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ZSL London Zoo

Last updated: 10 March, 2024

The days of small, barren enclosures and depressed animals are long gone -London Zoo has transformed into a model zoo for the 21st century. Enclosures are more spacious with richer vegetation, only holding large animals that are better suited to enclosures. The zoo also now focuses more on smaller (and often more interesting) creatures and habitats, with a strong conservation theme throughout, and an emphasis on education and interaction for children.

Don’t miss the Asiatic lions or the Western Lowland gorillas (you can’t possibly miss the giraffes). The newish ‘Tiger Territory’ is an enclosure for two Sumatran tigers, which has been specially designed to mimic the tiger’s natural habitat with tall trees (for climbing) and a pool (tigers love to swim).

There’s also an adventure playground and a hugely popular ‘Bed Bugs’ initiative, where children aged 8-11 can stay overnight in the insect house, for games, storytelling and torch-lit exploration of the zoo.

Go behind-the-scenes 

ZSL offer a number of ‘experiences’ that allow you to get-behind-the scenes and meet the zookeepers, and get closer to the animals. For youngsters aged 11-15 there’s a fantastic ‘keeper for a day‘ experience that lets them get behind the scenes, mucking out, feeding and petting the animals. You can also stay overnight at one of the London Zoo Lodges, which come with 3 hours of exclusive after-hours access and tours of the zoo.

Logistics

Price from: £35
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 0+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The nearest Underground stop is Regent’s Park (Bakerloo Line). Buy tickets online before you go for fast-track entry to the zoo (enter through the gate marked ‘internet tickets’).  If you want to include any of the ‘experiences’ in your visit, plan well ahead – they’re popular and get booked out weeks ahead.

When to do it

The zoo is open all year round, seven days a week. Queues can be heavy, especially on weekends and in July and August. If you can, go during the week, or get there first thing, at opening time, to avoid them.