If you love animals then Chester Zoo is a great day out and it’s an easy drive from Manchester.
12,000 animals from 400 different species call the zoo home. Whether your preference is for meerkats, or tigers, monkeys or rhinos, there’s bound to be an animal you are interested in.
For me it’s the giraffes and I got a little bit carried away taking pictures of them during my visit.
Step in to the fruit bat forest if you dare. The bats fly freely round the darkened forest enclosure, which makes them difficult to spot, but you will be aware of them whizzing round your head. You’ll need a strong stomach for the smell and be sure to check you haven’t picked up any hitchhikers when you leave.
The zoo is laid out over 125 acres so it will take you a full day to get round it all. It’s best to see the animals on foot but you can take the mono rail if your feet get tired.
The animals have spacious enclosures and the option to be in, or outdoors as they please. They have lots of hiding spaces for when being on show gets too much. Some people complain about not being able to see the animals all the time, but I’d rather see them happy.
The zoo is one of the world’s leading conservation centres and it works both in the UK and across the world to help protect animals and plants from extinction. It’s not a cheap day out (adult tickets start at £20.00 if you book online, and children £16.36, with discounts for family and group bookings) but your entrance fee plays a valuable part in enabling that work. You’re not just entertaining the family, you’re supporting the animals too.
New for this year is The Islands, a chance to experience the animals of South East Asia. I’m looking forward to exploring on my next visit.
For more information, animal updates, and to plan your visit, check out the zoo’s website.
Chester Zoo: Upton-by-Chester, Chester, CH2 1LH. Sat Nav CH2 1EU