* Prices may differ from that shown
Myself and my boyfriend visited London Zoo in June this year. I visited London Zoo once before but I was only about five years old and don't remember it that well. Being a massive animal's lover, it was a trip I was very much looking forward to.
London Zoo is actually located within Regents Park in London which is bizarre because walking through Regents Park itself, you would never believe that there is an entire Zoo hidden away inside the grounds. We found getting there very easy; we took the tube to Regents Park station and then simply walked through the park to the entrance of the zoo.
There are two different prices for entering the zoo. One amount is charged during peak season and another amount at mid season. For details of mid and peak season, please see the London Zoo website. You also have to option to contribute an optional donation in your admission fee so this affects the price also. The entrance costs are as follows;
Mid season (without optional donation): Adult - £17.20, Child - £13.70, Concession - £15.70 and under 3's go free.
Mid season (with donation): Adult - £19.00, Child - £15.50, Concession - £17.50 and under 3's go free.
Peak season (without optional donation): £18.00, Child - £14.20, Concession - £16.30 and under 3's go free.
Peak season (with donation): Adult - £19.80, Child - £16.00, Concession - £18.30 and under 3's go free.
There are also many special offers you can take advantage of. For example, you can take the train to London and then benefit from 2 for 1 entry on the most popular attractions in London, including the zoo. If you book online, you can take advantage of a 10 % discount and finally, you can use Tesco Clubcard vouchers to pay for your trip. We had loads of Tesco Clubcard vouchers that were due to expire so we used these vouchers to pay for your entrance.
Until 5th September the park is open 10am to 6pm, from 6th September until 30th of October the park is open 10am until 5.30pm, from 31st October to 7th of November the park is open 10am until 4.30pm and finally from 8th of November until early 2011 the park is open from 10am until 4pm.
Getting Into The Park
We arrived at the zoo at around 11am (the zoo opened at 10am the day we visited). Upon getting to the entrance there was a rather large queue which filtered halfway up the road. We joined the end and waited to see how long it would take. To our surprise, the queue went down very quickly and within ten minutes we were called over to a ticket booth to pay. We gave the lady behind the desk our clubcard vouchers which we had previously exchanged for vouchers for the zoo. She quickly processed these and then informed us that we could buy an information book about the zoo for £5 and that £5 went directly towards the work they did at the zoo. We took this offer and found the booklet to be very useful during our visit.
I am not going to bore you with the details of every single animal we saw during our visit. Instead I will just talk about the main highlights for me and the things I particularly enjoyed during my visit. The animals are broken down into the following section;
There are literally hundreds of mammals to see inside the zoo. Animals such as Giraffes, Lions, Gorilla's, Sumatran Tiger's, Meerkats, Lemurs and Hippos as well as various types of primates can be seen here and that's just to name a few. Although the animals are broken down into sections, they are not actually designed in sections so as you walk around you may see a mammal enclosure followed by an animal from the Bird section. There are also various exhibits within the zoo which include animals from each of the sections I will outline.
All the mammal enclosures were exceptionally clean and large. One thing I particularly liked was that every enclosure had an area that you could not see which allowed the animals to have time away from prying eyes. This also meant that you might not always see every animal but to me, the animals well being is more important than whether I manage to catch a glimpse of them. Having said that, we saw pretty much every animal in the mammal section with no problems.
My favourites from the mammal section included the Gorillas. They had a humongous enclosure which had an indoor as well as an outdoor section. The indoor section had a climbing frame and play area for them and you could view then interacting with one another through huge glass panels. Volunteers walk the grounds of the zoo throughout the day providing you with information about the animals and one of the volunteers near the Gorilla section spoke to us for a while about the Gorillas and told us that the one we were watching was pregnant and that's why she has chosen to sit indoors and chill out away from the sunshine. The other section of the Gorilla enclosure was outdoors and consisted of trees and big grassy banks for the Gorillas to enjoy roaming time. Half of the enclosure is surrounded by a small river and certainly makes for a very beautiful setting from which to watch the Gorilla's.
I also really enjoyed the Otter enclosure. Partly because I adore otters but mainly because their enclosure was lovely. Again very big and about as close to their natural environment as you can get. They had a massive pond with lots of grassy banks surrounding it. Within the pond there was a raised area which had water running from the top which sort of acted like a waterslide for the Otters to play on. We enjoyed a good ten minutes of watching the Otters play on this as well as grooming each other and eating their food (which consisted of dead rats).
Meerkats are another favourite of mine simply because I think they are so interesting to watch. Their enclosure was large and low down meaning that in order to see them; you had to stand a look over the top of their enclosure. There were glass panels around the outside of the enclosure to enable children and people in wheelchairs to still be able to see into the enclosure. One of the highlights of our visit for me was seeing the baby Meerkats; there were absolutely tiny but already so independent, playing amongst themselves and digging great big holes all over the place!
I must also mention the various types of primates such as the squirrel monkeys, ring tailed lemurs, white cheeked gibbons and the golden lion tamarins to name a few. The enclosures were full of high branches, ropes and swings for the monkeys to amuse themselves with and boy did they! We spent a lot of time just stood watching the monkeys flying across their enclosure and using the various items within in, swinging from the branches or just sat on one of the platforms grooming each other.
Lastly, I enjoyed the Tigers, Lion and Servals (which are cat like). Their enclosures were massive and they had plenty of areas where they could hide away from the visitors which I believe it vital for a healthy zoo animal. Although these animals are considered shy, we managed to see all of them, even if it did mean hanging around the enclosure and really having to look hard to see the bright orange coat of the Tiger as he lay in the grass.
The birds are housed in various sections across the zoo depending on what sort of habitat they require. For example, certain birds such as the Penguins, Vultures, Flamingos and Pelicans are housed with plenty of water so they are able to swim but birds such as the Macaws and Hornbills are housed in massive aviaries.
Penguins are another animal I enjoy watching and although I enjoyed the Penguin enclosure I did feel that it was tucked away in a corner when I feel that this is one of the main attractions. The penguins had a large swimming area as well as lots of banks all around for them to stand on land when they wished to. The viewing area is raised over the top of the enclosure meaning you can get really good views of the penguins and watch them going about their daily routines. You can see them swimming from the top of the water but sadly, you cannot see them under the water.
The Vultures are just inside the main entrance and have huge enclosures with lots of overturned branches on the floor. Most of the vultures were sat on top of one of these branches and one even decided to splay out his wings and walk around in a slow circle which was amazing as you it enabled us to get a sense of just how big these birds are. You could also see the vultures eating, pinning the dead rats down with their massive talons and then ripping them apart with their beaks.
I enjoyed seeing the Macaws, Hornbills and various types of Owls too. The enclosures varied depending on the birds. For example, the Macaws and Hornbills had lots of free flying areas so they could stretch their wings as they would do in the wild but birds such as they owls had lots of bushy areas within the aviaries which means they can roost and hide away from visitors. The owls also had indoors sections right at the back of their enclosures with perches inside so they can have darkness as they would do in the wild.
Overall I enjoyed all the bird sections at the zoo and I felt that each species had been catered to, ensuring that they had as near to natural environments as possible.
I really enjoyed this section and thought that it was very educational with loads of signs up explaining the weird and wonderful facts of each little critter. Animals that can be seen in the invertebrates section include Hissing Cockroaches, various types of Jellyfish, Bird Eating Spiders and Leaf Cutting Ants.
The invertebrates section in entirely indoors with the entrance being one end and then you follow the various exhibits round until you meet the exit.
