We began our south-west mini-break with a stop off at Bristol Zoo Gardens. The zoo is just under an hours drive from us and we had been meaning to visit for a while. We arrived about 11am and the sun was out to play.
The zoo is located in the Clifton area and was really easy to find with plenty of parking. We had pre-booked our tickets online saving ourselves 15% on admission. We were given a map of the zoo which was handy as there is so much to see and helped us keep track.
There are daily talks and feeds which are really interesting. We watched the Lemur talk and the children were loving it as the zoo keeper wandered around the visitors. It was great to see the children’s interaction.
We also really enjoyed the walkthrough enclosures of Fruit Bats, Wallabys, Lorikeets and Butterflies. Jack was totally fascinated by the Butterfly Forest and so was we.
I loved walking amongst the Fruit Bats; hanging in all their glory and posing nicely for the camera. I was quite surprised at how big they was.
Jack was also won over by the Asiatic Lions, we stood by them for a while and his eyes didn’t leave them. They were busy eating so luckily remained still for him.
Meerkats are always a crowd pleaser and the Lookout enclosure was no disappointment. Jack had a mini-stare off with Mr Meerkat which made us chuckle. They are quick little things and its quite fascinating watching them go about their business.
A favourite of mine was the Giant Tortoise, they are faster than I thought and really quite big. I wouldn’t fancy being sat on by one of them! The male tortoise is 80yrs old and sadly the species is almost extinct.
The walkthrough tunnels are impressive and allow the zoo visitors to get a good look of the animals. I stood watching the seals for about 20 minutes as they darted around underwater. I managed to get a couple of good photos of them but they are rapid and kept me on my feet. I loved that the marine life, seals and penguins had huge and very clean enclosures.
The penguins were busy basking in the sun and the children loved watching them as they jump in and out of the water. I loved how the zoo had managed to make all of the habitats so lifelike for the animals.
On top of all the animals, there is so much on site to keep the children entertained; activity centre (for face painting etc), adventure playground and Zooropia, a huge rope climbing course. The Café onsite was really nice, it served really good food and was nice and cheap.
You can also pay for animal and keeper experiences which are reasonably priced which I would love to do. Although, I don’t fancy coming face-to-face with the Gorilla anytime soon, he was HUGE!
Jack was full of smiles at the zoo and we loved watching him as he was taking in all the animals and their surroundings. He did have a micro nap whilst we was there but that was nice for us, as it gave us some time to wander around and enjoy each others company too.
There are so many animals to see, some of which I haven’t before, especially up so close and personal. It was brilliant being able to get so close to the animals. My favourite as always were the Squirrel Monkeys, they definitely live up to the term ‘cheeky monkeys’.
We were also blown over by the grounds and how well they are kept. The flower arrangements, structures and even wall-art were really impressive. The zoo certainly gave me a great chance to do some much loved photography.
The zoo caters for educational visits, private parties and weddings. Whilst onsite we had a quick look at the Clifton Pavilion and it is really tasteful.
One thing is for sure, if you are looking for a family day out which is cheap and will keep the children entertained for hours, then this is the place to come! We will be back very soon.
If you are thinking about visiting the zoo, here is some info:
- Opens every day from 9:00am – 5:30pm (except Christmas Day)
- Located at Bristol Zoological Society Ltd, Clifton, Bristol BS8 3HA
- Visit their website for more info