Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Review and Tips for Visiting Chester Zoo

I could just start and end this review by saying, or typing:

Chester Zoo is awesome!



But I suppose I should really quantify that statement.

It’s been a while since we’ve visited a zoo, which is why we were keen to take up an offer from Chester Zoo to visit them.

We’ve visited zoos in this country, as well as some around the world, and it’s fair to say the standard we’ve come across had been vast and unpredictable, some being brilliant, and some leaving you wondering if you should have even visited, and are they not on the wrong side of cruel.

Simply put, Chester Zoo is fantastic, and probably the best we’ve ever visited.

I did get told off by my young explorer sidekick for him having to wait over nine years to visit!

From the minute you arrive the place is very well organised, we left home a little later than we’d planned to, and therefore expected the worst as we’d be arriving at the peak time of day.

But while there were a lot of people, they seem to be so organised that driving in and parking was a breeze, as was getting into the actual zoo.  No one seemed to be queuing for very long, all very relaxed.

The zoo is stunning from the off, and you are immediately struck by the vast elephant enclosure.

And I would say that is something consistent with the enclosures at Chester Zoo, they all seem to a layman to be generous in size and sympathetically laid and decked out for the animals that live in them.

Watching one of the elephants take water from the waterfall was an instant highlight.

There are an absolute truck load of animals.  I’m struggling to think of animals that they don’t have.

They have some we’d never even heard of before.

We had a very relaxing walk around the zoo.  And while it was relaxingly paced, never feeling rushed, or having to wait very long to get a good spot to watch animals from, it was a very, very long one.

We were all knackered after our visit.

That said there are lots of places to grab a quick coffee and a break for five minutes before you head off again.

We love facts, and there’s so many at Chester Zoo we struggled to take them in.  There’s lots of information about each species, but there’s also a lot about the individual history of each animal, giving you an insight into their history and a real sense of their personalities.

There’s some fun stuff too.

So all in all Chester Zoo is a fabulous day out, especially for children able to handle a three or four hour walk themselves.  For smaller ones, there is the monorail to get around, and I guess that is probably the only thing people seemed to be having to queue for.

I’m sure we’ll return in the future, hopefully remembering the tips we’ve come up with from our visit.


Take comfy footwear.

It’s a long walk around Chester Zoo, and you may want to sacrifice ‘pretty’ footwear for the most comfortable walking boots you own.  

Keep left.

Like all the best places in the world, it’s our advice to keep on the left-hand side.  You will have to turn right occasionally to ensure you miss nothing at the zoo, but always turning left we see you automatically seeing the vast majority of the stuff, and seemingly finding a relatively quiet route.

Download the Chester Zoo App before you go.

The phone signal at Chester Zoo was fine, but probably not the best to download a hefty app once there.  I wish we’d have done that before we got there.  The Chester Zoo app itself is very useful and easy to use, it includes loads of helpful information, interactive fun stuff as well as a park map.

Allow plenty of time to get round.

Like I’ve mentioned with your feet, Chester Zoo is a long day out.  Not because there are queues everywhere, far from it, but because there is so much to see and do.  The enclosure seem very generous to the animals at Chester, and as a result – quite rightly – means that us visitors have to allow a decent amount of time to get round.