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“Worth a visit”
Review of Marwell Zoo

Marwell Zoo
Ranked #5 of 68 things to do in Winchester
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Our 140-acre park is home to an incredible range of exotic and endangered species, in beautiful, landscaped surroundings. Just by visiting Marwell Zoo (owned and operated by conservation charity, Marwell Wildlife) you'll be making a big contribution to our projects to conserve species and habitats, both here in Hampshire and around the world. Look out for Lemur Loop, a new walkthrough exhibit opening summer 2017, plus, The Great Brick Safari: An Interactive Experience with LEGO® Bricks EXCLUSIVE to Marwell Zoo 1 Aug - 1 Oct. Our £15-£19 adult entry fee varies across the year and includes a voluntary donation of around 10%. Please check our website for full ticket prices.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Baby buggy parking, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase
Dorking, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
Reviewed 15 May 2014

On the day that I went the weather wasn't too great and it was really windy. Many of the animals were sensible enough to stay indoors but there was still plenty to look at and do. There are several ways to see the park. If you find walking difficult you can use the land train to see the park and it's free. For a small extra charge you can use the miniature steam train . There are some great interactive displays there too - plenty for all ages to enjoy.
It's also good to know that you can take your own picnic if you don't want to use the catering facilities there which like most attractions tend to be a little on the pricey side.
On the whole it's really good value and a great day out

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank teddydiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this review, 16 May 2014
Hello and thank you for taking the time to write your five star review! We are so happy to hear you had a great day out with us even without the best weather. It’s excellent that you were still able to see plenty of our amazing animals and we hope to see you again very soon this year.
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Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“very good zoo, expensive food & gifts”
Reviewed 15 May 2014

This is a very good zoo, with a wide range of animals, some in very good enclosures, with a great emphasis on the endangered species. Lovely savannah style setting by the main cafe which is nice, but the wooden railing does completely obscure it for children and also if you are sat eating, which negates the point of the feature really.

The food, like many of the places is very over priced for what is & service can be quite hit & miss. I have stood waiting with a hungry toddler waiting for 5 minutes for the strict 11.30 food service to start, with all the food sat going dry on the hot plates & the staff embarrassingly stood on the other side of the counter waiting for the clock to tick over, while being told by the superviser not to serve early all while a large queue forming behind me. I'm not a fan of rules for rules sake, especially when it seemed to be detrimental to both customer & business, but there you go! Gift shop is again equally over priced.

The entry isn't cheap but is worth it. There are plenty of indoor and outdoor picnic areas so take your sarnies in all weather. I have a season ticket and it more than saves me the money back over the year.

The only real criticism is that there is not nearly enough information on each animal point, with my main reason for going apart from a fun day out, is education. There are plenty of talks if it fits with your schedule but I always manage to miss them. I think to get older children to focus you could really do with more written up for each animal, especially an animal is asleep, as is a regular occurrence as you can imagine.

I do highly recommend it though as there is lots to do, play grounds and the house grounds are lovely, especially for picnics and a run around. You used to be able to go into the house, so it's a great shame that this has been totally removed in favour of people being able to hire the place out exclusively. I know it's a money earner but would be nice to be able to even just walk into the main hall.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank rachysetty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this review, 5 June 2014
Hello and thank you for sharing your views with us. We are very happy that you had a fun family day out here at Marwell Zoo and that you are making the most of your annual membership.

We are disappointed to hear that you felt our food at Café Graze was overpriced. The food that we offer and provide is all made freshly on the day of purchase, with quality, local ingredients and we ensure we are competitive with other similar attractions both locally and nationally. We regularly review our prices to ensure they remain good value for money for our guests. In regards to our bay opening times, it is correct that food does not start to be served until 11:30 am, this is because we want to ensure all our food is ready for guests and that all options are available – it may be that not all the elements of the full dish you were after were available at that point.

Our entry prices are also comparable to other attractions of this type and as Marwell Wildlife is a charity, we value any surplus that is made throughout the park as it allows us to continue our important conservation work in the UK and overseas.

At each animal enclosure there are signs with various information. It helps us achieve one of our aims which is to educate our guests of our species, especially the ones that are endangered. Each of our signs include information on the animals habitat, scientific name, diet in the wild, conservation status, where they originate, their social structure, if they are hunted and what for, and other fun facts about their body. We do hold daily talks in which guests can listen and learn about the animals. You can find the times of these on our website. Guests can check the talk times at the information kiosk at the entrance of the zoo. Our animals do behave in different ways during the day, as they would in the wild, but they all become more active at different times so it is a good idea for guests to return to the animals throughout the day.