I really enjoyed watching the leaf cutting ants and was surprised to see that part of the display was out in the open. The ants were housed in two tanks with a large branch joining the two. There were a variety of leaves placed in one tank which the ants were cutting out and walking back along the branch to the other tank which was quite clearly their nest. The ants were very large, probably about four times as big as the average ants we all get in our gardens. It was so interesting watching them cut sections of the leaf away and then marching it back across the branch to their nest. The branch is completely out in the open and although there is a barrier to stop you actually touching it, you can get up really close to the exhibit and watch each little ant.
I found the Bird Eating Spider interesting to look at as I have never seen one in the flesh before. It was much bigger than I expected and was housed in a clear tank which was very dark (he would naturally live in the dark).
Finally, I really enjoyed looking at the Jellyfish. They were obviously housed in aquariums but the aquariums had subtle lights behind them which changed colour every fifteen seconds or so making it look like the jellyfish were changing colour. They were really fascinating to watch because it is not an animal you would come across naturally very often and it was interesting to study them in detail without the fear of being stung.
Reptiles and Amphibians
This is another section that is quite educational and certainly very interesting. The majority of the reptiles and amphibians are housed in a purpose built walk through house which is in total darkness, although each individual tank is lit up.
I was surprised to see just how massive the tanks were, even the smaller lizards had so much room it was surprising they didn't get lost. Animals that can see seen here include Turtles, Bearded Dragons, Pythons, Cobras and Komodo Dragons.
Again, each enclosure had been carefully designed to cater for the animal housed inside. For example, the snakes had enclosures that were tall rather than wide with lots of branches for them to coil themselves over. Whereas the Komodo Dragon enclosure was really long and had fallen branches for them to bask on.
I enjoyed watching the Terrapins which had a large pond area too swim in, with a grassy area at the back. You could see them swimming and taking time out to sit on a rock and bask under their heat lamps.
I also enjoyed getting up close and personal to the Komodo Dragons as again this is an animals that you couldn't view in close up in the wild. I thought it was fascinating looking at the various patterns on their scales and the spikes running all along their backs.
There is a walk through Butterfly House which is exceptionally hot! You can literally see hundreds of different types of butterflies in here as they land on all the lush vegetation that surrounds you. There is a member of staff stationed in here to answer any questions and also to ensure that the visitors do not try and touch the butterflies. AT the ends of the walk through section there is a feeding area that all the butterflies are attracted to. You can stand here and really watch each type of butterfly as they come here to feed. Great photo opportunities to be had here! Also at the end are all the different types of cocoons, where the caterpillars turn into butterflies. I found this section very interesting because each cocoon is labelled and you are able to see the various sizes and which butterfly they are eventually going to turn out to be.
Goes without saying, this area obviously houses all the fish. The Aquarium is actually a very special feature of the zoo as it was the first aquarium to ever be opened in the whole world when it was opened back in 1853. Nowadays it is separated into three different halls and contains all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures. Hall one contains the animals that are currently involved in London Zoo's conservation projects. The fish in this hall are endangered and some are even classed as extinct in the wild so the work they do at London Zoo is vital.
Hall two contains Coral Reef Tanks which are very bright and beautiful. The coral reefs are almost as interesting as the fish. The tanks and huge and look exceptionally clean. Many various types of fish can see seen here including Banner Fish, Lion Fish and Butterfly Fish and of course the fish made famous by Finding Nemo - The Clown Fish!
Hall three contains the Amazonian tanks which house all the fish that would be found in the Amazon. Included in this section is the 'Flooded Rainforest' exhibit which is humongous and houses several stingrays. Other fish that can be seen here include the Lungfish and Piranhas.
Lastly, you can see into the Breeding section within the Aquarium which is very interesting and there are many signs around here explaining all the brilliant work that goes into this program.
I loved the Aquarium. I thought so much effort and thought had gone into creating each tank. I particularly liked the Amazonian section as you literally felt like you were walking around the Amazon Rainforest!
As I mentioned earlier in my review, there are various exhibits within the zoo which are specific to each type of animal. These exhibits include;
This exhibit is housed within a restored Victorian bird house. This is a walk through enclosure where you can see various tropical birds surrounded by tropical plants. There are little streams running throughout and even an indoor waterfall. This exhibit is very warm so you really do feel like you are walking through a tropical rainforest.
This exhibit is aimed at children and is designed to teach children about the animals housed at the zoo. It is a hands on exhibit where they can learn about the sights, sounds and smells of the animal world.
Asian Big Cats
This is the new exhibit for 2010 and is where you can learn about the fantastic conservation work that takes place at London Zoo. This exhibit is attached to the Big Cat enclosures so you can views the animals whilst learning interesting facts about the habitats and interesting figures such as how many are left in the wild.
Giants Of The Galapagos
This exhibit plays a massive part in the conservation work that happens at London Zoo. It houses the Galapagos Giant Tortoises which certainly live up to their names.
This exhibit allows you to encounter a Rainforest in the middle of London. You can see all kinds of animals that are native to the Rainforest including Armadillos, Monkey and my favourite - the Sloth. There is also a nocturnal section in here which is obviously in complete darkness and allows you to see all the animals that would usually only venture out at night time in the rainforest - a real privilege.
I mentioned this exhibit when I was talking about the Gorilla's earlier. You can learn interesting facts about the Gorillas when visiting this exhibit such as how much it cost to build their enclosure, the names of the Gorillas and interesting statistics about the Gorilla's.
The other exhibits are Butterfly Paradise, B.U.G.S and Penguins - all of which I talked about earlier.
Food And Drink
There are many places to sit down and have something to eat or drink. These include Oasis Restaurant, Oasis Coffee Bar, Pancake Shop, Animal Adventure Cafe, Fish N Chips, Oasis Picnic Shop and the Meerkats Kiosk. There are also various hot dog and ice cream carts dotted around the park so as you can see, you are literally spoilt for choice. Opening times for each of these are seasonal and do vary though.
We ate at the Oasis Restaurant where we had a wrap, a piece of cake and a smoothie. My one grumble was that prices were quite expensive but then they always tend to be in places like this so we kind of expected it. My smoothie was £3 and my piece of cake was £2.50 but they were very yummy!
In summary, I would highly recommend a day out here. I think that the admission costs are more than reasonable especially considering this is London and you can easily spend the entire day here. I thought the enclosures were all fantastically thought out, large and clean. I can't think of one area of the zoo that I disliked. The conservation work that happens here is vital to the animal kingdom and personally I think that if I can do even a little bit to help with this fantastic work then I will do. There are plenty of toilet facilities, the entire zoo caters for disabled people and there is plenty of choice when it comes to food and drink. If you are an animal lover and want a fantastic day out, at a good price then I would highly recommend a visit here.
A few weeks ago, I decided to visit London Zoo. I don't know why I hadn't got round to doing this sooner, since the Penguin Beach opened a couple of years ago, and I absolutely adore penguins, so you might have thought I'd be dying to go. But it's so expensive! My ticket was £25, although I did go for the fast track entry, as I can't be bothered to wait in queues. It is cheaper to buy online before you go, so I would recommend doing this. Prices vary depending on time of year and method of booking, but at full price in peak season, children 3-15 are £18 (under 3s are free) and the online family offer (2 adults + 2 children OR 1 adult + 3 children) comes to £66.60 - it's not cheap at all! However, if you are coming from outside London in multiples of 2 people it is often possible to get 2 for 1 tickets, so long as you have train tickets (see http://www.daysoutguide.co.uk/).
