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“Big park - big prices - not much fun”
Review of Marwell Zoo

Marwell Zoo
Ranked #13 of 71 things to do in Winchester
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Our 140-acre park is home to an incredible range of exotic and endangered species, in beautiful, landscaped surroundings. Just by visiting Marwell Zoo (owned and operated by conservation charity, Marwell Wildlife) you'll be making a big contribution to our projects to conserve species and habitats, both here in Hampshire and around the world. If you're loopy for lemurs, be sure to look out for Lemur Loop. A walkthrough exhibit opened summer 2017. Coming 2018 - At a cost of £7.8M, our new Tropical House will be the largest exhibit ever built at Marwell. Opening at Easter, guests will be free to share the habitat and enjoy views of new, colourful and charismatic mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects whilst learning about the flow of energy through life. Keep an eye out for new arrivals throughout the year too! Our £15-19 adult entry fee varies across the year and includes a voluntary donation of around 10%. Please check our website for full ticket prices.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Stroller parking
Reviewed February 25, 2014

I know and visited the park since the early days. What has happened to it ?
Only a few enclosures are nicely done up. Most of the animals were not on show - the enclosures werebroken, old and in state of disrepair. The lack of visible animals bored our Grandsons, so the only joy was in the existence of playgrounds. The opened restaurant was overworked and overpriced.
Children meals are misleading and the offered prices weren't held on the till.
The cleaners inside the restaurant couldn't cope with the masses...
Positive was the free tractor ride - but fell short of some rides in the most important times nessesary to run.
No train operating on the day.
The former prime attraction is badly sufffering its attractivity - long way to recover - if at all.

1  Thank Karl8853
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2014

Thank you for your feedback. We are very disappointed to hear that you and your grandsons were unhappy with your experience at Marwell Zoo and that your expectations from visiting in previous years have not been met. Marwell is home to 170 species and whatever the weather, we put our animals welfare first. Accordingly they do have warmer areas in which to rest, if they feel the need, however, most indoor enclosures can still be seen by public to ensure guests get to see all the animals they wanted. Some of our animals are more active at different times of the day. This is why one of our top tips to visitors is to spend at least 4 or 5 hours in the park, going back to animals they may not have seen the first time. Whenever new animal exhibits are created we always bear in mind the experience of our guests, as is demonstrated at our latest enclosures like the Walk-In Aviary, Coati enclosure and Penguin Cove. We have a very detailed program of maintenance and any enclosures or exhibits that appear in a state of disrepair would be high on the list of priorities for refurbishment. The main catering outlet Café Graze offers a wide variety of hot or cold food, promoting local produce and giving generous portions for their prices. We are delighted that your grandson enjoyed the playgrounds and the free tractor ride that runs all day. Our rail train is undergoing repair and is expected to be running again for Easter Holidays. We hope to see you again soon later in the year.

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Reviewed February 24, 2014 via mobile

I visited the zoo with my friend and her 4yr old son and will say that we were all quite unimpressed (4yr old excluded).
We found that a lot of the animals were 'moving house' and thus not a lot of animals were able to be seen.
Whilst walking around, there seemed to be a lot of refurbishment going on but we couldn't help noticing that other areas were being neglected.
Whilst we appreciate it is out of season, there is no excuse to let standards slip.
My friend commented that it was a great place to visit a few years ago and did hold season tickets until now.
We felt that some of the enclosures were not big enough for some of the animals and the penguin pool could do with a clean.
I have rated average because entrance price was good as 'you get what you pay for', the animals are clearly well looked after and my friends' son did enjoy yhe play park and the train!
I think once refurbishment is complete it will be a good day out but until then I would not recommend.

1  Thank Helen K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2014

Thank you for your comments. We are glad your friend’s son enjoyed his day out here at Marwell Zoo. However, we are unhappy to hear that you and your friend were unimpressed with your visit. At Marwell, we continuously look for ways in which we can improve our animal’s homes. One of our top tips for guests is to spend at least 4 to 5 hours in the park, revisiting particular animals that you may not have seen the first time round. Some may be quietly resting, while later in the day they become more active. Occasionally, during the winter season, our animals prefer to stay in their warm houses, most of which are still within public view, so guests can still receive a great experience. Our keepers regularly clean enclosures to maintain a hygienic and presentable environment for the animals. We are happy that you agree our animals are well looked after and that our entry price is good. We hope to see you again soon this year, maybe when the weather warms up!

