Venture into the wild heart of the United Kingdom with our extensive list of zoos, categorised by regions for your convenience. From the serene landscapes of Scotland to the bustling cities of England, the UK boasts an array of world-class zoos and wildlife parks, each offering unique experiences that will captivate animal lovers of all ages. Whether you're a native Briton or a tourist, your adventure starts here as we tour through the UK's premier zoological destinations, including the renowned Woburn Safari Park, Whipsnade Zoo, and Colchester Zoo.
The Heart of England: Zoos in the Midlands
The Midlands, known as the heart of England, is not just about its rich industrial heritage and vibrant cities, it also hosts some of the most exciting zoos in the UK.
Woburn Safari Park
Located in the tranquil county of Bedfordshire, Woburn Safari Park is a must-visit for animal enthusiasts. This adventurous park allows you to embark on a safari without leaving the country. Home to over 1,000 animals, Woburn offers a unique opportunity to get up close with majestic creatures, including lions, elephants, and monkeys, from the comfort of your vehicle. Apart from the thrilling road safari, the park also features a foot safari, where visitors can wander through animal enclosures and interactive exhibits. Highlights include Land of Lemurs, where you can walk amongst free-roaming lemurs, and the Australian Walkabout with its friendly wallabies.
West Midlands Safari Park
Another gem in the Midlands is the West Midlands Safari Park. This park features a four-mile safari drive-through, an amusement park, and a variety of exhibits, making it a perfect day out for families. The park is home to a wide range of exotic and endangered species, and is particularly famous for its white lions and cheetahs.
The Southern Charm: Zoos in the South of England
The South of England, with its picturesque landscapes and historic cities, is also home to several noteworthy zoos and wildlife parks.
Nestled in the rolling Chiltern Hills, Whipsnade Zoo, operated by the Zoological Society of London, is one of the largest wildlife conservation parks in Europe. It covers 600 acres of beautiful parkland, providing ample space for its animals to roam freely. The zoo is renowned for its wide variety of species, including brown bears, cheetahs, and penguins. A key highlight is the Passage through Asia exhibit, a drive-through experience where no barriers separate you from the animals. With a dedicated play area for kids and a fascinating Birds of the World show, Whipsnade offers an engaging and educational day out for the whole family.
Located in Hampshire, Marwell Zoo is another must-visit attraction in the South. With a focus on conservation, the zoo is home to an impressive range of animals, from Amur leopards to zebra. The zoo's 140-acre park is also home to a variety of innovative exhibits, including the Energy for Life Tropical House which immerses visitors in a rainforest environment.
The Eastern Delight: Zoos in the East of England
The East of England, known for its idyllic countryside and vibrant cities, is also the location of some of the UK's top zoos.
Colchester Zoo, located in Essex, stands out with its immersive exhibits and wide variety of species. The zoo is home to over 220 species set in 60 acres of parkland and lakes. Known for its commitment to conservation, Colchester Zoo offers numerous interactive experiences, such as feeding the elephants and giraffes. The 'Edge of Africa' exhibit, where visitors can see lions, hyenas, and hunting dogs, is particularly popular. With an indoor soft-play area and multiple food outlets, the zoo ensures a fun-filled day for the whole family.
The Northern Spirit: Zoos in the North of England
The North of England, with its rugged beauty and cultural richness, also boasts a selection of exceptional zoos.
Chester Zoo, located in Upton-by-Chester in Cheshire, is one of the largest and most visited zoos in the UK. Home to over 35,000 animals across 500 different species, this zoo is known for its innovative enclosures and commitment to conservation. Highlights include Islands at Chester Zoo, which recreates the landscapes of six South East Asian islands, and the vast African Savannah exhibit.
Blackpool Zoo provides another delightful animal encounter in the North. Housing over 1,500 animals from all over the world, the zoo is well-known for its interactive experiences. Visitors can feed giraffes, watch sea lion shows, and even become a zookeeper for the day.
The Scottish Highlands: Zoos in Scotland
Venture north to Scotland, where you'll find a selection of fascinating zoos set against the backdrop of stunning highland landscapes.
Edinburgh Zoo, located on Corstorphine Hill, provides panoramic views of the city. But the real attraction here is the fantastic array of animals, including the only giant pandas and koalas in the UK. The zoo's innovative enclosures, such as the Budongo Trail for chimpanzees and Penguins Rock, ensure that it's a hit with visitors of all ages.
Highland Wildlife Park
Highland Wildlife Park in Kingussie offers a unique experience, focusing on native wildlife and species from the world's colder regions. Visitors can see polar bears, snow leopards, and Scottish wildcats in enclosures designed to mimic their natural habitats.
The Welsh Haven: Zoos in Wales
Wales, with its breathtaking landscapes and rich history, is also home to several impressive zoos and wildlife parks.
Welsh Mountain Zoo
The Welsh Mountain Zoo, located in Colwyn Bay, provides a stunning view of the surrounding countryside and coastline. Known as the National Zoo of Wales, it offers a diverse range of animals, from snow leopards to red pandas. The zoo also features several shows and encounters, including sea lion training, chimp encounter, and the winged wonders bird display.
Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo
Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire is more than just a zoo; it's a day out filled with adventure. Alongside an impressive collection of exotic animals, it also offers a vintage fairground and an indoor play area, making it a firm favourite among families.
The final adventure
The UK offers a diverse array of zoos, each with its own unique features and experiences. From the heart of England to the stunning Scottish Highlands, there's a zoo for every animal lover. Whether you're embarking on a safari at Woburn, walking through the 'Edge of Africa' at Colchester, or witnessing the only giant pandas in the UK at Edinburgh, these zoos promise unforgettable encounters with the wild.
Remember, each visit to these zoos contributes to their ongoing conservation efforts, helping to protect and preserve wildlife for generations to come. So, why wait? Start planning your visit to these fantastic zoos across the UK today!