Visit ZSL London Zoo

Snowdon Aviary at London Zoo
London Zoo map location

London Zoo address and telephone

Address:
London Zoo is located at: Outer Circle, Regent’s Park,
London NW1 4RY
England
Telephone:
You can contact London Zoo on Work +44 (0) 344 225 1826
Website:
The London Zoo website can be visited at www.zsl.org

London Zoo opening times and ticket price

Opening hours:
London Zoo is open to the public from: 10 AM to 4 PM (Mon-Sun, Nov-1st week of Feb); 10 AM to 5 PM (Mon-Sun, middle 2 weeks of Feb); 10 AM to 5.30 PM (Mon-Sun, last week of Feb-Mar); 10 AM to 6 PM (Mon-Sun, Apr-Oct); Last entry 1 hour before closing
Time required:
A typical visit to London Zoo lasts 3-4 hours (approx)
Ticket cost:
The entry price for London Zoo is: Adult price £29.75; Child cost £22.00 (3-15); Infants free entry (under-3)
Visiting hours and admission charges are subject to change, and may not apply on public holidays. Always reconfirm entrance fees and whether it’s open to visitors before booking tickets and making plans to visit London Zoo

How to get to London Zoo

When visiting London Zoo you can use the following:
Minicabs:
Find minicab and taxi firms near London Zoo
Buses:
274, C2
London bus fares
Trains:
Baker Street (30 min walk, or 274 bus), Camden Town (15 min walk), Regent’s Park (20 min walk)
London underground fares

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London Zoo Easy to get to? Good for kids? Value for money? Worth a visit?303

 From London ZooLondon

 From London ZooLondon

See all events at London Zoo

 

London Zoo is situated at the northern end of Regent’s Park and was the first facility dedicated to the study and display of wild animals in Europe.

Elephant House at London Zoo

History of London Zoo

The zoo’s original layout and buildings were chiefly designed by Decimus Burton, and the animals came from the collections at Windsor Castle and the Tower of London.

The zoo set many records during its first fifty years of operation: it had the world’s first reptile house (1849), first insect house (1881), and first public aquarium (1853). An elephant house and rhinoceros house were added in the 1960s.

Mappin Terrace at London Zoo

Mappin Terrace and Snowdon Aviary

London Zoo pioneered the idea of showing off animals in their natural habitat, and when the Mappin Terrace opened in 1913 it was the first time that Londoners could see animals in a mountain landscape. (The Mappin Terrace has been turned into an Australian outback environment today, but it originally housed the polar bears.)

Another architectural highlight is the gigantic Snowdon Aviary – a walk-through aviary covered in wire mesh.

Gorilla World at London Zoo

Craig’s review of London Zoo

This review originally appeared in his London blog

The last time I went to London Zoo I was about six-years old and couldn’t see into the cages, and because there were no rollercoasters or dodgems like Chessington Zoo I thought it was rubbish (I was a kid, so you can forgive me). But now I’m an adult so I thought it was great.

I had originally planned to do a couple of hours and then leave for something else, but I ended up spending all morning and most of the afternoon there. I now recommend setting aside a good three or four hours to get it all done.

The aquarium at London Zoo

The first exhibit I visited was the aquarium, which wasn’t all that great to be honest. The SeaLife London Aquarium is definitely better. The problem is that most of the fish are only a few inches long, and the longest they’ve got is three feet. There are no sharks, or anything like that. Nothing that could kill you if it fell out of your bath taps. It’s just everyday angel fish and catfish, and pretty little tropical fish swimming around the coral… nothing that you haven’t seen a million times before.

Penguin Beach

Things get better at Penguin Beach because there are rows of stadium seats around the edge, and you can sit there watching those black and white tufty ones get fed by the keepers.

Giraffe at London Zoo

After that you pass Into Africa and see the giraffes, zebras and warthogs. They’ve also got some bizarre looking half-zebra, half-horse, kind-of creatures that I reckon must have been bred for a bet. He decided to stay inside his shed for most of the day and I don’t blame him, because as soon as he came out everyone laughed at him.

