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Good place for a visit
Member Name: devongirlie
Advantages: Animals are usially easy to see
Disadvantages: Depends when you go how good it is.
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.
Summary: Go early, spend lots of time there.
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