Join our zoo community

UK Collections By Public Transport: A Guide

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by TeaLovingDave, 13 Dec 2013.

  1. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    7,802
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    As suggested in link
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 21 Oct 2016
    LaughingDove likes this.
  2. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    7,802
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    Amazon World Zoo Park

    From Newport Bus Station, catch the Route 8 Southern Vectis bus to Ryde. This service runs on an hourly basis all day, and stops at the gates of Amazon World en-route.
    To reach Newport Bus Station on your arrival onto the Isle of Wight, catch the following services depending on where you have arrived:

    Yarmouth - catch the half hourly Route 7 from the ferry terminal to Newport Bus Station. This is the route, and thus service, I took.

    Cowes - catch the Route 1 from the ferry terminal to Newport Bus Station.

    East Cowes - catch the Route 5 from the ferry terminal to Newport Bus Station.

    Ryde - the Route 8 from the ferry terminal stops at Amazon World en-route to Newport Bus Station, as noted above.
     
  3. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    7,802
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    Birmingham Nature Centre

    This collection is 2.3 miles - roughly 45 minutes on foot - from Birmingham New Street Station, most of it along one long straight road - there are excellent footpaths for the whole route.

    A link to a map of the route is provided below:

    http://goo.gl/maps/6r3u8
     
  4. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    7,802
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    Blackpool Zoo

    This collection is 2.1 miles - approximately 40 minutes walk - from Blackpool North Railway Station. The walk is rather pleasant, and much of the second half passes through parkland. Footpaths are excellent throughout.

    Link to the walking route below:

    http://goo.gl/maps/HD7HH
     
  5. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    7,802
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
  6. adrian1963

    adrian1963 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    1,475
    Location:
    England
    Birmingham nature centre -

    Centro run a bus service number 1 from the five ways just a short walk from New Street Station also just up the road from Snow Hill Station this will drop you off at Edgebaston Cricket Ground then all you do is walk through Cannon Hill park or just walk around the outside (car park) they run every 20 minutes from 9.30am onwards.
     
  7. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    7,802
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    Chester Zoo

    This is one zoo with which I am abundantly familiar - as such I am equally familiar with the best means of reaching the place by public transport.

    There are two equally viable options, each of which start the same way:

    From Chester railway station, get a train to Bache railway station - these run on a quarter-hourly basis, though naturally if you are approaching Chester on the train from Liverpool you will be able to get off the train at Bache before ever reaching Chester itself.

    If you do not wish to walk to the zoo, there is a bus-stop at the post office just opposite Bache railway station. This is served by the Route 1 bus between Chester and Liverpool, which stops at the main entrance of Chester Zoo and runs every 20 minutes.

    However, if you want to avoid the crowds at the main entrance there *is* another option - the pedestrian entrance on Caughall Road is a shade over a mile - 25 minutes walking time - on foot from Bache railway station, and will allow you access to areas of the zoo which will be peaceful and quiet in the hour or so following opening, as the bulk of the public will not reach these areas for some time! This, incidentally, is my preferred route which I have taken every time I have visited since learning of it.

    Walking route is provided below:

    http://goo.gl/maps/bo3lk
     
  8. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

    Joined:
    12 Oct 2007
    Posts:
    6,031
    Location:
    Chesterfield, Derbyshire
    Definitely my preferred public-transport-Chester option too.
     
  9. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    7,802
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    Colchester Zoo

    Colchester Bus Station is somewhat infuriating, insofar as much as services which run from the bus station to the zoo do *not* call at the bus station on the return route! With that important caveat, the route one should take to Colchester Zoo depends on which train station you have arrived at:

    Colchester Town railway station is only about 5 minutes walk from the bus station, as illustrated below:

    http://goo.gl/maps/fltxb

    If you have arrived at Colchester railway station, one should leave via the exit on platform 4, turn left and walk to the main road at the bottom, crossing the road to reach the lay-by bus stop on the opposite side of the road. Any of the following services will get you to the bus station: 61, 65, 66, 67, 67A, 78 or 78A

    From the bus station, you should catch the 75/75A bus, which stops at the entrance to Colchester Zoo.

    Timetable for weekdays

    Timetable for Saturdays

    There are no buses on Sundays.

