Blackpool Theme Parks / Zoos National
Blackpool Zoo was officially opened in 1972. The Zoo is set across 32 acres of land which is home to hundreds of animals. ~Location, Opening Times and Prices~ Blackpool Zoo, East Park Drive, Blackpool, FY3 8PP 01253 830830 www.blackpoolzoo.org.uk Blackpool Zoo is approximately 2 miles from the ... seafront of Blackpool and located a short walk from Stanley Park. During the peak season, buses run from the town centre straight to the zoo. The Zoo has a car park which can accommodate a good number of cars.
Blackpool Zoo is open everyday except the 25th of December. The Zoo opens at 10 am each day and closes at either 4.45pm or 5.45pm depending on season. The last admission for the Zoo is 45 mins before it closes.
There are lots of different pricing options offered by the Zoo and you can save around 5% by booking online.
*Adult - £15.50 (membership £38.75)
*Child (3-15yrs) - £11.00 (membership £27.50)
*Concessions - £13.50 (membership £33.75)
*Family of 4 - £48.00 (membership £120.00)
*Family of 5 - £57.00 (membership £142.50)
It is worth noting the facilities before I discuss the animals at the Zoo. The main foyer of the Zoo includes toilets (disabled and baby changing available), a cafe with small play area, the Zoo shop and also areas for corporate events. The foyer is where you can purchase your tickets before heading into the Zoo.
Within the Zoo, there are toilets located in various areas, a nursery (see website for fees), educational areas and various food chalets which are open during peak seasons to offer ice cream, drinks and sweet treats. There is a cafe known as the Lake View Cafe which offers light bites and refreshments. There is a small, outdoor play area to the far end of the Zoo and a small train which runs around one end of the Zoo (£1.00 per person). There are feeding sessions and also the opportunity to become a zookeeper for the day etc.
There is a huge playbarn located around the corner from the main entrance of the Zoo which costs from £1.75 upwards. There are picnic areas and benches dotted around the Zoo and also drinks machines. There is plenty of grass to roam or relax on during warmer months. The Zoo is fully accessible for prams and wheelchairs (these can also be hired) as the pavements are flat all the way around the Zoo.
The animals who live at the Zoo have their own areas - huge enclosures, barns, large grassy areas and also indoor sleeping areas. There are a few lakes around the Zoo which are home to the more aquatic animals that live there. Most of the animals can be viewed by walking around the Zoo. Others are most likely to be in their indoor space. There is a Wallaby Walkabout allowing you to get up close to the animals.
The Elephant and Reptile House is home to the elephants and snakes. The Amazonia dome is home to some fish and small monkey type animals which roam about free. There is a childrens farm which has set times for petting the animals and is ideal for those who are a little scared of the bigger animals within the park.
The visitor guide book is priced at £2.50 and can be purchased from the main reception. This book gives plenty of info about the animals you will see and their temperment. There is also a map to give you an idea of where to go to see each animal. The animals at Blackpool Zoo include tigers, gorillas, tortoises, flamingos and penguins plus many more. Each enclosure features information plaques which give an insight into the animal you are watching.
Despite having visited Blackpool more than 30 times since my childhood, I had never visited the Zoo. We had decided to take our toddler son to the Zoo on our visit to Blackpool last week. We arrived by taxi (£10 from the seafront - ouch!) last Tuesday morning and were there for the Zoo opening. We arrived a little earlier than 10am but were able to walk around the foyer and have a peek in the shop.
My review is based on our visit during an 'out of season' day. Personally I would recommend visiting during the Summer as the park was pretty quiet and not as buzzing as it should have been. This did mean we could wander around freely without bumping others out the way to see the animals but the chalets weren't open and only part of the cafe was open during our visit. It was quite a dreary but dry day so we couldn't play at the play park or relax with a picnic either and an ice cream was a no no!
My son had a quick play in the small play area before entering the Zoo. We had planned on taking him to the playbarn afterwards but a 'tired strop' resulted in us missing that part out. The entrance foyer is very modern and well adapted to handle busy crowds. The shop has quite a varied range of merchandise including little items such as pencils and rules, juice and sweets. They also stock more expensive items including toys, ornaments and clothing. We had forgot to purchase a disposable camera so ended up buying a Fujifilm at £7.00. My son wanted to buy a small train set (£5.99) and we paid nearly £3.50 for a bottle of Coca Cola and a Fruit Shoot - not cheap!
