ZSL London Zoo
Reviewed by Kerstie Wright
So my sons aged 4 and 5, along with my Mum and I left early on Monday morning from Peterborough train station for a day trip to London Zoo. We traveled to Kings Cross and then on the Northern tube line to Camden Town for the short walk to London Zoo. The Zoo is well signposted from Camden Town and it’s an easy 10 minute walk from the tube. We were lucky that the weather was kind to us as we were able to make the most of our visit. The zoo itself is well laid out and signposted and easy to walk around especially with little ones and even though mine no longer use a buggy the park itself is very pushchair friendly. We started our visit at Penguin beach, which has recently been refurshbished and it was excellent. There was a very informative and interactive talk by the keepers, which the boys loved, and there is plenty of opportunity to get up close to the penguins with a number of viewing windows so you can see under the water. The boys really loved being able to see the penguins swimming about. We moved on through the butterfly house which was excellent and through into the bug display. The boys particularly enjoyed this area as it isn’t just an exhibit but a working area where you can see the staff undertaking research work. It’s excellent to be able to see the research and conservation work that the zoo is involved in too.
London Zoo has plenty to see including Lions, Tigers, Giraffes and Gorillas, all of which you can get relatively close to. There are also a number of places to eat however the main restaurant is currently undergoing a huge refurbishment. We had lunch in the temporary Pavilion restaurant and whilst the building is a temporary structure with very little character the food was excellent. The boys both had typical lunch box meals and my mum and I shared a main course and side order, which was certainly plenty for both of us. Lunch cost us just over £20 which I think is very good value for a central London attraction. In the summer – provided the weather is good – there is plenty of space to bring a picnic. The toilet facilities were good too, very clean and well placed around the zoo.
We finished our day off with a look around the aquarium and reptile house – the boy’s favourite – before heading out of the zoo through the large gift shop. You’re sure to find something for everyone here as a memento of your trip. We spent about 4 hours at the zoo and I’m sure we only scratched the surface so it’s definitely worth spending the whole day there to ensure you see it all and make the most of your entrance fee. With the new restaurant and Tiger enclosure opening in the spring/summer the Zoo will certainly be an excellent family attraction and I would recommend searching the Internet for online discounts or booking ahead for the best deals.
Tickets cost form £15.50 – £20 (children under 3 go FREE) and if you book online families can save 10%.
For more information or to book tickets visit www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo