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15 Best Zoos in the UK : The Complete List

15 Best Zoos in the UK : The Complete List

Uncover the 15 Best Zoos in the UK with our Complete List

From Lions, Bears to Pandas, get up close and personal with a vast range of animals from all over the world when you visit some of the best zoos in the U.K.

For more years than we can remember a visit to the zoo makes for an enjoyable day out for the whole family

And, today than ever before, UK is home to brilliant nature reserves, safari parks and zoos which offer improved habitats for the animals and offer visitors an insight into the lives of exotic animals from all over the world which enables them to teach people about the conservation efforts to protect the animals they see.

Whether you’re visiting London Zoo, Yorkshire Wildlife Park or Longleat Safari Park, check out our guide below because we have rounded up the best zoos and safari parks across the UK with some helpful tips on how you can find the best deal so that you can save some money whilst you are at it.

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Plus, a visit to a zoo is a great opportunity to be educated with regular talks, feeding sessions and Keeper for a Day experiences at most the zoos and safari parks on our ultimate list.

Let’s dive right in!

1. London Zoo

Renowned across the country and even around the world, London Zoo world’s oldest scientific zoo and was founded in 1828.

It is home to over 20,000 animals of more than 700 species and subspecies.

Among the animals which, you can find at London Zoo are three Lions, Giraffes, Monkeys, Lemurs, Tigers and the cute Meerkats.

Whilst you are there check out the keeper talks where the zookeepers give you the secrets to looking after these magnificent animals, the live demonstrations, llama feedings and follow the nature trails around the zoo and if that isn’t enough for you why not become a keeper for the day.

Top Tip! To save money purchase tickets either online and if possible at least one day in advance. Adult tickets from £20.45, child tickets from £15.958 when booked online one day in advance from the London Zoo website.

Top deal: Many online resellers offer tickets at the same price so therefore we suggest you support the zoo and their conservation and buy direct.

london-zoo-tickets

2. Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Second, only to the London Zoo has to be the Yorkshire Wildlife Park for two simple reasons!

First of all, it is the UK’s No.1 walk-through wildlife adventure and it is the home to some of the most amazing animals on the planet including the majestic polar bears.

Trust us when we say you are in for some amazing family fun when you visit Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

Whilst you are there check out the tigers, black rhino, lions and much much more!

How much? If you purchase tickets one day in advance admission is £16.00 per adult and £14.00 per child

Top deal: Buying direct is the best priced offer and you can do a quick search for a discount code but upon writing, we could not find any valid codes.

yorkshire-wildlife-park-tickets

 3. Chester Zoo

Spanning 125 acres Chester Zoo was already a popular zoo attracting visitors from all over the region but now has become the most visited zoo in the UK because of the famous TV documentary The Secret Life of The Zoo.

The show captures the behaviour of the animals and gives viewers behind the scenes insight into how the zoo is run.

Chester Zoo was founded in 1931 by George Mottershead and his family and is now home to over 21,000 animals from 500 different species.

Check out the Giraffes, Penguins, Sloths, African Painted Dogs and famous Asian Elephants.

As you explore Chester Zoo you will be amazed by the wonderful wildlife in the immersive habitats which makes it a fantastic day out with the family.

How much? If you purchase tickets online at Chester Zoo one day in advance you can enjoy 20% off entry prices. If you choose not to add an optional donation an adult ticket will cost £20.00 per adult and £15.45 per child during off-peak seasons. During peak periods the prices increase slightly and these are generally over school holidays.

Top deal: Buying Chester Zoo tickets direct is the best-priced offer and you can do a quick search for a discount code but upon writing, we could not find any valid codes and we would suggest you add a small donation as the zoo is doing some fantastic conservation work.

chester-zoo

 4. Longleat Safari Park

High up on the list is Longleat Safari and Adventure Park one of the best Safari Parks in the UK.

Sprawled over 9,000 acres you enter a land of adventure where tigers stalk, lions roam and monkeys swing.

The park is probably most popular for its amazing drive-through safari experience where you can drive through Monkey Mayhem, Wolf Wood, African Village, Tiger Territory, Lion Country, Cheetah Kingdom, Deer Park, and the Big Game Park.

And, the fun doesn’t stop there if you want you can pay extra and join in one of the experiences such as the live feedings and a host of shows offering an insight into the life of their largest animals.

If you’ve got time to spare, then we would recommend you also take in the majestic Longleat House which will transport you back in time as you step into British history and culture.

How much? Save up to 15% when you book online in advance. Adult tickets start at £29.70 per adult and £22.27 per child.

Top deal: Picniq is currently offering 20% off all tickets. Click here for the full details and to purchase tickets.

 5. Whipsnade Zoo

Whipsnade Zoo the sister to London Zoo and both are owned by the Zoological Society of London which is a charity the devotes its time and resources into protecting animals and their habitats.

Whipsnade is the UK’s largest zoo and offers visitors a zoo and safari park which is located near Dunstable in Bedfordshire.

