day trip to Twycross zoo - Bubbablue and me

Monkey fun at Twycross Zoo

At the end of the Easter holidays I wanted us to go on a nice day trip to finish off the break.  N wasn’t keen to leave the farm, but I suggested a couple of options and Twycross Zoo made the grade in his eyes.  We’re lucky where we live because we’re able to get to a lot of places within an hour.  Early on a Saturday morning, we had no traffic issues round Birmingham getting to Twycross.

day trip to Twycross zoo - Bubbablue and me

Although it was a lovely sunny morning, and a Saturday during school holidays, we didn’t have to queue for long to get entry tickets.  I never book in advance because of the weather and N’s temperament on the day, but if you did there was an alternative entrance to fast track in.

We were given a map of the site, and then could decide when and where we wanted to go.  The one thing about zoos (and other places) is that sometimes you can’t see the sensible route around and you aimlessly wander from place to place.  It would be nice if maps would sometimes show different routes you can take, rather than you having to back track.  Most people want to see everything, so following a trail could be useful for some of us who like a bit more structure.  Of course it didn’t worry N, but we did spend a lot of time going back and forth when we spotted things.

The animals at Twycross Zoo

We started off with the monkeys.  N wasn’t that excited about them, but once we saw the gorillas and gibbons later on he was much more interested in their athletic swinging, filming them himself, and asking lots of questions about what they were doing and why they were different, and just generally giving me a commentary on their activity.

monkey hugs at Twycross zoo

The giant tortoises were a surprise hit with N.  We watched them moving from inside, through their door out into the open air.  We spent a lot of time watching them and even returned later on in the day.

giant tortoise at Twycross Zoo

N spotted the picnic area with the playground train on so he had some time playing on that before we moved on.

climbing on the play trains at Twycross zoo

The zebras didn’t hold much interest, but the giraffes were gorgeous.  It was a nice walk round to get closer to the elephants, with some lovely wooden walkways and information posted as you walk round past little huts and stop points.

eating giraffe at Twycross zoo
zebra at twycross zoo

We didn’t really get near the elephants, but N did get excited to point out that one was trying to cool himself down with a puddle of water.

watching the elephants at Twycross zoo
running by the elephants at Twycross zoo

The blossom around the zoo was beautiful so I had to snap away much to N’s annoyance. ‘No more photos mummy, come on follow me’.

pink blossom at twycross zoo
purple flower and rain drop at Twycross zoo
bright tropical flowers at Twycross zoo

While it was a warm morning we were there, it wasn’t warm enough to get stripped down for N to go in the water play area.  If you’re visiting Twycross Zoo in summer, then definitely take swim wear for the children because the water area did look fun.  I didn’t notice any changing areas though so I presume it’s just get them changed in nearby toilets or outside?

There’s numerous ice cream and drinks kiosks around the zoo and we did stop for an ice cream.  Get your money out though because the ice cream options aren’t cheap, even the children’s options.

ice creams at Twycross zoo

N’s other favourite animals were the penguins.  He loved them, as did lots of other children.  You could get fairly close to where the humbolt penguins were standing at the edge of their enclosure, and could stand alongside the underwater windows to spot them swimming by.  N loved running alongside and waiting for them to pop up and spot them.  Great fun and easy entertainment for children.

humbolt penguins at twycross zoo
watching swimming penguins at Twycross Zoo

Eating out at Twycross

Once we’d had our fill of walking around and spotting all the animals it was time for some lunch.  Oddly, you have to exit towards the shop to get to the main restaurant.  There is a smaller one in the middle of the zoo but there wasn’t much choice.  We had our hand stamped to get back in, although it was a bit of a mystery to work out which way to head out (exit signs, or a re-entry point sign might have been handy.  It was the fast track booth, but then you had people coming in and out in both directions, and when we headed back in for a bit after lunch, the booth was shut anyway.  Mystery!

The main restaurant is quite large with plenty of tables, and you’re able to overlook the snow leopard’s enclosure which was nice to see.  Foodwise there was a variety of hot meals to choose from, plus lunchboxes for kids (just under a fiver for 5 items), and then baguettes or paninis (although I couldn’t work out where the latter were). I would say don’t choose the egg mayo baguettes unless you like onion in them – a bit of a surprise and not really a good mix in my opinion!  There’s also a standalone coffee takeaway part where you can buy delicious looking cakes from.

N spent a lot of the trip begging to go in the soft play area, but it was an additional cost so I refused.  It wasn’t that large, and for the amount of time he’d spend in there it wasn’t worth the money for me.  But watch out for the pester power because N was a pain in the backside about it!

After lunch we had a bit more time so headed to the explorer zone to investigate the pet area and outdoor play areas.  N refused to have a go (see above, he was still moaning about soft play), but the climbing frames and equipment looked quite good.

compare yourself to a gorilla picture

You can walk through a goat walkway but N refused, but other small children were loving it being able to stroke the goats.  We did race through the pet areas which included rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets and more, including some tiny donkeys outside that were watched being fed.

donkeys at Twycross Zoo

On the way back out to the car we managed to catch a look at the leopard circling round.

big cat at twycross zoo
gibbons at Twycross Zoo

We really enjoyed our visit to Twycross Zoo.  They certainly do great conservation work, here’s a good variety of animals too see and it’s a small enough site for walking comfortably round, but large enough to not feel too busy.

Have you ever been? Are you a fan of zoos?

Why not take a look at these local visit ideas:


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  1. We are huge huge fans of the zoo. This one sounds like a fun family day out. Looks like it was nice for you. Love the giraffe captures so cute. #sharewithme

  2. Gosh this brings back memories – I am from Leicestershire originally so this was the location of many a school trip and family day out !

    Thanks for linking to #sharewithme – hope to see you next week

  3. That looks like a lovely day out and your photos are beautiful. Love the ones of the giraffes and the one of N watching the giant tortoises. Having an extra charge for the soft play is a bit annoying though and the suggestion about having a route marked on the map is a good one.

    1. Thanks Louise. I’m pleased with the photos. I think if the soft play had been huge and something a bit different then maybe the extra cost isn’t so bad. But it was a bit small

  4. We weren’t that impressed when we visited last year. It just didn’t feel like Whipsnade does and felt as if the Monkey’s especially were really enclosed. I know they’ve finished a new area since we were there, but I didn’t leave with a burning desire to return #CountryKids

    1. Yep giant tortoises go down really well here. Easy to follow around. I never really think of zoos but they’re a pretty fun day out.

      Nice to catch up the other day at Blogcamp.

  5. It looks like a really good zoo with so much to see. I would love the Penguins bit too. Edinburgh has an amazing one with a penguin parade. The onion in the egg baguette is a bit weird!

    1. We didn’t get to Edinburgh zoo when we had a break up there, but then we went pre-N. It’s more a family day out I suppose.

  6. Twycross looks a lovely day out and plenty to see and do. A guided map with a suggested route sounds like it would have been helpful but it looks like you managed to find everything. I’m with N, the penguins and giraffes are my favourite at a zoo, they have so much character though the monkeys and gorillas can be funny too. The soft play with a charge sounds a bit of a nightmare, I should think every parent gets pestered about it but it does sound a waste when you have paid to see the animals. Those donkeys look just like ours. Thank you for sharing a lovely looking day with me on #CountryKids

    1. I think I may have had a map, but with an easy route to follow would be good so you don’t miss anything. The soft play and main restaurant are outside the entrance too so it’s a faff to go in and back out again to go there.

  7. Looks like a lovely day out. We used to be zoo members when the oldest two were young but haven’t been in years. I think we need to visit one soon x

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