“ Tropical World / Princes' Avenue / Roundhay / Leeds LS8 1DF / Tel: 0113 266 1850. „
It's an often said phrase around Leeds that tropical world believe it or not is one of the country's top 10 visited tourist attractions! I am not sure if that is actually true or not be it certainly is a fantastic place to visit.
First things first it is located about 3 miles from Leeds city centre; it can be reached by 2-3 buses from town. Ask driver for Roundhay Park, tropical World is 200 yards from the bus stop
Roundhay Park is on the 2, 2b, 12 circular bus route. Buses number 2b & 12 go the most direct route. Buses number 2 go the long way via Moortown Corner
Bus Route 2, 2b, 12 Roundhay Park or Moortown From New Market St. New Briggate Daytime every 10 min's, Sundays & evenings every 20 or 30 minutes
Extra buses are allocated when there is an event on in Roundhay Park
If you are coming by car it is literally 5mins off the ring round the runs around Leeds. A huge benefit to Roundhay Park and tropical world is the amount of free parking around the area. A large car park is located 100 yards down the road; street parking literally just outside the entrance is also possible! So no excuse not to get there.
Once arriving at Tropical world you walk through some formal gardens that are worth a look around. You also pass a number of large cages with animals in. The main entrance if via the gift shop just past the cafe.
The current costs for entry are:
Children (aged 8 - 15yrs) £2
Under 8's Free
Leeds/Breeze Card Holders Free (Leeds cards are a must for any locals, you can get all sorts of discounts and free entry to museums etc, including Temple Newsam)
Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Summer (BST) 10am until 6pm (last admission at 5:30)
Winter (GMT) 10am until 4pm (last admission at 3:30)
Closed Christmas Day & Boxing Day
One thing you will notice as soon as you enter is the HEAT! It is really warm, when I went last week it was well into the 40's and I guess this is why it is called tropical world. T-shirt's only in here or you will really suffer! Please make sure you don't overdress kiddies or babies.
As you get used to the heat wave you pass a number of 'creatures' in glass cases, these varied from snakes, frogs, insects etc. the room then exits into the Butterfly area, which is a walkway through an large indoor area where there seems to be a huge amount of butterflies flying around. The butterflies do come and get very close to you; sometimes they even land on your body so beware if you are not keen on them to rush through this part.
Next large section is a forest environment with waterfalls, huge plants and trees. The main noises to be heard through here are birds. Lots of different size shaped birds both flying about and hiding in the forest areas. The walkway is very solid timber and weaves around the whole place which means it's easy for babies to be taken around and safe for kids of all ages to walk around.
If you have survived the birds then you now enter a few sections with large fish tanks and snakes pits. A variety of tropical fish and frogs can be seen very close here.
The toilets are located here as it is about halfway through the centre. Also some cold drink machines! They don't miss a trick with everyone dying of the heat in this place.
Now we enter the desert area. A number of birds and insects can be seen mulling around the huge open area but the main attraction that gets the most press and interest are the meerkats! Lots and lots of them, staring, keeping lookout, chasing each other, showing off, all sorts of fun they seem to be having. The walk way spirals all around them so there are plenty of places to get really close and observe them.
Down we go via the path into the dark (well almost pitch black) rooms where I am told it had lots of bats and other creatures that loved the dark. Sadly my little baby wasn't too keen on the darkness so I pusher her quickly through the tunnels.
The path out leads past all the attractions you passed coming in but the other side. I would say it took us around 40mins to walk through at a fairly brisk pace. It was hot and with a young baby we didn't really want to spend more time inside.
I enjoyed seeing some really rare birds, butterflies and animals. The beauty of tropical world is its all inside and you can get very close to a lot of them. The gift shop is rather small but fun and there are lots of places in the gardens to picnic or why not try lunch at the cafe on the corner or a cheeky pint at the pub opposite.
Tropical world is a great place to take the family on a wet or dry day. It is situated in Canal Gardens in Roundhay park Leeds. Inside the large glass house is a world of excitement, explore the jungle-can you spot the iguana and parrots?, mini beasts, a nocturnal world with fruit bats, bush baby and the like and new additions the crocs.
There is a range of activities held in the park. On Wednesday mornings during the holidays children can 'meet the keeper' and touch snakes, lizard and hear about the animals. In the Summer months you can often stop and listen to a brass band on a Sunday afternoon whilst you enjoy refreshments from the Explorer's cafe next to Tropical World. On the run up to Christmas you can attend a 'Totally Tropical Christmas' in the evening when the area is lit up with coloured lights and a steel pan band is playing. It is relatively inexpensive and if you have a Leeds card or a Breeze card entry is free. There is a small shop at the end where you can purchase gifts, from inexpensive toy's and stationary to more expensive soft toys.
We took our kids to Roundhay Park on Sunday morning. It was a cold brisk fresh day and as we were going home we decided at the last minute to go in Tropical World. I've never been before and wasn't expecting much but we had a fantastic time. My kids loved it and were so excited all the way through our visit.
