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“Excellent Penguins.”

Bristol Zoo Gardens
Ranked #14 of 215 things to do in Bristol
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: At Bristol Zoo Gardens you can enjoy an amazing world of animals, all within our award-winning 12 acre gardens. With over 400 species and 9 animals houses under cover, you'll enjoy your visit whatever the weather. We suggest you allow 2-5 hours for your visit to really take in everything we have to offer.By visiting Bristol Zoo you will be directly contributing to the conservation of endangered species and habitats.
Reviewed 6 May 2014

Visited on Bank Holiday Monday, and was glad to see that an early start was worth it - there was barely any queue at 9.45am, so we got straight in. The parking had been stress free too, but if the main car park fills there's the overflow car park on Clifton Downs.

The zoo itself was great. The layout is reasonably logical, and the collection of animals is pretty varied and often esoteric - great to see okapis and cassowaries, as they're not that common in zoos. The pair of Asiatic lions were grumpy looking, but then lions always are - their enclosure was pretty sizable and was filled with diversions. The meerkats were obviously cute, but it was the gorillas that really sold me on the zoo. The gorilla enclosure is huge, and includes a building with a reinforced glass ceiling, allowing you to be underneath a silverback as it chows down on a selection of fruit. It was quite a sight to see a keeper handing fruit to a giant ape, right above our heads. The gorilla eyed us with disinterest, but in the brief moments of eye contact (you really very close to them) it was easy to spot that glimmer of sentience that they have.

The penguin enclosure was similarly great - really well designed, with a little track around the edge that the penguins waddle speedily around, at head height for visitors, allowing us to get that little bit closer to them.

However, the cafe was crowded, and had only the one queue for drinks and food, which seemed a little short-sighted, and there were one-too-many vending machines dotted around, but generally the park was a great day out.

Thank Petesire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"butterfly house"
in 88 reviews
"large animals"
in 74 reviews
"sea lions"
in 66 reviews
"gorilla enclosure"
in 62 reviews
"red pandas"
in 35 reviews
"asiatic lions"
in 34 reviews
"twilight zone"
in 32 reviews
"conservation work"
in 32 reviews
"feeding times"
in 36 reviews
"packed lunch"
in 46 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 65 reviews
"enclosures"
in 347 reviews
"seal"
in 119 reviews
"picnic"
in 352 reviews
"talks"
in 232 reviews
"monkeys"
in 116 reviews
"species"
in 67 reviews
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2,219 - 2,223 of 3,080 reviews

Reviewed 5 May 2014

enjoyed a sunny family visit. Lots to see and wasn't too busy. Although parking is a problem. Only 2 small car parks, had to park up at the top of the hill on the Downs and with 3 small children was a challenge at the end of the day. Take a picnic, loads of places to chill out and not pay the usual hiked prices in the food areas. You can get up close to most of the animals, which really pleased the children

Thank Jones7778
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2014

There is plenty to see, and the surroundings are beautiful. Flowers and shrubs, well kept lawns, and plenty of seats. Very impressed with the conservation and breeding projects involving the zoo. Penguin chicks reintroduced into the wild in South Africa was especially interesting, and I spent quite a while watching the penguins, both in their enclosure and under water swimming. Butterfly Forrest warm and fluttery. Pleasant and well informed volunteer told me about the pupae collection for visitors to handle. Bank Holiday Saturday, but not over run. Many young families having an nice trip out. Would certainly revisit. Lovely situation in leafy Clifton.

Thank Millie024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2014

I used to come to Bristol Zoo as a child and then brought my children here but haven't been for many years. What a transformation! My grand-daughter loved it. The development has been inspired with such a good use of space, obviously a great deal of research undertaken to find out what kids really want to do and was just a great day out. The animals seem contented, the monkeys and gorillas entertaining and the extra attractions to amuse children are really good. The play area is good and the zip wire and 'Go Ape' course is great for older children. There is even a water area with streams and man-made waterfall for little ones to paddle in. I wished we had known about this and remembered to pack a towel but this didn't deter my 5 year old grand-daughter who couldn't wait to get stuck in. Of course, a beautiful sunny day helped but I'm sure we would have had a great time anyway, whatever the weather. The only gripe is with the catering. The restaurant only serves hot food until 2.30 pm I think it was and the kiosks had sold out of stuff and were packing up at 4.00 pm. For the number of visitors attending, this needed to be addressed. We had taken a picnic with us but wanted something more substantial before we left and could not find anything.

1  Thank PatriceCardiff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 May 2014 via mobile

I visited the zoo with some friends and we had a fab day. We saw all animals the gorillas being our favourite and although there were some alterations being made it made no difference to our visit. Great cafe cakes and coffee lots of loos and really a lovely place to visit.

1  Thank Sally M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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