London and its surroundings are incredible places to explore, even more so if you spend a few days on your trip. A popular tourist attraction among families with children, the London Zoo is a fantastic place to remember your childhood and the joy of meeting the cutest wild animals. If you want to be aware of the best things to do in London, make sure you download Framey App and start exploring!
1. Zoos in London and nearby: the go-to places for every traveler
If you are passionate about nature and animals, zoos will always be on your list of objectives to visit, regardless of the city you end up in. Without a doubt, London is the paradise of zoos. There are no more than 27 such places in the town and the vicinity of the metropolis.
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
Whipsnade Zoo is a safari park located in Bedfordshire English zoo, about 60 km northwest of London, in the village of Whipsnade.
Whipsnade Zoo is a different experience from a city center zoo, being located outside of London For example, Whipsnade Zoo is more of a wildlife park, while the wildlife attraction in central London is a zoo in the traditional sense. Whipsnade Zoo is almost 17 times larger than London Zoo, making it the largest zoo in the UK. Visitors can take their car inside ZSL Whipsnade Zoo for an additional fee.
ZSL London Zoo
One of the oldest zoos in the world, ZSL London Zoo was inaugurated on April 27, 1828, more than 190 years ago. The institution intended to be a collection for scientific studies. London Zoo has a rich fauna, with more than 20,000 animals, representing around 750 species, including one hundred endangered species. Covering an area of 15 ha, London Zoo is located north of Regent’s Park, on the border between the City of Westminster and the district of Camden. The Regent’s Canal runs through London Zoo.
London Zoo is the oldest scientific zoo, which explains why today, the institution participates in a species research and conservation program and several breeding programs concerning more than 130 species. He was also the first to open a reptile house in 1849; Moreover, London Zoo can be proud to have the most extensive collection of poisonous snakes and reptiles in the United Kingdom, to the point that since 2004 there have been extremely impressive Komodo monitors. We also can discover the first public aquarium launched in 1853, the first insectarium (1881). Another title that the London Zoo can claim; it was the first petting zoo (1938).
Marwell Zoo is an English zoological park located in the county of Hampshire, near Winchester. It was founded by John Knowles in 1972 and covers an area of 57 hectares, it is now owned by a non-profit organization: Marwell Wildlife. The zoo features more than 1,200 animals from 135 species. The park is involved in nature conservation, especially in Africa. It’s an excellent place for a fun-filled day out, with something for everyone, from exotic wildlife to kid-friendly features.
Howletts Wild Animal Park
Howletts Wild Animal Park is located in Canterbury and is known as one of the largest animal enclosures in the county of Kent. Its opening dated back to 1975 and was directed by the founder John Aspinall (1926-2000). Since its beginning, Howletts Wild Animal Park is known as one of the most diverse animal attractions in Kent County. Currently, there are more than 456 animals and 51 different species that visitors to the zoo can admire and get to know up close.
One of the main characteristics of the enclosure is the special care of the species in danger of extinction. Howletts allow the procreation of the most endangered species of the moment, such as the western lowland gorillas or the largest herd of African elephants we can admire in the park. Another great feature of the space is the strong connection and relationship between the staff and the zoo animals. It is one of the significant peculiarities of the place, and many visitors know it.
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo is owned by the Heap family, who, in 2003, took over the zoo, which was threatened with closure. With experience in managing natural parks, they transformed Battersea Park into a recreational and educational center whose offer is mainly aimed at the youngest. In addition to the animals, the zoo has its restaurant, an extensive and well-equipped playground, and a wide range of educational activities. The inhabitants of Battersea Park Children’s Zoo are ponies, several species of monkeys, rodents, rabbits, raccoons, otters, birds, and reptiles, as well as New Zealand Kunekune pigs and kangaroos. All the animals are tame and friendly, so even small children can come into close contact with them. The zoo conducts ecological education and encourages the adoption of animals. The history of Battersea Park dates back to the mid. XIX century, when a public park was established in the area of wet meadows and farmland, which was used for recreation and sports. One hundred years later, a zoo was established in the park, now run by the Heap family.