    On the return journey, as noted above, you will be unable to reach the bus station and should alight at Head Street, from where you can easily walk to Colchester Town railway station - route provided below.

    http://goo.gl/maps/e1Epm

    Do *NOT* attempt to walk to the Zoo - although there are reasonable footpaths for much of the route, the final half-mile is along a road with no footpath, a 60 mph speed limit and no grass verge to use in place of a footpath.
     
  10. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    7,802
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    Dudley Zoological Gardens

    An example of why it is not always best to trust the directions listed on a zoo website - the Dudley Zoo webpage claims that the nearest railway stations are Dudley Port, at 3 miles away, and Sandwell & Dudley, at 5 miles away. Quite apart from the fact that each of these stations are nearer than that, there *is* a much closer railway station to the zoo - Tipton, at 1.5 miles -and as any of the half-hourly services between Wolverhampton and Birmingham New Street which call at the two suggested stations also stop there, it seems illogical not to make use of this station.

    So, get a train to Tipton - from there it is a half-hour long walk along good footpaths to the zoo. The walking route is linked below, albeit set as a cycle route as for some reason Google Maps does not like that route when walking is selected!

    http://goo.gl/maps/CtxTu
     
  11. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    7,802
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    Edinburgh Zoo

    Another nice and easy one - there are multiple very regular bus services which will take you from Princes Street, just outside Edinburgh Waverley railway station, and which stop at the main entrance of the zoo. They also stop outside of Edinburgh Haymarket railway station, which increases the options for those arriving into Edinburgh by train.

    Although the 100 Airlink bus to the airport also runs on this route, the optimum in terms of regularity (each running in either direction every ten minutes or so throughout the day) are the Lothian Buses 12, X12, 26 and 31 services.

    One useful thing to note for this means of reaching the zoo is that the Lothian Buses network only accepts exact change, and since the renovation of Princes Street there are no longer ticket machines at the bus stops themselves. I have found that to improve the convenience of not needing to find exact change, and to save a little money, it is best to select a Plusbus ticket when purchasing one's train tickets to Edinburgh, as the Plusbus for the city centre is cheaper than a return to the zoo.
     
    OG87 likes this.
  12. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    7,802
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    Exmoor Zoo

    This one takes a little effort, but is more than worth it. Rather than assume one is setting off from Barnstaple or another location in North Devon, I will assume that anyone attempting this collection by public transport might be doing the same as I did in January 2013, and staying in South Devon in order to do the Torbay collections.

    Of course, if one *is* already in the Barnstaple area, the second half of my advice will still stand.

    Get a train from Exeter St David's railway station to Barnstaple railway station, which is a half-mile walk (about 10 minutes) from the bus station, as shown below.

    http://goo.gl/maps/sgIrI

    Here, you should be able to catch the Filer's Travel 310 Service, which is the only service which passes near the zoo. If possible, it is worth trying to reach Barnstaple early enough to catch the 0850 service, as this will get you to the zoo at about 0930 - although you will have to wait at the zoo entrance until it opens at 1000, the next service does not reach the zoo until almost noon.

    You will have to alight the bus in the middle of the North Devon countryside, a short 10 minute walk down a side-lane from the zoo - make sure you ask the driver to let you know when you reach this point, as the stop is unmarked.

    The route from the stop to the zoo is below.

    http://goo.gl/maps/gcErV
     
  13. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    7,802
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    Five Sisters Zoo Park

    A very pleasant little journey - get a train to West Calder railway station (trains run roughly every 25 minutes from Edinburgh Waverley station) from where you will have a 25 minute walk (roughly 1.3 miles) to the collection. There are two possible routes, both of which take pretty much the same amount of time and distance - the only real difference is that the former route passes through populated areas for longer, whilst the latter route largely passes through farmland. Both are rather nice, so I'll leave it up to personal taste and link both routes below.

    http://goo.gl/maps/hXQL4

    http://goo.gl/maps/K1G9U
     
    OG87 likes this.
  14. lamna

    lamna Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Jul 2013
    Posts:
    384
    Location:
    West Midlands, UK
    This should come in very handy.

    Does anyone know when Blackpool switches over to their summer closing time and what that is?

    I'm planning to go fairly soon but I'd rather not hang around Blackpool for three hours in the dark.

