At the beginning of the year I had a sort of bucket list of things I wanted to achieve by the end of year. One of the things on the list was to take Tigger to see giraffes, they are his favourite animal so wanted to show him them up close. So when Superbreak got in touch regarding their UK weekend breaks and offered us the opportunity to visit one of the many attractions on their website I knew that ZSL Whipsnade Zoo would be the best choice for the Boo Roo and Tigger Too household. Especially after reading Cheetahs in my shoes review of Whipsnade, I knew I’d made the right choice.
Unfortunately due to work commitments we were unable to stay overnight to make a weekend of it so instead made the drive over to Dunstable early one Sunday morning. ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is the UK’s biggest zoo, set in 600 acres of beautiful parkland on the Chiltern Hills, the zoo is home to more than 2,500 animals.
Parking at ZSL Whipsnade is just £4.00 all day, which is really quite cheap compared to some other attraction sites. The car park is located a 5 minute walk from the zoo itself and is easily accessed by a subway which has both stepped and ramp access making it accessible for both disabled and family visitors.
Upon entering the park Tigger wanted to go and find snakes (we hadn’t told him that there were giraffes on site) so we headed our way over to the discovery centre. The Whipsnade Discovery Centre is home to a host of reptiles, snakes and fish. All undercover so great to head to if the weather isn’t very good, although it is very hot and muggy in there due to the type of animals housed in the discovery centre.
After the seeing what the discovery centre had to offer we headed over the Asia area to visit the elephants and rhinos. There is a car only access road available for those who have paid the extra to bring their cars into the zoo and drive around. Whilst you may get a little closer to the animals in some areas I don’t feel that you need to do this and the trails and roadways are suitable for walking and pushchairs.
After enjoying the Asian delights and taking a peek at the sleeping tigers we decided to stop for a spot of lunch. I had packed a picnic for us to enjoy (Roo and Tigger can be fussy at the best of times) so sat on the picnic table by the lake. The Wild Bite Cafe was the main hub for food on the park and with a burger costing £5.00 it can soon add up when you have a family to feed, so I would recommend taking a little something with you to avoid this extra cost.
Moving up through the park we topped off at the cheetah enclosure and managed to watch them enjoying a playfight in the grass. There is also a running track where you can see if you can run as fast as a cheetah, both Roo and Tigger enjoyed having a go at this.
The lions unfortuantely were snoozing in the sunshine so we were unable to get a good view of them but their enclosure was large and I imagine they have great fun chasing each other. With a quick hello to the Meerkats we headed off to the main attraction… Giraffes!
Tigger was so very excited to see the giraffes in their enclosure, although they were all sitting down enjoying a rest. Walking further down towards their sheds we managed to see a giraffe enjoying picking the leaves and bark off some branches. ZSL Whipsnade are currently in the process of building a giraffe lookout point so that visitors can view the giraffes from the same height as them. It is scheduled to open later this year and I hope that we can return maybe for Tigger’s birthday in November to see the new view point.
We couldn’t visit the zoo without taking in the penguins (Roo’s favourite animal). We arrived about half an hour before feeding and I think they realised it was nearly time for food as they were all lining up and following each other from one side of the enclosure to the other.
Overall we had a really fantastic day, both Mr Boo and I had never been to a zoo before and thought it was a great day out for family and friends. Roo really enjoyed seeing all the different animals and whilst we must have walked miles she never complained about being tired. Tigger was blown away by seeing the giraffes and every time he sees someone know he tells them all about his trip to the zoo.
Thank you Superbreak for a truly memorable family day out.
Disclosure Policy: We received a family entry ticket to ZSL Whipsnade FOC for the purpose of review.