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Reviewed February 22, 2014 via mobile

I have been visiting marwell zoo now for over 30 years and have always loved it. I visited for my daughters 1st Birthday 2 years ago and was really disappointed in how the zoo stood, I vowed never to return. Today my family decided to give it one last chance in case it was just a one off but no it was worse, there is absolutely no life to the zoo there is no vibrancy or atmosphere, it is the most boring place I have ever been. Marwell was never like this it used to be amazing, but now it has just gone completely the wrong way with loads of horrible "restaurants" ( that can barely be classed as bad canteens) it seems a purse string holder now runs marwell, with high entry prices and more interest in taking more of your money than you actually seeing any animals or having a good experience. I really does just look like a big field with a load of fences in and one or two animals badly placed, the zoo is way to spaced out especially when you don't see any animals as it seems like you are just wandering around a field. Please whoever you are who now runs marwell zoo go away and run a premier inn or something as this is now just as soulless! Put Marwell back to how it used to be, all I could hear as I was walking around was people complaining about how boring it was and how there where no animals to be seen, as an avid conservationist I more than aware that the animals are there for conservation and not for the entertainment of humans, but to fund this conservation effort you need money from paying customers, hence why you run a zoo, and to get that money you need to offer a great experience and I am very sad to say that you no longer offer that experience. Take a look at what Cotswold zoo or whipsnade do, as they wipe the floor with Marwell. I will never visit again even if I was given a free lifetime pass as I would just be wasting my life!

5  Thank Lecutus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2014

Thank you for your feedback. We are very disappointed to hear you did not enjoy your visit on Saturday. At Marwell Zoo we aim to deliver a warm and welcoming atmosphere to our guests, involving all aspects of the park. This was recognised in our recent silver award for Large Attraction of the Year in the South East. We have 170 species of animals and many interactive elements situated around our beautiful grounds and landscapes. The catering services we offer guests consist of various outlets. The main outlet is Café Graze, providing a wide variety of food from hot meals to cold snacks and a good choice of hot and cold drinks. Other outlets support by providing a selection of snacks, drinks and ice creams. Any surplus that is made throughout the park is put back into our hard work and conservation. Marwell Zoo is set in 140 acres of brilliant countryside and as our vision is to live in balance with nature we consider this environment to be very important. Our paddocks are large for our animals to roam in, giving them a lot of freedom and space. Our newer developments such as Fur, Feather and Scales mimic the animals natural habitat and allow us to minimise the barrier between them and our guests. One of our top tips to visitors is to spend at least 4 to 5 hours in the park, revisiting enclosures, to ensure you get to see all animals as some may be quietly resting. We do offer great experiences for our guests, particularly when events are running in the park, such as our bird of prey shows over Easter and Rise of the Dinosaurs starting 23rd May. We hope you will change your mind about us and consider returning for these special events this year.

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Reviewed February 21, 2014

We visited Marwell half term with our 2 grand daughters aged 9 and 11.It was 30 plus years since my last visit. It is much busier but there are more attractions and the animals all seemed happy.The staff mostly young were helpful and pleasant despite being very busy. The only negative was the café which was expensive and not much choice, if the weather was warmer we would have taken a picnic.Could have easily spent a whole day there.

Thank trixey60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2014

Thank you for your comments, we are delighted to recieve five stars from you! It's great that you and your two grand daughters enjoyed your visit here. Café Graze offers a wide variety of food from hot meals to cold snacks, along with a large choice of hot or cold drinks so we are disappointed to hear nothing took your fancy. We hope to see you again very soon this year!

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Reviewed February 21, 2014

Visited a few weeks ago whilst in the area. Was a great day out, it was very cold and windy but we still had fun. As it was out of season some of the animals were either hiding or their enclosures in the process of being moved but we still saw the majority! Could not see any sign of animals being in distress and ALL animals had adequate enclosures! Will definitely visit again but probably in the summer when its warmer to walk around!

Thank nkee_298
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2014

Thank you very much for your five star review! We are delighted to hear you had a great experience on your day out here at Marwell Zoo and enjoyed seeing our animals, despite the weather! We look forward to seeing you again later this year.

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