With the end of the summer holidays looming, we decided to make the most of a decent sunny day and take the boys to Twycross Zoo. I went there a few times a child on school trips, and we went for a day out with my brothers a few years ago.
Now, I’m not a massive fan of zoo’s usually – I don’t think the animals get enough space, and I do think that keeping wild animals enclosed for our pleasure can be cruel – but Twycross Zoo do a lot for conservation, which I think is brilliant. They are currently involved in many conservation projects, but the main thing I like about the zoo is that the animals aren’t in tiny enclosures – they all have lots of room. In fact, there is a huge ‘gibbon forest’ being built – it’s massive!
I was really impressed by the spacious and free car park. All too often these days there is a huge parking cost as well as an expensive entrance fee, so to park for free was a nice and unexpected bonus. We decided to take the scenic route through the nature reserve to the entrance – plenty of interesting things to look at on the walk.
Before you even get into the zoo there is a huge indoor complex with restaurants, toilets, a gift shop and a huge soft play centre. The toilets even had a display of ants carrying leaves to look at whilst you washed your hands.
Once through the ticket booths, we headed over to the leopard enclosure. The kids were really excited about seeing them, but they all seemed a little shy. I managed to get one very zoomed in photo of the beautiful creature though.
The one thing I loved about the zoo was that even though it was a lovely sunny day in the summer holidays and was busy, it just did not feel busy. Everything is nice and spaced out, and you managed to get close enough to see everything.
The zoo is the only zoo in the UK where you can see every type of the Great Ape, and the boys loved them. They were all so cheeky and entertaining, swinging around and playing. One even sat in the window right in front of us and gave us a little grin.
I’m not normally a huge fan of birds – I have to admit I usually find them a little boring. The boys wanted to see them however, so we left my mum outside with Benjamin (although the zoo is very pushchair friendly, you can’t take one into the bird area), and bought two of the little feeding pots at £1 each. I was imagining cages with birds in so was pleasantly surprised to walk into a sort of tropical area, where the birds could fly around as they pleased. The boys were really excited to feed this beautiful bird (don’t ask me what it was!).
The giant tortoises were probably one of my favourite things at the zoo – I really didn’t expect them to be so big, but so graceful and beautiful at the same time. It was magical to get so close to them.
We were all really looking forward to seeing the giraffes, but they don’t seem to be there anymore. We were also really excited about seeing the elephants. The first time we went to the enclosure they were all obviously inside, but we went back a bit later and saw them walking into the field. A bit later on we saw them inside their building – they are so beautiful. I couldn’t get over how quiet they were as they walked about.
At lunchtime, we noticed some very grey clouds lurking, so we decided to go and have our picnic in one of the wooden gazebo-things dotted around the zoo. I’m glad we did, as just a few minutes later the heavens opened and everyone was looking for somewhere dry to go and stand until the shower passed. Once it had stopped, we went over to the Wet n Wild lodge for a cake and a coffee. I was a little disappointed to see very little choice (carrot cake, brownie or cookie), and it was expensive – almost £20 for two bottles of Fanta, a mocha, two brownies and two cookies. I would definitely advise people to take a picnic! New to the zoo is a splash water park, which looks great fun if you’ve taken some towels and swim costumes. Apart from the one shower, it was a beautiful day and it was full of kids playing.
Our favourite part of the day was the butterfly forest. It was like a tropical forest in there, with some lovely exotic looking flowers, and so many beautiful (and huge) butterflies flying around. One even landed on my shoulder!
Would I recommend a day at Twycross Zoo? Absolutely yes. I don’t think the adult ticket price of £17.95 is too bad at all, and there is definitely plenty to do and see. I would advise taking a picnic though as buying foods and drinks there can make it a pricey day out.
*We were given tickets in return for an honest & unbiased review. All thoughts & opinions are our own.