“ Burton Road / CV9 3PX / Twycross / Atherstone / Warwickshire/ Tel: (1827)880250. „
We arrived on site and were immediately confronted by the manager who was rude and confrontational advising us dogs were not allowed on site. There were no signs to be seen. We asked if we could leave them in the car and were told we would have to leave having traveled 90 miles having seen the zoo as listed dog friendly on many sites. Twycross's website's guidance suggests that the rules are only during summer talking about hot cars and the RSPCA's guidance on hot cars.
Luckily having friends in the area we went to leave our dogs with them. On entry we were again confronted asking what we had done with the dogs. The prices were extortionate and at no point were we advised a special needs discount was available despite two of our party having obvious special needs. Alot of the animals were inside and due to cleaning we were unable to enter the internal viewing. Most the site was not disabled friendly and in attempting to enter areas staff were rude and unhelpful
The areas we saw were dirty both for the public and in the animal areas, many animals were in small cages which did not seem appropriate and many of them were not available for viewing. We used to visit twycross regularly but we will no longer visit as the site has gone downhill since our visit last year. On writing a complaint we received no response despite requesting one and have therefore taken this complaint further in addition to warning other dog owners and special needs groups about our terrible experience
This review is rather long as this is a rather large place, it is split into two parts one half for Mr and one half for Mrs if you are uninterested with the full review please scroll to the bottom of his or her experience for bulletpoints.
Prices for booking online as of 11/08/2012
Currently online booking includes a 5% discount
Child aged under 3: £0.95
Child aged 3 to 16: £9.50
Family ticket 2 adults with 2 children aged 3-16: £45.59
Disabled Adult: £9.50
Disabled Child: £7.60
Disabled Carers are free on a one to one ratio.
If you're paying at the site you have the option to give one pound extra for a donation to help the park.
If you are interested in a list and location of the animals at Twycross zoo you can visit the website at Twycrosszoo.org and download a map and list of animals currently available along with feeding times and other things to do at Twycross zoo, also available at the website is a Gorilla and Elephant WebCam where you can see a live feed of the gorillas and Elephants which will give you a better idea as to what to expect during your visit.
Be sure to plan your visit carefully as weather, time restraints and crowds can greatly effect your experience at this location.
Upon arriving we came upon a slight issue, and noticed several small construction vehicles dotted around the sides of the complex, not ready to give up I found us a parking space and found our way inside.
We were greeted with a rather spectacular sight and what proved to be one of the highlights of the day, expecting to walk in and lay my eyes on a half finished building with shoddily put together stalls and cranky workers just hoping the day would end, imagine my surprise when the staff was friendly the room stylish and the view spectacular.
We walked in and found a seat to wait out half an hour as in the excitement we managed to come early our attention was quickly grabbed when we realized that behind the large windows behind us was more than just a nice view but three beautiful Snow Leopards, I fell in love not wanting to ruin the visit we didn't read the animal list and this was a major shock we quickly whipped out the camera and started snapping photos straight away, shortly after we entered the zoo a few hours pass.
All the major animals that you would expect are in the zoo, Elephants, Giraffes, Hyenas, Leopards, Gorillas Etc but also interestingly there are several photo opportunities with Statues, Cardboard cutout elephants, nice scenery and other various things that are sure to make the perfect pictures of your kids (or childish husband) to remember your visit.
During the visit we found a very nice walking spot I believe may have been called the wetlands which was quiet and quite unrestricted with lots of chances for photographs, watched the penguins get fed which was rather crowded but I cant blame Twycross for that.
All in all it was a rather fun visit that Mr would love to do again The good outweigh the bad and while the food was expensive and the visit short the animals were lively the staff were nice and the ice-cream tasty, I even managed to talk Mrs into letting me bring a Silverback home.
- No Lions or tigers
- food and gifts overpriced
- Visit easily ruined by weather, crowds or time restraints
- Staff friendly
- Map and timetable very helpful
- Lots of monkeys, them being the main focus at the zoo
On arrival the layout of the entrance seemed rather confusing not helped by the construction that was going on at the time on the outside it seemed like a very impressive building which made me more excited to get in and look around.
Coming into the building there were a few doors which confused us slightly as we weren't sure which door to take, luckily someone pointed us towards the correct door.
as we arrived indoors we came to the tourist information area and asked our questions the staff there were very polite and helpful.
There was lots to do while we waited, watch the Snow Leopards, look around the shop or just buy a cup of tea and wait around while you watch tv.
The complex is lain out very well with a strong focus on monkeys they seem to take up about half the park and while they are fun to watch, tend to get tiresome after a while, however Twycross is also home to Elephants, Giraffes, Gorillas, Leopards and most other things you would more likely expect to see at a zoo.
The food is rather pricey and in small portions however there are plenty of picnic benches if you want to take your own food, with several cafes and ice cream vendors you're sure to find something you would fancy.
Toilets, tourist points, bins etc are dotted around the maps and are easy to find whenever you need them.
There is a small fun fair for kids with various rides and games that they can go on that have reasonable prices and is sure to keep the kids entertained, you may need to bring the kids a little pocket money as you don't really plan to pay or buy what you do.
All in all its a reasonable sized zoo, with friendly staff, a good variety of animals, easy to follow layout and maps and is a fun day out for the family.
- No tigers or lions along with other animals that you would expect at a zoo
- Food rather pricey
- Feeding times and talks to keep you occupied
- Staff friendly and helpful
- Very well laid out with an easy to follow map
I've been wanting to visit Twycross Zoo for quite a while now. It being 'The World Primate Centre' and me being a massive Primate fan (particular apes) this is only natural I suppose. After receiving a heavier wage this month than usual do the insane amount of overtime I did at work during the recent bank holidays, I planned three animal related day trips during my much needed week off. Twycross was the first place on my list to visit and that's exactly what I did.
