Region: North East

Disabled Facilities: Yes

Category: Day Trip Destinations

Address: Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens, Kirkley Hall, Ponteland, Northumberland NE20 0AQ

Contact: 01670 841235



Set in the idyllic grounds of the Kirkley Hall estate, situated in the heart of the Northumberland countryside, our Activity Centre is a fantastic facility that offers adventurous fun for everyone.

Are you on Twitter, Facebook or any other social media and what are the links?

Exactly what does your venue offer to educational visits?

Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens opened in May 2011, the Zoo was built to facilitate training for Animal Care Students in Northumberland. Since it opened its doors in 2011 the Zoo has rapidly expanded and is now host to over 200 Species of animals from Lemurs to Porcupines, Bush Dogs to Parrots we have everything you will need to engage your Children.

Our Outdoor Activity Centre offers an action packed activity day or residential trip that will inspire learning, improve confidence enhance team work and self-discovery! From adventure sports days to high ropes courses we can have something for every child. 

Why are you a great place for educational visits?

Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens and Outdoor Activity Centre is a fantastic place to visit. Treat your children to a fun packed day away from the class room that will inspire and enhance their learning experience. Only 7 miles away from Newcastle and close to the A1 Kirkley Hall is easy to get to. As well as being home to over 200 species of animal the site also host an Outdoor Activity Centre, River and Forest Trail, Childrens Play Area and Petting Barn. 

Do you have the LOtC Quality Badge or any other accreditation such as AALA?

Kirkley Hall have the LoTC Quality Badge.

What does a typical educational visit include?

You can plan your Zoo visit to suit your needs including guided tours of the zoo, animal handling sessions with one of our experienced keepers or a formal session with one of our educational team. Our specialist talks include Enrichment Workshops, Behavior Ethograms, Endangered Animals and the Conservation Role of the Modern Zoo. Talks can also be tailored to your learning outcomes to ensure that your class have a day that is not only exciting but filled with new things to see, learn and share!

Our Outdoor Activity Centre offers a variety of activities including the following: Forest School, High Ropes, Low Ropes, Zip Slide, Raft Building Archery, Indoor Climbing, Orienteering, Assault Course and Bush Craft. We welcome groups of all sizes for both day trips and residential packages. Our experienced outdoor education team will work with you to produce a trip that meets your learning objectives. Our activities can also improve social skills including team work, understanding, patience, empathy or confidence. Above all we will ensure that each individual has fun!      

What group sizes do you cater for?

Kirkley Hall can accommodate groups of 15 to 200 from nursery schools to Key Stage 4.

We can also offer visits for smaller groups from 1+ and can support children with different learning needs during their visit.  

Do you provide projects, teacher’s packs, work sheets or any useful information?

Project packs and worksheets can be provided after the learning outcomes of your visit have been identified.

Are you happy for children to take photos, video or audio?

Children are welcome to take photos and videos during their visit, we do however ask that all flash settings are taken off as the bright light can upset our animals.

What is your process for booking pre arranged risk assessments?

Risks Assessments are provided in our School Pack however we would be happy see you before your trip to conduct your own risk assessments.

Does your venue have an education officer?

We have a dedicated team of school trip planners who report directly to our Education Officer to ensure that all of your needs are met.

What is the cost of the visit?

Here at Kirkley Hall, we are delighted to include complimentary access to teachers and accompanying adults for school visits.

Prices vary depending on the size of your group and the location of your trip please contact Kirkley Hall directly to receive a quotation for your group booking.

Is specific clothing required for the trip?

If you are visiting our Zoological Gardens children must wear shoes that completely encase the foot. Wellies are advisable particularly during the winter months. Lots of our animals have outdoor enclosures and so wooly hats, gloves and scarves may be required during winter to!

Our Outdoor Activity Groups should wear shoes that completely encase the foot, during the summer month’s shorts and t-shirts are suitable however long trousers and jumpers that do not restrict movement of the limbs should be worn in the colder months. A water proof jacket is advisable at all times of year. 

Do you have first aid on site or will the group need to bring a qualified first aider?

A First Aider is on site at all times

Please list facilities available.

You may wish to visit our Orangery that serves a variety of hot and cold refreshments including, Sandwiches, Children’s Snack Boxes, Jacket Potatoes, Tea and Coffee a wide range of soft drinks.

You can bring along your own lunch if you wish or lunch boxes made freshly here at Kirkley Hall for an additional Charge. You can enjoy the outdoors in our picnic areas or if the weather is cold and wet in one of our classrooms.

Kirkley Hall is also host to a small farm shop with a large section gifted to children’s toys and stationary. Prices range between £2.00-£5.00

What are your disabled facilities?

Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens and the Orangery Tea Room are both wheelchair friendly. Due to the terrain of the river and forest trail it is not advised that you try to access this area.

Our Outdoor Activity Centre is not suitable for wheelchairs at this time.

What are your opening days and hours?

We are open for school visits from Monday – Sunday 7 days a week.

Do you have any testimonials from previous schools we can include?

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you and everyone who helped us on Friday for our school trip. This was the third year we have visited Kirkley and it just improves year on year. All the zoo keepers were very knowledgeable and had a lovely manner with all the children. What made the trip was the children getting on the bus and saying it was the best day they had ever had. Today they also surprised me by regurgitating all of the information they had learnt on Friday. I was so impressed with everything and just wanted to say thank you to you all!!

We just wanted to say a big thank you for our wonderful visit last week. We all had a fab time!

I asked a couple of the children to write some feedback and here's what we got:

Maisie and Harry Stranger - aged 7 & 13yrs

Me and Maisie liked the Lemurs. It was funny when they sunbathed. I liked when we saw the Parrot on the wildlife walk and it talked to us.

Holly - 13yrs

It was ok thank you - I loved the woodland walk! Thanks.

Jacob - 10 yrs.

Very fun I liked the Lemurs. The parrot was funny.

Age of Children / Pupils: Pre-school 5 – 7 years 8 – 10 years 11 – 13 years 14 – 16 years College University

Type of Visit: Animal Welfare High Ropes Outdoor Education Residential School Trips Team Building Wildlife and Nature Zoos

Curriculum Topics Covered: Environmental Studies Leisure & Tourism PE Science

Months Open: All Year Round January February March April May June July August September October November December

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