A visit to Whipsnade gives you the opportunity to see their beautiful tiger cubs, huge elephants, cute Lemurs, slippery sea lions and much much more which makes for a fantastic day out with your family.

Then, you can even stay overnight in one of their Lookout Lodges which is a once in a lifetime opportunity to sleep next to white rhinos and experience the zoo as never before.

Kids will also love all of the hands-on experiences with a variety of courses and exhibits where young animal enthusiasts can try their hand at being Vets in Action.

How much? Save up to 10% when you book online in advance. Adult tickets start at £19.65 per adult and £15.40 per child.

Top deal: 365Tickets is currently offering 25% off gate all tickets with a Free Photobook to remember your day out. Click here for the full details and to purchase tickets.

Cheetah-at-ZSL-Whipsnade-Zoo

6. Edinburgh Zoo

Sprawled over 82 acres Edinburgh Zoo is a non-profit zoological park in Corstorphine, a suburb of Edinburgh.

The Scottish capital’s zoo offers plenty to its visitors and it’s home to a couple of celebrities.

Of course, we’re talking about Edinburgh Zoo’s pair of pandas, Yang Guan (Sunshine) and Tian Tian (meaning Sweetie).

They live in the Giant Panda exhibit which is close to the Monkey House and Penguin Rock and is full of caves, treehouses and climbing frames so that they can feel right at home.

The zoo also boasts the UK’s only koalas, Lions, Monkeys, Drill, Lemurs, Bears, Zebra and a Pygmy Hippo.

How much? Save up to 10% when you book online in advance. Adult tickets from £17.25 and child tickets are from £9.00 without optional donations.

Top deal: Purchasing direct offers the best price when we compared resellers including GetYourGuide and Viator who also offer tickets to Edinburgh Zoo.

Edinburgh-Zoo-tickets

7. Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo

If you are in Wales and you want to see some Giraffes then Folly Farm is an ideal place for you.

When you are there head across to Giraffe Heights where you will feel like you have just been transported to Africa.

As you wander through you will hear the faint drumming of African music as you watch giraffes, zebras and antelopes – all living close to each other exactly as they would in the wild.

When you continue your visit you’ll get to see Rhinos, Lions and some Penguins up close.

At Folly Farm you’ll be constantly surprised how much there is to do which makes for a perfect day out?

Not only do they have the zoo but if you’ve got small children and toddlers you will be pleased with the array of activities tailored to all ages including a Play Area, Events and the Barn area where everyone can enjoy getting up close to the friendly farm animals.

Then, of course, you can also find a fairground which has plenty of fun games and rides with cafes and restaurants nearby serving delicious meals and snacks.

How much? Buy online to save 15% on our standard day ticket prices. Adult tickets from £15.50, child tickets from £13.50, when booked online.

Top deal: Purchasing direct offers the best price and if you book in advance you will save compared to just turning up.

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8. Chessington World of Adventures Resort

For the ultimate family day out, why not head to Chessington World of Adventures, where you can enjoy a theme park, zoo and sea life centre all wrapped up into one big attraction.

The zoo has lots of exhibits with over 1,000 animals on site including Tigers, Giraffes and Lions.

Plus, you can head across the Sea Life tunnel and explore the amazing underwater creatures on display.

There is a host of animal presentations and daily meet and greets also available for you to enjoy, allowing you and your family to get up close and personal to an array of exotic creatures, from snakes and meerkats, to spiders and binturongs.

How much? Save up to 10% by booking online with tickets for adults from £29.50 when booked online. Short breaks are also available.

Top deal: 365Tickets has an offer of up to 50% off the walking gate price, with tickets starting from £25.25. Click here for the full details.

Chessington-World-of-Adventures-Tickets

9. Dudley Zoo and Castle

This 40 acres zoo with lots os exhibits is home to over 1300 animals from around 200 species, including some of the rarest animals you can find across the globe.

At Dudley Zoo you can meet Jorong the Bornean orangutan and watch Australian lorikeets close up as they feed.

Also keep an eye out for the Asiatic lions, Bornean orangutans, Tibetan red pandas, Sumatran tigers, Madagascan lemurs, Rothschild giraffes and Humboldt penguins because Dudley Zoo has the largest parent-reared colony.

How much? Tickets for adults from £15.20 and children from £9.75  when booked online.

Top deal: Groupon often has discounted day tickets on offer. Click here for the full details.

10. Twycross Zoo

Twycross Zoo is set amongst the beautiful rural countryside in the heart of Leicestershire in England.

The zoo was founded in 1963 and is home to around 500 animals of more than 125 different species.

When you visit you can check out the biggest collection of monkeys and apes in the western world and you can visit the state of the art indoor habitat where you can get close to the chimps.

The primary principle behind the running os Twycross zoo is conservation so please head there and spend a great day out because it helps them learn more about the world’s most fascinating creatures.

