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Zoos and Farms – London and the South of England

Written by: Elmtree Press


One of our most favourite days out is always a trip to the zoo!  Watching all the animals’ antics, some closely mirroring our own behaviour, is always great fun and visiting one near your school makes for a great day out.  Here we recommend the best farms and zoos to be found in London and the south of England and we'll follow this up soon with places to visit in the rest of the country.

Surrey
Godstone Farm, set in the beautiful Surrey Hills, has been opening its farm gate to welcome schools for an educational day out for the past 40 years!  During that time they have perfected a fantastic learning experience which ensures that learning is both fun and informative.  With prices starting from £1.50 per child there is something to suit even the smallest budget.

London
ZSL London Zoo - 53 years ago I was a member of the London Zoo club who took a group of us to Africa to help catch reptiles.  An amazing and memorable experience, it had a major impact on me as a very young 13 year old , it opened my eyes to a completely different world, travel and falling in love with Africa before most young people had the opportunity of travel. Today ZSL London Zoo, Regents Park is continuing to educate young people, something they have been doing for the past 180 years, so why not take your students along and discover all that ZSL has to offer. Explore and enjoy, learn and get closer than ever to their animals with their daily events. With a special program designed to fit school groups of all shapes and sizes, ZSL London Zoo is the perfect education choice! They provide unique learning sessions for all ages and abilities. Choose from primary, secondary and post-16 studies programmes as part of your education session

Oxfordshire
Take a walk on the WILD side at Cotswold Wildlife Park! The Giraffe walkway lets you get eye-to-eye with these amazing creatures, or you can walk amongst lemurs in the Madagascar exhibit. Ride on the railway around the Park or explore the adventure playground, Skymaze. Watch Rhinos grazing on the Manor House lawns and the Humboldt Penguin feed at 11am and 3pm. The Park is wheelchair and pushchair friendly with disabled facilities and 99% accessibility.

Bedfordshire
Whipsnade Zoo is London Zoo’s sister zoo and the UK’s largest.  The Zoo offers a number of fun workshops and is a great place to see animals split into three zones of Africa, Asia and Europe.  Whilst eating your lunch why not sit on watching the wallabies hopping around on the downs.

Woburn Safari Park has a proud history of animal conservation stretching back over 100 years on the Bedford Estate. Today, the Park is an exciting, educational day out with over 1,000 wild animals living in beautiful parkland reserves. Visitors get an unparalleled close encounter with some of the most magnificent and endangered animals in the world including Asian elephants and Amur tigers.
 
Norfolk
Amazona Zoo in Cromer is home to over 200 animals from tropical South America, including jaguars, monkeys, peccaries, otters, owls, macaws, parrots, capuchins, spiders, snakes, flamingos, rheas, guinea pigs, iguanas, caimans, pumas and tapirs.  As well as a fascinating collection of animals and birds there is a 30ft yurt designated for learning.

Hampshire
Marwell Zoo, near Winchester in Hampshire gets you closer to the wonders of the natural world. From ring-tailed lemurs to majestic giraffes, and curious meerkats, to stunning snow leopards, the 140-acre park is home to an incredible range of exotic and endangered species. Explore their newest and biggest ever exhibit – Tropical House: energy for Life – now open! The £8m exhibit spans two levels offering fantastic vantage points across a lush, tropical canopy and the opportunity to experience the captivating life of the forest floor. Share the habitat and enjoy uninterrupted, close-up views of new, colourful and charismatic mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects. What’s more, spend time with Marwell’s playful primates at ‘Lemur Loop’, a new walkthrough exhibit – now open. Explore the environment of different types of lemur whilst learning about the evolution of the species. With a beautiful landscaped setting, both indoors and out, the new lemur exhibit promises a truly immersive experience.

The New Forest Wildlife Park is home to a fascinating array of mammals and birds. They aim to help visitors understand and respect the planet we share with them. You can meet the rescued fallow, roe and sika deer in the deer encounter enclosure and follow the nature trails to find more amazing animals, including red deer, Scottish wildcats, Asian short-clawed and Eurasian otters, lynx, foxes, pine martens, polecats, badgers, owls, mouflon, harvest mice and ferrets. Don’t miss the wild boar, wolves, wallabies and European bison - all in 25 acres of lovely natural woodland. The park’s friendly and knowledgeable keepers are on hand to answer all your questions, with feeding sessions and keeper talks on particular species available at set times throughout the holidays.

Dorset
Visit Monkey World this summer and see their latest rescues, the red-bellied guenons, Benny & Nia!  These incredibly rare monkeys were smuggled from the wild into Lebanon, and Monkey World were called in to rescue them. Now, the park is the only place in the world you can see these monkeys in captivity. The guenons join over 250 other monkeys and apes, mostly endangered and rescued, to live their lives in a safe, stable environment. Combining fun with conservation, half-hourly keeper talks at the park explain all about man’s closest living relative, and the stories that led them to Monkey World.  Visitors can see the stars of TV’s ‘Monkey Life’, then ‘monkey around’ in the south’s largest Great Ape play area. Don’t forget to check out Europe’s only orangutan nursery, where youngsters Mimi, Bulu Mata and Rieke are growing up with their adoptive mum Oshine.

Cornwall
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary - Experience animal welfare in action at Cornwall’s only Seal Sanctuary and rescue centre. Hear about dramatic rescues and meet the seal and sea lion characters whose individual stories are brought to life during your visit.  The Sanctuary is also home to fun loving otters, playful penguins and potty paddock animals. Explore behind the scenes at the heart of marine rescue in Cornwall’s only working Seal Hospital. See how they carry out life-saving work with their animals and nurture new arrivals. You can also experience what it takes to become a marine expert. From a sneak peek at their food preparation area, to getting hands on in the hospital pup pen you’ll get an insight into the science behind the Sanctuary. Tucked against the picturesque backdrop of the Helford River, the Sanctuary is a designated site of special scientific interest and an area of outstanding natural beauty. The 42-acre centre also boasts a woodland quiz trail, café with undercover seating and two gift shops. Don’t miss out on their great all year round events calendar.

Bristol
Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm  is offering free entry to anyone called Noah this Saturday 22nd June to celebrate their 20th birthday.  Set in over 100 acres of beautiful countryside, the Zoo has developed over the years from a farm into a zoo and now is home to a wealth of animals including lions, tigers and rhinos plus a children's playground.

Wiltshire
Roves Farm Visitor Centre, Near Swindon is ideal for a hands on experience which will keep your pupils happy and engaged for hours.  With friendly farm animals who enjoy being petted there are excellent indoor as well as outdoor facilities for all weather.  Explore the farm on a tractor and trailer ride, and enjoy the all-weather play barn.