Newest Review: ... sorts of weird and wonderful creatures. Hall one contains the animals that are currently involved in London Zoo's conservation projects. ... more
We're going to the zoo zoo zoo!
Member Name: ~*pink-pilgrim*~
Advantages: a well planned zoo
Disadvantages: not as good as I had expected, expensive
Last month I visited a mate in London and he suggested visiting London Zoo. I had only ever been to my local zoo (Paignton) and was really excited. I had a great day especially as the weather was so nice.
London Zoo is situated on the edge of Regents Park. We got off the tube at Baker Street and walked through the park but the zoo is also a 15 minute walk from Camden Town tube station.. When you exit the stations there are signs leading you in the right, it was very easy to find. It was a glorious day in September and the weather was perfect for a stroll not too hot but dry and sunny. It was quite a long walk still it was nice to see that some polluted ugly train station was not spoliing the beauty of the area and creating a lot of noise near the homes of the inhabitants at the zoo.
I had expected to pay between £10 and £15 so was rather shocked to see that I would in fact have to pay £17 this was however the price with gift aid contribution and I couldn't really say no to that after all as Tesco would say "ever little helps" and I am all for helping conservation projects and animal charities.
Adult (16 - 59 years) = £15.40 but with a gift aid donation it will cost £17, for a child under 15 the entrance fee is £11.90 but with gift aid will cost £13.50 - under 3's get in free. For students, seniors and the disabled the price was £13.90 and £15.50 with a gift aid contribution. Alternatively a family of 4 can purchase a saver ticket for £49.10 (£55.50 gift aid contribution). The zoo is open at 10 am every day the closing time varies between 4pm and 5.30pm during the Autumn and Winter months getting later in the spring and summer.
The zoo was well set out with large open spaces and plenty of seating. The paths were clean with plenty of bins in which to place rubbish. It's clear to see that a lot of planning has gone into the zoo and that the animals are well looked after. I loved the little river/canal running through and the natural greenery providing shelter to the pigeons and local birds.
I enjoyed looking around at the animals and felt that in some cases it was a lot easier to get up close to certain animals. The Meer cats for example were not caged in with big sheets of Perspex but the natural boulder effect looked authentic. Some animals were well caged in but it was still easy to view their comfortable, safe habitat through peep-holes and balconies. I enjoyed seeing the Giraffe as the platform enabled us to see the giraffe up close, in Paignton it can be difficult to get close due to the barriers.
I enjoyed looking at the reptile home and was interested to see that a scene from Harry Potter was filmed there. Throughout the zoo there are gentle reminders about not feeding the animals as it can make them poorly and signs about not making noise. In some places there were signs reminding the crowds that the animals are well looked after and whilst ponds and bathing areas may look dirty they are cleaned everyday but the animals dirty them quick. I enjoyed reading about the newborn creatures and as these are announced by the enclosures it is fun to look out for the newborns.
In addition to this the zoo has a lot of history and this is shown through plagues explaining about the changes at the zoo.
London zoo has a lot of interesting animals some of which I have never seen before but was a little disappointed that there were no elephants. In my opinion Paignton zoo is far more interesting in terms of diversity and natural habitats, really for the price I had expected more.
Food and drink
We ate in the restaurant and I found that this was quite expensive two meals of sausage and chips, slice of cake and glass of coke cost me £27 which I thought was ridiculous really, then again for a touristy place in the centre of London I am guessing its about average. As a southerner I would expect to pay a lot less and at Painton zoo two cheeseburgers and chips, 2 cakes and 2 glasses of coke cost £12.60 so I thought £27 was ridiculous in comparison. There were plenty of places to eat and if you would rather take a packed lunch (highly recommended) there are places to eat both outside and undercover.
Shops and souvenirs
The products in the shop were fairly priced and I bought a few gifts for my family and fiancé. A few key rings, cuddly toys and sticks of rock cost less than £20 so I was quite impressed.
The shop sold quite a lot of things like disposable cameras, rain macs and typical souvenirs such as pens, pencils, rubbers, rulers, cuddly toys and fair trade items. I quite enjoyed looking around the shop.
The zoo is rather large and to walk around it in an uncomfortable pair of shoes is likely to ruin your day. I had chosen to wear heels and after my walk through Regents Park I could barely walk any further and easily tired halfway round.
The toilets were busy throughout the day and had run out of toilet roll I would suggest taking some spare in a bag in case it is required.
I regret not taking a camera but camera really is a must as the experience was amazing and it was a shame I couldn't take photos. I bought a disposable camera but the photos were a bit of a let down if possible take a good camera or a video camera.
I really enjoyed my day but would much rather visit Paignton Zoo any day, it was a lovely experience but after another trip to my local zoo on Sunday I realise that the natural landscape of Paignton is a much better one and that the animals tend to have a little bit more room to roam. None the less it was a fantastic day and one I will remember forever.
Summary: A nice day out at the zoo.