The summer holidays just got better when I learnt about this magic place full of life, great sceneries and scrumptious treats (I mean, even my day just got better when I found out there was rainbow cake at the Zoo!).
A few days ago my lovely neighbour told me all about his first zoo visit . Over 40 years ago his dad bought their first family car and took him and his siblings to the Whipsnade Zoo which he recalls as one of his best childhood memories to date. 40 years later the same magical place is still there so I quickly took my almost 5 years old and 1 year old hoping to create at least the same kind of memories they would tell they children about.
I should also mention that the main excuse for our recent visit was the new arrival of the baby Amur tigers and it doesn’t happen often to get the chance and witness this event. Did you know there are only 500 Amur tigers into the wild? That’s right, therefore we had to go. ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is actually the UK’s largest zoo and one of Europe’s largest wildlife conservation parks. It is home to 3,873 animals, many of which, just as the Amur tigers, are endangered in the wild.
Once we got there and stopped for a cup of tea and a slice of cake (priorities!) we took a half an hour ride on the steam train (Lucas’ favourite!) around the zoo so we got the best views while listening to insightful facts about the animals here.
Here’s a few amazing reasons why this should be on all parents’ list:
There is just so much space to run and explore. The zoo grounds are huge, but all the facilities you need are at every corner, including lots of eating spots, indoors and outdoors. Or you can just bring your own picnic and call it a day!
It’s huge! What a great sleep Lucas had when we got home after 2 full hours of enjoying the outdoors playground; theres an indoors soft play area, too- quick tip: try and keep the playground session after watching the animals and taking the steam train, once the kids get to the playground maze, they might not want to leave it!
The animals, of course…
This time we focussed on the tigers and their cubs, the elephants and deer. Yet there are so many that we have to go back for. I can’t stress enough, this place is huge!
The steam train!
I think it’s the best way to go and see the entire space, other than in the car. There’s so much interesting information you would listen to while on the train. Not to mention, it’s a real steam train (a mini version, but the kids’ attention is instantly grabbed!)
The annual membership!
We don’t live too close to the Zoo – we’re in Queen’s Park in London, but the drive in under 1h and it’s so worth it so I am seriously thinking to go for a membership. It’s so close to London, check directions here.
You can stay here!
Guests can experience ZSL Whipsnade Zoo after-dark and find out what our animals get up to at night. Lookout Lodge is situated in extraordinary surroundings overlooking the beautiful Chiltern Downs. Your neighbours for the evening include our herd of white rhinos and reindeer, who luckily are some of our quieter animals at the Zoo, so won’t keep you up in the night. However in the morning some of our nosier residents like to make themselves heard, so don’t be surprised if you wake up to the sound of roaring lions!
With so much to see and do, a visit to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is indeed the perfect day out for people of all ages! Taking the coolest ride on the steam train, getting our face painted, ice-cream & rainbow cake treats, our summer holiday could have ended in a better way…
This article has been written in collaboration with Whipsnade Zoo, all opinions are mine and it was an absolute pleasure to go and experience the best day at the Zoo…