----- Getting to the Zoo -----
Twycross Zoo is located in Leicestershire (although the address says Warwickshire). It is located on the A444 off of the A5 and the M42. Once you get close to the zoo the usual brown attraction sign posts can be spotted to point you in the right direction. For SatNav users the postcode is CV9 3PX. There is ample free parking within the park and your vehicle remains accessible at all times.
As I don't drive I had to get to the zoo via public transport and I'm pleased to report this is relatively easily done. There is a number 7 bus which departs from Nuneaton and Ashby de la Zouch bus stations which drops you off at the zoo entrance. With both bus stations being within walking distance of the nearest train station it's a pretty simple trip and relatively cheap as well if you live within the Midlands area. I would say, however, this bus route is rather long winded. I got on at Nuneaton and the journey took nearly an hour, it's a twenty minute drive if you head straight there!
If you live near Leicester or Hinckley it may be worth noting there is a bus service running every Thursday from central points in these locations to and from the zoo during the 2012 summer holidays. If you buy your tickets online you can travel on these buses for just £1 per person. Much cheaper than driving if you live local enough!
----- Admission Prices & Opening Times -----
Adult - £16.50
Child (3-16) - £11
Child (under 3) - £1
Concession (senior citizens & students with NUS card) - £13
Family ticket (2 adults & 2 children 3-16) - £48
Disabled Adult - £11
Disabled Child - £9
All of the above prices include an optional conservation donation to the zoo. If you do not wish to pay this donation then these prices are 10% cheaper. Currently, if you book your tickets online you can save an additional 5% on admission prices. Doing this also allows you to jump the queues when you get to the zoo. A free carer is permitted into the zoo with each disabled visitor on a 1-1 ratio.
You can also purchase a 'friends of Twycross' membership which allows you unlimited access to the zoo within normal opening times for a year. The prices of these memberships are as follows:
Adult - £65
Child (3-16) - £45
Family (2 adults & 2 children 3-16) - £175
Concession (senior citizens, students with NUS card & disabled adults) - £55
Depending on which of the above membership you purchase this membership pays for itself within 4 or 5 visits to the park so if you do intend on visiting regularly it is well worth it.
The zoo is open from 10am daily (closed on Christmas day). From October - March the zoo closes at 4:30pm and from April - September the zoo closes at 5:30pm.
----- Facilities and Accessibility -----
Disabled access is actually pretty good! Pushchairs are easily navigated around the zoo too. The zoo is almost entirely on flat land with just the occasional small hill to make your way up and down. Most of the animal houses allow enough space for wheelchairs and pushchairs although there is no disabled access inside the lemur house. What was supposed to be a mildly cold but dry day turned out to be none stop rain but the zoo was still easy to walk around without slipping over.
Should you require a mobility scooter this can be booked in advance for a fee of £12 and are available from guest services.
The zoo does permit seeing eye dogs although due to the animals upsetting one another, such animals are not allowed in certain areas of the zoo. If you do have a seeing eye dog then unfortunately there is no access to the apes or elephants.
Toilets are dotted around the zoo and can be found often and were all clean and well stocked on toilet roll and hand wash. Upon entering the zoo you can visit the 'Best Loo 2011' if you wish. This toilet didn't get its title for nothing mind you! Leaf cutter ants can be found running around in the space between the sinks and the mirror. I don't think I've ever spent so long in a toilet! They're really interesting to watch. The toilet also features a wall almost entirely made of glass over looking the snow leopard enclosure. This toilet is huge, pristine and probably the most enjoyable toilet experience a person can have. Even the water from the sinks seemed to be the perfect temperature!
There are also a good number of places to purchase food and drink along with various picnic spots around the zoo should you wish to take your own food. Prices of such are as typically overpriced as you'd expect to find. I ended up paying £5 for a jacket potato with cheese and beans! The quality of the food was good, there's no denying that but I'm not sure it was worth a fiver. My younger Sister opted for a children's fish and chips meal costing £4, a small portion even for a child if you ask me and she did complain her chips were cold. Vegetarian options are good though, a lot better than I usually find in such places and there was actually quite a variety of meat free choices. If they hadn't been so ridiculously expensive I probably would of opted for something different to my usual choice of jacket potato.
The entrance of the zoo brings you into the gift shop although we didn't really stop to have a look around until we were leaving as we didn't want to carry our purchases around all day with us. It's a large gift shop containing a huge variety of things, had I had the money I could of easily spent a small fortune in there! Cuddly toys in almost all animal forms can be found along with stationary, t-shirts, jewellery and keyrings. The gift shop also sells a range of different and interesting musical instruments along with a lot of Asian themed items to link into the Asian Elephants. As a girl who burns incense daily I was in heaven at the variety of incense sticks and cones being sold. The prices were about what you'd expect from such a place. I paid about £7 for three packs of incense sticks and a keyring so not too outrageous.
The items sold in the gift shop support ethical suppliers and there are a wide range of fair trade products sold. All profits from items sold in the gift shop go towards supporting the work of the zoo and conservation projects globally so your money does go to a good cause.
------ Animals -----
The animals at the zoo are very primate focused. Which was fine by me but perhaps disappointing for others. Aside from the Asian Elephants, Giraffes and Leopards all of the bigger animals are primates. There are also two types of Leopard, but these are the only big Cats, none of the usual Lions or Tigers can be found at Twycross.
