If you want to get close to some of the most fascinating animals on the planet and you're a good walker, then this is the day out for you. Set in 600 acres of parkland on the Chiltern Hills, Whipsnade has over 2,500 animals, great exhibits and lots to learn about.
Although the Zoo has been criticised for being run down, it's investing in conservation projects, new animal enclosures and improved visitor facilities. The £1million, 5,000 sq m Cheetah Rock exhibit, opened in March 08, enables visitors to admire these amazing cats from just a few metres distance inside a floor-to-ceiling glass walled hut. The revamped, eco-friendly Rhinos of Nepal exhibit includes indoor heated pools for year-round wallowing enjoyment, a maternity wing and a spacious viewing area.
On a lighter note, there's sealion show, elephantastic demonstrations, a chimpnasium and every animal you can think of, whether you like penguins, pandas or pythons. They all need room to live and breed in, so be prepared to walk a lot, hop on and off the free tour bus or pay extra to take your car in. There are several places to grab a drink or a snack (some are seasonal only), or eat your our own picnic on a grassy spot. Even on a warm summer's day, it can be chilly up at the zoo so we recommend that you take something warm, just in case.
- meeting and learning about so many unusual animals
- a children's farm for little ones
- a ride on the steam-hauled Jumbo Express (check times and prices at the Zoo)
Admission: See website for current prices and to book tickets online.