London Zoo is located in Regent's Park, north London. The nearest stations are Camden Town on the Northern Line, Baker Street on the Bakerloo, Jubilee, Circle, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines, and Regent's Park on the Bakerloo Line. The 274 bus drops you right outside the gate. I really don't recommend taking a car - parking is £14.50 on top of your zoo entry tickets. Ouch!
I got off at Regent's Park station and walked to the zoo from there. The best thing about the fast track entry is that it takes you in through the exit, which just happens to be right next to Penguin Beach. So you can guess where I went first.
The penguins at Penguin Beach are Humbolt penguins from Chile. There is one exception and that is Rocky, the Rockhopper penguin. The Humbolts are black and white but Rocky has a jazzy yellow tuft on his head - a punk penguin. I was just in time for the penguins' lunchtime feed, so I sat down with all the other spectators and watched them swim spectacularly towards the pool. Penguins are so elegant in the water but so funny on land, and I was highly amused by one of them who kept waddling after the keeper demanding fish.
After spending time with the penguins I popped into the Butterfly Paradise. This tropical house was similar to the one I recently visited at the Natural History Museum but with the addition of Atlas Moth caterpillars which were absolutely huge.
Next I decided to use the subway and get to the other side of the road to look at the other animals there. I loved the owls and the other birds at this side, and was impressed by the Into Africa section. I couldn't see any sign of the hunting dogs but the warthogs were having a nap in the sun, and there was a pretty okapi eating some leaves (though I was annoyed at one parent I overheard telling their child that it was a 'little giraffe' - I wanted to correct them but didn't think this would go down well). Inside the house there was an adorable baby okapi. I wanted to get a picture but it was standing with its back to me and wouldn't turn round! There were a couple of giraffes too, one of which was being fed. I knew giraffes were big, but I think I'd forgotten just how big.
I was super excited at the next thing, which was - meerkats! And even better, BABY MEERKATS! They were just adorable. They all - adults and babies - seemed quite unafraid and happy to pose for photographs.
This end of the zoo is also where the rainforest and nocturnal creatures live. The Rainforest Life area is home to a sloth as well as several monkeys - who looked like little old men - various birds and an armadillo. The nocturnal area had a chinchilla as well as other night-time animals - a colony of fruit bats were particularly impressive.
Realising that a good couple of hours had passed, and I'd still only seen a small number of the animals on display, I decided that it was time to get a move on. I went back up the subway and made a very brief detour into the Bugs building. My favourite thing about this area was the leaf cutter ants - I've seen them before but I never get tired of watching them carry their huge pieces of leaf back to the nest. I moved rather quickly through the bit with the spiders - I just don't like them, they make me shudder, especially the black widow!
One of the things I like about this zoo is that they let you get as close to the animals as possible, while taking into consideration the health and safety of both you and the animals. The Meet the Monkeys enclosure is a case in point: you can wander around inside and see the little monkeys leaping about in the trees above your head.
My next stop was the Blackburn Pavilion, where the tropical birds live. This is a lovely ornate Victorian building, and it has a pretty impressive clock outside it.
I walked past the Animal Adventure section at first, as I thought it was some kind of children's play area. However I realized my mistake and went back in. It was certainly aimed at children - and designed by them too, apparently - but the animals here, such as camels, alpacas and aardvarks, can be appreciated by adults too. There is also a petting zoo where you can say hello to some sheep and goats - I witnessed a hilarious scene here watching a father try in vain to rescue his map of the zoo from the mouth of a goat.
Some of the more exciting animals in any zoo are the big cats, such as lions and tigers. The lions were in a rather old-fashioned enclosure, but the tigers are in a shiny new Tiger Territory: you go on a trail around the enclosure and learn about tiger conservation on the way. I thought this was really well done and informative.
Passing the tapirs, bearded pigs and Galapagos tortoises - which were awesome - I headed into the Reptile House. One of the most exciting parts was actually seeing the place where the first Harry Potter was filmed - the scene where Harry speaks to a snake. I quite like snakes, so Ienjoyed looking around here - don't go in if you're not a fan! On the way out I saw the Komodo dragons, which were awesome.
Next I popped into the Gorilla Kingdom. This was great especially when I got to see the gorillas enjoying their lunch. They are so amazing and intelligent. On the way out I passed the various kinds of monkeys who live nearby.
I was running out of time by then, so I quickly headed to the Outback area to check out the kangaroos, wallabies and emus. I then popped into the Aquarium, but didn't have time for more than a cursory glance. I headed towards the exit - but not, of course, before paying a last visit to the penguins.
I'm in two minds about whether to recommend London Zoo. On the one hand, it is a really excellent zoo that really cares for its animals. It provides an enjoyable and educational day out for all the family, and there is a lot to see - more than you can take in thoroughly in only one day. It also has a worthwhile purpose beyond being a visitor attraction - science and conservation play an important part and the Zoological Society of London, who run the zoo, make a great effort in understanding and looking after the animals, as well as helping to protect endangered species.
On the other, it is incredibly expensive. It is doable if you are a single person with few commitments and the money to spare for a day out, but I don't know how families with children afford it. Over £60 seems like an awful lot of money for a family day out, even though I suppose theme parks and the like cost just as much, and at least here you know your money is going to a worthwhile cause.
Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed my day out and it's definitely somewhere I'd consider visiting again - if I could get a cheaper ticket!
As the capital of the United Kingdom London is a wonderful place to visit. On my recent visit to the city I went to the London Zoo, or to give it official name, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) London Zoo.
Brief information about London Zoo:
The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) was founded in 1826 as an international scientific, conservation and educational charity. Opened in 1828, the London Zoo was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study of ZSL. In 1847 it was eventually opened to the public. Today it is the world's oldest scientific zoo as well as one of the most popular tourist site in London.
London Zoo is located in Camden, North West London. It has a 15 - 20 minute walking distance from Camden Town or Regent's Park stations. You can also take a bus or walk about 30 minutes from Baker Street station. You can drive your car to get London Zoo. There is an extensive parking area which has 5 minute walking distance to the main entrance. By the way it's outside of the congestion charge.
What to see at London Zoo:
My main motivation for visiting London Zoo was that seeing the gorilla, as I had never seen a real gorilla in my life. So I would like to start from Gorilla Kingdom.
1. Gorilla Kingdom
There were 3 gorillas in the kingdom. You can see them through glasses or in their open field. Basically they did not do much and just relaxed in their own home, as the day was very hot. I was lucky to see one very clearly when she was sitting near the glass and looking at visitors. There were other displays about the creature. There was a weight scale you can weigh your weight and height. You can see the difference between you and gorilla. I found it was interesting.
2. Big Cats
You just can see lions and tigers through glasses, as they are caged inside. I had seen both before, but still felt very excited when the lions were moving towards the glasses. Everyday at 3pm there is a show in which you can see the lions using the hop, bound and jump technique to attack their prey.
Before I saw penguins, which live in the South Pole. The penguins in London Zoo were from a hot tropical area. There was a small pool. The water was very clean, so you can see penguins diving at the bottom of the pool. There was a morning show at 11.30am, which was very educational to me. That explained some knowledge about penguins, particularly the difference between their two creatures of penguins. There were two afternoon shows at 1pm and 4pm, which mainly were about feeding these penguins.