There's a huge variety of small monkeys at the zoo, they appear to have them all! Howler Monkeys, Marmosets, Lemurs, Spider Monkeys, Langurs, Gibbons, Tamarin and Woolly Moneys can all be found at Tywcross among others and there's a large number of sub-species of each of these too! I actually wasn't aware there were so many different types of Monkeys and I personally found the Golden-Headed Lion Tamarins most interesting to look at. As the name indicates, these little Monkeys have a big golden mane around their faces and they do look quite like really mini Lions!
I'm a massive lover of Apes and so I found myself really enjoying my walk around the zoo. Twycross are the only zoo in the UK where you will find Bonobos and this was my first (and possibly last) viewing of them. What a wonderful sight it was! There was a large group of them and they look a little like smaller Chimpanzees. Bonobos are our closest living relative sharing 98% of our DNA and it's very easy to tell this! It's amazing looking at just how human like they are. There was a relatively young Bonobo and it appeared as though his Mum was even blowing raspberries on his belly which he was very obviously loving!
There were two large groups of Chimpanzees which were by far the most entertaining animals of the day. The first group I observed just started going mad for no apparent reason whatsoever! One minute they were just sat around relaxing, the next minute they were banging on everything, screaming, running around and just making a huge racket which could clearly be heard from outside. For one reason or another, as soon as this excitement kicked off they all just started defecating as they were running around and poo was just flying everywhere! Normally I hate having to view animals from behind barriers but I was rather thankful this time.
The second group of Chimpanzees were much calmer although still playful and nice to look at. The first group were all getting on a bit, the youngest being nineteen and the oldest being about 35 if I remember correctly. This group seemed to be a much younger group although there wasn't any information given on this group like the other one for some reason. There were certainly a couple of young Chimps anyway. There were two brown Chimps in this group. I was aware that Chimps came in black and brown but I'd never actually seen a brown one before so that was a nice surprise for me. One of the brown Chimps was completely bald too! He didn't appear to be in ill health or anything but I was still intrigued as to why he'd lost all of his fur. Unfortunately there was no one around to ask. This bald Chimp decided to sit with his legs wide open facing everyone for a good ten minutes and well, everyone had a good giggle at how quite obviously male he was.
Then there's a group of Orang-Utans. The fully flanged male of which was massive. Just his one hand appeared to be the same size as my face, he was very impressive. There was also a younger male and a couple of adult females along with a little baby who was the most adorable thing to look at. As it rained constantly the entire day the majority of the animals were sensibly indoors although one Orang decided she'd sit outside and simply shield himself with a sleeping bag. It was quite cute watching her climb up her climbing frame covering herself with this sleeping bag and not letting it go for love nor money before settling herself down into a comfortable position and adjusting it around her so it completely covered her.
Then, my most favourite animals in the whole world. Gorillas! Not one group, but two! This was really shaping out to be my idea of a zoo. Twycross has Western Lowland Gorillas and two groups meant two impressive silver backs. They all appeared to be very calm and there were strict instructions around their enclosures stating that the people viewing the Gorillas should be quiet at all times and not bang on the glass. The silence in the enclosure just added to the awe inspiring experience of being so close to these amazing animals in my opinion. The enclosures contained information of the biggest threats to these Gorillas namely, as usual, humans. Their flesh sold for bush meat and their hands sold for ashtrays, the less Gorillas there are the more can be made from their death. There was an awful picture of a Gibbon folded up into this tiny box awaiting its inevitable murder with a caption underneath stating that such images of Gorilla capture have been deemed to horrific for public display. Completely heartbreaking, upsetting and frankly, I just felt angry. The sad truth surrounding my favourite animal really did put a wet cloud over the experience of viewing them. But then, the more people who are aware of such horrid things happening the more chance there is of someone finally being able to put a stop to this or at least help their conservation and so, in a way, I'm thankful that this information is being publicly shared.
Once you've seen the Primates you've seen the majority of the animals at the zoo and there are only a few other mammals left to witness. These are also pretty impressive mammals though.
You may have seen the WWF advert on TV telling you about the critically endangered Amur Leopard. With only around 35 left in the wild I certainly never thought I'd see one so I was very surprised to find one at Twycross. When I arrived at this enclosure I was lucky enough to find this beautiful animal sleeping inches away from the viewing area, no other members of the public were around either so I got pretty good view. I think I must have spent about twenty minutes just standing there watching this Leopard sleeping. Sounds pretty boring but I just couldn't take my eyes off of him. He had the most beautiful face and again, I felt quite emotional stood there looking at him knowing this might be the last time I ever get to see one of these gorgeous animals. There are more Amur Leopards in captivity than in the wild so I think we've probably reached the point of no return with this species.
The Asian Elephants actually have quite a big park of the zoo dedicated to them. There are four in total and there's a lovely Asian themed walk way which leads to their enclosure. Statues of Elephants dressed up with gold tusks and images of Buddha can be spotted during these walk as well as a couple of places to sit (it is quite a long walk) and it's just a really nice walk even in the rain. There's a lot of build up to finally seeing the Elephants but it's not a disappointing viewing. You can view these massive animals from a bridge overlooking the Elephants which gives quite an unrestricted view and is certainly a better experience than looking through sheets of glass or bars.
'Pets at Tywcross' is situated towards the back of the park and is aimed at the little ones. This part of the zoo has domesticated animals such as ferrets and rabbits along with the occasional reptile. I was a little disappointed to find the Reptile house had been turned into Tropical House (basically a big greenhouse of plants and birds) as, way back in 1998, out pet Burmese Python went to the zoo as part of a breeding program. I was hoping he would still be there but unfortunately he wasn't. There are also Alpacas and a Donkey which you are free to pet and stroke.
