Join our zoo community

UK zoo recommendations

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by manateacup, 24 Aug 2017.

  1. manateacup

    manateacup Active Member

    Joined:
    24 Aug 2017
    Posts:
    29
    Location:
    England
    I have unexpectedly found myself with the next week off. Any recommendations for places to go? Travelling on public transport from South Yorkshire.

    Yorkshire Wildlife is always a favourite and I already have plans to return to Chester in September. Would love to visit Bristol or Whipsnade but am thinking a day trip will be too awkward.
     
  2. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    16,288
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    The Deep in Hull is both excellent and nearby.
     
  3. NigeW

    NigeW Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Jan 2011
    Posts:
    281
    Location:
    Chester
    Nowhere near the closest, but actually probably one of the easiest by public transport is London. About two hours away from South Yorks maybe?
     
  4. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

    Joined:
    12 Oct 2007
    Posts:
    5,196
    Location:
    Chesterfield, Derbyshire
    Not done Whipsnade by public transport but Bristol (change Temple Meads for Clifton Down) and London are both easy from Chesterfield by train so should be fine from South Yorkshire - the same goes for Blackpool and Welsh Mountain.

    Slightly more left-field - Martin Mere is also possible if you're up for the walk (or taxi) from Burscough Bridge station.

    As TLD says, The Deep is also worth a look.
     
  5. manateacup

    manateacup Active Member

    Joined:
    24 Aug 2017
    Posts:
    29
    Location:
    England
    Have just had a trip to the Deep a couple of weeks ago! Wanted to make full use of the unlimited entry for a year offer with my ticket from last year :) Think they're still doing that offer if anyone else is interested?

    I haven't been to either Welsh Mountain or Martin Mere (or even heard of the last one!) so they might be interesting adventures!
     
  6. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    16,288
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    Another rather nice collection which is pretty easy to do by public transport and which is quite close to you is Tropical World in Leeds - just get a train to Leeds then a bus from the city centre out to Roundhay Park where the collection is situated.

    A little further afield but no less worth a visit, if you get a train to Birmingham New Street you should be able to get a bus from just outside the station which will take you direct to Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park (or Birmingham Nature Centre as was) - a relatively small but choice collection, and in my opinion far the superior of the relatively-nearby Dudley Zoo.

    Martin Mere is one of the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust collections; as such it specialises in wildfowl from around the world, but also contains a few non-avian species along with large areas of wetland where one can watch wild birds (including, in the winter, thousands of wintering swans and geese).
     
  7. manateacup

    manateacup Active Member

    Joined:
    24 Aug 2017
    Posts:
    29
    Location:
    England
    Tropical world in Leeds is another good bet public transport wise, I'm sure I'd previously heard there wasn't much there though? Is this the case?

    It looks like a trip to Birmingham will be needed soon too! I have been looking into Whipsnade as I haven't been but have wanted to for a long time - I'm thinking it might need a bit more planning though!

    I'll have a look at Martin Mere also, thanks for the information @TeaLovingDave :)
     
  8. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2010
    Posts:
    16,288
    Location:
    Wilds of Northumberland
    It''s not a massive collection but they do have a fair few oddities, including Lesser Egyptian Jerboa, Bolivian Owl Monkey and Grey Mouse Lemur.
     
  9. Komodo99

    Komodo99 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 May 2017
    Posts:
    543
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Martin Mere added White Storks to their collection in June this year. Saw them on Sunday they are an interesting species.
     
  10. redstarsmith

    redstarsmith Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    31 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    104
    Location:
    Douglas
    It's been 5 years since I went to tropical world but I was very impressed. How much is there? Enough for a good 1-1 1/2 hour visit.

    I've done Whipsnade by public transport and it was easy but the journey from the train station to the Zoo by bus was tedious.

    Chester Zoo is relatively very easy to get to by train and bus.
     