The Bug house is just around the big cats space. There is a range of different bugs and creatures displayed in glasses. There was a model at the entrance to the house. You can see how the leaf ant carrying the leaf to their colony. To me it was very interesting. Reading the description about these bugs, I felt their world really amazing.
The Aquarium is the home of sea creature. Here you can see different fish, crabs, sea horse, anemones and corals, etc. It was not big, but a most colourful place in the zoo. Compared to other aquarium I have seen before it was not very impressive.
The reptile house was once filmed in a Harry Potter movie. Although I don't like snakes I still went into, just wanted to find the place where the film had been taken. In here you can see a range of snakes, lizards, komodo dragons and frogs etc. Generally the snakes were sleeping and hiding. You need to be very patient to find where they are and to see if they are moving.
7. Butterfly Paradise
The Butterfly Paradise is just nearby the Penguins. To see the beautiful butterflies and moths from around the globe you need walk through a giant caterpillar, which is very hot and humid. You can also see plans and trees, which are homes for these butterflies and moths. Before I had visited a Butterfly valley in Sanya, China, but I still felt interesting when I saw these butterflies flying freely around visitors. There is also a pupae holding room where visitors can see a vast array of beautiful pupae develop and butterflies eventually emerge.
Opening times and prices:
London Zoo is open from 10am every day of the year (except Christmas Day) with seasonal closing times. Currently the admissions are £20 for adult and £15.50 for children. If you booked online for family visit you can get 10% off.
Compared to Beijing Zoo, it's smaller but you have more to see. Due the time limit I haven't seen all creatures London Zoo can provide. It's really a pity. However it does give me an excuse to visit it again.
London Zoo is a great place for a day out, not only for children, but also for adults. In my humble opinion it's a must go place when you visit London. I highly recommend it.
For more tourist sites please visit my blog: http://blossom-iwanttoseetheworld.blogspot.co.uk/
So last week wednesday was my daughter's 3rd birthday (gosh, where did the time go?) and so I decided from a while ago that her treat was to go to the zoo. She loves animals, especially pointing them out to me everywhere we go so I knew this would be an ideal birthday treat for her!
***Where Is The Zoo?***
London Zoo is located in Camden in North West London. Being money cautious we didn't drive to the zoo as it would mean we would have to go through congestion charge (I don't even know how much this costs anymore, can't be more than a tenner right?!) and also pay a whopping £14.50 for parking in their car park! There was a large group of us, so this would mean travelling in 3 cars and so as only 2 of us adults were driver, this was a no-no so we hopped on the tube. Exiting Camden tube station, literally cross the road, and walk straight past a small road of shops and restaurants, until there is a big sign to direct to go right at a large set of traffic lights. We followed the signs and walked for what seemed like forever! I would say for us it was a good 20 minute walk to the actual entrance of the zoo, which when you have 6 excitable kids all wanting to see the gorillas and asking "are we there yet?" this is a long duration of walking from the tube station to the zoo! Nevertheless, getting there is easy enough and is clearly signposted so you won't get lost.
Altogether we had 5 adults and 6 kids. Under 3's are free entry (my daughter just turned 3 that day so I was going to be cheeky and get her in, not paying for her!) and so we had 3 kids under free (a 1 year old, a 2 year old and my daughter who was 2 years and 365 days old lol!) that we did not pay for and 3 kids over 3 (aged 5,6 and 11) who each cost £15.45. Personally I think under 5 year olds should be free, but nevertheless I could not quarrel as I know the zoo needs a good income to maintain it as it does not receive any government help/funding (at least that's what an employee at the zoo told me anyway!) Adults entry into the zoo cost £20.90.
Looking to try and save a few pennies, only groups of 10 paying people apply for 20% ticket prices. As we did not have 10 paying people, the only deal I could salvage was 10% off 2 paying adults and 2 kids. This saved us about 7 quid, but at time of writing this review, this deal was only available online. Nonetheless, we bought all our tickets online and these are the prices without the option of a donation to the zoo:
Senior = £19.09
Student = £19.09
Child = £15.45
Disabled Child =£15.45
Disabled Adult = £19.09
Under 3 = £0.00
If buying a disabled child's ticket the carer enters for free and so if buying tickets online, still click on the adult ticket and enter promotional code 1001 to get the fee deducted for the paying adult. It should be remembered, just because you don't pay for under 3's you still need to book them a ticket and print off (if buying tickets before hand) as if you don't you'll still have to line up when you reach the zoo!
***At The Zoo***
When we finally reached we were happy to be in the fast track line as we already had our tickets so we had a nice speedy entrance. Hoorah we made it! First stop...where are the toilets??
Toilets were quite a nightmare. With a 2 year old and a 3 year old with the bladder the size of a rice grain and the heat meaning they were drinking quite a lot we found we needed toilet trips quite often. The only toilets we came across were when we first entered, they were about a 2 minute walk into the zoo past the gorillas. We initially ended up in the mens as it was a lot closer and the kids were bursting but after a lot of turning the zoo map upside down, sideways, trying to figure out where we were and then where the loo's were we eventually found it! The next set of toilets we found was about 3 hours into zoo time and near where the giraffe's were caged. Which of course smelt just lovely lol. So about 4 times between these 2 toilet visits my daughter just used a travel potty. One of the occasions was even to do a poo....how lovely. Was starting to think she would have been at home in the zoo!
Anyway, now the toilet routine had been completed it was time to start enjoying the zoo! Our first adventure was the reptile house!!
The reptile house was a lot of fun for all the kids as there were a range of snakes, lizards, komodo dragons and frogs etc. At the time we actually got here it was about 1.30pm and so sadly all the snakes were sleeping and a lot of the reptiles were snoozing in the deepest darkest corners of their habitat so was more a game of trying to find where the animals were more than anything! There were some swimming turtles that my daughter enjoyed watching and with all the large lizards and chameleons she would shout "mummy it's a dinosaur!" haha! It was too cute but a really fun interactive experience.
~ Gorilla Kingdom
Next up was the gorillas and monkeys. To get in, you had to go through a door made out of thick sheets of plastic and pass through some cute colourful birds flying around. In the gorilla kingdom there were also a variety of monkeys all flying around, fighting each other and leaping from tree to tree which all the kids found to be so amusing! The gorillas were a big attraction for all the kids, there were 3 in total, not doing much, simply sitting swinging on a tyre or on a tree trunk being very relaxed. There are clear signs not to bang on the glass as this makes the gorilla's aggressive and all the people and kids included were good sports and simply viewed the gorillas. Photographs were allowed just no flash photography as this too may agitate the animals. They were beautiful creatures to look at, especially as I don't remember seeing a gorilla before and I was genuinely amazed at how similar to humans they actually are.
~ Deadly Birds Live
Roll onto 2.30pm and about an hour into our zoo trip we were tired and hungry haha! We sat on some benches and being organised mummy I had brought drinks, crisps, chocolate, sandwiches, chicken everything so we all stopped for the kids to have a munch. Timing as it would be, on the grassy area next to us it was time for the Bird show! There was a demonstration of eagles as they flew around the crowd but always to a trained member of the zoo team. The kids were excited and amazed at the skill of the bird and I was interested to listen to the design, why it is called a bald eagle (I'm not telling you here you have to go to the zoo and find out for yourself!) and how they hunt for food. There was also another bird that looked like a deranged chicken when it ran but could jump about 10 feet high, a pity I cannot remember the name of it now! But still, this show was really good!