----- Wetlands -----
The wetland is a relatively new addition to the park. It's a really nice walk that allows you see the beautiful side of nature. The area was developed was rare birds, insects and small mammals to make their home and native species of such animals have also decided to make their home there. It's mainly ponds and you're left walking over bridges taking a look into trees and down into the water. Again, even in the rain it made quite a pretty, scenic and relaxing walk. The whole area is very tranquil and thriving with wildlife from rarer, exotic animals and animals native to England who have found their own way there as opposed to being placed there by the zoo. Paths walking around the wetlands were quite narrow however still allowed enough space for wheelchairs and pushchairs so no one has to miss out on this one.
----- Overall Opinion -----
I very much enjoyed my trip to Twycross and I would definitely go again and recommend it to other people. If you're a Primate fan then this a definite must visit attraction. Despite the lack of other big mammals I do still think the zoo makes for an interesting and enjoyable day out. All of the enclosures seemed big enough and contained everything the animals needed, none of them looked particularly sad or distressed which is always nice to see. It can be a little pricey and is perhaps best enjoyed on nice days due to the amount of interesting walks there are at the zoo but all in all, thoroughly enjoyable experience!
I recently attended Twycross with my two young children, aged six and three, with my local children's centre. I liked that there are drop off stations for buses directly at the front of the zoo by the entrance gate, this allowed for me to not have to walk too far. However I would say they might benefit from some seating around the entrance for anyone with disabilities to wait as I did have to stand a a while while queuing.
I have mobility issues and am happy to say that they brought out the pre-hired mobility scooter right to the front gate. They gave me a good demonstration of how to use it and it was a very comfortable model.
The zoo was on flat ground mostly, with good pathways and accessible enclosures. I could view the animals without having to get up most of the time. They also had plenty of disabled toilets, although sometimes they were difficult to access due to sharing with the changing table and long queues of mummies and babies.
The cafe was a touch on the expensive side, but I found the food and my hot chocolate well worth the extra cost. They also have plenty of picnic areas with benches, so we were able to lunch outside, then get an afternoon snack when we went to the souvenir shop.
They had some great little rides for the children, although sadly two weren't on and one had to close for the rain while we were there. The play areas were alright, although I didn't like the height of the climbing frames given that I watched a small child almost fall the length of it. I wished they were a little lower to the ground. The children got to pet guinea pigs, and I know they did the same with rabbits and also feeding and talks on the bigger animals also. The train ride was fun, the children really enjoyed it, although again I do wish there was a way of queuing for those unable to stand for long periods.
My children enjoyed the variety of animals, they were particularly enthralled by the elephants and the baby orangutan . The enclosures looked really nice and everything was very compact and together, making getting around easy.
The great customer service didn't stop after we left the park either. I had an issue with a bracelet breaking, and they have organised a replacement or refund straight away. Staff have at all times been very polite and helpful.
They have also taken on some constructive advice regards books being available in the shop.
I would definitely return, given how easy it was despite my disabilities and because of the way they value their customers, which is apparent in how they treat you on the day and afterwards also.
Twycross Zoo also calls itself "The World Primate Centre, which should give you a very good idea what they are specialised in. We visited them during the summer holidays as part of an offer of the Leicestershire County, which combined a hotel stay and admission to 3 out of 5 participating local attractions.
The zoo is located along the A444, just outside the village Twycross. It is well signed out and offers ample parking facilities. If you do not have your own transport you'll have to find your way to either Nuneaton or Ashby de la Zouch from where you can take a bus that will deliver you directly to the entrance.
For us it was easy as we had the pre-paid ticket from the offer, which meant no queuing up at all ! They seem to expect to get really busy as the line they have available is a very long and winding one. It was fairly busy when we arrived and we had to park our car a loooong way from the entrance but they seemed to cope very well and there really wasn't a long queue at all.
You can book your ticket over their website if you want to avoid queuing.
I'm not going to bore you now by adding all the admission fees, if you are interested visiting you can find them on their website at http://www.twycrosszoo.or g/buy-tickets.aspx.
To reach the entrance or payment booth you will have to pass from their visitor centre which houses their huge shop and a food court. The food court looked interesting and seemed to offer a large variety of dishes from all around the world at reasonable prices. However cheap and lovely the food smelled, we'd arrived directly from the breakfast buffet of our hotel and weren't hungry, so didn't eat here. The kids were keen to get into the zoo, so we managed to ignore the shop also (not on the way out though!) and only paid a quick visit to the toilet before making our way to the gate.
The ladies' room was clean and there was no shortage of toilet tissue or soap. The décor might not be to everyone's taste as there is an ant colony on display somewhere in between the hand wash basins and the mirrors, which is probably the strangest place to encounter them I imagine. It took a lot of persuasion to get my daughter, who hates creepy crawlies, to wash her hands here.
We were handed a map at the entrance and found out that there are 4 different set "trails you can follow, each named after a different animal: Gorilla, penguin, elephant and rabbit .
Gorilla: Will lead you to all the apes in the zoo and end at the enclosure of the gorillas.
Penguin: On this trail you'll meet the smaller monkeys, merkats, sea lions, and eventually the penguins.
Elephant: You'll pass from the giraffes, the Uda Walawe elephant walkway and the Mary Brancker waterways and end at the Borneo Longhouse.