Marwell Hall has never been open to the public as it is used as administration offices. It is available to hire for events such as civil ceremonies and it is where we hold our world class event Christmas at Marwell. Our formal garden located behind the hall is available for our guests to wonder round in.

Again, we are glad that you all enjoyed your visit and we look forward to seeing you again soon this year.
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Guildford, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Poor day out and overpriced”
Reviewed 10 May 2014

We decided that Marwell zoo would be a nice day out. However, when we got there we realised it was an overly large area with little wildlife too see, hardly any animals and most of the indoor viewing areas were closed. We spent nearly all of our time walking and looking at empty enclosures. After 30 minutes we decided that it was a waste of money and asked for our money back, and we're told that they would not give our money back, even though we had only been at the park for such a short time. The issue was not resolved and we ended up leaving without a refund after being told that our complaint would be dealt with at a later date. If you are looking for a good day out I would strongly advise against visiting Marwell Zoo

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Salomon93
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this review, 13 May 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a review following your recent visit to Marwell Zoo.

We cover 140 acres of beautiful countryside and our animals are spaced out to enable them to have large paddocks and areas to roam in. Marwell is home to over 170 species of animals and their houses are never closed to our guests unless it is very close to the parks closing time, the animal is under veterinary care, or maintenance work is being carried out. For these reasons, a sign would be displayed clearly to inform our guests.

It does take at least 4 to 5 hours to see and do everything here so we are disappointed to hear that you decided to leave after the short time of 30 minutes.

We do hope you will visit us again and allow more time to see our amazing animals.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Christchurch, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
71 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Always an excellent day out”
Reviewed 9 May 2014

Living relatively close by we visit Marwell zoo several times a year. We have always seen a large variety of animals and the experience of seeing the leopard cubs grow and develop over the course of the last 12 months has been stunning. A visit to Marwell can involve a reasonable amount of walking, because most of the animals have large enclosures, but there is always the park bus / train for people who cannot walk around. We recommend Marwell to everyone who visits us, no one has been disappointed with the recommendation.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank 52stella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this review, 12 May 2014
Thank you for your five star review! It’s great that you visit us so often, maybe you would like to consider becoming annual members and receiving many great benefits? We love that you have been here to see our amazing snow leopard cubs grow up over time. Marwell Zoo is a great place to come and stretch your legs but as you correctly mentioned we do have a road train running every day for those who would prefer a ride. We are delighted that no one has been disappointed with your recommendations and we look forward to seeing you again very soon.
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Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Half empty zoo?”
Reviewed 6 May 2014

Expected a little more than we got for our Visit,for the price we paid.
Took hours and hours to walk round,Hardly any animals were out to be seen! Never saw One monkey,No Elephants!, the Kangerroo part was closed,Saw one Reptile and a couple of Ants in the Tropical House! Also,Why keep the Zoo open until 6pm,if you can't still view all of the Animals?? Walked for ages to take a look at the Giraffe's,the park was nearish closing time,and as we reached the entrance to the Giraffe house,two members of staff rushed by us and Promptly Closed and locked the doors! Pointing at the sign on the door outside.....Which said "Closes at 5.45pm. Was Quite annoyed that the park was still open till 6pm,but they close parts before the zoo closed,which I think is a silly idea?
Overall,It would had a better visit,had their been more Animals out,and been able to see All Animals until the park closed at 6pm.
It just felt rather Empty of Animals for such a large Zoo.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Leelajay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this review, 13 May 2014
Hello and thank you for taking the time to share your comments following your recent visit to Marwell Zoo. We are very saddened to hear that we did not meet your expectations.

Marwell is home to more than 7 different species of monkeys and they can be found all over the park in various locations. Our animals have the freedom to choose where they want to be, whether it’s in their home resting or outside playing and grazing. Our guests have many angles from which they can see the animals and if they’re unable to see one of our animals, we suggest they return later in the day as there is a good chance the animal will be doing something different at another time.

We do not have elephants here and we have not had Kangaroos for a while now. We do, however, have a Wallaby Walk-Through in our Fur, Feather and Scales exhibit where guests can walk amongst them.

We have many reptiles located at Cold Blooded Corner in Encounter Village such as snakes, tortoises and gila monsters. In Tropical World we have poisonous dart frogs, beetles, a tarantula, a dwarf crocodile, piranhas, over a thousand leaf cutter ants and more.

We do close a few animal houses 15 minutes before closing time to help our guests exit the park before the gates close. We understand that our wildlife park is a large area to walk and it can take some time for our guests to get from an animal house to the exit without having to rush.

We hope you will consider visiting us again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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