~ Big Cats
This was one of the kids favourite things to see, and mine too if I'm honest! Boringly enough the lions were asleep, but the tigers were awake so was amazing to see them move around with such poise and finesse. I had both before when I went to a safari aged about 10 years old (long time ago now haha!) so was amazing to see them again. Of course they are caged quite far away, but could still get a good enough visual to see them and the children had great fun imitating a tiger roaaaarr!!!
~ Into Africa
On the map it seemed situated on the opposite side of the road but we actually found this segment in the main area of the zoo. There were hunting dogs, who were rabidly eating at a fresh carcass of an animal (eeew! but guess that's the circle of life!) which the kids seemed very interested to watch lol. The animal I had wanted to see all day was the giraffe and here they were! Tall and elegant they were a beauty to watch and so amazing to see in real life! There was a bridge to stand on for a close up view of the giraffes, but as their space was so large sadly they did not come close enough to be touched (even though I am sure they would not want this!) but I was happy to stand and stare at them for a good 10 minutes. The zebras were next to them and all seemed disinterested, as they were all well hidden amongst some trees so I could not get a good enough picture which was disappointing but my daughter still took pride in showing me these animals as I reminded her that yes I could see them too!
~ Petting the Donkey
Leaving the African segment we passed back where the deadly bird show was earlier and there was a small event where you could pet the donkey. Of course instigated by me, the kids were all eager to do this and so off we went. The donkey was extremely well behaved and the kids loved stroking the donkey. The zoo keeper holding him on a lead reminded us to only stroke his head and neck or side, and to steer clear of the back end as the donkey often kicked his legs up or stood on feet without realising so we kept this in mind and the donkey (and kids too!) was good as gold. My daughter didn't want to let him go! But as other kids had to have a turn we reluctantly left him alone haha.
This was right back by the front entrance of the zoo and the main game in here was....can you find nemo?? There were loads of sea creatures like jelly fish, piranhas, crabs, big fish and small fish. They were all very colourful and the kids loved finding nemo and dorie, however once this was achieved they all quickly lost interest in the fish and was a swift exit after that lol.
~ Bouncy Castle
Since spotting it about 3 hours earlier, all the big kids wanted to do was go on the bouncy castle. Who comes to the zoo just for this? So after holding them off for some time (and the main reason they wanted to leave the aquarium so quickly!) this was the next main event. Costing £1.50 for 5 minutes (yes cinco minutos!) 4 of the kids trotted off, and the 2 littlest ones stayed behind giving us adults a few minutes of peace and quiet. Phew!
The penguins were a bit boring as we had missed the morning show of diving with the penguins. There were probably about 40 penguins pretty much standing around doing nothing, and I felt quite sorry for them as they didn't seem to have much to do! Maybe I could get them a part time job at sainsburys, they seemed like they needed a hobby lol. So we literally popped in here for about 30 seconds and as the day was getting on we decided to leave them alone.
~ Butterfly Paradise
To see the butterflies meant going into a pod like building which was very hot and humid like a tropical climate. In here was an array of plants and trees which were to imitate these butterflies natural habitat and they were beautifully fluttering all over the place. Anyone with a phobia of insects will probably hate this as they literally are flying around on their own whim but I loved seeing all the different patterns and designs on their wings and watching their movement.
So it's now 5pm the kids are a bit restless, so me and my cousin only took 3 of the kids to the Bug house. In here there was a range of different bugs and creatures which seemed the zoo wanted to display but had run out of ideas where to put them lol! There were ants, bees, tarantulas (ahh!), grasshoppers, crickets, a rat (which was HUGE!) a mouse, some jellyfish and even a sponge (like spongebob square pants hehe!). I would definitely think this building was more suited to older kids as my daughter who is 3 wasn't understanding too much but was interested enough to see what all the different animals were.
There was a little playground where the other kids who didn't come to see the Bugs were playing, which had a slide, climbing frame etc to keep the kids entertained which was fun. Leaving the zoo was close from here, but they are crafty to make us have to walk through the gift shop to leave! Souvenirs in here were very expensive, but had things like cups, plates, t-shirts, keyrings and stuffed animals. Lucky for us, the kids were worn out and tired and had no interest in none of these things and were all ready to go home!
There were a few animals we didn't get to see sadly, like Reindeer, Otters, Lemurs, Meerkats, Fruit Bats and the Peacocks as these were across the road, and as we got to the zoo quite late we ran out of time.
Food and drink at the zoo, a 500ml bottle of ribena or coke cost £1.85 (yikes!) so we did not buy any food here. The most was treating the kids each to an ice cream which was quite small and itself was £1.50 but not too bad. There is an Oasis Restaurant for people wanting to eat in for lunch but food is obviously around £5 per person. Dotted around the place were hot dog stands with chips and burgers so food is accessible but looking to keep costs down we did not take advantage of this.
London Zoo also has an app for those tech savvy people who can buy tickets online and use this as a tool to navigate around the zoo and keep up to date with goings on. For example there is a new Tiger Territory opening in 2013 and the reptile house was under temporary construction at the time we visited.
The following info is from the website....
21 July - 2 September: 10.00 - 18.00
3 September - 27 October: 10.00 -17.30
ZSL London Zoo is open every day of the year except Christmas Day. Last admission is one hour before advertised closing time. Children under 16 will not be admitted without an adult.
ZSL London Zoo
Tel: 020 7722 3333
Fax: 020 7586 5743
To sum up we had a lovely day at London Zoo and I would definitely recommend it! It is very user friendly, as it caters for disabled there were ramps everywhere so us with 2 pushchairs could easily navigate about and enter all the different buildings. Staff were friendly and knowledgeable whenever we asked questions which was a big plus. My only gripe is that there are only 4 toilets in the whole zoo and they are situated quite far apart, which meant we were constantly crouched in a bush with the little ones and a travel potty! Nonetheless I would definitely recommend this zoo, even for the price we paid as we had a fantastic day out and my daughter thoroughly enjoyed her birthday!
I just spent a lovely day at London Zoo with my two kids. BAck in February we went to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire and its here at this time we bought a yearly membership. One of the perks you get with the membership is that you can get in free year round at this zoo but also at London Zoo so we decided to go here for the day for a change.
The membership price was about £170 for a yearly pass which included myself, my husband and my two kids. Children are actually free under the age of 3 so for now they would both be free anyway but the membership for me definitely pays for itself because a one day ticket at the moment for an adult is £20 so you only need to go a couple of times as a family and the membership has paid for itself.
London Zoo is, as you would expect located in the capital. Its pretty much in central London but you would hardly know you are in the middle of a huge metropolis when you are here, its lovely and green and a relaxing place to be. We took the tube to get to the zoo and it was easily reached from Regents Park tube station on the Bakerloo. There are signs once you get out of the tube telling you which way to go and its fairly easy although when they say its a 20 minute walk from the tube they mean a 20 minute walk. The walk however is lovely as its through the centre of Regents Park, one of my favourite parks in the capital and the flowers last week were absolutely amazing so its well worth the walk just to get there.
