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best zoo in the uk

Best Wildlife Parks and Best Zoos in the UK

The United Kingdom is home to some of the best zoos and wildlife parks in the world. From the world-famous London Zoo to the innovative Chester Zoo, these institutions offer visitors the opportunity to see a wide variety of animals up close.

In addition to their educational value, zoos and wildlife parks also provide an important source of funding for conservation efforts. So whether you’re looking to learn about new species or simply enjoy a day out with the family, be sure to check out one of the UK’s many excellent zoos and wildlife parks.

best zoo in uk

Regents Park Zoo – The London Zoo, London

London Zoos are some of England’s oldest zoos. It has its roots dating to 1832 and is the oldest worldwide science zoo. The London Zoo has about 9,999 animals, ranging in color and variety.

London Zoo is one of the world’s oldest and most famous zoos. Founded in 1828, it was originally intended as a scientific research facility.

Today, however, it is primarily a tourist attraction, drawing over two million visitors each year. The zoo is home to a wide variety of animals, from big cats and elephants to reptiles and small mammals.

lemur, tail, london zoo

In addition to its animal exhibits, the London Zoo also features a playground, a café, and a shop. Visitors can easily spend an entire day exploring the zoo and its many attractions. Whether you’re interested in learning about exotic animals or just want to enjoy a fun day out, the London Zoo is sure to be a memorable experience.
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ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is a zoo in the village of Whipsnade, Bedfordshire, England. The zoo, which opened in 1931, is home to over 3,500 animals of 500 different species. The zoo covers 600 acres (240 ha) of land and is located on the Chiltern Hills, making it the biggest zoo in the UK. One of the most popular attractions at the zoo is the African Plains exhibit, which features African lions, zebras, and giraffes.

giraffe, zoo, whipsnade

Other popular exhibits include the primates house and the reptile house. In addition to its animal residents, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is also home to a variety of plants, trees, and other vegetation. The zoo’s grounds are beautifully landscaped and provide a great place for a day out with family or friends.

Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo is a zoological garden in Chester, England. The zoo has a total land area of 125 acres (51 ha) and is home to over 21,000 animals, making it one of the largest zoos in the United Kingdom.

Founded in 1931 by George Mottershead, Chester Zoo was the first zoo in Britain to be opened without bars. It is operated by the charity Act for Wildlife. The zoo has been voted Britain’s “Top Attraction” for five consecutive years and attracts over 1.9 million visitors annually.

The zoo is arranged into six main areas: Islands, plains, forests, height (including primates), extremes (reptiles and amphibians), and Aquatics.

lion, zoo, chesterzoo

In addition to these main areas, Chester Zoo also has an educational centre and a safari park. The islands are home to animals from South East Asia including orangutans, tigers, and rhinoceros. The plains are home to animals from Africa including lions, giraffes, and elephants. The forest area is home to animals from South America including pygmy marmosets, sloths, and anacondas. The height area includes an array of primates such as gorillas, chimpanzees, and lemurs. The extremes area includes reptiles such as crocodiles and snakes as well as amphibians such as frogs and toads. Finally, the Aquatics area includes fish, penguins, sea lions, and seals.

Chester Zoo also has a number of educational facilities including a Discovery Centre and a Learning Academy. These facilities provide educational programmes for both children and adults on a variety of topics related to animal conservation and ecology.

Chester Zoo ranks among top-rated zoo sites around the globe. It has many endangered animals but the main aim of the zoo is to educate.

Exmoor Zoo

Exmoor Zoo is a small family-run zoo in the heart of Devon, England. The zoo is home to a variety of animals, including lions, tigers, giraffes, and elephants. The zoo also has a wide range of reptiles, amphibians, and fish.

exmoor, horse, nature

Exmoor Zoo is committed to providing a high level of animal care, and the staff work hard to ensure that the animals are healthy and happy. The zoo also runs a number of educational programs designed to teach visitors about the importance of conservation.

Colchester Zoo

Colchester Zoo is home to 180 species of animals from aadvark to comodo dragon. The zoo is famous for its conservation work, and has been involved in numerous breeding programmes for endangered species.