Zebras in the Into Africa zone

I also felt a bit sorry for the warthogs, because I’m guessing that they belong in the mud. They certainly had a lot of mud, but it was of the bone-dry variety, and flaking away in the wind. Their whole enclosure was a dust bowl, and if I have one criticism of London Zoo then it’s the lousy state of some of the cells. I walked past a few that had danger signs up saying “Beware of the deep water”… inside a bone-dry riverbed of emptiness.

Snowdon Aviary bird cage

After the giraffes you cross over Regent’s Canal to the Snowdown Aviary. This place reminds of that scene in Jurassic Park when they enter a cage of pterodactyls. It’s exactly the same as that: a huge metal cage about three-stories tall, in which you can walk freely amongst the birds – with no barrier! The only difference is that instead of pterodactyles, it’s filled with ducks and geese and peacocks.

After that comes a row of about twenty-odd bird cages, but they were so thickly overgrown with foliage that I could hardly find any of them inside. I even tried doing a few bird impressions to tempt them out, but no luck.

Inside the Butterfly House

Don’t forget to go inside the Butterfly House. And yeah, I know exactly what you’re thinking… boring boring zzzz. But it was actually one of my favourite bits. They are literally buzzing around your heads, inside a tent full of butterflies. There are bazillions and bazillions of them, thousands of pretty little colourful ones, plus a lot of giant moths that are twice the size of your hand. There are so many flying around that you actually have to be careful not to tread on them.

Inside the Reptile House

The BUGS! house is full of creatures that you might find crawling around my kitchen at home: beetles, spiders and maggots. They’ve got an ant colony as well with a million billion ants carrying leaves from one end to the other. It reminded me of one of those old flea circuses that you sometimes see in the movies, where they build an assault course to give them something to do.

Next up is Rainforest Life which is a big building done up like the Amazon rainforest. When you step inside it’s very hot and humid because they’re constantly pumping a fine mist from the ceiling. You can see a few monkeys and sloths hanging from the trees, and people wilting around the edges.

Monkeys inside Rainforest Life Apes at Gorilla World

If you go down a level then everything suddenly becomes pitch-black for the night animals. When I tell you that is dark, what I actually mean is that it is darker than dark – you can’t even see your hand in front of your face. They’ve got boxes of bats and rats in there, but unless you’ve remembered to bring your army issue night-vision googles with you they are a struggle to see.

After that comes the monkeys, gibbons and gorillas. Gorilla Kingdom is definitely a highlight because their enclosure is quite large, and the apes are satisfyingly huge. Put it this way: you wouldn’t want to jump in and stroke them. When they come up to the glass all the kids start screaming because they think they’re about to die.

Squirrel monekys at London Zoo

The best bit in the monkey zone is another walk-through exhibit, where you stroll around the trees whilst cute little squirrel monkeys clamber all over the ropes around you. They can literally get close enough to rip your wig off. You can stand underneath the tree, whilst he sits on a branch above your head.

Lions and tigers at London Zoo

Then comes the dangerous stuff: lions, tigers and sheep. The lions and tigers were particularly lazy today, and decided to have a kip on the far side of the enclosure. I was going to throw one of the annoying school kids in to try and get them to move, but after five minutes waiting for them to move instead of snooze I walked back through the petting zoo (pigs, sheep, boring) and the camels. I dont know what was wrong with the camels… it looked like they had the hump to me.

The Mappin Terrace

The final thing I saw was the Mappin Terrace. The Mappin Terrace looks fantastic when you first walk up to it, because it looks like a huge desert-style mountain range that’s a few stories tall. I was expecting there to be some more lions lazing on the summit, or something like that, but all I saw were two skinny emus and a wallaby. Their river was bone dry as well. But I guess they live in Australia so they must be used to it.

