.
Hearing loops are planned for the site and will be installed over the next 3 years.
Playbarn / Children's Parties
The Playbarn on the zoo site does provide limited access for children with physical disabilities, but staff are able to assist where necessary.
Parties can be made available for children of all ages and abilities.
A tannoy system is in place for general information announcements, but all staff are aware that visitors with disabilities will need assistance in the event of an emergency, and training is included in the general induction of all staff.
The zoo’s education department is responsible for planning visits for students of all ages and abilities, and work with schools and colleges to plan day visits or appropriately targeted curriculum sessions for longer term students, including those with both physical and behavioural difficulties.
Smoking is, of course, forbidden in any building on site, and smokers are requested to stand well away from other visitors during talks and feeds.
There are plenty of first-aid trained staff on site, although provision is not compulsory.
Address - Blackpool Zoo, East Park Drive, Blackpool FY3 8PP
Telephone - 01253 830830
Fax - 01253 830800
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Website - www.blackpoolzoo.org.uk
Opening hours - 10.00am daily (except Christmas Day), closing times vary seasonally.
All feedback / suggestions are carefully considered in the management’s quest to make Blackpool Zoo accessible for ALL. Please feel free to contact us.