We didn't have any vouchers for the Zoo so paid full price. We made a purchase of a guide book and the total for our visit came to just under £44 which I paid by debit card. I believe this is a fair price for 2 adults and 1 child though it would be incredibly expensive for larger families to visit, dine and buy shop treats at the same time! The staff members that we encourtered were very friendly. We did see a few out feeding the animals during our visit and they were informative if information was requested.
We were able to go around the Zoo ourselves with complete ease. The Zoo is huge and very spacious. The various animal areas are clearly signposted and there is a little walk between the different sections. I would say we got to experience all of the animals but this review would be too long to discuss them all. I will mention our favourites in a bit more detail. I would say the guide book is an essential purchase - more so for the map!
~What Can You See?~
The animals all appeared happy and healthy in their 'home'. The enclosures were incredibly spacious in most cases and the animals had plenty of space to roam, sleep and eat. I did notice electric fences around some enclosures but in most cases, large wooden or metal fences were in place with strict instructions not to feed or touch the animals. I love animals - well looking at them but I certainly wouldn't want to be in 'close' contact with any as I value my life too much - that being said, they were all very well behaved and none acted up during our visit.
My son was a little scared of the animals to be honest but this was his first time at a Zoo of this size. We did try to calm him but certain loud noises would scare him even if the animal was behind a massive fence! Anyway, most children will appreciate the variation of animals but some will be appreciated more than others. A lot of the animals have their own names but as a game, we made up names for some animals based on animal characters in my sons favourite shows!
The first area that we witnessed was the tortoises. The huge tortoise barely moved and I believe it had moved an inch or two by the time we returned to him a few hours later! I was amused by two other tortoises as one was trying to 'nudge' the other out a bit of mud it had became stuck in. My son was not keen on the Dinosaur Safari complete with huge, realistic dinosaur exhibits, water and greenery.
The tiger we met was kept inside as he was being trained but normally ran wild in a huge play area suited to his needs. He was beautiful in terms of colour but his teeth did nerve me somewhat! The lion/lioness were absolutely stunning. The lion relaxed and allowed the lioness pride to pose - he looked like the 'big daddy' who had the ladies flocking around him and was quite a sight with this stunning mane. Nearby we met the Giraffes who had wandered indoor for a bite to eat. I believe there were 5 giraffes and by walking up the ramp to 'Giraffe Heights' we were able to view them from above - it is amazing how tall they are!
Some of the smaller animals didn't appear to be willing to come out to play or pose which was disappointing. A short walk around the park, we met the orangutans. These were our favourites! The orangutans had a huge enclosure with glass panels around it. They had a swinging apparatus and a water and grass area to play in as well as an indoor area where they could also be viewed. The orangutans were very cheeky and playful and we couldn't help but visit here a few times. One had hidden himself inside a bundle of hay which was funny whilst another inside on sending me and my son kisses through the glass inside.
The gorillas were located opposite the orangutans and were equally as fun to watch especially during feeding time. I was amazed by how 'human' like these animals actually were! One gorilla took all he could to eat (including holding a cabbage between his feet) whilst the big gorilla sat proudly in the corner and didn't care who saw him eating his meal. There was an adorable baby gorilla who enjoyed playing hide and seek which was amusing to watch.
We were on time to witness the penguins being fed. The penguin pool has a viewing area which was very popular. The seagulls were perched on the rock watching for the fish being distributed and I am very surprised that the penguins actually got anything to eat! It was interesting to witness though we didn't get to see any other feeding sessions during our visit. As we wandered around the Zoo, we were able to see the gorgeous flamingos, several camels and even reindeer (who by the way, didn't look like Rudolph!).
The elephant enclosure was huge but due to the positioning of trees and bushes, it was difficult to get a good picture of the elephants. From what we could see, there were 2 elephants and they were absolutely massive! We wandered into the Elephant and Reptile house which stank to high heavens but wasn't particularly of any interest to us. The Amazonia wasn't amazing either. I expected it to be like the Amazonia in Scotland but it wasn't very populated with animals. There were small monkeys here which looked rather cheeky and my son wanted to speak to them as they were cute! There was also a parrot enclosure near Amazonia - absolutely stunning and colourful birds here.
