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
Not the best that Edinburgh has to offer
Member Name: liz3yy
Advantages: Penguins virtually on tap
Disadvantages: Some other sad looking animals
Back in July my partner and I took a trip to Edinburgh for a concert, it was the middle of summer yet it rained constantly almost putting a dampner on the whole weekend yet we tried to keep our spirits up with a trip to the zoo.
I had read about the zoo long before our little holiday and on hearing that penguins were present, well that was it! we had to visit. I'm a huge penguin fan and would travel miles to see them in the flesh so to speak.
We visited the zoo on the Saturday taking the bus from the City Centre. Now we knew it wasn't going to be a cheap day out but even we were shocked at the entry prices once we got there. £14 each! Still we were there now and thought it was surely going to be worth it and a fun day out.
The zoo as others have said looks wonderful from the outside and still does as you step inside and excitely collect your tickets. The zoo itself however wasn't quite the wonderful day out I had hoped for, we did the whole zoo within about 3 hours which for the money we paid didn't impress me much.
It was easy to find your way around the zoo, it has to be said, with clear sign posts and a map handed to you on entry to help you find your way around. I find it odd that the zoo was built on a hill. Walking up it was a killer on the knees and we gave up near the top when the rain started again.
Not all the animals advertised were easy to spot, we do indeed wonder if some of them were actually there at all! I also agree with other posters that the polar bear seemed to be in a sad and depressed state.
The highlight of the trip for me of course was the penguins, we spent a good hour there watching them and also staying for the famous penguin parade. This was very well organised with the staff holding back the crowds in a calm and steady manner to allow the little group of penguins who choose to come out, have their walk. It was magical to see them so close up and bought a smile to my face for days.
We had some food and drink at the zoo, in one of the cafes that was absolutely packed with families naturally being the middle of the holidays. This wasn't a problem though we did have trouble for a while finding a seat. The food was decent enough (we had a sandwich each and chocolate) and cost what we expected for such an establishment, around £10 for the two of us.
When we were ready to leave, having seen most of the zoo and starting to get a little annoyed with the weather, we headed to the gift shop to collect some souvenirs of our trip, after all we live in Dorset and don't know if we'll ever visit the zoo again)
I bought a toy penguin, a penguin note book, a penguin fridge magnet....can you see a pattern here?! which we cost me £16, not cheap by any means but I think it was worth it to have a nice reminder of our day.
We had a nice day out, yes nice, not fantastic. For the money we spent we would have expected something a lot better but we're not complaining. We have some good memories from our visit and the wonderful experience of being so close to the penguins will stay with me forever (though it will never beat the day I had in Berlin Zoo in 2003 with my Dad, when I got to stroke a baby penguin in it's enclosure)
Summary: Worth a look, but could be much improved