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Bristol Zoo Gardens
Member Name: WormThatTurned
Bristol Zoo Gardens
Date: 12/02/04, updated on 12/02/04 (1179 review reads)
Advantages: Educational, Great value, Interesting
Disadvantages: Some animals stare at you, Some of the animals stink
~How to get there~
Bristol Zoo is situated in the Clifton area of the City, the actual road it lies on is called Clifton Down which eventually comes out at the park area of the City. Wherever you are in the City, simply follow the brown elephant signs which are on all of the main routes around the City. Alternatively there are several buses which travel to or by the Zoo at regular intervals.
~Admission Prices and Opening times~
In the summer the Zoo opens between 9.30 and 5.30 while in the winter it closes one hour earlier at 4.30pm.
The car park serving the Zoo cost a pound and is manned, in the peak summer periods this car park quite often fills up and car parks further along Clifton Down can be used (5 mins walk), the car park attendant will direct you to where the overflow car parks are situated.
Adult tickets cost 8.90
Child tickets cost 5.20
Concessions (OAP/ Student) 7.90
OAP all-day friday 5.00
Under 3's FREE ENTRY
Group Discounts on parties of 15 or more (Ring beforehand)
There are several areas of the Zoo and they are seperated into themed areas, these include;
Zona Brazil : This is as the name suggest an area based on the rainforests of Brazil. There were lots of different monkeys including some funny gold coloured ones which had manes like Lions, then there were yellowy ones called Marmosets and there were some strange looking creatures called Tapirs.
Seal and Penguin Coast : This was my favourite area of the Zoo because it was
so interactive, the penguins and seals had a shipwreck themed enclosure and you could walk under the enclosure via some see-through walkways and see the seals playing over fish and swimming , I've never seen this in any other Zoo and spent quite a lot of time in this area, the kids seemed to like this area too as it was packed with them.
Gorilla Island : Bristol have three Gorillas and they are fascinating creatures to observe, one had a bird sat on his back and he didn't take a blind bit of notice!
Bug World : If you have a spider or creepy crawly phobia then beware of this zone, they had Tarantulas, worker Ants, Stick Insects, Grasshoppers etc etc. An interesting if somewhat creepy experience!
Twilight World : This zone was set inside in virtually complete darkness, they had lots of scary bats and also some desert rodents as well as some huge rats as long as your arm! All the animals in this area needed the darkness provided but it certainly contributed towards an eerie atmosphere.
Aquarium : If you like fish then you would love this area, they had thousands of different fish of various colours and sizes. I liked the educational informational on the walls which was particulary interesting in this area.
Reptile House : Here we had crocodiles, very still ones which I thought were stuffed at first until their eyes moved. They also had very many snakes and lizards.
As well as these main themed areas there were countless other enclosures including a large collection of big cats (Lions/ Snow Leopards), Hippos, Monkeys, Birds and Mongoose.
The Zoo as well as being a Zoo is also well served by it's gardens, it has a huge amount of rare trees, shrubs and plants growing all-over the Zoo all of which are labelled, this sets it apart from many other Zoos who concentrate purely on animals. On top of this are the very many lawns and flowerbeds, in total there are 12 acres of gardens in the Zoo and
take a whole day to see on their own especially if you have greenfingers like me, most people however use the gardens as an area to relax, soak up the sun or have a picnic.
Seen as Zoos are highly appealing to children, there is a huge emphasis in this Zoo as there is in many other Zoos on children, there are loads of things for them to do around the Zoo in every single zone, most of them activities involving the animals in what particular area they are. Theres also the 'Zoolympics Trail' which is a trail aimed at taking the children around the Zoo in a particular way so that they pick up as much as they can and get out of their day as much enjoyment as possible, I being fully grown followed the trail too, the footsteps startled me at times. Situated in the centre of the Zoo is a childrens play area where they can work off some of their energy. Special events also take place in the Zoo at different times of the day, these include sideshows, presentations and feeding time talks. Some of them are highly interesting, watch out for signs and times of the presentations so you can decide for yourselves which ones you would like to see.
The Zoo is just as focused on conservation as it is the animals and even provides an education centre which you can visit, you can find out what the Zoo is doing with it's conservation efforts, what it's future aims are or ask one of the conservation officers any question at all you would like answered about wildlife.
The Zoo is wheelchair friendly and has many wheelchairs it can offer to disabled visitors for their visit. Their is a large restaurant called the Pelican restaurant handily placed about halfway round the Zoo, there are a wide array of drinks, meals and snacks available for you to top up your energy levels to complete the second part of the Zoo. The prices aren't exactly
cheap but aren&
#39;t over priced either, alongside this restaurant is a covered picnic area if you prefer. The gift shop is situated at the exit of the Zoo and has thousands of Zoo-like souvenirs for you to choose from.
Bristol Zoo is a very well run Zoo, I liked the way it was themed and in particular the combination of Zoo with gardens, it gave off the impression it was set in the countryside and not in inner-city Bristol. It is very well spaced out and I would give yourselves at least 3 hours to fully take in all that the Zoo has to offer, this is in stark contrast to other Zoos I have visited which take hardly any time at all because they are so short of space. Bristol don't have a huge amount of animals to see and are missing some big names such as Giraffes and Elephants but It is definately well worth a visit and I would highly recommend a day out there. At under a tenner for adults and just over a fiver for kids the prices fare very well for value, especially compared to other attractions which don't take up as much time and considering the educational value to boot (adults as well as children) It's well worth considering a few hours of your time.
Bristol Zoo and Gardens,
Bristol, B58 3HA.
Tel : 0117 9747300
A big FANGyou for reading, I hope this op meets with a ROAR of approval !!
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