How much? 10% Off zoo admission when you book one day in advance online! Adult tickets from £17.96, child tickets from £13.86, when booked online.

twwycross-zoo-tickets

11. Paignton Zoo

This South West zoo attracts visitors from all over the region looking to get up close and personal with Giraffes, Rhinos and Cheetahs.

The zoo is home to over 2,500 animals set across 80 acres which means you are in for a really wild time with the family at Paignton Zoo.

There is lot’s to do at the zoo as you discover the specially designed animal habitats, the spacious play areas for young children and the iconic jungle express train.

Come rain or shine, Paignton Zoo is an amazing day out for all the family and you will need most the day to take everything in!

How much? 10% Off zoo admission when you book one day in advance online! Adult tickets from £19.10, child tickets from £14.25, when booked online.

Paignton-Zoo

12. Crocodiles of the World

Crocodiles of the World is the only crocodile zoo in the UK.

The zoo boasts more than 100 individuals representing more than 15 species of crocodiles and the zoo has been designed and fitted so that visitors can get a great insight into the lives of crocodiles.

One of the highlights has to be the incredible underwater viewing areas. Plus there is plenty on-going at the zoo with daily feeds where you can watch these magnificent creatures chomp on something meaty and if you are brave enough you can handle a baby alligator.

How much? Adult tickets from £8.95, child tickets from £6.50 when booked online or at the venue.

Crocodiles-of-the-World

13. Bristol Zoo

Bristol Zoo is located in the city of Bristol in South West England and is the 5th oldest zoo in the world.

It is home to more than 400 Species & 9 Animal Houses where you can see an array of animals including Gorillas, Red Pandas, Penguins, Lemurs and the cute Meerkats plus 12-acres of award-winning gardens.

The zoo has helped save over 175 species from extinction in human care and in the wild.

What makes it a winner though is the fact-busting animal talks and feeds throughout the day.

Make sure you take a look when the times are so you don’t miss them.

How much? Buy online and save up to 25% on tickets compared to when you arrive! Adult tickets from £10.00, child tickets from £5.50 when booked online.

Prices below include Gift Aid donation.

Entrance prices on the gate 2019 Flexi Ticket Super-Saver Ticket
Adult £17.00 £12.00
Child (2 – 14 years inclusive)* £11.00 £7.00
Child (under 2) Free Free
Concession (15-18 yrs/ student/over 65s) £15.00 £11.00

 

Bristol-Zoo-tickets

14. Port Lympne Reserve

Get ready for a truly wonderful family day out like you have never experienced before.

Spanning over 600 acres of wildlife you can view 700 rare and endangered animals on a  safari allowing you to see giraffes, spectacled bears and much much more…

You will be transported to the plains of Africa and Asia to see animals roaming freely, then explore on foot to see big cats, small cats, primates, gorillas and many more animals.

There’s so much on for little ones obsessed with all things animals too, from guided VIP tours with the animal specialists to live feeds and ‘Keeper for a Day’ experiences.

How much? Buy online and save up to 25% on tickets compared to when you arrive! Adult tickets from £10.00, child tickets from £5.50 when booked online.

 

Port-Lympne-Reserve

14. Colchester Zoo

Spanning 60 acres of parkland, Colchester Zoo is home to more than 260 species of animals.

Of all its residents, you will want to check out Billy Joe and friends at the chimpanzee lookout then why not walk through the 24m underwater tunnel as sea lions swim overhead.

But don’t stop there because there are plenty more species to discover as you learn all about their natural habitats.

There are also some fantastic opportunities for your kids to take part in feeding the animals with the chance to hand feed the giraffes and elephants at the daily public feeding sessions.

How much? Buy online and save by purchasing tickets in advance compared to when you arrive! Adult tickets from £15.00, child tickets from £10.00 when booked online.

 

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14. Belfast Zoo

Sprawled over 55 acres, Belfast Zoo is surrounded by stunning panoramic views across Belfast Lough.

It’s renowned for its vital conservation work and is the home to over 2,000 animals from more than 130 species with the majority of them facing increasing danger in their natural habitats.

On your visit, Gorillas, Lemurs, Traa Kangaroo, Tamarins, Sloth, Chimpanzee, Bears, Zebras, Lions and Elephants.

How much? Buy online and save by purchasing tickets in advance compared to when you arrive! Adult tickets from £13.00, child tickets from £6.50 when booked online.

The deal: Groupon often has discounted day tickets on offer. Click here for the full details.

belfast-zoo-tickets

If this guide has got you interested in visiting or finding out about other zoos across the UK then check out our round-up of the best safari parks in the UK, or search for animal attractions in your local area using the search facilities.

Just interested in finding your favourite animal and discovering who has a polar bear and who has Pandas then check out this guide?

Want to explore under the waves well – here are the best aquariums in the UK!

We’ll guide you to the cutest and most bizarre and exotic animals all over the country.

Fancy a few more ideas and inspiration for your next family day out?

Then, check out our selection of the UK’s best theme parks and indoor water parks near you.

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