Once you get to the zoo if you have a membership card you are able to go through the membership entrance which was empty when we got there so no waiting which was nice. What I like about this zoo compared to Whipsnade zoo is that its nice and small and compact and everything is close together so you do not have to walk for miles to see all the animals. Whipsnade is different and covers a lot of ground which is nice in its own way though. London Zoo is great as you can just spend a couple of hours here if you wish and really see everything you want. THis is also what I like about having a membership card, you do not feel like you have to stay all day if you have just paid for a one day ticket, with a membership card you can just come for a few hours now and again and see what you want to see.
when you fist get in you are given a map of the zoo which is colourful and has lots of pictures on it so you can plan where you want to go first or you can just loop around and wander past everything. I will not mention every little thing, I will just talk about two of our favourite exhibits. Penguin beach is a large pool where you will see lots of penguins swimming about. You can view them from different areas, there is a seating area to one side where you can sit and watch them, you can go up to them at almost eye level at one point and then under the bridge there is also an underwater viewing area where you can see them swimming above you although none of them came over to us when we were there much to our disappointment.
Our other favourite exhibit is the spider monkey area. Spider monkeys are small little monkeys that are so cute. You go into a outdoor area through some plastic protectors and you can see the monkeys over head jumping and swinging about. Its really cool to be so close up to them. There are lots of trees around that they are hiding it but you can hear them coming when the tress rustle and there are lots of ropes for them to climb on to come and see you. There are signs warning you to hide any opened food as the monkeys will eat it and they do like to jump on pushchairs as well, or so I was told and decided to then make a quick exit with my pushchair.
There is a picnic lawn which is nice as you can eat here if you wish or there is also a cafe selling standard food and drinks. The shop is quite extensive and has just about every type of stuffed animal you could imagine to buy. The exit to the zoo is through the gift shop which is very clever but also a bit naughty in my opinion as it tempts you to buy something as you have to go through the whole shop to get to the end.
This was a great day out, we didn't see everything we wanted to in one visit but we are definitely going back as its a lovely way to teach kids about animals. My little girl loved it and so did I.
For all the information you want I would recommend visiting their website at http://www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo/visit/ which is very comprehensive and easy to navigate.
London Zoo is one of the oldest Zoo's in the UK. Located in the popular Regents park it is on the Camden Town side of the park, however it can be reached easily with a 10 minute walk from either Camden Town tube or Regents Park tube, and both offer clear sign posting.
The Zoo itself has a long and illustrious history, on first entry it does however look a touch ragged and worn, but for me that actually gives the place a strange sense of history and feels lived in, it has lots of very modern ideas with regards to animal welfare and conservation, but many of the buildings date back to Victorian London.
There are three price bands, one for Winter, one for Summer and one for Mid Season:
Winter Season is £16.20 for Adults and £13.20 for Kids, it basically runs from October until March, Mid Season runs from April to September on weekdays this costs £17.60 for Adults and £13.70 for kids, whilst High Season is May to September at Weekends, at £18.60 for adults and £14.50 for kids, you can also include a donation to the zoo in your entrance of around £1.50 but this is optional.
There are also concessions for pensioners and the unemployed and an online saver offering 10% discount if you book for 2 adults and 2 kids or 1 adult and 3 kids online.
The Zoo is split into various areas, there is a zone for African animals a zone for birds and rainforest animals, zones for Gorillas, monkeys, tigers, camels, meerkats, an aquarium and much more.
I have to admit on my last visit I was impressed with what I read about the Zoo's techniques to aid conservation, but it all feels old and unnatural, the zones are ugly on a cold day and the animals look uncomfortable, they also aren't the most exciting set of animals you'll ever see, which is fair enough as the zoo doesn't want to hold animals not suited to UK conditions, but nonetheless it does feel rather limited in many senses.
Add into this high ticket prices, excessive costs for toys and any food whatsoever and its the kind of place you'd take the kids once and then find a cheaper alternative in the future, perhaps putting the £100 odd pound you have spent towards a holiday fund to visit somewhere where animals can live more naturally.
The Zoo is a good place in the sense that it wants to help animals and is very worthy, I just don't like seeing animals confined, and also found it to be a depressing and expensive experience overall.
We drove to ZSL and parked for £12.50 all day which for Central London, isn't that bad at all! You can get here easily by public transport though.
We had booked our tickets online and I would recommend everyone do this, you go to the gate marked 'internet bookings' and totally bypass the huge queues. The tickets cost £19.80 peak time for adults-not £9 as under the description above. This is inclusive of a £1.80 donation which you can opt out of. Child tickets are a few pounds less.
The zoo is open from 10am-5.30pm and stays open until 6pm on most bank holidays. Even though it does get very busy, the crowds disperse once inside so you do have plenty of time to see everything.
Make a note of the feeding times and show times. Unfortunately, most of the animals get fed at the same time so decide which ones interest you most beforehand otherwise you'll end up missing them all!
There are a few 'exhibits' newest of all being the Rainforest. You can walk through and see exotic birds, monkeys and sloths up close. My favourite is still the nocturnal animals (these are in the same area as the rainforest exhibit) here you'll see bats, rats and other animals that like the dark! Another great addition is the butterfly house. It's a huge inflatable catterpillar which keeps the inside really hot, and you walk through with 100's of beautiful butterflies flying around you.
Dont miss the Bug house where you can see red ants migrating from one perspex box to another via rope carrying leaves for their nest. You can also get up close and personal with spiders, cockroaches, beetles and other creepy crawlies.
There is a petting zoo within the zoo where you can stroke donkeys, llamas, pigs, and sheep-there are sinks and soap so dont forget to wash your hands afterwards!
There are so many different types of animals, many have great spaces to roam around but it does seem like more money has been spent on the more 'interesting' ones. If you go to the bird aviary, look over to the right hand side and you'll see a row of cages which house owls and other birds. These cages are really small, there isn't even enough room for them to fly. I know space is an issue in London but this was quite shocking. I know that the zoo does a lot of conservation work and relies heavily on donations so hopefully their constant renovation work will soon include these poor birds. Other than that, the animals seem very happy and extremelly well looked after.
Bring a packed lunch if you can, the food is very pricey. A hot dog costs £3.95, (it looks really nice though!) and a bottle of drink (pepsi etc) will set you back £1.20.
If there is a specific animal you really want to see but when you get to the enclosure it is asleep or nowhere to be seen, make a note of the feeding time and go back there about 20 mins beforehand. They'll know they are getting fed soon and will usually be really active. That way you'll get a good look before the crowds arrive to watch them being fed!
You cant leave and re-enter so make sure you have everything you'll need for your day out.
Don't be fooled and think you wont need a whole day here. There is plenty to keep you occupied and if you only set aside a few hours, you'll be dissapointed.
I would definately go again and would reccomend everyone go, children or not. You will learn loads, see loads and generally have a great day rain or shine.
London Zoo is located in Regents Park in North London. It is quite a large park and to apprieciate it fully you should allow for spending at least four to five hours there. I arrived there quite late last Tuesday and it was quite a rush to see everything I wanted to see. Plus, arriving late also means you can't plan your route around the various animal feeding times, which is unfortunate as that is one of the best bits, in my opinion.
When you first get through the turnstiles you have several options on which way to go. Left will get you into the bird section, eventually leading onto the penguins, which are great, or right to the aquarium, reptile house and gorrilla enclosure, also great. There are also two underpasses which take you under the main road and into a further secion of the zoo, don't miss out on these or you may only see half the zoo.
Going through the underpasses will get you to where the Africa part of the zoo is, with zebras, giraffes, meerkats and wild dogs. These were particularly interesting when we went as they were running up and down like mad things and occassionally fighting with each other. Also as it was a nice day, the giraffes were in thier outdoor enclosure having a good old chew of a tree trunk. It's always much better when the animals are doing something. Also in this half of the zoo are more birds (which I didn't see this time so can't comment on) and otters - these are lovely and always seem interested in studying the visitors as much as we study them.
