Whipsnade Zoo Review


Reviewed by Emma Booth

On a beautiful sunny day the first day of the Easter holidays we visited Whipsnade zoo as a family of four.  We parked in the free parking which is a short walk away, but for a bit extra you can actually park inside the zoo and explore each area before driving to the next area. 

This Zoo is absolutely huge and the animals enclosures were vast.  It’s obvious that animal welfare is paramount.  We took an anticlockwise direction around the park which seem to work very well for us.  We saw plenty of penguins and nearby there you can also enjoy stunning views of the local area.  Unfortunately we didn’t see the Bears but enjoyed watching the Wolverines trying to climb the tree chasing a squirrel.

We also loved seeing the baby giraffe and baby elephant.  I think this is such a special time to visit seeing some of the new arrivals.  Some of the enclosures seemed empty but they may have just been hiding.  At first we didn’t see any lions but when we came back later in the day we were lucky enough to see one sunning itself on the hill. 

If you’ve got your car inside there’s a small Safari type drive-through, but if you don’t have your car then I would definitely recommend taking a ride on the great Whipsnade railway.  Now as a family of four you can expect to pay about £100 for admission tickets, so not cheap, so I was shocked that the train ride was an extra £13 for a family of 4, but it was so worth it and I’m glad we did it.  It was definitely a highlight for me.

So after seeing flamingos, rhinos, camels, visiting the farm and loads more we arrived at the aquarium and butterfly house.  The butterfly house was definitely high light.  The kids they love walking through with the butterflies fluttering around us and marvelled at the cocoons and love spotting the tarantula. 

There’s only one play area but it’s massive and has a brilliant selection of play equipment.  The kids could easily spend hours in here.  It’s very impressive.  There’s also a indoor soft play that must be pre-booked in advance.  It had sold out on the day we went but again a great quality play area.  My two loved it and it’s free to book.  

There’s several places to eat that we chose Basecamp.  Once seated we had to order online which is a bit of a Faff but it didn’t take us too long.  We waited about 15 minutes for food which consisted of fish and chips, a burger meal, kids hotdog and loaded wedges.  The food was lovely.  Slightly small portions and a bit overpriced, but you expect that in these sort of places.  We were there all day and still didn’t see it all.  There’s loads to do. I wouldn’t want to visit in the rain as there is a lot of walking in between areas, but we were lucky with lots of sunshine. 

I can see the appeal of being able to drive to the different areas, especially if you have limited mobility, but for me I found it a bit off putting.  At one point we were walking on the path, but it was so busy we had to walk in the road but then have to watch out for the cars.  With kids that makes you on edge all the time, but this is my only criticism.  All in all we had a wonderful time and the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  Whipsnade is set in 600 acres of Parkland on the Chiltern Hills north of London only 20 minutes from the M25 so it’s very easily accessible from a lot of places.

Rating: 4/5

Whipsnade Zoo , Whipsnade ,Dunstable , LU6 2LF


Open 10am till 6pm

For more information or to book, please visit

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