Holiday review

Unexpected Staycation Part 1 – Bristol Zoo

Ok, so being a holiday addict I was determined to get some sun before the arrival of baby number 2. The optimist in me booked a trip to Murcia, Spain. Well…I was due to attend a conference in Murcia so we were (as usual!) going to tag a family holiday on. Baby no 2 had other plans….an unexpected pregnancy complication (thankfully nothing serious) meant that I was unable to travel. So back to the drawing board. I may not have been able to go abroad but there was no way I was staying put….I’d only end up doing housework! We settled on doing a bit of UK touristy stuff (quite uncharacteristic for us!). 

Our first trip was to Bristol Zoo. We met up with an old university friend of mine and her two gorgeous children. They now live in Bristol and we’d been meaning to visit the zoo for a while (the British weather had scuppered our plans once before). Parking was incredibly easy – immediately outside the entrance but there is an extra charge for this (take cash for ease). The zoo is very child (and pram) friendly. Its a nice circular route around the zoo so you don’t need to keep checking a map to see which animals you want to see next etc. There is an obvious route. Great baby changing facilities that also include baby feeding stations (with Ikea chairs). These were indoors so great on cooler or wetter days. 

There is a large, spacious picnic area (although a few too many birds for our daughter’s liking!). The food sold was remarkably good but as usual expensive. If you’ve got the time I’d make a picnic (and/or pop to marks and spencer for some treats!). Alternatively, pick up some nice bits in Clifton. 

Its worth buying your tickets in advance, prior to arrival. They are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase so if you need to change your plans for whatever reason (like the weather!) you can do this without it being a problem. They are also cheaper. Having been to London Zoo earlier in the summer (which I found to be over-priced and very disappointing), our day at Bristol Zoo was very pleasant. Great viewing platforms for younger children and lots of opportunities to see animals. The Gorilla enclosure was a particular hit! Penguins a little disappointing…..and smelly!

Now, in the rankings of zoo’s (ok so no such thing actually exists!) it probably wouldn’t be at the top of my list (that would be Hamburg, followed by Copenhagen) but it is a really lovely day out and far better value than London Zoo. 

It could easily be combined with other child friendly activities in Bristol (things like Bristol Habour railway) – after all Bristol is a great city! 





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