On Saturday I finally got to tick one of the bigger items off my 2017 bucket list. We took the children to ZSL London Zoo. We got up early, packed a picnic and drove up to London.
We had had much debate over whether we were going to get the train to Regents Park or brave driving. In the end the fact that there was the hassle of a rail replacement service, the decision was made for us.
It was actually really simple getting there by car and we were able to park in the Zoo’s car park which is a very short walk from the entrance. The cost of parking is £14.50 for the day. This extra fee is kind of annoying as entry price to the zoo is so high, but reasonable for London prices. It’s not a big car park so I would advise getting there for opening time if you plan on doing this.
We were able to save some money on our entry fee by trading in Tesco club card vouchers. This is worth bearing in mind if you are planning a visit as it can save you a lot of money on your entrance fee.
London Zoo is the worlds oldest scientific Zoo, it opened in 1828 as collection for scientific study. Today the zoo is a registered charity and undertakes important conservation work on critically endangered species such as its successful Sumatra Tiger breeding program.
Highlights for me included the Reptile house and the Aquarium. Aside from being able to view a huge variety of species, the buildings themselves are very interesting. Opened in 1927 they are great example of architecture of that time period, with original features still present.
The reptile house featured in Harry Potter: The Philosophers Stone. We spent a lot of time trying to work out which particular tank Dudley got stuck in.
The Animal enclosures are very open with a good amount of outdoor space. Rather than glass enclosures, moats, low fences and netting are widely used. It does feel that you are able to get quite a close up view of the animals.
The Gorrila enclosure is a particularly good example of this.
It is possible to see all of the animals in one visit but not necessarily all of the talks. You can become an annual member of ZSL that allows you unlimited entry to both ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. For our family, if we paid by direct debit, the annual membership fee is roughly the same as the gate price if we were to visit each of the zoos just once. This is something worth considering if you wanted to visit both or more than once a year.
We took a lot of pictures during our visit so I’m going to end this post by sharing some of the best with you.