It's really hot in there so we had to shed some of our winter layers while we were exploring the centre. There were many different animals and the biggest mouse I'd ever seen as well as huge fish and spiders and snakes. My son loved the bearded dragon and the lizards and the turtles. There were huge banana trees and butterflies flying around. Parrots in trees and beautiful birds flying around.
There's a great waterfall which you can stand under and my favourite part of all was the huge area where the Meerkats are. They were superb and very very cute.
There's a nocturnal zone which is very dark and my little 2 year old was quite scared and this was where the owl monkeys and Egyptian bats were kept. It was absolutely fascinating and I was truly impressed with the place though it did cross my mind that it must cost them a fortune in heating bills!
At the end of your tour you end up in the gift shop which is full of cute cuddly toys, games and gifts. It wasn't very expensive and we managed to just spend a couple of pounds on novelty pencils for the kids.
We didn't go to the cafe maybe we'll go there next time we visit.
The gardens surrounding tropical world are lovely and quaint with lots of roses and a couple of pretty fountains. There are lots of memorial benches and this is obviously a very special place for many people.
Tropical world is one of Leeds many tourist attractions and having lived in the city for over 8 year and before I paid it a visit. I decided after hearing so many recommendations it was time to take the family along for a day out.I had no problems finding the place it is well sign posted around Leeds and is part of Roundhay park.
Parking is free which is great but the car park is quite a walk from the attraction for very young children so you might want to make sure you take a push chair or be prepared to carry them. Also their is quite a busy road to cross but it does have crossing points. Once your parked up just follow the signs its roughly a 5 min walk.
We went on a Sunday afternoon and found ourselves queueing to get in but we only waited about 5 Min's before we were in. It was very busy as we first entered but the crowd soon dispersed as we got further inside. First we entered the butterfly house which was warm and humid. It is full of exotic plants and tree and it didn't take long to spot a butterfly they are everywhere flying around and no remotely bothered by the visitors and fly really close to you. Its wonderful walking round it feels your a million miles away from the cold and wet weather you usually find in Leeds it a great place to escape for a few hours on a grim day.
Next we came to some rather large fish tanks which had huge fish in them they were seriously impressive I never seen anything like them before both adults and children where fascinated by them they certainly drew in the crowds.
The Nocturnal Zone was a bit of a disappoint for me I spent whole time worrying I would lose my son in the dark with the crowds and rushed through so my eyes didn't get chance to adjust properly so I couldn't spot anything but there is meant to be lots to see.
Also the Meerkat were on holiday ( no idea where Meerkats go on holiday) so we didn't get chance to see them so maybe ring before going to see if there back if you wanted to see them but there was plenty to see without them. I'm just going to use is it as another excuse to visit as we had such a fab time I would like to go back again soon.
Also there a gift shop and a cafe.
But as your in Roundhay park there are lots of lovely places to picnic outside.
Here's the address and opening times and prices the best bit is Leeds card holders get in free.
Tropical World, Princes' Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds LS8 1DF
10am until 6pm (last admission at 5:30)
10am until 4pm (last admission at 3:30)
Closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day
Children (aged 8 - 15yrs) £2
Under 8's free
Leeds/Breeze card holders free
Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
This review has also appeared on Qype under my same user name
Tropical World at Roundhay Park in Leeds is an indoor hot-house featuring what is claimed to be the largest collection of tropical plants outside of Kew Gardens. As such, Tropical World offers great value for money, with adult admission costing £3, Children between 8 and 15 years of age - £2 and under 8's - free. The prices are excellent for an attraction of this sort, when you consider the high prices of similar venues.
Apart from the array of plants, Tropical World features fish, animals and insects located at various points around the journey. These are spread across eight main areas including: Step Ashore, the Butterfly House, Amazon Tank & Aquarium, the Australasia House, Desert House and Meerkat area, Butterfly House, South American House and Creature Corner.
As an indoor attraction, Tropical World can be enjoyed in any weather, and therefore provides a decent trip out during a rainy day.
The venue as a whole is very impressive, with plants and animals looking healthy and well kept. This puts Amazon World on the Isle of Wight to shame - with better facilities and quality of displays in all areas.
When you have finished exploring the hot-house, there is a cafe and gift shop to visit also.
For more details and directions, see www.roundhaypark.org.uk/tropical-world-leeds/index.html
I live in North Leeds and was wondering where I could go with my son that was local, not too expensive and that wee bit different - the answer Tropical World! I can't believe that I have lived in Leeds for 9 years and never been there before. I arrived at 10am to have 20 school kids in the queue in front of me and when I left there must have been at least 2 more school groups on their way in.
It cost me £3 for myself and my son was free. If I had a Leeds card I would have got in for free. To be honest £3 was a fair price so I can't complain.
On entering you are in the middle of their shop and they have lots to offer. I feel that the toys were a little over priced so we never bought anything but the variety was certainly impressive. It was a warm day and I could feel the heat in the building as soon as I walked in. Luckily there was a drinks vending machine and so I purchased a cold can which helped. I'd have probably passed out in the heat (being pregnant made the heat that bit more unbearable).
