Days Out

Twycross Zoo and Gruffalo Discovery Land Review


Reviewed by Sue Rumble

Twycross Zoo is a registered charity and its main aim is to support conservation and look after endangered species. It is well known for the many species of monkeys and apes but has so much more.

Booking & getting there
Visitors should book tickets online. The zoo is easy to find following a sat nav and there is ample free parking on site.

I visited the zoo with my daughter and my 2 grand children aged 9 and nearly 5. You think of a zoo being for children but Twycross is great for adults too as there is so much to see and do. The day we visited was quite rainy so this impacted on some of the things we could do – the kids couldn’t go on the outdoor playgrounds as they were wet and slippery but they all looked great with a variety of equipment for children of all ages.

As well as the many different animals there are numerous activities for children to enjoy including outdoor play areas, a splash fountain area, indoor soft play and The Gruffalo Discovery Land.

There were so many animals to see including favourites like the giraffe, penguins, chimpanzees and tiger as well as less well known species – for example bonobos, vicuna and langurs. The zoo is very large so lots of walking to get around all of the animals, even though we had all day. Many of the animals were inside as they too didn’t like getting wet, so we didn’t see as much activity as we would have liked.

For half term the zoo had a top trumps trail where children had to learn facts about animals and fill in the blanks on the cards – winning a badge once completed. A great idea to engage the kids and get them learning about the animals.

The soft play has different areas for different ages making it safe for all children. A great place to tire them out if they aren’t already tired after walking around the 100 acre park. Also a place to entertain them if its rainy and chance for parents/carers to grab a peaceful cuppa whilst the children are playing. The soft play costs an extra £7 for over 1 year olds and £2 for under 1 – I thought this was a little expensive. Other farms etc that we have visited include the soft play in the entrance price.

Other activities that were available – sand art & face painting were also an additional cost – again these should be included.

There are outdoor play areas with a variety of equipment for the kids to play on.

The nature reserve is a wetland area to walk through, providing a natural habitat for creatures such as bats, birds and insects. This is located by the car park – however after walking around the zoo this was too much for the kids to do more walking.

If visitors want refreshments there are a few different cafes and restaurants to choose from with a good variety of food and drink, with prices being about what is expected when out for the day. There are also a few ice cream outlets at various places. We took a picnic and ate it inside the soft play area building – the indoor picnic area was closed. There were plenty of picnic tables around the zoo for when the weather is better.

The Gruffalo trail is amazing with moving models telling the story as you wind through paths and into exhibits – it is very well done and the kids loved it. I want to take my 2 year old granddaughter as she loves the Gruffalo – I don’t think we would get her away from that part.

I was extremely impressed with the size and cleanliness of the enclosures and also the enrichment tools that the staff have put in for the animals. The monkeys and apes were swinging around on ropes, the gorilla was on a bucket swing chilling out and we watched the snow leopard walk around then coming out of a cave area with a massive chunk of meat. This shows that the keepers care for the animals and want them to have a happy and safe life but not be cooped up in a small space.

My grandson’s favourite was the gorillas – he was mesmerised and my granddaughter loved all the antics of the monkeys and couldn’t get over how big the giant tortoise were.

The cost of a visit for a family of 4 seems quite a lot – total £86 but this includes return visits for a year so well worth it if you decide to revisit. Also, when you see how well the animals are cared for you realise that it must be really expensive to keep the zoo running.

A great day enjoyed by all of us despite the rainy weather. We would all definitely revisit the zoo.

Date of visit – 28th May 2024
Date of review – 28th May 2024
Price of Tickets – £24.95 Adults, £17.95 children. Under 3’s free. Offer currently pay for a day visit for a year.

Rating: 5/5 

Buy tickets –

Website –

Twycross Zoo
Atherstone, Warwickshire
Tel: 01827 880250

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