We left Bournemouth just after 8am and it took just over two hours to get to London Zoo by car from Bournemouth. Parking was a little pricey (£14.50 for the day), but then this is central London after all!
We unpacked the car and headed towards the entrance where we met up with some other bloggers, including my good friend Laura from TiredMummyofTwo and the headed into the zoo.
|The #VMDayOut bloggers|
We were immediately greeted by the statue of Guy Gorilla, one of the best loved animals from the zoo’s history. My children saw fit to do their best Gorilla impressions rather than pose nicely for the camera.
ZSL London Zoo is over 200 acres in size, and it is entirely up to you which direction you choose to go and explore first. Thankfully they provide a very easy to follow map, and we headed off in search of things to see.
We started off gently we some monkey’s and even some ducks……..
and then went in search of the Galapagos Tortoise – can you spot the real one?
|I’m not sure the Tortoise signed up for this|
The zoo is very interactive, as you can see by the above pictures, with examples of shells, skins and fur on display so the children can learn what the animals actually feel like.
Isaac loves Snakes and Lizards, but only if they are safely behind glass, so the next stop was the Reptile House. He spent ages studying each one, delighted if the appeared to move or acknowledge him.
|Red Titi Monkey’s – yes, really!!|
|The Bat Cave|
|Watching the Penguins “Fly” past|
|Fascinated by Leaf Cutter Ants hard at work|
By far the most entertaining part of the day, was a visit to the Butterfly House. The butterflies flew amongst us and took a shine to Kian in his bright cardigan, much to his disgust. One particularly large blue one would not leave him alone, but unfortunately I was too busy laughing to capture the moment on my camera.
Isaac went into panic mode, and had to be half walked, half carried out as he didn’t like the butterflies!
By this time, Eliza was exhausted and having run everywhere all day so she passed out in her buggy.
Abbey and Kian marched off ahead, but Isaac was too busy playing with a Polar Bear statue so we fell behind. We noticed a small crowd ahead and decided to see what was going on, and came across the most beautiful Owl.
I swear it was eyeing up Isaac as potential lunch though!
|Mmmmm – Lunch!|
We were almost done for the day and the sun was starting to go down and there was a definite chill in the air. We headed for another indoor attraction and Isaac fell in love with an Armadillo who was pacing his cage and burrowing under a log, onto to re-appear out the other side seconds later.
|Armadillo – crunchy on the outside!! LOL|
I then managed to start a rendition of Alice the Camel and can only apologise to the other patrons – oops!!
Finally it was the monkey walk through. Abbey took Isaac through as Eliza was still asleep in the buggy and buggy’s are not allowed in. Apparently Isaac was talking to all the monkey’s as he went through and was even offered a job!!
Last but not least, Isaac got to make himself a badge and then we headed back to the shop and then the car, exhausted but full of talk about what we had seen.
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at London Zoo, and although it doesn’t offer as much freedom to run around for the kids as some other places do, it didn’t feel too busy or overcrowded. My one grumble however (apart from the cost of the food), was the cleanliness of the toilet facilities. They were pretty awful by the end of the day, although on the whole the zoo was clean and tidy.
I must say a huge thank you to Virgin Money for such a fantastic day out and congratulations on being voted “Best Online Travel Insurance Provider 2012″ at the Money Direct Awards. If you are going abroad, it is well worth checking out their offers as annual cover starts from just £35.20 and kids are covered free (up to 3 under 18′s per insured adult). In addition to this you get access to some fantastic Virgin Group discounts including 5% off Virgin Holidays, 13% off airport parking and 10% off car hire!!
If you want to see what the other bloggers thought, check out the hashtag #VMDayOut on twitter – there are some fab photo’s to be seen and you can find other posts on our day out by checking out the links below:
Oh – and check out what ZSL London Zoo’s Mort the Monkey and Alex the Lion did the very next day after coming home with us here!