You follow a path all the way round and considering it's not a zoo I think it is very well done. We first walked through and saw Newts, and some sort of fish in their tanks. My son was mesmorised and didn't know where to look first. There were signs beside each animal clearly stating what it is and a little bit about them. We then entered another part which had the butterflies flying freely around. Following the trail round we then entered other areas which boosted, large fish, terapins, some sort of ducks, parrots, little monkey like animals (my son went crazy over them), bats, degu, mice,and plenty more. The merekats were on holiday or so the signage said.
The nocturnal area was very dark as expected and I did find it quite hard to see where I was going. My son was a bit scared at this point. I was relieved that the bats weren't flying freely around us but behind glass. I've been to Chester zoo where they are allowed to fly around us and I was terrified.
There was some construction work being done and I can't wait to see what animals will be living there.
We spent about an hour there in total but we could have spent longer.
It's a brilliant place and worth a visit.
In my opinion it's the sort of place you want to go back with young children as each time they go they will learn something new and appreciate it more and more.
Tropical World is situated at the Roundhay Village end of Leeds Roundhay Park. It is an intriguing combination of winter gardens and zoo with a series of expertly created landscapes such as Amazonian rainforest, Australasian desert and swamps for the visitor to explore.
Curiously sine the theme is short-lived, you embark on your trip via the HMS Tropical World not a ship at all just a concept and the first stop is a tropical beach scene; rather disappointingly there is not much to see here, just a mock up of a tropical beach. Its at this point that everyone takes off their hats and coats in preparation for the heat and humidity that lies ahead.
Each ecosystem is home to the birds, fish, insects, plants and trees that would live there; obviously there are some limitations this is not a zoo and it is all indoors so there are no large animals and only a limited number of animals and birds. Nevertheless you can see a small troop of industrious meerkats in the desert zone, terrapins in the Australasia House and owl monkeys and bushbabies in the nocturnal zone. In the courtyards there are tiny tamarinds that come right up to the glass, unafraid of the noisy children clamouring for a better view, and lemurs, unruffled by all the excitement.
In the Amazon/South American section wonderful orchids are the highlight of the plant varieties and in the Australasian zone there are chunky rare jade vines. In the desert house there is an unbelievable collection of cacti in every shape and size imaginable.
In the butterfly house the exotic and colourful moths and butterflies feast on fruit from the citrus trees, sometimes landing on the head of an unsuspecting visitor.
Each of these min ecosystems is linked by corridors of aquaria where you can see creatures like piranhas, red tailed sharks and Japanese firebellies. There is also Creature Corner where you can see lizards, spiny mice and a water dragon.
There is a set route that everyone must take through the sections; its a winding path and takes you through one room and into another before climbing a level and taking you back the way you came. This has advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side it gives you a chance to have another look for something you might not have spotted first time round, but it also means you have to go back through sections you may not have enjoyed as much as others.
The whole route keeps to a proper path and visitors cannot step off it and onto the exhibits. It is well constructed and safe so it is ideal for pushchairs and wheelchairs and the slopes are not too taxing for anyone having to push and there is virtually no risk of children being able to fall into the water or stray into the meerkat enclosure.
On the route small signs tell you what plants and trees you are looking at as well as let you know what fish and animals you may see in that section. Obviously since the animals look after themselves, it is entirely possible that you may not spot a creature that has decided to take itself off to a quiet corner! Other than these signs, there is very little information on what you are seeing which I found disappointing. However, there are packs for schoolteachers, which may be suitable for use by parents to answer questions their children may have. On the whole, I thought that Tropical World is more appropriate for older children perhaps over the age of seven because it is difficult to spot some of the creatures and it is possible that you could do the whole circuit and spot only a small number of animals. I do not think children would be as interested in the plants and trees as they would in the animals and birds and I think they would quickly get fed up if there was not enough to see.
A small café/snack shops offers drinks and light meals and can also provide packed lunches if ordered in advance. A rather cynically placed gift shop you have to walk through it to buy your entrance tickets and again at the end when you leave is crammed full with soft toys, books and educational games and animal related crafts. I pity any parent who has to get a child through there and hopes not to succumb to pester power!
On a good day when all the animals want to be seen and its not too crowded you could easily spend two hours or so at Tropical World; I can imagine that when it is busy it is easy to be caught up in the tide and keep moving before you are ready to. If you are visiting without children and during term-time, I would suggest you visit first thing in the morning or late on in the afternoon as Tropical World is very popular with school parties.
Overall, Tropical World is a great idea and the physical environments that have been created are superb. However, I would like to see much more information available to help people understand what they are seeing. Tropical World is a memorable and valuable tourist attraction that is particularly important as we try to educate ourselves and our children about climate change and the destruction of the natural habitats of countless species. At only £3.00 for adults and £2.00 for children aged between eight and fifteen (children under eight go free) this is surely on the best value trips out in the north of England.
Recommended for adults and for children over the age of seven.
Open all year round except Christmas Day and Boxing Day
Summer 10.00 am 6.00pm
Winter 10.00am 4.00pm
There is car parking at Tropical World and several bus services from Leeds City Centre stop at Roundhay Park.
Tel 0113 2661850