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The long-aspired zoo-trip of two Dutchmen and a Belgian: Round II

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Vision, 26 Nov 2016.

  1. Vision

    Vision Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Antwerp, Belgium
    As some of you might know, this July GerbenElzinga, KevinVar and I visited a handful of some of Europe's best zoos in Germany, Poland and The Czech Republic (The long-aspired zoo-trip of two Dutchmen and a Belgian). We thoroughly enjoyed this 12-day journey filled with new lifers, inspiration and a lot of interesting experiences, so immediately we were planning to go somewhere again.

    Inspired by the lengthy galleries, Thylo's recent trip, Kevin's love for the UK, and a lot of hours in the chatroom, our eyes fell on the distant, ever-rainy paradise of the United Kingdom. We still have a lot of time to plan everything out and thus haven't thought about everything (including how to get there, heh), but we decided we might as well start planning things ahead of time. The still very temporary planning is as such;

    Day 1: Get from our respective countries to the UK.
    Day 2: Howlett's Wild Animal Park
    Day 3: Wingham Wildlife Park and train to Port Lympne
    Day 4: Port Lympne Wild Animal Park and train to Colchester
    Day 5: Colchester Zoo and drive to somewhere around Hamerton/Linton
    Day 6: Linton Zoo and Hamerton Zoo and drive to Twycross
    Day 7: Twycross Zoo and drive to Chester
    Day 8: Chester Zoo and drive to somewhere around Cotswold
    Day 9: Cotswold Falconry Centre, Crocodiles of the World and Cotswold Wildlife Park
    Day 10: Get back to our respective countries.

    This plan is still very basic and is very open to change; if one of the above collections desperately takes 2 days to visit, or if one of them can easily be combined with a smaller collection nearby, we'd be very interested in doing so. We'd also like to squeeze in a little bit of birding here and there, but don't really know what the best places for doing so would be. Any suggestions, opinions or tips are always welcome!

    As is probably obvious from the above list, our goal is to see as many different new species in a relatively short time, while still not having to rush every single zoo we visit. One of the things that surprised us about the above collections is the amount of odd primate species the zoos in the UK have to offer, that aren't kept anywhere else. This is why, for example, Wingham and Linton make it to the list and Whipsnade doesn't.
    Another oddity is that London zoo is missing; We've all visited this collection before, and don't feel getting in and out of London to revisit would quite be worth the effort, as wonderful a collection as it is.

    As in the previous topic, we will try to write an as interesting as possible report of the zoos we visit here, and hopefully we'll get those up a little bit quicker than last time :p
     
    Last edited: 26 Nov 2016
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  2. wayne4swfc

    wayne4swfc Well-Known Member

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    It would be good if you could visit YWP to see England's only polar bears but as the nearest collections are twycross and Chester and they are still some distance away I don't think you'd be able to fit it in.
     
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  3. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    As nice as Polar Bear are I suspect that they have all seen more Polar Bears than a Polar Bear starved UK zoonerd!!
     
  4. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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    It might be easier to do Howletts and Wingham together on day 3 (very close in distance) and then Port Lympne on its own during day 2
     
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  5. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Nisha's comments about Howletts and Wingham. In addition, neither Wingham, Port Lympne nor Colchester are particularly close to railway stations and I suspect that few trains stop at those stations. I suggest that you consider going by car for the whole trip, and reversing your order for the first few days - start at Port Lympne, then go to Wingham and Howletts, so that you have a shorter journey to Colchester. If you save a day by combining Wingham and Howletts, you could go to Whipsnade if you wish.
    As for the birding, it depends on the time of year you choose for your visit.
     
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  6. Vision

    Vision Well-Known Member

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    @wayne4swfc Zoogiraffe is right, I believe all three of us have seen polar bears on many different occasions and wouldn't want to do quite a big detour for them. As interesting as they are, we want to stay efficient as well. ;)

    @Nisha, we had heard about that before, but figured we might not be able to squeeze both zoos in a single day, as with public transport they are still over an hour apart. Is it definitely possible to see both on one day whilst having enough time to look for the oddities in both, and hopefully snap some good pictures as well? If so we'd definitely reconsider to save time!

    @gentle lemur, we'd be going in the beginning or middle of July, most likely.
    For the order we still haven't decided on how we're going to get to the UK, if we take the easiest and cheapest route (by plane) we'll have to throw over the entire plan once again, but your points are definitely ones to keep in the back of our heads when making these decisions!

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone :D
     
  7. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion the best birding in Britain in late June and early July involves sea birds. Unfortunately the most accessible places are in Scotland (such as the Firth of Forth, including the Bass Rock gannetry) and Northumberland (the Farne Islands). Closer to the places on your itinerary are the Bempton Cliffs, near Bridlington, which could be combined with a visit to The Deep at Hull. But this is a fair way north of Twycross and a long motorway journey onwards to Chester, without much to see in between.
     
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  8. GerbenElzinga

    GerbenElzinga Active Member

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    We're thinking about doing Banham Zoo, Shorelands Wildlife Gardens and Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens as well. Is it possible to do the three of them in one day?
     
  9. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    Straight answer is no Banham and Shorelands yes.

    But Thrigby does work with Suffolk Wildlife Park and Amazona Zoo very well!
     
  10. Vision

    Vision Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Antwerp, Belgium
    This journey has unfortunately been delayed, and we're doing another instead. We will, however, attempt to do a UK trip in the (hopefully near) future, as there are quite some oddities we've yet to see!
    Thanks to everyone for all the wonderful tips! ;)

    A thread for the new trip can be found here:
    The short-aspired zoo-trip of two Dutchmen and a Belgian: Round II