Rabbit: This will lead you to the more local animals and pets, some of which you can touch, and a small funfair.
Our family is totally without any discipline and we just wandered off - and only consulted the map after we managed to arrive at the same spot the third time. If running in circles is not your thing and you like to follow a set itinerary you'll probably love the trails, and might not even find it inconvenient that only two of the four are actually an extension of the other, while for the other two you will have to make your way back to the entrance each time to start. However way you decide to explore the zoo the map surely comes handy to ensure you haven't missed anything.
As mentioned before, Twycross is a primate centre. This does not mean that they only have primates, but they do dominate and the majority of their animals are monkeys of all sizes. We love them and had fun watching them, at some enclosures we spend ages because they were just so entertaining.
They have more than 1000 animals and there is a wonderful selection from all around the world, including the ever-so-cute merkats, Chimpanzees, camels, elephants, deers, hyenas, a large variety of birds, ...
One of their stars is a snow leopard who's given birth to two adorable cubs in May 2011. Of course we were dying to see them but sadly had no luck. Both times we visited the Himalaya enclosure neither the mummy nor her babies were anywhere to be seen.
We had more luck with the gorillas, which also had a baby not long before our visit, and managed to get a very good and long look at the proud mum and dad and their little one.
One of the highlights of the day were the themed areas which are not to be missed. We loved the Borneo Longhouse and the Sri Lankan themed elephant walkway, both are superbly designed and offer so much to explore !.
There are several cafes in the park, so when we got hungry we decided to visit the Gorilla Outpost Café. This café is not the most pleasing on the eye spot in the world but neither are the others I fear.
Unlike the really impressive food court in the entrance area the choice of food we found was very limited. Not in the mood for some greasy chips and nuggets or a jacket potato we opted for sandwiches and coffee for us grown-ups and a lunch-box for the kids (sandwich, a small packet with apple slices, some carrot sticks and a small yogurt). The lunch boxes where £3.95 per child, no drinks included, prices for sandwiches start at £2.95. We paid almost £ 20, which clearly is not cheap at all for 4 sandwiches and drinks but sadly common place at attractions like this. Our sandwiches were very nice and generously filled but not enough to fill the husband who moaned that he was still hungry, and would have probably loved to have a slice of cake if there hadn't been so many wasps ! They were everywhere and made eating very uncomfortable.
There are also several play areas, surprisingly the kids didn't ask for playtime so we gave them all a miss. The park must have been good or they'd definitely asked to go on the playground.
The small fun fair offered a variety of carousels for smaller kids, sadly only one of them was open, and a train ride. The later is suitable for all the family. What we did like is that they do not charge you for these rides. They might be a bit dated but from our experience small children don't care about that at all. We've been to so many zoos where they charge you extra for rides, not just rides but generally for the air you breathe, and were more than just pleasantly surprised that the only thing that wasn't included in the entrance at Twycross was the food ! I really wish more attractions did operate like this, instead of charging entrance fees that are bordering on extreme, and then charge for every service and entertainment on the side on top !
Our last stop was the pet area where we met guinea pigs, snakes, rabbits, chicken, sheep and probably the cheekiest donkey I've ever met. A nice way to finish a great day out at a slow pace for feet and minds that were getting really tired and exhausted.
On the way out we had to pass from the shop again, and this time our kids were not distracted a bit, so we went, moaning husband included. We all were impressed by the size of the shop and the choice it offers, and there should be something for every wallet, no matter if you only want to spend a few pennies or totally blow it.
Soft toys, mugs, umbrellas, clothes, a plethora of African/Asian/South American mementos including some beautiful handmade jewellery, stationary, books, - you name it, they have it !
Each of our girls got something small, then a last trip to the loo with the ant colony and our visit was over.
We all had a great day and we were glad to have chosen Twycross as one of the 3 attractions our offer included. I cannot really fault anything in this zoo and we absolutely loved it !
Yes, the food we had was overpriced but I have seen much worse in similar attractions in the UK. We were expecting it to be more expensive than outside and were actually surprised that the sandwiches were of such a good quality, it seems more to be the norm that the quality of the food served in places like this is of extremely low standard, no matter how much they rip you off ! If we'd live somewhere in the area we'd brought our own picnic, they do offer enough tables.
After struggling a bit at the beginning we easily found our way around, even though we did not follow the trails. All the ways are paved and even, so getting around with a wheelchair or push chair shouldn't be a problem. There are enough cafes along the way to offer tired guests a chance for a break and refreshments.
The animal enclosures are all of good sizes and kept very clean and tidy, and the animals seem happy and well looked after. Twycross was founded in the 1960's and some of the enclosures still seem to be the same or at least look a bit dated. Do not get me wrong here, saying this I do not mean that they do not correspondent with modern expectations of size and environment, they are just not so pleasing on the eye, the interior of the cages is modern and animal friendly, I'm just talking about the shell ! The most attractive areas of this zoo are clearly the newer "themed areas which really get your and your children's imagination going !
The range of animals is good, much better than we were expecting from a zoo that markets itself as a specialist in primates. However, we did miss the big cats which they do not have at all.
I have mentioned in the beginning that they had a fairly busy day which was never a problem once inside the park. The people seemed to have spread out well, there was hardly ever a moment where we had to "queue to see an animal, there was hardly any queuing time in the café, and none at all when we visited the toilets.
All toilet facilities were clean although clearly not new and not very appealing, a bit of modernization wouldn't harm.
