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A visit to a zoo or safari park can be a fantastic day out for people of all ages. If you’re keen to get up close and personal with fascinating wildlife, why not visit one of the following attractions in the UK:
Wiltshire’s Longleat Safari & Adventure Park (BA12 7NW) has the distinction of being the UK’s oldest safari park. Opened in 1966, it was the first facility of its kind to be launched outside Africa.
Initially a 100-acre lion reserve, it has grown substantially over the years, with parrots and llamas among the many creatures you can now see here, although the lions are still a popular draw for many people.
Open from mid-February to early November, a day ticket costs £26 for adults. Admission for three to 14-year-olds is £18.50 and £21 for the over-60s, although there are several money-saving ticket packages available.
Set within the grounds of the Longleat House stately home, a visit to the park also gives you the chance to go on a number of fairground rides and feed farmyard animals.
Situated just off the A36 between Bath and Salisbury, it can be reached by taking the A362.
Bristol Zoo has the privilege of being one of the UK’s oldest zoological parks, with 2011 seeing it celebrate its 175th anniversary.
Here, you’ll find over 400 different species of creatures and nine covered animal houses, so even if the weather isn’t at its best there are still lots of fascinating creatures to look at, including the endangered red panda and pygmy hippos
Perhaps one of the most popular enclosures is Bug World, where you can see all kinds of creepy crawlies, including spiders and locusts, as well as learn how leeches were used for medicinal purposes in Victorian times.
Standard admission for adults is £14, while entrance for three to 14-year-olds is £8.50.
Located in the Clifton region of Bristol, close to the city’s famous suspension bridge, you can reach the zoo by taking either the number 8 or 9 bus.
Clifton Down train station is also close by, and if you are taking public transport you can purchase a special ticket to get discounted travel and entry to the zoo. If you’re driving, however, enter BS8 3HA into your sat-nav.
Based in the north-east corner of Regent’s Park, a visit to London Zoo (NW1 4RY) offers the chance to see 720 species of animal, including komodo dragons and flamingos.
Every day at 14:30, meanwhile, the Penguin Beach Live show offers you the chance to feed the creatures for yourself.
Just over one million people visit the zoo on an annual basis and it is open every day of the year, with the exception of Christmas Day.
Prices vary depending which time of year you visit, with admission for adults and children during the peak season (which covers the whole of August and every weekend between April and September) at £20.50 and £16.40 respectively.
Visit during the mid-season, which includes weekdays in September and the whole of October, and entrance for adults is £19.50 and £15.60 for children.
Chester Zoo (CH2 1EU) is visited by some 1.4 million people every year, so you’ll be in good company when checking out the creatures here.
The Cheshire-based park is home to over 400 different species of animal, including some of the most endangered creatures on earth, so there’s plenty to see.
In addition to having the largest orangutan exhibit in Europe, the attraction also contains the biggest zoo-based butterfly house in the UK.
You might also want to see the gaboon viper, which has the longest fangs of any snake in the world, while dozens of the fish kept here are currently threatened with extinction in the wild.
Admission over the peak season, which runs until September 4th, is £17 and £13 for adults and children respectively. However, between September 5th and October 31st this falls to £16 and £11.
Ride your car through Knowsley Safari Park (L34 4AN) and you’ll come across everything from African elephants to bison. However, the famous Monkey Jungle zone could be most interesting, where baboons may even climb on top of your vehicle!
There is also the Bug House, which contains ants and cockroaches, in addition to several species of reptiles and amphibians, a sealion show and amusement rides.
Entrance for adults is £15 and children and pensioners pay £11.
With so many fantastic zoos and safari parks to visit, you’ll find plenty of places to indulge your wild side and get back to nature!
Written by the team at TravelSupermarket
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