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
Edinburgh Zoo - An expensive price for a sub standard experience
Member Name: xxBeccaxx
Advantages: Gift shop, food courts within, picnic benches, nice animals, activities
Disadvantages: All uphill, smells bad, expensive, many empty enclosures
I recently visited Edinburgh Zoo with my other half and our little boy for his second birthday.
I hadn't been to the zoo for about 10 years at least and so it was a shock to see just how much it had changed.
Everything is uphill even going into the car park. The charge for parking is £3.50 whether you are there an hour or 5 which isn't too bad although with the price of the tickets it can make for an expensive day.
The opning times vary on season April - September is open until 6pm, October and March 5pm and November - February till 4.30pm. Last entry is an hour before closing time.
The car park is large and there is plenty space even for the busiest of days. Once parked you have to walk around to the front of the building which is a nice backdrop for a photo.
On entry to the lobby you can smell the animals which isn't at all pleasant but can't expect much seeing as it's a zoo.
The entry fee is pretty expensive although it does include a gift donation on top of the fee so for adults it costs £15.50, Children from 3 - 15 £11, concessions £13 and children under 3 are free.
However there are exceptions such as if you have a yearly pass you gain free entry and parking. They have family pack tickets at a reduced rate as well as voucher codes on certain websites whci can give you a discount. For anyone who works with Edinburgh Council and has a staff benefit card 20% can be saved by presenting it on arrival.
There are seperate tracks for wheelchair and pram users which takes you round the back of the park to view the animals. I found using this trail that a lot of the enclosures were empty or had birds enclosed.
To see any more interesting animals you had to walk a long way uphill just to catch a glance. The monkey house smells really bad and is hot and sticky making it not too much of an enjoyable experience however you can get a close up of the monkeys if they are in the pen.
The penguins have a parade on where they walk through the park although we didn't see that this time. They were cleaning out the penguin area which was really dirty and being hosed back into the lake, possibly the reason why the underwater camers to view the penguins wasn't too clear.
The rhinos are kept in a small enclosure with only a small wooden fence encasing them. I didn't feel safe with that small amount of protection, if they had tried to ram the fence it would have came through on the first blow and no-one would have been able to stop them. As it was they were sleeping.
The new sun-bears were a bit of a dissapointment. The window which allows you to view them was covered with trees meaning that nothing was visable. From the bottom end of the pen however you could see them a little more clearly.
By the time you hae walked all the way up to the viewpoint to see the lions the exhaustion will have kicked in. It is a very steep hill and trying to push a buggy and toddler really gives you a workout. The viewpoint itself isn't very impressive as the lions tended to stay down the bottom near the enclosure window but it's a decnt view of their whole enclosure..
There are plenty of cafes but the prices are extortionate and when I was there last time and we had the food it was greasy, cheap and badly made and so we took our own packed lunchh and there is plenty of outdoor benches to eat it. There are drinks machines, ice cream stands and toilets dotted throughout the park so you are never too far away from them.
There are also sign posts detailing where the various animals are and you can check the map given to you on arrival to see what you can do.
At various times throughout the day there are activities such as feeding, penguin parade and a touching area dependant on the season. There are various other activities to be explored.
Since my last visit they have removed the reptile house which my other half was dissappointed about.
They perform weddings and birthday parties at the zoo in the manor within the grounds. Information is providedon request but around the bad smell I can't see it being an enjoyable experience!
To exit the zoo you have to go through the gift shop which has a lot of little knick knacks to remember the day out. They are generally over priced but a nice way to end the day.
I think for the price it isn't as clean, well kept or stocked as it could be. With a lot of effort it could be a fantastic day out but for now I feel it just isn't quite there.
Summary: Could be much better to have a few hours out it passes the time.
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