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MONDAY, 7TH MARCH 2011
Amazing Zoos

London zoo - flckr - neiljsTake a walk on the wild side with a visit to one of the UK’s best zoos. Treat your little monkeys to a fun day out while on your UK holidays, or indulge your inner child with fellow big kids. With a world of wildlife on your rented doorstep, there’s really no need to holiday anywhere else! You’ll find our choice of UK zoos below.

London Zoo
If you’re renting one our London apartments, why not check out London Zoo? You’ll find this 36 acre animal kingdom located in the north-east corner of Regent’s Park. London Zoo prides itself on being an interactive experience and allowing visitors to get closer to nature. Explore the zoo’s living rainforest and encounter monkeys, sloths and more. You can even experience the secrets of the rainforest after dark in the zoo’s Night Life exhibition - come face to face with bats and other nocturnal creatures that rule the rainforest at night. There’s non-stop action as the animals show of their amazing skills in the zoo’s amphitheatre, arrive early to get a front-row seat. If your little terrors need to burn off some energy then don’t miss the Animal Adventure. Designed specifically for kids, there’s rope climbing and swinging to be had, streams to splash around in, farm animals to pet and underground tunnels to discover. If all this sounds right up your street, then head to London Zoo’s website for more information: www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo.

Longleat Safari Park, Wiltshire
Back in 1966, Longleat was the first location outside of Africa to open a drive-through safari park experience. And it’s lost none of its magic since then. It’s not every day that you’ll see lions, giraffes, flamingos, wolves and rhinos through your car window – a bit more exciting than the hard shoulder, you have to admit. And it gives a whole new meaning to a zebra crossing. If you want to stretch your legs, you can get out and walk around at the observation stops. You can get your culture fix at the Elizabethan Longleat House and test your orientation skills in the hedge maze; navigate your way through 1.7 miles of pathway to the observation tower in the centre. Opening times for the safari park and house vary throughout the year, so you’ll need to check the website before you leave: www.longleat.co.uk.

Bristol Zoo Gardens
Bringing a touch of the exotic to the south-west, Bristol Zoo will celebrate its 175th birthday in 2011. Proving that educational can be fun, the zoo has a full events programme, with talks and interaction with the animals to help you get the most out of your visit. Those who appreciate all things creepy and crawly will love Bug World, or there’s the rather more tranquil Butterfly Forest if that’s not your cup of tea. Whether you want to meet the monkeys, say hi to the hippos or peer at the penguins, Bristol Zoo Gardens won’t disappoint. And as the name suggests, there’s also a rather fine selection of plants. You’ll find an amazing collection of plants from all over the world, including rare species. If you fancy paying a visit to Bristol Zoo Gardens, take a peek at its website: www.bristolzoo.org.uk.

Edinburgh Zoo
Thinking about taking your holidays in Scotland this year? If you’re renting one of our Edinburgh apartments, be sure to pay a visit to Edinburgh Zoo and meet its newest residents: the Malayan Sun Bears: Somnang and Rotana. You’ll recognise them from their distinctive orange horseshoe marking on the chest. Venture into the interactive chimpanzee enclosure, feed the colourful lorikeets, and whatever you do, don’t miss the daily penguin parade! Meet these cheeky chaps as they waddle past and learn all about them from the accompanying talk. As well as the UK’s biggest penguin enclosure, Edinburgh Zoo is also home to the UK’s only koalas. Goonaroo and Yabbra may well catching 40 winks though – koalas sleep for around 21 hours a day! And one more penguin fact: Edinburgh’s Nils Olav (a king penguin) is a mascot of the Norwegian Guards and has risen up the ranks to become Honourable Regimental Sergeant Major. So, now you know! To find out more about the relationship between Edinburgh’s penguins and Norway (as well as other useful stuff like opening hours and prices), visit www.edinburghzoo.org.uk.

Drayton Manor Zoo, Tamworth, Staffordshire
Drayton Manor may be best known for its theme park, but it’s also home to over 100 species of wildlife in 15 acres. Choose Staffordshire for your UK holidays and you’ll find meerkats, big cats, reptiles and more in the heart of England. The reptile house accommodates one of the largest collections of snakes in Britain; not for the faint-hearted! Be sure to pay a house-call to Meerkat Manor and take a step back in time in Dinosaurland. As well as protecting endangered species from around the world, Drayton Manor Zoo is also committed to conserving the British countryside. Staff are currently restoring 17 acres of land on Drayton Estate. The project will see woodlands, meadows, ponds and streams being given a new lease of life. If you’re looking for a unique day out with something to suit all members of the family, Drayton could well be what the doctor ordered. Plan your visit at www.draytonmanor.co.uk.

POSTED BY: EMILY
AT 12:53

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