The Childrens Farm terrified my son despite me assuming he would love it! There was a small climbing frame and drinks machine in there but not somewhere you would want to sit long as it smelled quite bad due to the different animals. There was no handling sessions whilst we were there but they are normally held twice daily. I personally found the barn the perfect size for the smaller animals but the donkeys did not look impressed about being in such a limited space. The barn had lots of animals and we named them all and encouraged our son to speak to them. There were a few sheep, donkeys, goats and one massive black pig! The llamas were very cool and 'relaxed'. I personally went daft for the rabbits and guinea pigs. They had huge rabbits and I so wished I could have held one! This area (and several others) had soap and water to clean your hands after handling the animals which I feel is very responsible.
~Grabbing A Bite To Eat~
We chose to have a bite to eat in the Lake View cafe. This cafe was very spacious inside though had a canteen type ambience. During the warmer months, there is an ice cream and burger bar open but the main part of the cafe is open all year round. The choice of food wasn't amazing but acceptable all the same. There were prepacked sandwiches, kids boxes, drinks and sweets. Hot meals included chilli, baked potato and corned beef hash with veg etc. There was a chiller with salad items and yoghurt.
My son wanted sausage and chips (he had an addiction to this meal last week for some reason!) which came in a big portion. I went for a baked potato with cheese and a side of coleslaw and tomato - quite filling and tasty. My fiance had some sandwiches and we had two drinks between us. The total cost was around £15.00 (paid by debit card).
Before leaving the Zoo, we popped into the other cafe (in the entrance foyer) for some cake. They had a good selection of cakes and biscuits and served Starbucks drinks. The drinks were expensive but average for this type of establishment (£2-3 a drink). We had a slice of Victoria sponge filled with jam and fresh cream - absolutely delicious and well worth £2.95 a slice in my opinion! Our son had some of our cake and also a pack of Bourbons and a banana which were fairly cheap to buy.
We did visit the toilets at the far side of the Zoo which were spacious, well stocked and clean. The park in general is well maintained throughout and kept very tidy.
~Conclusion and Recommendation~
We can highly recommend the Zoo. Despite spending nearly £100 in total, we had a fab time. I have no doubts that my son may be less afraid for our next visit and we will return in the future. There is lots to do and see here and the animals are so engaging and welcoming. We spent around 3hours in the park but could have spent longer had our son not been exhausted from all the walking!
I would give Blackpool Zoo 5 stars as it exceeded our expectations and we will be back! We captured some amazing memories during our visit.
Thanks for reading x
Read the complete review
Sea Life Centre (Blackpool)
*Sealife Centre Blackpool* Promenade, Blackpool, FY1 5AA www.visitsealife.com The Sealife Centre in Blackpool is one of many around the world. This particular Sealife Centre is conveniently located on the promenade and is a short walk from Blackpool Tower and Central Pier. Whilst the centre doesn't have ... on site parking, there is a car park to the rear of the centre. Trams, buses and taxis also stop nearby.
The Sealife Centre is opened everyday (except December 25th) from 10am - 5pm (4pm midweek). The centre welcomes groups and disabled visitors and will accommodate with any requirements. There are lifts within the centre. Toilets are in the middle of the centre and are very clean and tidy.
Blackpool Sealife Centre is home to many aquatic creatures. Feeding sessions occur throughout the day and there is a play area, refreshement section and a shop within the centre. There is also an adventure Pirate Golf attatched to the Sealife Centre and this is included in the ticket price. Visitors can wear a wristband after the first visit to allow them to return to the centre during that particular day.
*To See and Do*
The main focus is on an array of fish and other aquatic creatures. The centre is proud to state that they have re-homed and protected some of the creatures which is excellent. The creatures are arranged in displays around the centre. Many of the creatures are displayed in open ponds with glass panels at the side. Others are in enclosed tanks. There is the option to get close to some creatures including crabs and starfish though the majority should be viewed with caution as they could bite if a finger gets too close!
Each display or creature is discussed on various plaques around the centre and there is the option to purchase a guidebook to learn more about what you are actually looking at. The centre is home to some highly interesting creatures which you may never have witnessed before. A few creatures in the centre include Green Moray eel, clownfish, lobster and even piranha fish. There are numerous appearances from the shark family including the Bowmouth guitar shark and the White Tip Reef Shark.
Tickets can be purchased for the Sealife Centre alone or combined with other nearby attractions. The combination tickets are priced from £25 - £45.
Access to the Sealife Centre alone is £15.00 per adult and £12.00 per child. There is the option to purchase a family ticket priced at £48.00. Purchasing online entitles you to a saving of 10%.