Colchester Zoo is also well-known for its educational work, and offers a range of talks and events throughout the year. Whether you’re interested in learning about tigers or turtles, elephants or giraffes, Colchester Zoo is sure to have something for you. So why not come and visit today? You’ll be sure to have a roaring good time!


Paignton Zoo

Paignton Zoo is a large zoological park near the seaside town of Paignton, Devon, England. The zoo has over 2,000 animals from all over the world, including apes, big cats, reptiles, and gorillas. The zoo also has a wide variety of birds, amphibians, and invertebrates.

Visitors can explore the zoo’s many exhibits, which include a rainforest exhibit, an African Savannah exhibit, and a Tropical House exhibit. The zoo also offers educational programs and animal encounters. Paignton Zoo is a great place to learn about the natural world and the many different species that call it home.

Twycross Zoo, Leicestershire

Twycross Zoo is a zoo located in Leicestershire, England. The zoo opened in 1963 and was the first zoo in the United Kingdom to captive-breed chimpanzees. The zoo has since gone on to breeding success with a number of other species, including Giraffe, Red pandas, Snow leopards and Amur leopards.

Twycross Zoo is also home to a number of rare and endangered species, such as the Sumatran tiger, Bornean orangutan and Asian elephant. In addition to its breeding programmes, the zoo is also involved in a number of conservation projects, both in the UK and overseas.

As a result, Twycross Zoo is an important centre for the conservation of threatened species.

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Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo is located in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. The zoo sits on 83 acres of land and is home to over 1,000 animals, including koalas, pandas, tigers, and lions. The zoo also has a wide variety of birds, amphibians, and reptiles.

In addition to being a popular tourist destination, the zoo is involved in a number of conservation projects. For example, the zoo runs a breeding program for endangered Scottish Wildcats. The zoo also participates in research studies on animal behavior and run education programs for school groups. As a result, Edinburgh Zoo is playing an important role in protecting global biodiversity.

The Bristol Zoo, Bristol

Bristol Zoo Founded in 1836, it is one of the oldest zoos in the world and is home to more than 400 species of animals. The zoo is particularly well-known for its work with gorillas and tigers, and it has successfully bred many rare and endangered species over the years.

The zoo contains a reptile, insect house and aquarium, as well as the largest enclosure of penguins and seal species. It really is a great aquarium that we deemed very valuable.

Bristol Zoo is planned to close at the end of 2022 and move to Wild Place Project to create an even better and bigger zoo.

Marwell Zoo

Marwell Zoo hosts a wide variety of endangered species, which includes giraffes and other large animals. It is a county-wide zoo and is home to about 400 animals over 140 acres.

There is one adventure park within the Zoo, as well as a coffee shop, souvenir shop, and gift shop. Similar to many other zoos in their lists, zoos are nonprofits based on their animals – that means that you only purchase tickets for donations. The Zoo is in Hampshire region and is regarded as the best-known UK pet zoo.

Colchester Zoo, Essex

The Colchester Zoo contains over 250 species and over 1000 individual animal species. It was recognized by TripAdvisor as the eleventh greatest zoological site in the world and among the top two Zoos across the United Kingdom. Jungle tumble toys can be played and you can expect many little animals in a suitable season too! All the information on it varies depending where the experience is held. This is considered an incredible weekend for all families from the best zoo in Essex.

Longleat Safari Park

What is the classic motto of Longleat Safari Park? This popular national park was founded in South Western England and delivers an unforgettable event to its visitors. A whole animal kingdom awaits your visit: the wolves, the animals that live in these mountains of wild rhinoceros, the roaming elephants. Longleat Safari park are primarily known for the famed Elizabethan house in the castle, Among others they have the gorilla colonized website in full bloom.

Dudley Zoo and Castle

Dudley Zoo and Castle DZC is a unique destination that has something for everyone. The zoo was opened in 1937 and covers 40 acres. It is home to 200 species of animals, including some endangered species like Bornean orangutans, Asiatic lions, Tibetan red pandas, and more.

