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“A Good Day Out”

Bristol Zoo Gardens
Ranked #13 of 212 things to do in Bristol
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: At Bristol Zoo Gardens you can enjoy an amazing world of animals, all within our award-winning 12 acre gardens. With over 400 species and 9 animals houses under cover, you'll enjoy your visit whatever the weather. We suggest you allow 2-5 hours for your visit to really take in everything we have to offer.By visiting Bristol Zoo you will be directly contributing to the conservation of endangered species and habitats.
Reviewed September 9, 2013

We took our two grandsons aged 9 & 7 to the zoo at the end of the school holidays in August. Having not visited the zoo for around thirty years and having read some not so flattering reviews we decided to risk it.
We were directed to an overflow car park where we ate our picnic in the car as it was spotting with rain and then walked across the field and down the path to the main road.
We were given a small leaflet with maps etc. and an activity book for the children I think for two adults and two children the cost was slightly under £50.
I had heard that the zoo was tired and needed updating and in parts I would agree but generally the surroundings were well tended and the only place that was disappointing was the outside eating area by the cafe which was covered with litter and the tables were dirty. We ate ice creams which were good quality and from what I could see of the food on offer in the cafe it looked good.
There is a wonderful play park for children catering for all age groups and an activity centre. For the summer there was a dinosaur trail which feature dinosaurs which move and spray water a great hit !
The animals were all well cared for , there was an excellent seal and penguin coast where we were entertained first by the penguins and then by the seals being fed. We also saw the lemurs having their tea which was fascinating. Meerkat Lookout was brilliant and there the animals were behaving in a natural way with one on lookout and several digging away whilst some slept and looked after the babies.The best thing of all for us had to be the new gorilla house......it had just opened a couple of weeks before our visit and I would give it 10/10. The animals can be seen clearly and they are able to climb up to a second floor which has see through panels on the floor so we were able to watch their antics as they played and chased each other around. The highlight has to be when one of them went to the toilet right above our heads much to the delight of two little boys!
All in all we had a lovely day out at Bristol zoo and I think if they continue to improve as they have been doing then it will be a zoo for the South West to be proud of.

1  Thank Janice M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 9, 2013

I so remember Johnny Morris at Bristol Zoo on TVs 'Animal Magic' but times have changed at our expectations of animal welfare has changed and so given its small size Bristol Zoo seems to have lost its purpose and animals were disappointingly thin on the ground. I'm sure the staff do a fantastic job with what they have to work with but it's now too small in area to be a big attraction zoo. You may be luckier than I was and get to see more of the animals that they do have, but perhaps this is a zoo whose time has past

1  Thank BrightonRoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013

Visited the Zoo with a group of friends, the group included two children aged 9 & 14, and 6 adults ranging in age from 22-60. We booked online the evening before which included a 10% discount. However we did not notice the voluntary 10% donation which could have made tickets even less. This is automatically added and you have to delete the tick in the box if you don't want this, think this should be the other way around, a bit misleading. Also no discount for families as with most attractions. On arrival the parking facilities and paying the extra £3 was a bit of a nuisance. The entrance into the parking with the attendant taking the money at the entrance and people not being prepared did cause congestion on the road outside. So not ideal. Some information boards a short distance away would have been helpful. First thing in the morning a lot of the animals couldn't be seen, so it is worthwhile to walk around at different times and plan your day to make use of the talks and feeds, to have the advantage of seeing more. The gorillas talk and feed was a particular favourite of our group.I thought the range of animals for the size of the zoo was good, and there are also other activities for children. As a child I do remember elephants giraffes, camels, tigers and the polar bear, however I was actually quite pleased the zoo didn't contain these bigger animals that always seemed so sad in these confined spaces. We did take our own picnic and sat in the picnic area to have this, but the food was quite pricey if purchasing. There were plenty of toilet facilities. Some of the enclosures would have been a bit difficult to enter and exit with pushchairs and wheelchairs, those with double security doors where the animals were loose. But don't know how the zoo could really have improved on this. We did ask on arrival about locker facilities for our picnic bags, but these are only available to school groups. As we were visiting on a Sunday would be useful to make these lockers available to other visitors on a weekend, I'm sure people would not mind paying a small fee of £1 not to carry their bags around all day. Overall we all had an enjoyable day out.

Thank Helen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013

This zoo has changed greatly. Gone are most of the big animals and loads of concrete. We now have a much more friendly zoo for all age groups. The Gorilla/monkey house was being rebuild so there were very few primates to see. The gardens were looking splendid and clearly a lot of hard work goes into this. Although there were several parties of young school children there were no problems seeing the exhibits. Full marks to the teachers.

Thank Paul H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2013

I cannot believe that this zoo is rated so highly. Upon walking into the zoo, they have some black figures of animals mounted onto the entrance which include rhinos, elephants, ostrich, camels, bears, tigers etc...when they have NONE of these animals here!! False advertising at its best people. Don't get me wrong, they did have some interesting animals there, aye aye, sloth, raccoon and the twilight zone was good but unfortunately it ended there. The zoo is very small with small selection of animals, some in pretty dirty/small enclosures. After 2 hours of being there, We walked round three times saying 'this cant be it surely?!' We probably saw about 20/30 animals and we spent ages hopelessly walking round looking for elephants/camels/ tigers before we realised that they didn't actually have any. It's not bad pricing for zoo entry, although having to pay £3 to park is a joke (seriously we didn't have any change and didn't know what to really do after driving for 3 hours just to get to bristol) and reached a very rude old man who called himself a car park attendant who just grunted at us. We had a great time at the outdoor cinema viewing of anchorman which really, is this zoos only saving grace. Why it is rated second best in the uk ill never know, it's no where near as good as twycross/ Chester/ London. Just to also let everyone know, take your own food! We paid £22 for a fish pie and a jacket potato with 2 soft drinks. Go to Chester zoo.

2  Thank chloe b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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