Whatever your favourite animal – or your kids’ favourite creature – you never have to travel far from Huddersfield or West Yorkshire to see one.

Alright – we can’t promise you a panda or a blue whale.

But lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes and sharks are within an easy drive.

And meerkats, crocodiles and llamas are just down the road.

Crocodiles

Crocodile at Tropical World, Leeds

These giant lizards have a fearsome reputation but they’re fascinating and pretty safe behind glass.

Tropical World, Leeds, has Morelet’s Crocodiles which are normally found in Central America.

Where: Tropical World, Princes’ Avenue, Roundhay Park, Leeds LS8 1DF

Distance from Huddersfield: 24 miles

Admission: Adults £6, Children (5-15) £3, Under 5s Free

Contact: www.roundhaypark.org.uk

0113 237 0754

Elephants

Elephants at Knowsley Safari Park

Knowsley Safari Park near Liverpool has four African elephants and they’re the biggest land mammals in the world.

Where: Knowsley Safari Park, Prescott, near Liverpool, L34 4AN

Distance from Huddersfield: 54 miles

Admission: If you book online it’s £15.75 per adult and £12.15 per child. There are discounts for pensioners and families. If you pay at the gate it’s slightly more expensive.

Contact: www.knowsleysafariexperience.co.uk

0151 430 9009

Giraffes

Giraffes at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Yorkshire Wildlife Park is the closest place to find these towering, yet gentle creatures.

The park has two reticulated giraffe, one endangered Rothschild’s giraffe and one hybrid.

Where: Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Warning Tongue Lane, Branton, Doncaster, DN4 6TB

Distance from Huddersfield: 46 miles

Admission: If you book online it’s £16 per adult and £13 per child. There are discounts for pensioners, families and disabled people. If you pay at the gate it’s more expensive.

Contact: www.yorkshirewildlifepark.com

01302 535057

Llamas

Llama at Ponderosa

These distant relatives of the camel have some of the softest wool going which means they’re lovely to stroke.

Ponderosa, at Heckmondwike, has a herd of these South American beauties.

Where: Ponderosa, Off Smithies Lane, Heckmondwike WF16 0PN

Distance from Huddersfield: 8 miles

Admission: £5.50 adults, £5 children/OAPs

Contact: www.ponderosa-park.co.uk

01924 235276

Lions, tigers and big cats

Lions at Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Again Yorkshire Wildlife Park, near Doncaster, has these feline giants and leopards.

Where: Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Warning Tongue Lane, Branton, Doncaster, DN4 6TB

Distance from Huddersfield: 46 miles

Admission: If you book online it’s £16 per adult and £13 per child. There are discounts for pensioners, families and disabled people. If you pay at the gate it’s more expensive.

Contact: www.yorkshirewildlifepark.com

01302 535057

Meerkats

Meerkats

Thanks to a certain car insurance advert these sociable creatures are loved enormously.

And Cannon Hall Farm has its own mob of meerkats.

Where: Cannon Hall Farm, Bark House Lane, Cawthorne, S75 4AT

Distance from Huddersfield: 14 miles

Admission: Varies. It’s cheaper on a weekday (£5.95 per child or adult) more expensive on a weekend (£7.95) and cheaper after 3pm (£3)

Contact: http://cannonhallfarm.co.uk

01226 790427

Sharks

Shark and other exotic fish at The Deep

This one’s a bit of a schlep but The Deep at the end of the M62 has whole variety of these enigmatic terrors of the deep.

Where: The Deep, Tower Street, Hull, HU1 4DP

Distance from Huddersfield: 74 miles

Admission: £11.25 adults, £9.45 children. There are discounted rates for families, pensioners and students. It’s also cheaper to buy tickets online.

Contact: www.thedeep.co.uk

01482 381000