When the UK warms up for summer, most of us Brits flock outdoors to make the most of the sun and one of my favourite places to spend a sunny day is at Chester Zoo. People of all ages love it and whether its a family day out, exploring with friends or even a first date, there’s something for everybody to enjoy.
The first thing you see when you walk in are the elephants and it’s a pretty spectacular starting compound, particularly if there are babies in there! Some of my other personal favourites are the monkeys – they’re so entertaining that you could watch them for hours – the penguins and the Tropical Realm. There are also plenty of indoor areas in case the weather takes a turn for the worse: I’d recommend the Realm of the Red Ape, the Fruit Bat Forest and the Butterfly Journey.
The best days to visit tend to have scattered sun and overcast moments: too cold and lots of the animals head indoors but too warm and they’re cooling off in the shade away from the fences.
Even during the busiest of school holidays, the staff are ridiculously organised and car parking is a breeze. Entrance prices vary from £16 to £20 for an adult and £13 to £16 for a child – two and under go free! – so if you visit as a family, it’s worth checking out the annual membership options allow you unlimited free entry as well as discount in the on-site cafes and shops. It often pays for itself with two or three visits!
For those moments when you want to take a break from the crowds, there are also a couple of gardens tucked away where you can relax, enjoy a picnic or just take in the scenery. The amenities are pretty good, with toilets never too far away, and while the food is expensive, there’s lots of options in case you don’t want to carry around too many supplies – including some incredible ice cream! If you’ve got some tired little legs with you, then you can even take a trip on the monorail to get around that little bit faster.
One of my personal favourite moments from my last trip to the zoo was seeing my two year old cousin make friends with a monkey!
So, if you’re looking to do something different this summer, why not head to Chester Zoo to marvel at some wildlife?