Of course, what better day to plan a Whipsnade Zoo trip than a day where it’s relentlessly raining all day. But, nevertheless, we didn’t let this spoil it and we had a wonderful time!
The children were kept nice and entertained which exhausted them-so they slept well… lots of winning personal points for us!
Whipsnade Zoo Booking and Arrival
Booking is all done online at the minute due to Covid and must be booked in advance. All prices are available on their website. Upon arrival there’s a car park (free of charge) that can be used if you’re walking around the zoo. If not, it is £25 to take your car in on top of the entry fee. This reduces from the 2nd November to £12. Now this may sound a lot, but with little ones there is a lot of ground to cover and with the rain we were beyond grateful we had our car with us.
There are lots of car parking opportunities on the way around and also spaces alongside the road. It’s a one way system, which worked well. We didn’t find ourselves in any traffic or stuck behind any cars. We stopped at various parts to see a few animals each time. If you don’t take your car, it’s a brilliant walk, but definitely would advise a stroller for little ones or the best double buggy for two kids.
What animals can you see at Whipsnade Zoo?
We saw lots of brilliant animals and it really was a lovely experience. The animals seemed to have lots of space and my girls loved being able to walk around and see them all. We ticked off on our map the animals we had seen, as there really are so many to fit in!
Whipsnade Zoo is arranged around three bit continents, Europe, Asia and Africa. There are so many animals it would be impossible to name them all but you can check out the full list on here. In the African section you’ll see everything from lions to zebras and giraffes. Moving into Europe there are big brown bears, wild boars and of course the wonderfully cheeky penguins. Asian highlights include elephants, tigers, camels and asian rhinos.
We also queued and went into the Aquarium and butterfly tent. Again, the children loved this. It was worth the 20 minute wait- plus gave us some shelter from the persistent British rain once inside!
The little safari is a lovely experience. We did it twice, the first time we didn’t see much up close and the second time we saw lots! So definitely luck of the draw! The girls found this really exciting- especially the camels walking straight past the car!
Food and drink
There are lots of different places as you drive/ walk around. However, as it was half term the queues were quite lengthy for these so worth noting to allow time. There were lots of picnic areas and families enjoying food they had brought in, but the hot drinks available to purchase around the zoo were welcomed as it was rather chilly!
Lots of sheltered locations scattered around and beautiful to sit and have a picnic. Near the tigers there were lots of fab places I noted. Near the penguins the view is spectacular! Unfortunately we couldn’t see it in all its glory but would have been a wonderful picnic spot.
Tips for visiting Whipsande Zoo
It is quite an expensive day out, I would highly recommend checking the weather forecast before you book (learn from my errors! ) Despite this, there really is no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing (or so I’m told!) so if you’re fully prepared then it is a fun day out come rain or shine!
- The children loved splashing in the muddy puddles, in fact it was an added bonus to their day! But the adults definitely would have rather it slightly more dry
- Get there early- it gets busy! We arrived just after opening and it was fine, no queue to get in! But later it was rather busy so worth getting there as close to opening.
- If you’re happy spending the extra money, I would take your car in. It is a godsend with small children and unpredictable British weather.
- Take spare clothes and shoes if you go in Autumn/ Winter- it can be rather muddy! Also, lots of carrier bags!
All in all, a brilliant day trip! Definitely a zoo that you can easily spend all day at without running out of things to do and see. We look forward to returning very soon!