Local Vet – Our top 10 UK Local Zoos and Parks
Local Vet – Our top 10 Local Zoos and Parks in the UK – 2018
Here in the UK there is not a shortage of local zoos to choose from, we currently list 21 of the largest and most popular with plenty of opportunities to hang out with the animal kingdom. But which ones are the best?
Local Vet has short listed 10 local zoos that we feel are a cut above the rest, from Devon and Cornwall right the way up to the north of Scotland. Each Zoo we looked at has its own unique stand-out points and each provides good value for money, where you can have a great day out with the whole family.
Let’s not assume largest is best. Yes, the likes of ZSL London and Whipsnade are awesome and you’ll need at least a day to explore each, but some of the compact ones, such as Exmore and Bristol, have been incredibly imaginative at making good use of space, making your day every bit as exciting.
Take a look at Zoos that offer more than just animals, an insight into interesting plant life is a great addition to nature. Starting with our number 1 Paignton Zoo, for example, boasts 1,600 plant species and was one of the first places in Britain combining zoological and botanical gardens.
Local Vet – Our top 10 Local Zoos and Parks in the UK – 2018
- 1 Paignton Zoo
This leafy, shady gem of a zoo was one of the first places in the UK to combine zoological and botanical gardens. It now boasts around 2,000 animals and 1,600 plant species, making for a wonderful place to explore, plus it’s been leading the zoo world in ethical trading for years. Watch out for the new male lion Lucifer. Online prices starting from, adults £16.50; child £12.35 and under 3s go free. Purchase tickets online at, www.paigntonzoo.org.uk always check prices online they may vary.
- 2 Bristol Zoo
Though this zoo is only a modest 12 acres, it is home to over 450 species animal and birds. What’s more, being one of the smaller zoos of the world, they’ve tried to use their space cleverly and efficiently. The new gorilla house, for instance, is an award-winning enclosure, with a glass-roofed viewing area that you can walk over – a world first. New in 2015 there were 13 huge and incredibly life-like animatronic Big Bugs, that will make the zoo their home for six months this summer. Online prices starting from, adults £14.00; child £8.00 and under 2s go free. Purchase tickets online at, www.bristolzoo.org.uk always check prices online they may vary.
- 3 Chester Zoo
This truly is one of the most visited local zoos in the UK and rated by experts to be among the top 15 zoos in the world. With an impressive 12,000 animals from over 400 different species, as well as a particularly exciting £30m project underway that will take visitors on a personal conservation expedition through the Philippines, Bali, Sulawesi, Sumb and Sumatra, just like the great explorers of yesterday. Online prices starting from, adult, £16.36, child £13.18 under 3s go free. Purchase tickets online at, www.chesterzoo.org always check prices online they may vary.
- 4 Marwell Zoo
You will find this gorgeous 140-acre park near Winchester and is home to hundreds of exotic and endangered species, ranging from ring-tailed coatis to the majestic giraffe, endangered tigers to frilled lizards, curious meerkats to pygmy hippos all set in beautiful, landscaped surroundings. This summer the zoo is opening Wild Explorers, their biggest exhibit to date, hosting some of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife. Online prices starting from, adults £17.26; child £13.62 under 3s go free. Purchase tickets online at, www.marwell.org.uk always check prices online they may vary.
- 5 ZSL London
Founded in 1826, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity whose mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats. Having opened the world’s first aquarium, reptile house and insect house, innovation is still high on its agenda and whilst last year witnessed a brand new Pygmy hippo exhibit, this year’s exciting news is the new ‘In with the Lemurs’ exhibit, which opened on the 28 March. 2017. There is so much to see at London Zoo you would want to get there as early as possible. Online prices starting from, adult £24.30: child £18.00 under 3s go free. Purchase tickets online at, www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo always check prices online they may vary.
- 6 ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
Whipsnade Zoo is part of the Zoological Society of London Charity and is the UK’s largest zoo which is set in a beautiful 600 acres, featuring over 2,500 animals, many of which are jumbo size, such as the elephants, rhinos, tigers, African lions, brown bears, zebras, moose and hippos. It’s also got the UK’s largest herd of Asian elephants, which you can watch getting taken for a stroll around the zoo most afternoons. Don’t miss out on the steam railway, which offers great views of many of the animals. Online prices starting from, adult £22.00; child £16.00 under 3s go free. Purchase tickets online at, www.zsl.org/zsl-whipsnade-zoo always check prices online they may vary
- 7 Howlett’s Wild Life Park
Howlett’s, which was initially set up as a private zoo by John Aspinall is now celebrating its 40th birthday this year. Last year our beautiful snow leopard pair, Ziva and Nuri moved into their brand new home, near the Pavilion Restaurant. Here you can find out more about the pair, how they are getting on in their new pad and when the best times to spot them. We have lots of other amazing animals like this in our fabulous, natural-looking 90-acre park too. Online prices starting from, adult £17.23; child £14.50 and under 3s go free. Purchase Tickets online at, www.aspinallfoundation.org/howletts/ always check prices online they may vary.
- 8 Welsh Mountain Zoo
Some TripAdvisor reviewers complain about the hills. But this local zoos name should be a bit of a giveaway that it’s not flat. Yes, you’ll be tired, but there’s so much that make it worth it, including an amazing sea lion show, the macaws flying around you. Animals including snow leopards, tigers, otters, lemurs and bears. The keepers are keen to answer questions. Online prices starting from, adult £12.70; child £9.55 under 3s go free. Purchase tickets online at, www.welshmountainzoo.org always check prices online they may vary.
- 9 Colchester Zoo
Over 270 species live in this delightful Zoo with 60 acres of space is particularly child-friendly, with lots of hands on experiences and over 50 daily displays, as well as four adventure play areas and an undercover soft play area. The Zoo stays fresh by continually expanding attractions and kids just love the Madagascar Express road train. Online ticket prices start from, adult £20.69; child £14.39 under 3s go free. Purchase online tickets at, www.colchesterzoo.org always check prices online they may vary.
- 10 Edinburgh Zoo
Last but not least is Edinburgh Zoo this 82 acre zoo set in breath taking scenery is the only zoo in the UK to care for giant pandas and koalas. Other animal highlights include are young baby chimps in their award winning Budongo Trail enclosure, baby tapir, sun bears, Indian rhinos, and a famous daily penguin parade. From April 3 to November 1 the zoo has the added bonus of a life-size animatronic exhibition of dinosaurs – Dinosaurs Return! Online ticket prices start from, adult £17.00; child £12.50 and under 3s go free. Purchase tickets online at, www.edinburghzoo.org.uk always check prices online they may vary.