We did not go to any feeding times but did speak to a few "keepers, whom you can find throughout the park, and the kids did take part in an experience where they could touch skins, horns, spikes and bones of animals from around the world and guess to which animal they belong. They found this a great experience which ranged somewhere in between "weird", "yuk" and "awh"
The value for money you get is great. If we'd had to pay the normal entrance fee it would have cost us £ 44 for a family ticket for 2 adults and up to 2 children this summer. Admittedly, that is not cheap but for a zoo in the UK also not expensive. The good thing is that they really do not charge you extra for anything once you are inside and food is something you can always bring with you. I do hope they will never change this, it really hurts families if there are a lot of attractions within a park that cost extra and having to say "no" all the time is not much fun !
We got our ticket as part of an offer by the Leicestershire County that included a night in a 4-star hotel with breakfast for a family of up to 2 adults and 2 children, and entrance to 3 regional attractions for £99. Next to Twycross we chose Conkers and the National Space Centre, and this must have been the best offer around this year !
If you are interested, the offer is still available this year, although the price has gone up to £109, which is still great value for money:
Offer or not I'd absolutely recommend a visit and wouldn't mind going back at all !
This review has also been posted elsewhere.
Thank you for taking the time and reading it !
I can't really praise Twycross Zoo enough for how enjoyable it is there! Now firstly, I must tell you that I do love animals (so they win on their first selling point!) but other than that, its enjoyable and interesting. Right where to begin..
Animals--> So like I said, animals are very important in my life, and so being to see such a wide range of them, expands my knowledge further of them. The range is fantastic. Monkeys, elephants, meerkats, deer, donkeys, exotic birds, owls, reptiles.. I mean there are over a thousand. It's quite a large site, so will take you plenty of time to walk around and spend a day there. There are message boards next to the animals that give you a brief description of their species, age, name and other details which is great.
Cost--> Like any 'day' out e.g. a theme park, its not cheap. But there are often some fantastic deals going on (look for these) and for over 60's there is a £5 ticket. An adult ticket is £14.50 for an all inclusive, which means you can be popping in and out of the extras all day (e.g. the Himalaya park and the tropical zoo). Under 16's is around £10, and there are deals for families and groups. This is a brilliant activity for kids, and I know schools often have this as a trip out, which is a fantastic educational learning activity.
Place--> Having quite a large car park is great, because half way through (especailly on a sunny day) it's great to take a picnic and go back to the car, or the picnic areas which are inside the zoo. There are a couple of cafes on site (but these are quite pricey) so I would take a picnic. There is a lovely gift shop there, and its not too expensive (really!). Baby changing facitilies, first aid, ice-cream shops and toilets are all there as standard, but also nice to know where they are - so I advise to get a map.
Extras--> They are constantly updating the Zoo, with new places to go e.g. the tropical house, and new things to do all the time. They also do fantastic things for charity. I would recommend you to do gift aid, which goes towards a few animal charities, and doesn't cost you anything. The care the staff have for the animals is also fantastic to see, really makes you smile when you realise how much they love working with animals.
On a lovely sunny day it is even better, but I think it is such a fabulous place to visit, if you can get a voucher or a deal too - even better. Take a picnic and have a lovely day out. If there's one thing to know, you'll definitely come away having leant something! If you live close aswell there's no excuse, do it! Something different!
Living in Leicestershire now and only having been with my boyfriend two months, our first Valentine's Day together was hopefully going to be a special one. So when he asked me how I wanted to spend our special day together, he was only mildly amused when I suggested a day out at Twycross Zoo! He already knows how much I love animals and particularly monkeys, so when I realised how close we now lived to Twycross Zoo and that it had been the World Primate Centre since 2006, I was desperate to go.
We chose the Sunday before Valentine's Day, but annoyingly, it turned out to be really cold, very windy and pouring with rain. Undeterred, we arrived around 11am and paid £13 each to go in. (£9 for children, £11 for concessions.) Not too many families had bothered coming out in the bad weather, but there seemed to be lots of couples, so maybe it isn't such a bizarre idea for a romantic day out!
On arrival, you enter the big main centre for the place which contains toilets (with glass windowed views into the snow leopard enclosure and above the hand basins are display cases of leaf-moving ants!), the gift shop (with a great variety of souvenirs and not too overpriced!) and various places to eat and drink. You walk through this to go to the place you pay, then are given armbands which you use to go in and out as you wish. You are told to go to the nearby Information Centre if you want to book a tour round the Tropical House (free, every hour, takes fifteen minutes) and you can buy a well-designed Guide Book for £2.99, which we did. (The Information Centre also has maps for free, which is handy!)
The various areas are well-signposted, so you can head for your favourite animals. Unsurprisingly, it was the monkeys I went to straight away and what a wonderful choice of them there is at Twycross Zoo! Apparently, Twycross is the only British zoo to have four species of great ape! There are all sizes and so many varieties here, I was in heaven! Lemurs, marmosets, spider monkeys, gibbons, chimpanzees (The PG Tips chimps were from Twycross), orang-utans and gorillas, amongst other lesser known ones. They all have outside and inside enclosures and thanks to the weather, most of them were snuggling up indoors in the warm!
They are well organised and each enclosure is signposted, so you know what you are entering. The zoo I know best is Bristol Zoo, so it was interesting to compare it with Twycross. The gorilla areas in Bristol are beautiful and Twycross may be slightly inferior in this respect, but Twycross does have two separate gorilla families in separate areas. I especially love Silverback Gorillas and have taken some really nice photos of Jock at Bristol Zoo. Sadly, the Twycross gorillas were not co-operating and I didn't manage to get any decent photos of them.
