Newest Review: ... kids being rather upset. We visited Blackpool Zoo last year and the range of animals was much better. In Edinburgh Zoo, there are no elep... more
Say Hello to Mercedes from us!
Member Name: vickitoria10
Advantages: Quite a large zoo, animals seem well cared for, houses the only Polar Bear in the UK
Disadvantages: From us it's a long way to go
I have always had a soft spot for animals and as a child used to like going to zoos. I know these aren't everyone's cup of tea and I can see partly where they are coming from with regards to enclosures etc, however a lot of animals that are in zoos are animals that have been rescued and would not survive in the wild. Many zoos now have breeding programmes for endangered animals which I personally think is a good thing.
When I first met my, now, husband he bought me a polar bear teddy bear and since then my love for polar bears has grown and grown. My sister in law sponsored the Polar bear in Edinburgh Zoo for me as a birthday present one year and this sponsorship included a free ticket to the zoo to see 'Mercedes'.
So the following December, we went up to Edinburgh for a Pre-Xmas break for a bit of shopping and sightseeing and of course to visit the zoo.
To get to the zoo from the city centre you can take the airport bus from Waverley Bridge outside the train station. This will stop outside the zoo, you should see it but you can always ask the driver to let you know where it is. These buses are frequent and the bus stop is just outside for going back into the city.
The current entry prices are:
Child (3 - 15): £8.50
The zoo is open all year, including Xmas day. I think it is fairly good value for money, the first time I went I had a free ticket but we have been back since and paid the full price. It is only in line with pricing for other attractions these days and you could spend a full day here if you wanted.
It's a good idea to pick up a map as the area is quite large and although there are sign posts you don't want to miss anything!!
When you walk in you will see the customary pink flamingos that every zoo has! Enclosures not to miss I'd say would be the Lion enclosure, it's huge, the penguins, they're just cute, the Zebra's enclosure has a kind of look out tower in the middle of it which is cool and has good views to the airport and surrounding areas. Oh and of course then there is the Polar Bear - Mercedes is the star of the show! She was rescued by the car company after she kept going into the town of Churchill in Canada and wouldn't stay out in the wild, they were going to kill her but instead the car company rescued her and shipped her over to Edinburgh Zoo - hence the name! This enclosure is not the biggest I've seen but she seems to like it. We always go to the polar bear enclosure first (normally running up there!), this is in fact where we got engaged in 2007, with Mercedes as the only witness!
Please bear in mind that this zoo is built on a hill which can be quite steep in places, the zoo does provided a carriage service up to the top but I can imagine it being hard work working round with a buggy in tow! Maybe get the carriage up to the top and work your way down!
There are little play areas dotted about and various kiosks, although we have always been in low season - December and February so these have never been open, there is always at least one café open and when we went it was fine for a snack. There is the mansion house in the middle which I think does proper meals and can be hired for events but we've never looked at this.
Of course there is the customary gift shop but it did seem fairly reasonably priced!
Overall, if you're in Edinburgh I would definitely recommend a visit to the zoo, it gives fantastic views across the city as well as all the animals and is reasonable value for money. As 2 adults we have spent several hours in there so I imagine with children you could easily spend a full day!
Summary: Excellent zoo to spend a few hours in
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