During our 5 days in Blackpool, we wanted to take our son to see the creatures at the Sealife Centre. We arrived bang on 10am and paid for our tickets at reception downstairs. We had a voucher entitling us to 1 visitor free (adult) so paid £27.00 for 2 adults and 1 child. This is expensive but worth it to see the creatures. I made all purchases by card within the centre.
Navigating the centre is very easy as it is well laid out and signposted throughout. The centre was quite quiet during our visit with only a few other visitors with young children. Our son (despite loving fish) wasn't keen at first as the centre is quite dark inside. This is neccessary for the illuminated ponds and tanks to be visible. He got used to it! We did meet one worker as we walked around and he encouraged us to have a feel about in the rock pool but we couldn't find anything! I think the crabs were hiding.
*Mesmerised By Creatures From The Sea*
The Sealife Centre is well maintained and the creatures are placed in a safe, secure and clean environment. They are looked healthy and content with plenty of room to swim around and the displays were top notch as they looked very realistic to reflect the natural habitat of the creatures. We did look at every display but didn't pay attention to most as we were excited about a certain display more than anything!
Some of the ponds and tanks were filled with some stunning fish. I am not familiar with them but I know there were clownfishes (think Nemo) in there! One particular creature I was taken by was the Japanese spider crab - amazing to watch as it 'climbed' around in the water. The seahorses were stunning to watch as were the jelly fish and appeared completely natural as they went about their business - blissfully ignorant of those watching. Some of the tanks could be viewed through little potholes giving them an 'enlarged' appearance.
The centre has recently opened a 'Turtle Shelter' which is well displayed and allows you to view the turtles in various ways. This area was a treat to wander through and my son was pleased to 'meet' these beautiful creatures. There was a particular type of create in a huge, open pool with display area that caught my eye and made me laugh - I'm sure they are rays of some kind. One ray kept bobbing up from the water and showing its mouth like it was smiling - very amusing!
We didn't get to experience any feeding demonstrations during our visit but they do happen daily depending on how busy the centre actually is. Once we had crossed the piranha bridge (without actually seeing any) we arrived at a huge room which is used for special discussions. This room has been changed since our last visit and now offers almost floor to ceiling views of the shark tunnel. We relaxed here for a while and simply admired the creatures as they swam around in this massive tank. The tank has been adapted to resemble a realistic 'under the sea' appearance complete with a make shift, sunken boat ruin! It looks so cool!
The shark tunnel is incredibly spacious but I still felt a little anxious knowing how much water was actually above me. The sharks and fish swam freely in this tunnel/tank and were a true to treat to watch. One particular shark was relaxing on the bed of the tank and refused to move whilst another posed for a picture - almost like it knew what I wanted! My fiance lifted our son up to touch the top of the tunnel and he thought this was amazing as the fish skimmed by him. The tunnel is quite long and definitely the most intriguing part of the centre by far.
*Playarea, Shop and Golf*
We spent a good 2hours wandering around the main part of the Sealife Centre but school groups could spend so much longer there. We arrived at the gift shop and my son wanted to buy a little colouring set and a balloon. We also picked up some juice and I think we paid £7.00 for the lot. The usual merchandise was on offer including bottles, pictures, teddies at a premium price. There were a few amusement and vending machines here including an ice lolly machine - no cafe but a small seating area overlooking the Irish Sea.
Our son was more excited about the play area than he was about seeing the fish! The play area is ideal for toddlers and is very colourful and safe. It has lots of play balls, a chute and other bits to play with so we spent a further hour here before heading down to the golf. The golf is normally £5pp but we were given free entry. It is indoor golf - a bit like crazy golf but with a Pirate Theme. This was fun but we didn't spend long as our son was getting a bit bored!
Our son did eventually enjoy the Sealife Centre when he realised that the fish wouldn't harm him. Most children (and adults) would love it here as the displays and creatures are just so amazing to look at. Yes it is expensive but the option to return during the day is an added benefit especially if you want to nip out for some lunch and return - perfect on a rainy day.
Overall we can recommend the Sealife Centre in Blackpool. Any staff we came across were engaging and informative, the centre is family and disabled friendly and there is plenty to see and do. Loses one star as it is expensive.