  11. Komodo99

    Komodo99 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 May 2017
    Posts:
    543
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Lakeland Wildlife Oasis is a very nice collection but you could get around it in around hour and a half to two hours if you took your time.

    Blackpool Zoo is also a nice collection as you could spend a whole day there.

    Both are within driving distance of each other.
     
  12. manateacup

    manateacup Active Member

    Joined:
    24 Aug 2017
    Posts:
    29
    Location:
    England
    I have a ticket booked for Chester next month :) And I think I'm waiting for a weekend trip to Blackpool with my boyfriend.

    @redstarsmith Which way were you travelling from for Whipsnade? I'll give it another look :)
     
  13. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    20,107
    Location:
    england
    From Cotswold perhaps? I'd expect to hear of a few other collections getting them too as Cotswold WP have about sixty they imported earlier in the year.
     
  14. Komodo99

    Komodo99 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 May 2017
    Posts:
    543
    Location:
    Lancashire
    I think so,Martin Mere started out with three individuals and when I went they had five.They are located between the Chilean Flamingoes and the Eco Garden in what I think may have been the old beaver enclosure.
     
    Pertinax likes this.
  15. redstarsmith

    redstarsmith Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    31 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    104
    Location:
    Douglas
    @redstarsmith Which way were you travelling from for Whipsnade? I'll give it another look :)[/QUOTE]

    London to Luton. When we went the we would have had to wait for nearly an hour for the bus so we got a taxi for £25. Looked it up and the two buses are 45 and 1hr15 excluding any waiting time. Being on foot we were very tired doing Whipsnade and public transport. It is definitely a Zoo I'd only do again if I had a car.
     
  16. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    16 Nov 2008
    Posts:
    2,923
    Location:
    London, England
    Please note that, unfortunately, the bus routes changed earlier this year and the journey to Whipsnade by public transport is now much more awkward than it used to be.

    Buses no longer run directly from Luton to Whipsnade; it is necessary to travel by bus from Luton to Dunstable and then change there for another bus to Whipsnade.

    Similarly, the buses have also stopped running directly from Hemel Hempstead to Whipsnade but it is possible to catch a bus to Whipsnade from outside St. Albans railway station.
     
  17. Crowthorne

    Crowthorne Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jan 2014
    Posts:
    2,591
    Location:
    UK
    If you're catching the train out from London, if travelling on Thameslink, St Albans is a few stops before you get to Luton, so might be worth catching the bus direct from there, and avoid the bus change at Dunstable (plus St Albans station is nicer than Luton station)

    If you're travelling on East Midlands Trains however, these do not stop at St Albans, but they do stop at Luton (make sure it's the town and not Luton Airport Parkway)
     
    Tim May likes this.
  18. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    16 Nov 2008
    Posts:
    2,923
    Location:
    London, England
    I agree with this. Unfortunately, the main problem is not the change of bus routes but the current timetable.

    On a Saturday (which is when I normally visit Whipsnade) the last bus for St. Albans leaves the zoo at 3:15pm which is ridiculously early in the summer. This cuts my Whipsnade visit short by two and a half hours as, until recently, I used to catch the last bus to Hemel Hempsted which left the zoo at 5:45pm.
     
    Crowthorne likes this.
  19. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    16 Nov 2008
    Posts:
    2,923
    Location:
    London, England

    In my last post in this thread, I commented on changes to the timetable for buses serving Whipsnade.

    In particular, I was unhappy that the last bus for St. Albans now left Whipsnade at 3:15pm on a Saturday; this seemed unnecessarily early for a summer weekend and it cut my Whipsnade visit short by two-and-a-half hours.

    I am pleased to say that a revised timetable has since been issued; the last bus for St. Albans now leaves Whipsnade, about two hours later on Saturday, at the more sensible time of 5:20pm.

    See link below for details:

    Timetable

    Obviously timetables do change so, as always, it is advisable to double check details before travelling especially when going long distances.