We had the best time at Chester Zoo when we visited recently for the Littlest VFAD’s second birthday. It was our first time and we had heard great reviews so we were hopeful fro a great day. We weren’t disappointed!
We arrived around 10.30am (the gates open at 10.00am) and found parking easy as we were directed to spaces that were close to the gates. There is ample parking and the paths are easy to navigate to the entrance. There were plenty of other visitors with the same idea but it didn’t feel cramped or overly busy as the zoo is so fast everyone soon dispersed to see the hundreds of animals in their habitats.
A user friendly map is supplied by the welcoming hosts which directs you to the zones that cover the globe. Decide what you definitely want to see to make sure that you get to cover everything as there is a risk that you will miss your favourites if you don’t make a plan. The space is vast so if you have small children with you, I’d recommend a pushchair. You could hire a buggy with one or two seats for a reasonable price which may help youth avoid the moans from anyone with aching legs mid afternoon. We planned in rest stops for lunch and snacks at different spots around the different zones so we could pace ourselves and refuel. There are food outlets which offer a good range of tasty food — not your ordinary deep fried options which was good to see. We made full use of the ice cream service to satisfactory a need for sugar mid-afternoon.
You can plan your day out around feeding times or talks. There is currently a Julia Donaldson activity encouraging children to get drawing while they visit.
Lions, elephants, giraffes, orangutangs, vivid coloured frogs, nocturnal creatures, zebras you name it and we saw it. I’m a bit dubious about visiting zoos sometimes but the welfare of the beautiful animals here was good. The enclosures were clean and there were plenty of keepers out and about tending to the animals, feeding them and keeping their environments suitable.
There is some work going on currently but this will not impact upon your day. The zones are all clearly marked out on the map and the new areas yet to be revealed are all sealed off. The zoo is clean, accessible and offers something for everyone. You won’t find yourself being nagged to spend money on any unnecessary bits that is unless you visit the shop but that is avoidable. Having said that there are some nice mementoes for pocket money budgets too.
There are ample facilities for loo stops, which are clean and well maintained. If you don’t fancy walking the huge site, you can use the monorail and if you fancy a relaxing ride there is a boat that takes you on a journey.
We loved our day out. The weather was definitely on our side but even if it hadn’t been the vast array of things to see meant that everyone’s curiosities were entertained. It’s a good value for money day out where standards of welfare are high. You won’t feel overcrowded even on busy days but you will have fun and you will likely learn something new too.
We’d recommend Chester Zoo for a fun day out.
For more information and to plan your visit, visit the Chester Zoo website at www.chesterzoo.org
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