We’ve never been to London Zoo – I’m not sure why, as we’ve lived here for ages so as luck would have it, we were offered a chance to go with Superbreak – and I’m glad we did!
It’s expensive – but there’s a LOT to do there. If you can get to London Zoo (in Regent’s Park) and Whipsnade Zoo (near Luton) more than a couple of times a year then it may be worth taking out membership – which you can do against the price of your ticket for that day. Also, if you’re planning to go then I’ve some advice – go before your child turns 3! That way your child gets in free (rather than paying £17).
When we got there (around lunchtime) the queues were long – fortunately our ticket was pre-booked which meant we could get them converted into tickets for the day super-fast – jumping the queues and getting straight in there (seriously, we’d have been waiting over 30 minutes to get in otherwise and a hungry three year old is a force not to be fought with). Be prepared to spend lots of money once you’re in there – the gift shops are reasonably priced, though I found food expensive. We got seats in the Pavilion Cafe quickly which was good as we arrived at lunchtime – it’s a temporary cafe while a newer one is built, and serves okay-ish coffee (we found the ones near the Aquarium much better) and food.
Also, make sure you plan where you want to go – we did lots of extra walking as we hadn’t planned our route. This wasn’t the end of the world, we just found ourselves walking around the same areas to see things we’d missed.
The most important thing was how tired H would get – we did a lot of walking and she did spend some time on Shaun’s shoulders, but she did a lot. There were plenty of play areas, though easily her favourite bit were the tunnels near the meerkats – we couldn’t get her to come out (there’s three entrances with a dome in the middle so you’re covered in the middle of the meerkat enclosure), as well as areas to sit down and take a break.
London Zoo is a very buggy-friendly place to go – just be prepared to do a lot of walking. The animals are great – penguins, tigers, lions, gorillas, monkeys you can walk right by (they bite though, so don’t get too close), zebras, giraffes, the aquarium, an outback with some emu’s and wallabies and so much more. The easy thing to do is show a few photos – we found nemo (and dory, and marlin) and H spotted many animals she wouldn’t have had a chance to see anywhere else near us (and amazed us with her knowledge!). We’ve since been told the elephants were moved to Whipsnade – fair enough as we’re not sure where they’d have lived!
There were a few rides, though paying up to an additional £2.50 felt a bit steep had we paid for our entry tickets. It would have been nice if things like this were included in the overall price.
The last zoo we went to was the one in Perth, Western Australia when H was fifteen months so she doesn’t remember a thing. I’m glad we’ve had a chance to do this again when she’ll have better memories. Thank you Superbreak!
We received free tickets for our trip. All opinions are our own and honest.