Zoo day out

Top 10 Zoos and Safari Parks in the UK

 Neil 

If you're on the lookout for a great family day out, zoos and safari parks are fantastic options for all ages.

Alongside seeing a great range of animals from around the world - and often learning about conservation too - many will have play areas to keep young ones entertained and also provide a great opportunity to spend a day in the fresh air.

Here are the top 10 zoos and safari parks in the UK.

Longleat Safari Park

Located in Wiltshire, not far from Bath, Bristol and Salisbury, Longleat Safari Park is perhaps the most famous in the UK, thanks to BBC programme Animal Park. Take your own safari drive through Wolf Wood, Monkey Mayhem and Tiger Territory or, if you don't have a car, simply take a ride on the Safari Bus Tour. Older members of the family may enjoy a browse around Longleat House and Grounds, while younger ones will love Little Explorers Garden and the Family Farmyard.

ZSL London Zoo

Opened in 1828, London Zoo is the world's oldest scientific zoo, making it a pretty cool place for a day out. And that's without taking into account the penguins, lions and rainforest creatures to meet. For those interested in learning a bit more about the animals, there is a selection of daily talks to choose from, although these are currently suspended due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Chester Zoo

Just south of Liverpool and close to the Welsh border, Chester Zoo is a great place for family days out in the north-west. With more than 68 animals to get up close and personal with, including bears, otters, elephants and lions, there's plenty to keep your pack busy all day. There's also beautiful award-winning botanical gardens to explore, as well as play areas - although these may remain closed for now due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Howletts Wild Animal Park

Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent is home to the largest herd of African elephants in the UK. If that's not a good enough reason to head straight there, it also boasts gorillas, rhinos, honey badgers and snow leopards, to name just a few. It also has a great Animals of the Ice Age outdoor exhibition to enjoy, a treetop challenge course for the daring and an animal adventure challenge for little ones.

West Midland Safari Park

Located just outside of Kidderminster and close to Birmingham, West Midland Safari Park provides a great day out. The safari drive through is the clear highlight, where you can see giraffes, elephants, tigers and lions, among others, but there's also fun to be had in Boj Giggly Park, the Land of the Living Dinosaurs and on the rides in the Adventure Theme Park.

Woburn Safari Park

It's easy to imagine yourself in the middle of the Serengeti when you visit Woburn Safari Park. In the heart of Bedfordshire, you can experience tigers, rhinos, lions, wildebeest and more on the safari drive-thru, while on the foot safari you can meet sea lions, meerkats and red pandas. Little ones will love Farmyard Friends, while bigger kids might like to test their nerves on Go Ape.

Knowsley Safari Park

Safari experiences are the order of the day at Knowsley. The UK's longest safari drive rewards you with sights of African lions, white rhinos, baboons and bison, while the foot safari allows you to walk the Amur Tiger Trail and plenty more. There's also a boating lake and rides that little ones will love.

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Fancy taking a Passage through Asia, getting In with the Lemurs, or visiting a Chimpnasium? You can do all of these - and loads more - at Whipsnade Zoo near Dunstable. Younger cubs will enjoy Hullabazoo Farm, where they can get up close with a host of farmyard friends.

Edinburgh Zoo

If you're heading to the Scottish capital, make sure Edinburgh Zoo is at the top of your hit list. With more than 70 different animals to meet, including bears, penguins and the UK's only giant pandas, it's a full-day affair. You can also enjoy the Wee Beasties and Edinburgh Zoo Gardens too.

Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo

Located in Pembrokeshire, Wales, Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo is a hive of activity, with a zoo, barn, fairground and play areas to keep the whole clan occupied. Little ones will love Percy's Piggery or getting hands-on in Cwtch Corner, while there are also lions, giraffes, penguins and more to explore./p>

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