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ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

ZSL Whipsnade ZooZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Take the family to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo to see more than 2500 animals, from elephants and rhinos to creepie-crawlies, in one of Europe's largest wildlife conservation parks. Many of the amazing creatures from faraway lands are endangered in the wild. You can even stay over in a private lodge and experience sunset and night-time tours around the zoo with a guide.

Best for: All ages

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What to Expect:

  • Advance tickets
  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Educational
  • Family tickets
  • Farm animals
  • Great for babies
  • Great for kids 4-12
  • Great for teens
  • Great for toddlers
  • Special events
  • Picnic areas
  • Pay on day

What to do

Visit some of the most popular animals in the park, including African lions, Asian elephants, Burmese pythons and chimpanzee.

Head into one of the UK's biggest butterfly biomes and get up close to some amazing butterflies of all colours and sizes. This is even home to West African Dwarf Crocodiles so make sure you stick around until the end of your butterfly journey.

Walk through the Lemurs exhibit trail, letting you get up close to the Madagascan creatures.

Meet the giraffes on their eye level by heading up to the giraffe platform.

Take younger visitors for some petting at the Children’s Farm.

Check out the daily events schedule so as not to miss the likes of Howling with Wolves and Hungry Hippos.

Although you can bring your cars on-site, it’s best to leave them in the car-park (extra charge) and take advantage of the free Safari Bus.

Where to stay

If you’re staying in the capital, see our London destination guide for family-friendly hotels and other accommodation. Or you might choose to stay in Hertfordshire, in which case see some of our suggestions and reviews.

You can also stay on-site at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in the Lookout Lodge; enjoy an interactive overnight stay with a guide in a private lodge with creature comforts, right next to the White Rhino enclosure. Packages include one night stay, sunset tour of the zoo, evening meal, breakfast and torch-lit walk through the zoo.



ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is open throughout the year (apart from Christmas Day). It opens 10am each day and closes between 4pm and 6pm depending on time of year.


Located in the Chiltern Hills, Bedfordshire, Whipsnade is 20 minutes off the M25 and well-signposted from all major routes, including the M25 and M1.

Trains from London St Pancras take approximately 30 minutes; the nearest stations are Luton and Hemel Hempstead, which are linked by bus to the zoo.

Find out more travel information and directions, see the website.


There are several food outlets in the park but also plenty of places to sit and eat a picnic. One catering outlet also doubles as an indoor play area for kids so while the kids play in the ball pool, you can relax with a coffee and cake.

Recently, the zoo has replaced all plastic water bottles with Water in a Box; enabling you to refill with water at various outlets around the site, adding to their conservation and environmental efforts.


Family Saver tickets for four (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children) cost in the region of £70 but can only be bought online in advance. Under-3s go free.

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