Last Bank Holiday weekend we headed up to London with my parents for a day out. We had been lucky enough to be invited to spend the afternoon at London Zoo and none of us had ever been before. Everything involving the outdoors and animals are Finley’s favourite and so I knew without a doubt that he was going to have a brilliant time!
In the morning we had embarked on a London Duck Tour as well and you can watch a little video of our whole day out in London here.
The ZSL London Zoo (I just Googled – ZSL stands for Zoological Society Of London – obvs) is located in Regents Park. So we hopped on a tube to Camden and walked the rest of the way, which was only about ten minutes on the way there. And a little bit longer on the way back with an exhausted three year old…
For a Zoo based in central London, you’d be forgiven for thinking it might have limitations in terms of space and variety of species. However, this is hands down the best Zoo I’ve ever been too , there is so much to see and do. You could easily spend a whole day here, and although we only had the afternoon we couldn’t believe the animals we saw and the brilliant scenery around the park.
Another thing that really struck us, was how well every animal looked. How shiny their fur or how big their enclosures were. A lot of the compounds had non-intrusive viewing platforms or more private areas and despite that we still saw a lot of animals during our visit and weren’t disappointed.
Our first stop were the Penguins, one of Finley’s favourite animals. They had a whole beach situation going on for themselves which was brilliant because you could watch them on land and in the water. They were also pretty friendly and inquisitive and came up close to where you were standing. You could watch them through the viewing tunnel (Finley spent about ten minutes in there, he was fascinated) or from all around their enclosure.
My favourite place in the entire Zoo was definitely the Land Of The Lions. The whole exhibit (which is quite large) is themed and takes you through an Indian town, complete with train station, temple and marketplace. The area is mostly interactive with a ‘lion emergency’ scenario, where children can ‘assist’ local veterinarians. Finley went around with his trail map, collecting the sights he saw. He had to find a male lion, a paw print and monkey but by far his favourite and most important to locate was the ‘animal poo’!
There are four lions to see in this enclosure and plenty to find out about. You can learn about conservation projects in India and interact with the props. Finley and my Dad enjoyed the bicycles, the idea was to cycle as fast as a Lion can run but I think they were more interested in out-biking each other!
Whilst we were there we saw monkeys, African hunting dogs, meerkats and gorillas. We also quite liked the Reptile House and Aquarium. Towards the end of the day we were lucky enough to see the giraffes being fed inside before the Zoo closed, it was great to see them up close. I have never seen a giraffe in such close proximity, they were literally a few feet in front of us. We all sat for quite some time just watching them in awe!
We had a great time at London Zoo and would definitely recommend it for a family day out. If you book your tickets online in advance you can get a 10% discount, plus they have an online family ticket offer which is much cheaper than paying at the gate per head.
*Our London Zoo experience was FOC in exchange for our honest review*
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