Back in May we visited Edinburgh Zoo for Sophia's third birthday as she is animal crazy. We decided to travel to the Zoo via train as like most toddlers she loves trains and is always asking to go on them, the journey from Newcastle takes just over an hour and the tickets were really cheap at around £15 each return. I have visited Edinburgh many times in the past but I have never actually been to the zoo before, I had no idea it was so close to the city centre. We hopped on a bus outside of Waverly train station that dropped us right outside the Zoo five minutes later.
We had pre-booked are tickets online (£53.50 for a family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children, under 3's go free) so when we arrived at the entrance I just showed the reservation details on my mobile and we were given a map and confirmation details of are booking to see the panda's. As soon as we exited the entrance we walked through the pelican enclosure and then went to see the meerkats, which were a huge hit with my two toddlers. Walking around we were impressed with how clean and tidy the zoo was and all the enclosures looked well maintained and close to the animals natural habitats, with great indoor and outdoor viewing points. When walking around we did notice that a lot of the enclosures seemed to be empty though which was a shame.
We then headed to see the Koala bears although all three of them were asleep in their trees when we visited. It was still amazing to see a Koala bear up close though, sadly one of them died recently. We headed up a very steep hill to see the Tiger who was indoors, probably due to the cold but we did catch a glimpse of him through the bars of his enclosure. We did see the lion though who was lying down in his enclosure near the glass viewing platform which Sophia was amazed at.
Sophia and Jacob both fell in love with the penguins when they seen them, the enclosure was huge with indoor, outdoor and underwater viewing points. Lots of the penguins were sitting in nests with baby chicks or eggs when we visited, baby penguins are so cute! We were lucky enough to catch the penguins at feeding time when they all swam out the water at once, much to Sophia and Jacob's delight.
The monkey house was also a massive hit with Sophia as she adored seeing the monkeys climbing about and eating, the look of sheer joy on her face was priceless as she ran around trying to see them all.
As soon as we left the pandas enclosure we were back at penguin rock just in time for the penguin parade, which happens each day at 2.15pm. The penguin parade only happens if the penguins want to come out, luckily they did the day that we visited. All the visitors had to form a barrier around the walkway and then some of the penguins came out the enclosure and walked around the paths right in front of us, Sophia, Jacob and Chloe were amazed by this and it was defiantly the highlight of their day.
On are way out of the zoo we visited the gift shop and we let each of the children choose a soft toy each to take home, Chloe and Jacob both picked penguins and Sophia picked a panda. I think the soft toys were about £15 each but they are nice momentous of the day.
We had a really lovely family day out at the zoo and my one year old, three year old and 13 year old all really enjoyed it. It was a lovely zoo to visit and so easy to get to from Edinburgh city centre, we will certainly be returning one day soon.
One thing worth noting though is that the Zoo is very hilly and while Sophia walked most of the time she did end up having to go in the buggy or have a carry every now and then as she was so tired, it is very accessible though with a buggy. Also as we visited on a weekday during term time there seemed to be so many big school groups and it was difficult for my toddlers to get to see some animals as the groups of school children kept getting in the way.
We also made a little video of are day out if you would like to watch it below.
Have you visited Edinburgh Zoo before ?