Twycross Zoo - A great family day out

Great family day out

With the school holidays just around the corner, you may be racking your brain thinking of days out to occupy the kids. Have you considered a visit to Twycross Zoo? Set amidst 80 acres on  the border of Leicestershire and Warwickshire, it is a great day out and  the whole family will love it. My partner, daughter and I visited recently and we are still talking about it.

Twycross Zoo homes over 1,000 animals from over 200 species. Most of the animals here are endangered or at high risk of becoming so. The zoo is dedicated to conserving threatened and endangered species, and to the education of its many visitors each year. It houses the largest collection of primate species in the western world, and is the only zoo in the United Kingdom to care for all four species of the great ape. Twycross Zoo is "The World Primate Centre".

The zoo itself

As well as the vast amount of animals, the zoo is home to over 50 different species of birds, and a lot of these are threatened or endangered and are part of a breeding programme which is worldwide to try to prevent some of the breeds from becoming extinct.

Children are well catered for, with childrens rides, play areas and an adventure playground which is very popular. A newly opened touch zone allows them to get up close and personal with some of the friendlier animals and find out all about them. There is a miniature railway where children can explore parts of the zoo, but this only runs in the summer months.

Some of the daily events that go on at Twycross are:

tours of the tropical house, sealion feeding, training the elephants and penguin feeding. (These were a big hit with both children and adults alike).

The tropical house is amazing to see and is set up exactly like a rainforest, there was even a tropical rain storm when we were there. Throughout the day, zoo staff accompany groups of visitors for a tour of the tropical house, pointing out some of the animals, talking about their habitat, and giving general information on them. We saw turtles, spiders, lizards, iguanas snakes and even a sloth! There are free-flying birds and a mock cave containing little fruit bats. As conditions are just like a rainforest, it is very humid, so if you do were glasses they will steam up!

A bonobo - humans closest living relative. Remind you of anyone?
A bonobo - humans closest living relative. Remind you of anyone?
Giraffes having a snack at Twycross Zoo.
Giraffes having a snack at Twycross Zoo.
Simples!
Simples!

Opening Times & Admission Prices

Twycross Zoo is open all year round except for Christmas Day which is the only day it is closed. Astonishing! It opens at 10am each day and closes at 4.30pm (31st October to 27th March) and 5.30pm the rest of the year.

Admission Prices @ 6th April 2011:

Adult Ticket £14.50

Child Ticket (3-16yrs) £10.00

Child under 3yrs £ 1.00

Family Ticket (2ad, 2ch) £44.00

Concession (OAP's/students) £12.00

Once you have bought your tickets, it includes tours, keeper talks and the childrens' rides. There is plenty of car parking space available which is free.

Eating Places

A new Himalaya Visitor Centre was opened in 2010 and is a very popular attraction. It is free to enter and is totally undercover which is good to know if the weather is not particularly great. Inside there is a 300 seat restaurant with magnificant views of the snow leopard exhibit. There is also a cafe, shops and a tourist information centre.

If you prefer to eat out there are some beautiful picnic areas where families can enjoy dining 'al fresco'.

How to get there

Twycross Zoo contact details

Twycross Zoo, Burton Road, Atherstone, Warwickshire, CV9 3PX

www.twycrosszoo.org

Tel : 01827 880250


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