Photographing the animals is one of the primary reasons I visit zoos and it is annoying trying to photograph them through glass, as the reflections are terrible. I managed to get some good pictures though and a few I was very happy with.
No matter how many times you visit a particular zoo, each time will be different. On this occasion, the orang-utans had a new baby who was a great attraction. We were lucky enough to be there while one of the volunteers was visiting. She obviously had a rapport with one particular orang-utan as it came over to her and sat down nearby (though on the other side of the glass!) while she showed her various little trinkets she had brought. These included a silver bracelet, a shiny ribbon, a fir cone and a Santa ornament. As the woman took them out and showed the orang-utan, the interest was obvious and it was amazing watching their relationship.
I experienced my own "monkey bonding" in the World of Small Monkeys where I developed a nice rapport with one of the emperor tamarin monkeys. Not a kind I was aware of before, they are quite small and have long white moustache-like wisps of fur which give them a very cute appearance. I was photographing them through the glass window, when one came up to the glass and started looking at me. He would stare into the lens, tilt his head and then began putting his hand up to the glass as if trying to touch me. He seemed to like the red sleeve on my coat and was trying to catch my camera strap too. I was in love!!
I have always associated Twycross Zoo with giraffes and it is also well-known for its elephants, so we saw these too. The elephants do training sessions as well, which can be viewed at certain times. They had a gorgeous young elephant amongst the four we saw. There are many other animals there and we saw capybara, mara (like big rabbits!), prairie marmots, Scottish Wild Cats, sea lions and one meerkat! (Not sure where the others were!) I was looking forward to seeing the Bat-eared foxes and the Aardwolves, but they were all snuggled up asleep in dark areas!
By this time, both of us were muddy, cold and wet, so we went back to the main centre (Himalaya) to get some food and drink. It was quite a good place to eat. We both had jacket potatoes with beans and cheese, coffees and a slice of gateau each and it came to £18. The seating area is bright and colourful and was large enough to accommodate everyone, as well as being considerably warmer and drier than outside!
Afterwards, we braved the elements again and visited the other parts of the zoo we had missed. I especially wanted to see the penguins and they were lovely, but can't compare to the amazing facilities at Bristol Zoo where you can walk underneath the water and watch them swim above and around you. Twycross at least has a glass side, so you can watch them swimming up close though and I got a couple of nice photos this way.
I do like big cats, but we only managed to see one leopard and he looked a bit unhappy, on his own and pacing his enclosure restlessly. We never got to see the snow leopard or the lion and they don't have any tigers sadly. It was only a minor disappointment though and the amazing array of monkeys certainly made up for it.
We nipped back to see "my" Emperor Tamarin again, before leaving the zoo and on the way out, my boyfriend bought me a cuddly monkey for £6.50. (He probably reckoned that was better than standing in the World of Small Monkeys for another hour, as I waved a sad goodbye to my beloved monkey!)
Overall, despite the weather, it was an excellent day out and we will definitely be going back.
Atherstone, Midlands CV9 3PX
0844 474 1777
Open daily throughout the year from 10am (only closed on Christmas day)
* 31st October 2010 to 27th March 2011 - close at 4pm
* 28th March 2011 to 24th October 2011- close at 5.30pm
Twycross zoo is a fantastic day out for all the family, it is well sign posted off the a5 and down the a444, there is plenty of parking and as you go through the gates there is a big gift shop on the left hand side which sells all sorts of gifts and souvenirs and it's not as overpriced as a lot of gift shops are! The zoo is easy to follow around if you are interested in seeing everything and if you are looking for something specific they are plenty of sign posts to guide you. They is a cafe approx half way round if you fancy a sit down. Most of the animal enclosures have a viewing booth you can go into in case the animals are not outside, and if you go to the penguins there is a clear screen below the water level so you can see them swimming! My favourite was the elephants, when i went the last time a baby elephant had just been born and it was adorable! If you go on a quiet day you can probably get round the park by about 1ish obviously a busier day will take longer but it's a great day out with or without kids!
Twycross Zoo is situated in Leicestershire in the East Midlands, as that is within easy driving distance for me I have visited many times. The Zoo opened to the public in 1963 and has been a popular destination for couples, families and school trips ever since.
Twycross Zoo has a wide variety of animals
The largest animals: Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Camels, Giraffes and Elephants, Gorillas.
The smaller animals: Boars, Meerkats, Alpacas, Chinchillas.
The unusual animals: Bearded dragon, Tree Frogs, Tarantulas.
The monkeys: Twycross has, I believe, the largest collection of monkeys and apes of any zoo in the country, these include Marmosets, Lemurs, Langurs, Tamarins, Spider Monkeys, and Sloths to name a few.
There are also around 50 species of birds.
(These are all from my memory and I would strongly recommend visiting the website for full details of all the animals that live at the zoo - http://www.twycrosszoo.org/home.htm)
The zoo is open every day of the year except for Christmas day, opening at 10am and closing between 4 and 5.30 depending on the season. Prices are £11 for adults and £7 for children. There are also various family and group passes and discounts available. Within the price is included a Gift Aid donation (supporting the Zoo's charitable activities), which you are able to opt out of, however once you have seen all the animals and understood all the hard work which the staff put in to maintaining the park and looking after the animals I doubt many will object to this donation.
The one down side I can find to the zoo is that the cafe is very expensive and limited with the choice available - I would recommend taking a picnic - which will only add to your experience of the day
Overall I would say that a day at Twycross Zoo is a fun experience and a great way of introducing children to the many animals which they would normally only see in books or on the tv
me and my family went here during the summer,we went the year before so we knew what we were expecting.
