Whipsnade Zoo

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Family including children under 16

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We went to Whipsnade on a cold and blustery, but dry, day in April. We were glad we had taken the car into the site (an extra £20) as it was useful to sit in the warm and drive through the “Passage through Asia” more than once – this is where there are herds of deer, yaks, camels etc – they come very close to the car which is why no pedestrians are allowed in this area. There is a train which goes through regularly (free for children, adults pay) but is open sided so would have been chilly and of, course, with a car you can stop when you wish to take photos. The car also made it easier to move from place to place in our own time rather than waiting for the free “trunk line” bus.

Whipsnade has many animals which you do not see in smaller zoos – brown bears, wolverine, elephants, rhinos, etc. Our favourites we the hippo and her baby and the giraffes – though they too found it cold and were inside. We enjoyed the sea lion show which was informative as well as fun. You are given a programme of that day’s events when you arrive so can timetable yourself to see animal feeding – penguins, river hogs, lemurs etc. There are also talks about elephants, sloth bears etc and a farmyard area with animals to touch although we did not have time for this.

There are a fair number of “free range” animals wandering around which are fun to spot as you go about. As the area is so large all the animals have plenty of space which is great.

We had lunch in the main café – the sausages and soup were good and also coffee and cakes in the café overlooking the downs. The shop was well stocked with “take away presents” for children in a wide variety of prices as well as animal T-shirts, batteries, books etc.

Overall a good day out – either for adults or adults with children. It seemed rather expensive when we first paid to go in but there was so much to see and do it was worth the money – it would have been even better on a warm day!

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