In addition to the zoo, there are also the ruins of an 11th-century castle on the grounds, and some of the animals are housed in the “tectons” building designed by moderist architects Tecton Group . This makes DZC one of the world’s largest collections of Tectons.

Visitors can learn about the history of the castle, see the animals up close, and explore the beautiful grounds. There is also a cafe and gift shop on site. Whether you’re interested in history, animals, or architecture, Dudley Zoo is sure to have something for you.

Port Lympne Reserve

The Lympne Wild Animal Park Reserve is an important zoo in Kent. The staff guides you around the Zoo in our very own jeeps and tells you everything you can about the animals. The reserve has several upscale restaurants and hotels inside its premises. There are 14 lodging options you can choose to use, some of which feature a tree-side lodge, a romantic bubble suitable for stargazing or the Tiger Lodge. Taking a weekend trip could probably be the coolest experience you will ever have. There is also a luxury hotel and restaurant there.

Cotswold Wildlife Park

At Cotswolds Wildlifepark you will find hundreds of endangered animal species of all sorts worldwide. It has 160 acres of scenic grounds with a magnificent Victorian mansion surrounded on one side by trees.

emperor tamarin, monkey, primates

Cotswold Wildlife Park is a 160-acre zoo and botanical garden located in Oxfordshire, England. The park is home to over 260 species of animals, including bears, bison, giraffes, and rhinos. In addition to its animal residents, the park also features a variety of plants, from rare and endangered species to more common varieties.

Visitors to the park can explore the grounds on foot or via tram, and there are also several cafes and restaurants on-site. Cotswold Wildlife Park is a popular destination for families and groups, and it offers a unique opportunity to view a wide range of wildlife up close.

Wingham Wildlife Park

It is a Wildlife and Animal Center with various species of creatures, from sand to sharks, wolves to fish. In 1986, the park was open and boasts air and water bird sanctuaries, a bird sanctuary, and a tearoom to watch and enjoy the sunset. This is an amazing cat row for which species — like the tiger dog the caracal or the puma — can roam.

Other attractions include the Aquarium with the reptile dwelling that offers the possibility of viewing rhinoceros iguanas and also the Penguin pool. After hours, your chance is as a keeper if you spend your weekend in a park where the caretaker shows you the evolution of the animals, their arrival, and relationships.

Shepreth Wildlife Park

Shepreth Wildlife Park is a conservation charity based in Cambridgeshire, UK. The Wildlife Park works to protect endangered animals through education, captive breeding and release programs. Shepreth Wildlife Park is home to over 100 different species of animals, including many which are endangered or at risk of extinction in the wild.

Wildlife Park also offers a range of adoption packages, allowing people to adopt an animal of their choice. Adoptive parents receive regular updates on their animal’s progress and are invited to special events throughout the year.

Howletts Wildlife Park

Howletts Wildlife Park, Kent, hosts the biggest herd of African elephants across the country. Besides elephants, there are more than 400 different animals like leopards, gorillas

A portion of the funds is distributed to charities. You may also participate in a chat about animal behaviour, attend a feeding, visit a teaching center, and do other activities available for free with your ticket.

The Wildlife Park carries the distinction as one of the best zoos in Britain which has been devoted to the recovery of these animals in the wild.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Yorkshire Wildlife Centre is a top zoological centre in Britain. It’s one of the newest zoos in the UK opened in 2009. The facility houses 400 animals in total including painted dogs, polar bears

Atlantic Forest Exhibition began in 2021 and features maned wolves, coastal tapirs, and woodland dogs.

Wildlife park offers as well personal animal experiences where you can book private experience with some of the animals, it doesn’t mean you can pet the lion but you can see it almost eye to eye.

Shaldon Wildlife Trust, Devon

Founded in 1968, the Shaldon Wildlife Trust is a charity dedicated to the conservation of animals and their habitats. Located in Devon, England, the Trust owns and manages a variety of nature reserves, including forests, wetlands, and meadows.

In addition to its work in protecting and restoring natural areas, the Trust also runs educational programs for both children and adults. Its goal is to instill a love for nature in all who visit its reserves, and to inspire others to take action in conserving our planet’s wildlife.