    Their website only shows the winter closing time, Google claims it's 5.45.
     
  15. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    7,802
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    Hamerton Zoo Park

    The journey which indirectly started this thread :p although the route I will now suggest is not the route I took, due to the bus service I originally used having been axed, it is still one I would endorse.

    From Peterborough railway station, head across the road to the Queensgate bus station. From there catch the Busway Route B bus to Sawtry, alighting at the Green. It may be wise to ask the bus driver to let you know when you have reached this point.

    From there, you will have a 3.5 mile walk along country lanes through the Cambridgeshire countryside - it should take you a shade over an hour, but it is well-worthwhile to reach this hidden gem of a collection.

    The route is provided below:

    http://goo.gl/maps/MXASj
     
    Arizona Docent likes this.
  16. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    7,802
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    Highland Wildlife Park

    Much like Hamerton, an out-of-the-way treat which is worth the effort.

    One possible route which I cannot be drawn on the reliability of , due to never having attempted it, is to get a train to Aviemore, and then catch the local Stagecoach 32 bus service which stops at the entrance to the Wildlife Park. Unless one is already in the area, and thus able to catch the earliest possible bus to HWP, or catches a very early train to Aviemore, I would imagine this would not allow much time at the park.

    A much better route, the one which I used, is as follows:

    Travel to Edinburgh the previous day - you could do the zoo if you liked ;) although I recommend you find accommodation in the city centre to facilitate the next step. First thing the next morning, catch the Citylink service from Edinburgh Bus Station to Inverness, which stops at the Wildlife Park. The linked timetable should only be used as a guideline, as in the summer there are much earlier services available and thus one can reach the Wildlife Park rather earlier. This coach requires a ticket to be booked in advance, the earlier the cheaper.

    Outside the summer months, I would suggest that catching the earliest possible train to Aviemore and catching the local bus service, or catching an early train to Kingussie and walking the 4 miles to the Wildlife Park, are your best bets.
     
  17. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    18,664
    Location:
    everywhere
    this is very good indeed. I may do the same at some point for all the New Zealand zoos.
     
  18. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    7,802
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    Howletts Wild Animal Park

    Another of the gratifyingly easy ones - get a train to Bekesbourne railway station, which is a mile from the collection. At peak times of the year, a shuttle bus runs from the station to the collection - over the winter months this shuttle bus only runs on weekends. The collection website suggests one check the availability of the shuttlebus and obtain further information on the following telephone number:

    01227 721286

    If the bus is unavailable or, as happened to myself and Hel when we were leaving the collection in the late afternoon, provision for the return journey has ended early, the walk to/from the collection and the railway station is a relatively easy one at only about 20 minutes.

    However, beware: there are no footpaths so in this situation, one will have to walk on the grass verge and the traffic can be relatively fast - so be careful.

    Walking route provided below:

    http://goo.gl/maps/JU0Ri
     
  19. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    7,802
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    Living Coasts

    This one is easy - get a train to Torquay railway station, from which point you have a 23 minute walk (about 1.1 miles) along the seafront of Torquay to the collection, which itself is built on the seafront overlooking Torbay.

    Lovely views whilst walking next to the sea towards an excellent collection, who can ask for more?

    Walking directions below:

    http://goo.gl/maps/Sq6a9
     
  20. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    7,802
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    Martin Mere WWT

    Arriving by train has it's perks for this collection - presenting a valid rail ticket gets a discount on entry!

    The route by which one reaches the area will determine the precise walking route you will require, as well as the time that you arrive. If travelling on the Manchester to Southport line, you can disembark at Burscough Bridge, from which point Martin Mere is a very pleasant 40 minute walk - approximately 2 miles - through farmland and fields; it is wise to keep an eye open when walking as you can spot interesting wildlife in the area even before reaching the collection itself.

    http://goo.gl/maps/qrEzr

    However, certain of the trains running along this route stop at a nearer station, New Lane, which is a shorter 25 minute walk skirting the boundaries of Martin Mere.

    http://goo.gl/maps/ZImZt

    If one is travelling on the line between Ormskirk and Preston, one will have to disembark at Burscough Junction - as you will see on the map provided for Burscough Bridge, the walk from Junction is about 10 minutes longer, as it passes through the village of Burscough before joining onto the route one would take from the former station.