Back over the other side of the zoo I saw the gorillas, who were very cute, some out playing and some curled up asleep just the other side of the glass. I went into the reptile house where some of the children I was with were most impressed to discover that this was where they'd filmed the part in Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone where Harry first talks to the snake. Then it was off to the big cats area. The tiger was most obliging and lay down having a wash right in front of the glass window. But we couldn't see any lions because there was a whole load of maintainence work going on around that enclosure.
In fact my one complaint about London Zoo is that there is always maintainence work going on. I have been several time now during March and there is always something closed. We had to take a big detour around one area which was closed, the Kimodo dragons.
The penguins were as much fun as always, waddling or swimming around, and the butterfly enclosure is also a must see. It's hot and steam inside but the butterflies fly around free and will occassionally land on people if you stay still long enough. Some of them are huge too.
Right next to the penguins is the main shop in the zoo. This sells some reasonably priced items and some very expensive ones. There are lots of cuddly toys, the cheapest being around the £4 mark.
Entry prices for the zoo are not as printed above. The peak season cost is:
Adult:£18 Children: £14.20
Or during the winter:
Adult:£14.80 Children: £11.80
Just bear in mind that in the winter you won't see everything because of all the maintainence work.
We recently visited the ZSL London Zoo whilst on a weekend visit to London. The Zoo is located in Regents Park in London NW1 area of London. We were staying in Wembley so took the Underground which drops you off a 15 minute walk from London Zoo at Camden Town Tube Station, Regents Park Station is also close by being a 20 min walk away.
We opted to walk through Regents Park from Camden Town which was a pleasant walk and easy enough although seemed mostly up hill. Bus services to the zoo also run regularly and parking is available close by for visitors choosing to drive. A car or motorbike costs £12 a day, overnight and non-visitor parking costs £45
London Zoo is the World oldest scientific zoo run by the ZSL (Zoological Society Of London) and is a charity run for the worldwide conservation of animals set up by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1826. He planned the building of the zoo and died later that same year. The zoo was first opened in April 1828 however was not opened to the public until 1847; the zoo was originally intended to be a private collection for scientific study until opened to the public.
There are over 750 species of animals here and many of these are attributed to a first such as the first reptile house which opened in 1849 and is by far houses the most vast array of reptiles I've ever seen in one place. It houses many venomous species such as Black Mambas, and Vipers as well as venomous lizards. Almost every other reptile you could want to see and more is housed here from the smallest bright blue frog through to alligators.
Another first is the first public aquarium which opened in 1853 and again houses a great range of animals. London Zoo houses a vast range of sea fish and tropical corals some of the coral is collected from customs and has been seized on entry to the country. There is a Big Fish tank which houses a variety of huge fish all of which have been rescued by the zoo because they have got to large to live anywhere else. Another section of the aquarium houses fresh water Amazonian fish, the list of different animals kept in even just the aquarium is extremely vast.
Another attraction is the monkey walkthrough where you walk through a 150 metre enclosure where the monkeys are free to run around you. However on our visit the monkeys were being very illusive which was a little disappointing but couldn't be helped.
The bird walkthrough is very similar with birds flying about you and many on the ground around you and is a real treat to see this many different colours in as natural an environment as you're ever going to find under a roof. Many of the birds appeared to be quite tame and were very inquisitive about the visitors in their enclosure. My favourite here was the humming birds which are amazing to watch fly and feed.
Another brilliant walk-through section is the Butterfly Tent where you can walk amongst a wide variety of colourful butterflies and see moths as big as your hand. Also on display are caterpillars in cocoons preparing to emerge as butterflies.
On display at the zoo are also pretty much every other animal you would expect to see from gorillas to tigers, giraffes and wild dogs. There are penguins, meerkats, hippos as well as everything listed above , and this list could carry on going for a good time yet.
There is a gift shop and coffee shop on site and as expected these overpriced, although there appeared to be a lot more choice here than a lot of gift shops I have seen and sold all the usual souvenirs you would expect from a zoo. I cannot really comment on the food as I never did purchase anything other than a coffee which cost nearly £3.
The Winter Prices until March 2010 which is what we paid are listed below:-
Child (3-15):- £11.80
Under 3's:- Free
Guide Book £4
Saver Tickets are available for £47.70 these are for 4 people as a combination of either, 2 adults + 2 children or 1 adult +3 children.
Watch out when booking on-line as there is a tick box right at bottom of page for a voluntary £1.70 per ticket booked to show your support for the zoo and you need to un-tick this box if you do not wish to donate the extra.
Booking online however is easy, and means you can book up to 6 months ahead of time. All you have to do is print your receipt for your ticket purchase and produce it with the take card you made the payment with.
You can become a friend of the ZSL for £69 and this allows you unlimited visits for 1 year to both London and Whipsnade Zoos.
Winter opening hours are as below although I would recommend visiting in the summer whilst the opening hours are longer as you don't have to rush around. The zoo itself is open every day of the year but Christmas Day.
Until 12th Feb 10.00 - 16.00
13th Feb -5th March 10.00 -1630
6th March -16th July 10 -1700
I would highly recommend visiting London Zoo we had a very interesting and fun day out here there is plenty to see and do for both adults and kids and a whole lot that would make this review more of an essay than it already is if I would have included it. Great value for money and well worth the visit.
This place was absolutely massive!! WE had a quite a few hours to spend in the zoo, but were really rushing to see it all towards the last couple of hours. There is the main park and across the road is the Out of Africa section, so do allow yourself a whole day, especially if there are little ones too.
Getting the negatives at the way, there was nowhere to leave bags for the day which was pretty annoying as we were on the way back from a 3day break! The other thing, which isn't really a criticsm to the zoo, but for some reason we though there would be elephants and there wasn't.
Be sure to check out the enclosures that you can walk into. There's a tropical birds one, butterflies and, best of all, is the Squirrel Monkeys. It's quite strange to be allowed in with them as they scamp around and you could spend a lot of time watching and taking pictures as they're pretty curious of people!
Try to get to the displays, but you can't do them all in one day
-Going to London Zoo-
I have recently moved away from London and decided that on my very last day living in London my best friend and I should visit the zoo. I had spent nearly two years working just up the road from the zoo and had never visited it. I just thought it was one of those things that I should do before I left. Fortunately the weather was warm on my last day so we took a short tube journey to Camden Town and decided to have a pub lunch before visiting the zoo. By the time we left the pub the weather had changed completely but that's the UK for you and being former Swansea residents we weren't going to let the threat of rain scare us away.
Getting to London Zoo could not be easier. If you take the tube to Camden Town underground station and then walk down parkway you will see signs all along the road for the zoo.
There weren't really any queues when we visited the zoo, even though it was still summer holidays. There were plenty of people on the gate and they were all very helpful, showing people where to go and answering questions.
It is expensive to get into the zoo. An adult ticket costs £18 but if you travel by train you can get buy one get one free. My friend and I took advantage of this offer but in all honesty I wouldn't be complaining if I had paid £18 to get in, it is expensive but it's totally worth it.
When we first entered the zoo we picked up a map. We shouldn't have bothered because neither of us are very good at reading maps and we weren't really very organised. We knew which animals we wanted to see but being like overgrown children and too excited (pathetically excited if I'm honest) to sit down for a minute and plan out a route we just darted around from one animal to another, regardless of whether or not there were animals we wanted to see in between them.