The Trust’s efforts have been recognised with numerous awards, including the prestigious Gold Medal from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The Shaldon Wildlife Trust is a vital organisation in the fight to preserve our planet’s wildlife for future generations.

Blair Drummond Safari Park

Blair Drummond Safari Park is a family-friendly safari park located in Scotland. The park is home to a variety of animals, including lions, tigers, giraffes, and rhinos. Visitors can explore the park on foot or by taking a safari bus tour.

The park also features a number of educational exhibits, such as a petting zoo and a butterfly garden. In addition, the park offers a number of outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, and canoeing. Whether you’re looking to learn about wildlife or just have a fun day out, Blair Drummond Safari Park is the perfect destination.

Belfast Zoo

Knowsley Safari Park

The longest safari journey starts here at Knowsley Safari Park and totals five miles. The most famous guests on the park live on the amur trails with two Tigers named Bira and Sinda. We also offer an incredible wet safari at the lake for visitors who need boating and to watch many spectacular animals visiting the area. If you want a comfortable time on a vacation during the holidays, the park has a Baboon shuttle. The park gives something for everyone – from playful meerkat species to mighty buffalo species and wildebeests and zebras along the African soaring mountains.

Port Lympne Reserve, Hythe, Kent

Port Lympne Reserve reflects the African safari experience best, as the jeep safari is capable of taking you into the enclosure.

The Port Lympne Reserve is home to over 75 different species of animals, including some of the world’s rarest and most endangered creatures.

Visitors to the reserve can see a wide variety of animals, including lions, tigers, giraffes, and rhinos. However, the highlight of the reserve is undoubtedly the dinosaur forest, where some of the biggest collections of dinosaurs in the world can be found.

The reserve features incredible hotel accommodation and superb restaurants for guests. The staff is so caring but is extremely knowledgeable about the way the Sanctuary works together and the nature projects working across Africa.

A visit to the Port Lympne Reserve is sure to be an unforgettable experience for all.

Longleat Safari and Adventure Park

Longleaks’ Safari is England’s longest-running zoo. Located in Wiltshire, England, the park is home to a variety of animals, including lions, tigers, giraffes, and monkeys.

It is considered to be the best safari destination in the UK. During your walk on a safari trip, you experience the environment on a more intimate level with an animal.

Visitors can explore the park by foot, own car, or boat, and there are also a number of educational exhibits and shows. In addition to the safari park, Longleat also features a water park, go-karting track, and miniature railway. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that Longleat Safari and Adventure Park is a favorite destination for families and animal lovers alike.

West Midland Safari Park

West Midland Safari Park is a popular tourist destination located in Bewdley, Worcestershire, England. The park is home to a variety of animals, including lions, tigers, giraffes, and rhinos. This park contains more than 6,000 animals spread throughout the site’s 200 acres.

Visitors can take part in a range of activities, such as safari drive through, animal encounters, and educational animal talks. The park also has a number of attractions, including a zoo, an aquarium, and a bird garden and additionally adventure theme park and Land of the Living Dinosaurs.

You could easily spent here few days and you can rent one of safari lodges for the night. Lodges are incredible you can see from your accommodation red pandas, african elephants or giraffes. The Lodge experience includes dinner and meals, free entry inside the Zoo and rides on theme parks.

Welsh Mountain Zoo

The Welsh Mountain Zoo is a conservation charity dedicated to the protection of rare and endangered animals. Founded in 1963, the zoo is home to over 130 different species of animals, many of which are endangered.

The zoo’s mission is to educate visitors about the importance of conservation and to provide a safe haven for animals. In addition to its educational programs, the Welsh Mountain Zoo also participates in breeding and release programs for many species.

As a result of these efforts, the Welsh Mountain Zoo has helped to preserve some of the world’s most endangered animals.

How many zoos are in the UK?

The UK has nearly 40 zoos, 6 safari areas, and some other wildlife destinations which they consider quite small as well.

The best Zoos in the UK

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Ania James

photographer, traveller, mother of twin girls, wife, worldschooler, rulebreaker

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