Craig’s London blog> Read Craig’s latest review of London Zoo  “Back to London Zoo today. I’m sitting here watching the giraffes getting fed at the moment. The zookeeper is walking around brushing all the leaves off the floor and the giraffes are dropping about a million more. He’s a funny looking fella (the giraffe I mean, not the zookeeper). He’s got two bony tufts coming out the top of his head and a neck that’s longer than his legs. I think God must have been having an off-day when he came up with that. Or maybe he got his sheets of paper mixed up in the wind and couldn’t be bothered to sort them out. And what’s going on with… continued.”

The London Aquarium

Craig’s London blog> Read Craig’s review of the London Aquarium  “I had a fish tank once, a tropical fish tank filled with electric-looking stripes of light and a Siamese Fighting Fish, but they only lasted for a few years and then it all ended in tears (terrible sobbing scenes). It was all red eyes and goodbyes as I buried them in the dustbin (actually, I think I might have flushed them down the toilet). I’m still emotionally raw about it. I’m a very emotional guy. Whenever I go down the fish and chip shop it brings back painful memories. But I’m going to brave the… continued.”

Craig’s London blog> Read Craig’s review of Chessington World of Adventures  “The last time I went to Chessington World of Adventures was when it was still called Chessington Zoo – that was thirty years ago. The only rides you could do then were the donkeys, but these days it looks more like Disney World. They’ve got rides and rollercoasters, shows and hotels, and the animals have been shunted off to a sideshow. I’m not really looking forward to the rides, by the way. I am willing to give them a go, but I’m at an age now where the ground is my friend. I’ve had a quick look around and I can already see about twenty different ways to die. I don’t mind ending my days in a theme park, but I’m not spending my… continued.”

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There’s one more zoo in London: Battersea Park Children’s Zoo. You’ll find some bigger animals at Chessington World of Adventures, sharks at the London Aquarium, and live horses at the Royal Mews. If you want to see some stuffed animals and skeletons then try the Natural History Museum. We also have a guide to animal events in London.


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> How do you rate it?  Talk about London Zoo in the forum

 
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  • SarahCroft – “A bit disappointng, to be honest. It was very expensive to get in and our group spent about 70 pounds on entrance fees alone. For that kind of money we could have had a day out in chessington world of adventures which also has a few animals and rollercoaster rides which my kids would have preferred. But because London zoo is such a famous attraction and we'd never been there before we Decided to take them there instead. A lot of the exhibits were completley empty. The aquarium was closed and the gorillas were missing, maybe they were on holiday. And we couldn't see anything in a lot of the reptile tanks despite being with a boy with the eagle-ist eyes of anyone in the world! I know that they have to do maintenaince sometimes, and October is probably a good time to do it because its out of the tourist season. But when you spend close to £20 each getting in, you expect to see some animals!.”
  • josh – “I've been to lots of zoos all around the world and this one is pretty poor, to be honest. It is way too much money for what you get to see. It's seems to be all about the conservation side of things, which is very noble, but they need to remember that they are also there to entertain people. I dont want to be bombarded with pc nonsense telling me about doctors feeding monkeys with pipettes. I want to actually see the monkeys in the exhibit! I know it's winter and I probably went at the wrong time of year, but half the exhibits seemed to be undergoing maintenance so you couldn't see anything. Maybe I’ll go back in the summer, or maybe I won't. There probably wasn't enough there to make me want to go back, to be honest.”

> Events at London Zoo

  From London ZooLondonHere's your chance to enter the animal enclosures, watch them feed, and get close to some of the animals at London Zoo.

  From London ZooLondonGet closer to the animals at London Zoo, and help to feed and muck them out, by becoming a London Zoo keeper for a day.

If you enjoy taking your kids to London Zoo, then here are some more animal attractions in London

> Natural History Museum The Natural History Museum covers everything from long-dead dinosaurs to erupting volcanoes.
> London Aquarium London boasts one of Europe’s largest aquariums, filled with 3,000 different kinds of marine life.
> Battersea Park Children’s Zoo Battersea Park Children's Zoo has a collection of monkeys, meerkats, birds, and farmyard animals.
 

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