Thanks for reading :)
Read the complete review
As an animal management student I am required to visit various zoos and animal exhibits as part of my course and one of my trips recently was to Blackpool Zoo. On entering, the first area that me and my friends explored was the "Dinosaur Safari," this attraction basically entails following various paths and coming ... face to face with large models of dinosaurs, which I thought looked a bit shabby in all honesty; the paint was faded and peeling off some of them and they were hardly realistic looking. There were some impressive water features granted, such as a large volcano that water erupted from, a couple of pools and also a waterfall that you could walk behind. On paper this sounds rather impressive but in my opinion it is a waste of space in the zoo; apart from some naff models and a bit of water there was little else apart from grass and a few plants. There were no interactive displays or anything to get you involved and in my view it would be so much better if the space was given to the animals - they certainly need it.
The first animal that we went to see was the tiger, I was bitterly disapointed in the enclosure and felt that the space was extremely small; even for a zoo. The entire outside area consisted of grass and nothing more, from what I could see there was no enrichment of any kind available and if the tiger had wanted to do so much as run, it would have found it difficult to do so in such a confined area. There was a path worn down around the perimeter of the enclosure close to the fence, and the one tiger I could see was relentlessly pacing up and down. There was nothing for it to climb on, nothing for it to hide in, no trees or foliage at all. It was plain to see that the animal was stressed - in my opinion, enclosures in zoos should be as near to the wild as possible, for a tiger this means that lots of trees and cover should be available as well as a lot of space as they are naturally creatures that love to roam. This of course would make viewing more difficult for the public but why should an animal's welfare be compromised just for the benefit of visitors?
Other enclosures that really made my blood boil were the giraffes and elephants. The giraffes (of which there were at least five or six of them) were standing in a small yard huddled together, they are huge animals and barely had the room to walk about and I am not exagerating here! They also had an indoor house that consisted of metal and concrete with some hay scattered on the floor; I thought perhaps that this might be temperary and that they would have some grassland or another area to roam in, further exploration of the zoo revealed no, that was all the space that they had. The elephant enclosure was frankly a disgrace. The zoo has five asian elephants and the outside area that they had could barely fit 2 of them in it; it was an extremely small paved area that left room for little more than a slow amble. The other 3 elephants were inside their house, most of which was closed off for reptile and inveterbrate exhibits. The little space that the elephants had in their own house was bare concrete and metal bars; the only enrichment they had were a few small sticks of wood on the floor. I am no animal rights activist but is this any life for an elephant? A life were they are unable to do so much as run about or even move freely.
Some exhibits were better, the sea lion tank was pretty to look at and was certainly a lot bigger than most enclosures I had seen there. This I am sure, is due to the fact that shows are performed daily and of course, it has to look good to the public. The "beach" area that the sea lions had was simply painted concrete and the water wasn't particularly deep so diving properly would be difficult. However, even so, this was by far the best enclosure the zoo had to offer. One of the funnest parts of the day was being able to walk through an enclosure of various monkeys and birds; the squirrel monkeys were very curious and loved jumping on people! Though keepers were always at hand with bottles of water to squirt them with and shoo them away.
I realise that this review may seem incredibly biased but I am not particularly against zoos at all, some zoos and safari parks such as Chester Zoo and Longleat are incredible, it's only visiting other places like Blackpool Zoo that make you realise how much better the other establishments are. Blackpool Zoo would be so much better if they just utilised the space available to them; are a load of fibreglass dinosaur models really necessary when the space could be used for the animals? Other bits I was not impressed with were the dining areas that looked really shabby and cheap but expected £2.90 for 1 slice of limp pizza! The gift shop was extremely overpriced as they often are in these places and the whole zoo gave the impression that it could do with a tidy up, a lick of paint and a serious re-plan! At £14.99 to get it, it's certainly cheaper than some zoos, but I would recommend saving your money and giving it a miss!
Read the complete review
Blackpool Theme Park / Zoo National
Theme Park / Zoo National / Pleasure Beach, Blackpool
Address: East Park Drive / Theme Park / Zoo National / Blackpool / Lancashire / England - 2 miles from Blackpool. Home to over 400 animals. Open every day of the year except Christmas day.
Address: Promenade / Theme Park / Zoo National / Blackpool / Lancashire / FY1 5AA / England
Blackpool Pleasure Beach / Theme Park / Zoo National / Adventure Ride. - Embark on a watery journey through ice, fire, wind and snow on Valhalla. The effects are breathtaking and the drops thrilling.
Theme Park / Zoo National / Rollercoaster at Pleasure Beach Blackpool in Blackpool, Lancashire, England. - The ride opened at the Blackpool park in 2007, but had been operated under a different name since 1999 at sister park Pleasureland Southport.
|Blackpool Theme Park / Zoo National Recommendations 1|
|dooyoo Results 1 - 5 of 5|