One of the top attractions in London is the world famous zoo and it is a must for any animal lover taking a trip to the capital.
While there are plenty of zoos across the world, London Zoo offers something unique with more than 700 animals calling the attraction home.
History of London Zoo
The zoo opened in 1828 and is the world’s oldest scientific zoo, but remains at the cutting edge of wildlife preservation and research.
With one of the largest zoological collections in the world, the attraction will appeal to children and adults looking for a fun and unique day out in London. In fact, there are a number of species that can not be seen in captivity anywhere else in the world.
In recent times, the zoo has expanded its population, with the addition of a number of fascinating animals, including a young Western Lowland Gorilla called Alika, who was born at London Zoo and continues to delight visitors.
London Zoo also welcomes animals from other leading zoos, one example is Otto the Aardvark, who moved to UK from Berlin Zoo as part of a key breeding programme to join his new partner Misha.
Other animals that can be seen by the public include meerkat, penguins, macaque monkeys, lions, tigers, giraffes, anteaters, lemurs, hippos, komodo dragons, snakes, lizards and frogs, birds from every corner of the globe, arachnids, seahorses and much more – there really is something to please everyone.
In addition to just looking at the animals, there is also the chance to get a bit more knowledge and information about animals and their lifestyle or learn more about them via interactive and live shows.
The visitors must see various events held everyday at London Zoo for a full and fun experience at the zoo. These events are a great way to enjoy the zoo life of all inhabitants of London Zoo.
For those who like creepy crawlies, then the Mega Bugs Live show is perfect. Possibly one of the scariest events, the show allows visitors to get close view of various zoo insects.
One of the most fascinating shows is the Giants and Dragon event, which focuses on animals hailing from the Galapagos Islands.
Events do change regularly so it is a good idea to look at their exact timings on arrival at the zoo so visitors don’t potentially miss out on something.
Adopt your favourite animal
Okay, it isn’t possible for visitors to take an animal home, but London Zoo does run a special Adopt an Animal programme.
Visitors who are animal lovers can pay an annual fee that allows them to adopt one of their favourite animals for a day at the zoo. Adoption packs include a certificate of adoption for their chosen animal, a photograph, information on about the animal they have adopted and its species. Plus, subscription to the Wild About magazine and a free zoo entry ticket for a return visit.
Explore the buildings at London Zoo
The rich history of London Zoo can be seen all around. This attraction place is home to a number of buildings that reflect architecture through the years.
In total, the zoo is home to eight grade II-listed buildings and two grade I-listed properties, including the Lubetkin Penguin Pool.
Built in 1934 and designed by architect Berthold Lubetkin, the Penguin Pool is perhaps the most famous building in the zoo and was a key part of Historic England’s “Keep it London” campaign which aims to get Londoners to notice and be proud of the capital’s rich heritage.
When to visit
The zoo is open every day of the year apart from Christmas Day, London Zoo is managed by the Zoological Society of London and is located within Regent’s Park in the key district of the City of Westminster.
Each year starting from April to 30th October; the zoo is open to the public between the hours of 10am and 6pm, with last entry at 5pm. However, as the days start to get darker earlier, closing time begins to draw in until 10th February the zoo closes daily at 4pm.
Tickets can be purchased in advance and there is a discount for doing so. Children aged 3 to 15 pay a reduced adult ticket price, while children under the age of 3 can get in for free.
Those planning a last-minute visit can also pay for entry at the gate, but will be subjected to higher ticket prices.
Children under the age of 16 will not be allowed entry unless they are accompanied by a paying adult, while the use of things like roller-blades, skateboards, roller-skates and bicycles are not allowed and no dogs are permitted.
Visitors planning to take pictures of the animals and attractions during their stay with the aim of using these images for commercial purposes in the future are also reminded that permission must be sought prior to entry.
How to get to London Zoo
Getting to London Zoo is straightforward for those staying in London Paddington hotel as there are several local transport links, with excellent links to the wider London area and the rest of the UK.
There are also a number of London Underground tube stations that can be found close to Regent’s Park and provide an easy way for travellers to make their way around the capital. These stations are:
Camden Town (Northern line)
Mornington Crescent (Northern line)
Euston (Northern and Victoria lines)
Euston Square (Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines)
Warren Street (Northern and Victoria lines)
Great Portland Street (Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines)
Regent’s Park (Bakerloo line)
Baker Street (Bakerloo, Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and Jubilee lines)
Edgware Road (Bakerloo line)
St John’s Wood (Jubilee line)
In addition, there are a number of national rail services at the nearby London Marylebone Station. Here you can find regular rail links to the capital’s other major railway stations, and from there, the rest of the country.
There are plenty of ways to reach London Zoo by public transport. You can also make use of a range of bus services in the local area, with full details of times and stops provided by Transport for London.
Finally, travellers looking for a relaxed and unique way to get to London Zoo might like to consider arranging their travel with the London Waterbus Company, which offers drop-off and pick-up from the main entrance.