The zoo was very easy to get around because it's actually quite small. The map makes it look a lot bigger than it is and because of this the map isn't much help. We tried following the map at one point only to discover that while the map made it look like two things were far away from each other they were practically next door. Instead of using the map we just followed the signposts around the zoo. Everything is very well signposted and the only thing we had any real difficulty finding was the penguins.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed watching all of the animals. Although I did want to visit the zoo I actually couldn't see the attraction of spending a couple of hours just staring at animals so I went along more for the novelty of the experience than any real interest in animals but I was so wrong. I enjoyed it so much that I would happily spend another afternoon in the zoo.
We visited the aquarium and my first reaction was that it wasn't that interesting but then the further in you go the better it is. There is such a wide variety of fish on display and many of them are very pretty (some of them are also very ugly). My favourite part of the aquarium was the coral reefs. They are just so beautiful and since I found out that they're actually living things I've found them fascinating. In the aquarium there is a lot of information available about the various fish and how climate change is affecting them and the coral reef. This is a subject that I know very little about and the amount of information given was perfect for someone like me. It was very accessible and written in a way that anyone could understand and I thought this was great, a wonderful way to raise awareness of these things.
My favourite section of the zoo was Gorilla Kingdom. There are a number of different primates on display here and I could have spent the whole afternoon watching them. They're just so interesting. I know that when you see monkey's and gorilla's on television you can see how like humans they are but it still really struck me how human like they are. I am not an animal person and neither is my friend but we both loved the monkey's and the gorilla's. This part of the zoo did get quite crowded and it was at times difficult to get a good view of the animals but it's worth waiting around for your turn at the front.
Other animals that I particularly liked seeing were the lions, tigers and penguins. There weren't really any crowds to see these animals which was a bonus but this was probably because they were outside whereas gorilla kingdom and the aquarium were inside and it was not a warm day. Regardless of the weather it was a great being able to watch these animals without having to fight our way to the front of the crowd to do so. I really never thought that I would be so content just to look at animals wandering around a cage but they are just such magnificient animals and where else could you possibly get that close to them without being in danger? (I'm talking about the lions and tigers here and not the penguins.)
I did enjoy seeing the other animals in the zoo too but they weren't anywhere near as impressive as the ones that I've listed. The only disappointment was "Meet the Monkey's". This is part of the zoo where the monkey's are free to roam around but unfortunately they didn't want to roam while we were there and instead stayed in their cage. It was very disappointing but not something I would hold against the zoo and of course if they didn't want to be meeting people then it's better they do what makes them happy.
I did have a slight problem with the size of the cages. I know that London Zoo does a lot of good for animals and that it's much better they're in the zoo than extinct. On a selfish note I'm happy that the animals are there to be seen. But it seemed that some of the cages were just so small. I'm sure the experts know more than me and that the animals wouldn't be kept in cages of that size if they were too small, it was just a concern that I had. I particularly didn't like how low the birds had to fly and thought they could perhaps have the cage a bit higher.
The zoo is accessible to wheelchair users.
The zoo is very child focused. Throughout the zoo there are lots of things for children to climb and play on. There is also an area called animal adventure which is baically a big play area with animals in. I was so impressed with this area, it made me wish that I was a child again. There were tunnels that children could crawl through that would take them into a bubble in the middle of an animal enclosure, animals that children could stroke and various other fun and interactive things.
-Eating and Shop-
There are places to eat but as with most attractions they're expensive. The selection of food seemed to be quite impressive but as we had already had a pub lunch and were planning on a curry for dinner we didn't have anything at the zoo.
The shop had some interesting things for sale, most of it was animal related of course and there were plenty of zoo souvenirs.
Overall I had a wonderful day. I was surprised at how interesting most of the animals were. It is expensive but discounts are available and it's worth every penny.
I went to London Zoo yesterday and had a fantastic day out. It really was superb. Well laid out, lots to see and do. Well worth the money and I would definately go again.
Me and my other half went along for the day, we were staying in Edgware and got the tube to Camden Town and walked to the zoo, which wasn't far away. We queued for about a minute and then went straight in. The man at the till was very helpful and friendly. Me and my other half had a 2 for 1 ticket, but to be honest I would have quite happily paid the full price for the day we had.
We followed the map around the zoo and it was so well laid out, there are lots of things to do if you have children and lots of seating facilities. We spent the morning walking around looking at the rainforest enclosure, out of Africa area and the birds, we were not at all disappointed.
We then went to have lunch in the cafe, there are a wide selection of foods, it was quite busy in the cafe, but it was lunch time, the only thing was, the food was severly over priced, but good quality.
We then spent the afternoon looking at the Tiger, Lions, Bugs, Aquarium and Gorrila Kingdom, it was fantastic. There were lots to look at. My other half enjoyed reading all of the information about the animals and I had lots of fun taking photos!
By the end of the day we were exhasted, but had such a fantastic time. It is well worth your money and you get a full day out!
I went to London Zoo last week when it was pouring down with rain! That didn't stop us from having a great time!
When it was really chucking it down, we went around the indoor aquarium and reptile house to escape the heavy rain. There was a diverse range of species in both sections and it took us a good 1.5 - 2 hours to have a good look at all of the animals in just those 2 sections.
When the rain calmed down a bit and was just drizzling, we made our way round the rest of the zoo. We had expected the animals to be cowering away from the rain but were surprised to find the primates climbing around and playing. The animals that did escape the rain went into their pens, which can be viewed through indoor viewing areas.
I would highly recommend watching the otters at feeding time! Highly amusing!
We travelled to the zoo by national rail and used the 2 for 1 deal. It cost £18.50 for one adult ticket and got the other one free. You can pick up a 2for1 deals brochure from most national rail stations or download a free coupon on their website.
The information brochure recommended that you allow 4 hours for your visit but we spent 5 hours at London Zoo and felt rushed to cram in as much as we could before it closed. My advice is to allow the whole day to get the most out of it!
I went for to London Zoo for the first time last week and overall it was okay.
Firstly it was well laid out, we went early and did not have to queue (essential when you have three kids with you). We were given a map and found the different areas fairly easily. There are many exhibits there, it really is a full day out so young children will get tired. There are the African animals, penguins, aquariums, reptile houses, rainforest areas, etc etc. Many things that will keep you and any children amused and wide-eyed.
I do have a couple of criticisms though. I thought many of the pens for the larger animals were far too small, it is very much a zoo and not a haven for animals. The gift shop was expensive and I had to pay extra to let the children on the bouncy castles (which I thought was very cheeky considering the entry price).
The price was £16.80 for adults, £13.30 for children (3-15 years), toddlers free. The London Zoo website fails to mention that if you arrive by train and show your travel tickets you can get a 2 for 1 offer, this should be further publicised.
Apart from that it is a good day out, if I was uneasy with the size of some of the enclosures.
A day at london Zoo, the zoo was spread out over a large area of ground, which is not good for disabled access, as there was not much under cover area's, as when it rained we were soaked, there was a mixture of old and new area's containing a wide range of animals.
the bird shows were entertaining and fun, as were feeding times, there was a picnic area, but as you can only walk round the zoo, you would have to carry your lunch around with you, the resturant was nice but like any themed based park over priced.
The gift shop was well turned out with a range of lots of gift big and small to catch your eye.
One concern i have is with the comfort of the animals, some of the pens looked rather small for them, the lions in particular.
All in all, i would only class this zoo as average, and could do with modernization compaired to other zoos in the UK, but not a bad day out.