Newest Review: ... 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 advan... more
It's an animal world
Member Name: glitterprincess
Date: 09/11/03, updated on 10/05/05 (1564 review reads)
Advantages: Good day out, Lots to see
Disadvantages: Expensive, Depends on the weather
My mom took me there to see the Panda because it had always been my favourite animal and yet I had never seen one.
I was in absolute awe and made her stand next there looking at it for around an hour while I took an entire film?s worth of photos- ones I have still got today I hasten to add!
So when I returned to the city recently on another sight-seeing trip with my boyfriend I really wanted to go there again- even though I was pretty sure there were no longer any pandas.
I do have mixed feelings about zoos and disagree with ones where animals are kept in poor conditions and are there purely for entertainment value.
But I do think professionally run zoos where the focus is on looking after the animals and for research are more acceptable- especially when the research is helping to save species in the wild.
My first visit to London Zoo had left such an impression that it all seemed so familiar when I returned no less than 10 years later.
Of course the Pandas were long gone (I don?t know where the nearest one is anymore) but there was plenty more to keep guests entertained.
I think it is lovely to see the looks on people?s faces when they see a species for the first time- especially one that they had only ever seen in books or on television.
The zoo covers 36 acres which are spread over three areas linked by tunnels and bridges so there is a lot of walking involved but you are free to do it at your own pace.
We got a guidebook from the entrance of the zoo for £3.50 which was well worth the money as it came with a map that suggested routes to take around the zoo to make sure you see everything.
It is worth the money because it contains a lot of information on the animals at the zoo, a behind the scenes look and details of conservation.
Green footprints are also printed on the pa
ths for you to follow- which I bet are really popular with children visiting with children.
You can also pick up a timetable from the main entrance that details that day?s event such as feeding times and any special things that might be taking place.
One thing we did see was the Animals In Action show which I would certainly recommend.
It takes place in an undercover area where the audience is seated and gets to watch animals demonstrating their natural behaviour.
It is really good fun.
When we visited it was a fairly cold day and not in peak season so a lot of animals were nowhere to be seen.
If I was to return I would definitely go in the summer. It may be busier but I think it would be a lot better atmosphere and an overall more enjoyable day.
The animals are split into sections with one being hoofed species, such as giraffes (always a favourite) and hogs.
There are also several species of birds at the zoo in a walk-through aviary and there was also a penguin pool which was one of my favourites- especially as you get to see them being fed.
A Web Of Life centre was opened a few years ago and is educational, containing a variety of animals from giant anteaters to spiders and there is a lot of information and interesting facts.
But for me, my favourites had to be the traditional animals such as the tigers, lions, monkeys and of course the elephants and hippos.
There was also a small children?s zoo but we didn?t venture into it because of our eagerness to see the elephants!
The reptile house is really informative and I was just grateful that the likes of the snakes, alligators and poison frogs were safely behind glass!
We did also notice that the reptile house seemed to be very familiar from the Harry Potter film- so we didn?t lean on any glass!!
The zoo?s autumn opening hours are 10am-4pm which is plenty long enough and it is open every day
except Christmas Day.
Overall it was a good day out- although I would recommend going on a sunny day.
It seemed to be a very clean and well looked after place which was nice and you would never have guessed you were in London because it was so spacious.
Admission prices seemed quite high to me at £12 per adult but I suppose you have to remember that it is a London attraction and prices are generally higher.
Entry fees for children were £9 and under 3s go free.
I do think the prices are a bit steep so I would only go on a day where the weather was good. It would be disappointing to go on a day when none of the animals were out to be seen but I suppose it could happen!
The zoo is located in Regents Park and is easy to get to. We drove and found it to be well signposted with a large car park opposite- rare for something in London! It is also outside of the congestion zone so you shouldn?t worry about massive charges!
We ate at the zoo's fountain café which offers a range of meals. It was quite expensive though for a fairly simple meal that was not particularly anything special- but then again we weren?t there for the food.
There was also a picnic shop, a fish and chip shop and various kiosks but all were closed and being painted etc because it was out of season.
I imagine it is a nice atmosphere when they are all open in the summer months.
There are also quite a few gift shops and stands with quite nice things on offer. The cuddly toys were particularly nice.
For more information, the contact number for the zoo is 0207 7223333.
More reviews in the field of Theme Park / Zoo National
- The Ark Open Farm (County Down)
- Blackbrook Zoo (Staffordshire)
- Loch Lomond Sea Life Aquarium (Loch Lomond, Scotland)
- Baytree Owl Centre
- Oakwood Park (Narbeth, Pembrokeshire)
- Ashdown Forest Llama Park (East Sussex)
- Trilakes Little Angels Playworld (Sandhurst)
- Escot Park (Devon)
- Infusion at Pleasure Beach Theme Park (Blackpool)
- Lakeland Sheep and Wool Centre (Cumbria)