2. London zoo experiences: things to do for unforgettable memories
The Zoos in London and nearby are packed with activities for you to enjoy practically all day long. Being aware of upcoming events will guarantee you a unique experience. You can take a free tour to see it at your own pace, but they offer many events every day so you can make the most of the experience.
Explore the fantastic London Zoo.
This amazing Zoo is divided into the most varied themes.
- “In with the Spiders”, for example, offers an exciting journey through the arachnid world, not recommended for those like me who fear spiders.
- The Penguins are one of the great attractions at London Zoo, and you can see the penguins swimming underwater and resting on land.
- The Butterfly Garden allows you to enter an oasis of butterflies of all colors.
- You can also walk through a forest in Madagascar and see the Lemurs close up.
- The Land of The Lions allows visitors to get closer than ever to these majestic animals. For this, the Zoo has built a railway route that resembles the natural habitat of these mammals in India.
In addition to the points we highlighted above, the London Zoo has many other inhabitants that are undoubtedly worth visiting. Thus, among the more than 600 animals in the London Zoo, the following stand out:
- Galapagos Tortoises: You can say hello to the great Dirk, Dolly, Polly, and Priscilla.
- Gorilla Kingdom: In the Zoo, you will find the family of Kumbuka, the intelligent silverback gorilla, in the center.
- Rainforest Life: in this area, different species from the tropical forest coexist, such as iguanas and various types of monkeys, including sloths.
- The Aquarium: The first aquarium in Europe offers an unforgettable tour of a coral reef.
Choose the bus safari experience at Whipsnade Zoo.
The first bus of the day departs from the main gate of Whipsnade Zoo and continues every half hour until closing for the day. The Safari Bus trip from the boarding point to the last enclosure (Hullabazoo) takes roughly half an hour and helps you explore the attraction for free.
Enhance your experience with the animals at Howletts Zoo.
This Canterbury park offers multiple activities for all audiences, such as a day caring for animals, getting up close to the rarest and most endangered animals on the planet, or improving your photography technique by learning valuable tips and techniques from the hand of one of the center’s photographers. For the little ones, we find activities such as the obstacle course, the zip line, and the opportunity to spend an entire day with an animal specialist.
Take lunch at the London Zoo.
The Terrace Restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes prepared with local and seasonal produce and magnificent views of the London Zoo. It is located next to the store and the zoo exit. At the Animal Adventure Café, you can get a drink, sandwiches, sweets, and snacks. The Aquarium Kiosk is next to the aquarium and offers hot or cold beverages, pasta, and snacks. They also have a store where you can buy zoo-related souvenirs.
3. Zoos in London: tips and tricks for your visits
Visiting a zoo is a fantastic experience, no doubt. But like every other tourist attraction, it is better when you know some insider details that will improve your adventure into the wild world. We have gathered some tricks that can be useful to you:
- Buy tickets in advance. If you travel in the high season (from March to November and the school holidays of Christmas, Easter, and Summer), we recommend you go early or buy a fast-track ticket to enter without queues or waiting. This tip is so valuable, especially for the big ones, like London Zoo, which is always very crowded.
- Check out the list of daily events, including demonstrations, exhibits, animal feeding sessions, and informative talks. And, of course, take advantage of the moment when the animals are fed!
- If you can plan it, avoid going there on weekends, it is much busier and only allows you to see the animals correctly when there are many people. Besides, a visit to the zoo lasts easily 5 or 6 hours.
- An essential clarification if you plan to take transport, these are expensive! So our advice, take a look at the tourist bus tour offers. It is the ideal way to reach tourist sites without getting tired. And you can continue to discover the city while moving.
A journey to London is always a great idea, no matter what you choose to be the purpose of your adventure. Make sure you read everything you know about London and use the Framey app to plan and discover unique places. Don’t forget the most famous museums to visit in London and check out some of their fancy restaurants and cute cafes in the city.