Parking was very easy and lots of parking attendants to show you where to park in a nice orderly fashion,then was the walk to pay to get into the park. For a family of 4 with one child being 11 and the other 3 months it cost us £26 to get into the park which is well worth it if you consider the costs to go to sealife centre etc.
The park is very big and lots of animals to show off and some of the main attractions are the monkeys(lots and lots of monkey),the elephant enclosure,giraffes,the borneo walk and many other animals.
Also by the entrance are notices of what time the animals are being fed which is handy as children love watching animals get fed,so we opted for the lunchtime seal feed. This was very busy and alot of the adults were getting in the way of the children whic his quite annoying but its all done via a microphone and although busy was good to watch.
Its very relaxing walking around looking at all the animals on show you can spend a good ammount of time just looking at them.
We then headed to the restaurent which as you expect from a park is expensive but the food was nice and well cooked. The park has many gift shops to buy things from aswell which is always handy for the children
my complaints are that feeding times get very hectic and the ammount of people that block children from viewing things is very frustrating. The zoo is well layed out and lots of fun to be had by all of the family
As a child i visited Twycross zoo every week, it was a great place and i loved everything about it. I am now a father and have moved back into the area, i thought it would be a great place to take my children to visit, and hoped they would enjoy it as much as i used to. I will never go again, the place is falling apart, its like a building site, the entrance fee was expensive but that was nothing compared to the price of refreshments. I felt disappointed and ripped off at every turn. In future i will go the extra distance to West midlands Safari park and would recommended you do the same.
I visited Twycross Zoo today with my family (22/2/09). I have been before, and though Twycross is not a large zoo it is ideal for children. Twycross has a considerable range of monkeys and apes, as well as lions, elephants, Giraffes, sea lions etc.
One odd thing is it has no enclosure/reptile house for snakes, spiders etc, which as every parent knows always goes down well with the kids!
The admission price I feel is quite reasonable, £10 for adults and around £7 for children.
My major gripe was the cost of drinks and food. Nearly £5 for two coffees and a tea is I feel is extortionate, especially as they were basic coffee! The quality of food also was to put it mildly average, but again the prices did not reflect this.
Facilities at the site are quite good, though I don't think it is very well signposted.
One really interesting attraction is the gorillas who are always fun to watch, as well as the Sea Lion feeding.
All in all a decent day out for the family, but make sure you take your own refreshments - I will definltely be taking a flask and food next time!
I visited Twycross zoo on Feb 8 2009. I was bitterly disappointed at how poorly organised and managed this zoo was - you only had to look at the monkeys to see how miserable and sad they are. My main grievances were:
H&S: No gritting had taken place - paths were a death trap/iced over and no warning signs to be seen anywhere.
Staff: No zoo keepers to be seens anywhere! Those on ticket office poorly presented, rest we saw lacked customer service and professionalism.
Animal cages: Neglected - chimpanzees were in a terrible state, half of them had serious bottom problems and one of them could not sit properly his anus was hanging out by about 8 inches! No explanations for visitors why this was. Could not see penguins in the water it was so dirty, clearly never filtered. Generally a lack of pride in all areas by staff and a waste of £11.
This was a fabulous place and I would highly recommend it to anyone of any age. My husband took me as a suprise at 7 1/2 month's pregnant in october last year. I thoroughly enjoyed taking a slow walk round this pretty zoo. Because of the time of year it was not too busy and we found lot's of lovely spot's with benches to sit and have rest and admire the many great animal's this included many monkey's, chimp's orangutan's, gorrilla's, girraffe's, elephant's lion's, tapier's reptile's, penguin's and otter's and many more. There was a lovely cafe and gift shop too and you could go on a tour of an exotic's house . all the animals were in great condition and in huge but safe area's with indoor and oudoor part's. I plan to go back this year with my son. It was a very reasonable £8 per adult with free parking too(could have been because of time of year)
Recently I had to go on a school trip as a supervisor to Twycross Zoo in Warwickshire and even though I was in charge of thirty kids, all under 10, it was still a pretty good day. Even though I am not the biggest fan of zoos as I think they are a bit cruel to the animals I must admit that it is still fun to see all the animals that you would never see if it wasn't for zoos.
Twycross Zoo is the perfect place to take your kids as it's not the biggest zoo around but it has a pleasant family atmosphere that I just love. It also hasn't changed in years which I think it quite nice, it's still a pleasant place to go and visit. I use to take my kids to Twycross Zoo on a sunny afternoon for a picnic and I could still imagine myself doing that, probably with grandkids now though!
Twycross Zoo has all the main animals that any other zoo has but seems a lot more open and friendly than others that I have been to. My favourite part of this zoo is the monkeys which is probably everybody else's favourite as well. They are very cute and look so naughty when they are swinging from trees and playing with toys. When I visited I saw a notice as well that asked for any spare toys that could be given to the monkeys to play with that I just loved!
There is a nice restaurant and the facilities that you would expect from a zoo and the prices are also fair. For an adult it costs £9.50 for admission and £6 for a child under 14. You can however buy a family ticket for £29 for two adults and two children. The zoo is open throughout the year and is open from 10am-5.30pm
Overall I love Twycross Zoo and think it is one of the nicest zoos I have visited as it has a family atmosphere and is lovely to visit.
Twycross Zoo opened in 1963 on a site in Leicestershire. Initially a comparatively modest collection, it has grown into one of the major British zoos, attracting over 450,000 visitors a year. It is famous for its collection of primates. Situated near the small village of Twycross, the zoo occupies over 40 acres and is set in open countryside.