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“Great day out”
Review of Marwell Zoo

Marwell Zoo
Ranked #3 of 71 things to do in Winchester
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
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: Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Baby buggy parking, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 2 August 2014

Good variety of animals, informative details of the various animals. Easy to walk round, everything well spaced out. Food and service at Graze Cafe was good. Dinosaur trail was a hit as it helped us follow a route and answer the questions as well as taking us past all the animals and the play areas. The four children (ages 4 - 8) thought it was great as well as Grandparents & Mum. All ended the day tired but happy.
Parking was easy and well organised.

Thank ImbiberBampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded 13 August 2014

Hello and thank you for taking the time to leave your wonderful comments after your visit. We are so pleased that the day was enjoyed by all in your family seeing our animals and having fun walking round our park. It’s great that you found the food and service at Café Graze good and brilliant to hear that the dinosaur trail was a big hit! We hope to see you all again very soon.

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Reviewed 31 July 2014 via mobile

Marwell doesn't change it's the same year in year out! I tried very hard to ensure my 5yr old experience of a zoo was fantastic. He was bored within minutes as the majority of animals were hiding or too far away to get him to focus among the foliage etc etc! He was more interested in spotting the plastic dinosaurs around the zoo & obviously the gift shop! An expensive day out not to be repeated. Also night visits/parties need to be stopped, give the animals a break.

Thank Flex27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2014

Hello and thank you for taking the time to leave us a review following your visit.

There is something different each year at Marwell Zoo for all to enjoy. After last year’s new Fur, Feather & Sclaes exhibit, new snow leopard cubs and successful Go Rhinos project, this year we have introduced Rise of the Dinosaurs and many other newborns to the park. Marwell is continuing to develop and improve each year with new enclosures and exhibits so we are disappointed to hear that you think it’s the same every year.

We are unhappy that your 5 year old son was less interested in our animals. Most young guests enjoy trying to seek out the animal in its environment as it adds to their fun and helps them to interact. We like to make the animals enclosures as close to their natural habitat as possible. This means that they have various objects to hide behind such as vegetation and climbing structures. However, most of our exhibits have numerous viewpoints and enable the guest to get a good look. We do advise that you look very carefully for the animal and return to it later in the day.

Our animatronic dinosaurs have proven to be very popular this year, especially with the children so we are pleased to hear that your son did enjoy these.

We consistently review our prices within the park to ensure that we are in line with other attractions of this type in the region. As Marwell Wildlife is a charity, all surplus gets put straight back into our hard work which helps us achieve our vital conservation objectives.

This year we have hosted 3 public events during the evening when, naturally, most of our animals are more active. Animal welfare is at the forefront of everything we do, including our Sunset Party in the Park events and Dream Night.

We hope you will consider visiting us again.

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Reviewed 31 July 2014

Marwell Wildlife is an amazing place! Its a huge wildlife park with Animals, Bird's and other creatures from all around the world! A few years ago it was called Marwell Zoo, but I am so glad they became more of a wildlife park because it makes the experience so much more amazing. I went with my family, back a few months ago after the winter, on the first nice day of the year, was a great day out (defo best in the sunshine or when it's not raining)! Was extremely happy to see such large spaces for animals!! I had noticed they had refurbished larges areas of the park with a great cafe and one of the largest Meerkat areas I've even seen in the UK! The free tractor ride is always fun and saves your legs if your their all day! Don't forget to see the marwell house & gardens too, nice quiet spot in the park for a picnic on a nice day! Thanks Marwell!

1  Thank DrakeNJosh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2014

Hello and thank you for taking the time to leave us a great review following your visit.

We are very pleased that you had an amazing day with us seeing all of our wonderful animals in their spacious environments. It’s great that you enjoy our free road train rides and finding a nice, relaxing spot by Marwell Hall.

We hope to see you again very soon.

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Reviewed 29 July 2014

First of all it's not a Zoo ,it's a quest game :"Find an animals". Park is big but there not a lot animals in enclosures. It's more likely looks like a park for a picnic .Bring your own food and drinks(SMALL Bottle of water 1.50£)!!! Food there is overpriced.Rise of the dinosaurs -nothing special, just a mechanical plastic models of dinosaurs in the bushes. Some make a noise .We were not impressed. So if u happy to pay 19£ p/p for the walk in the park and be an animals detective ,it's a right place !

3  Thank Roman V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2014

Hi there, thank you for reviewing us after your visit.

We are disappointed that you had trouble finding our animals in their environments. We have over 170 different species of endangered and exotic animals spread across 140 acres of our beautiful land. We aim to make our animals enclosures as similar to their natural habitats as possible and this involves including plenty of vegetation and climbing structures. Whilst we realise that balancing this with how easy it is for a guest to see the animal is important, there’s still is a chance the animal could be hiding behind these objects, preventing a guest from seeing them. This is why it is a good idea to spend at least 4 to 5 hours here, returning to exhibits throughout the day.

We are disappointed to hear that you felt our food and drink was overpriced, as we regularly review our costs to ensure that we are in line with other attractions of this type. We also base our pricing on the quality of what we offer. All of our hot meals and sandwiches are prepared freshly on the day of purchase with quality, local ingredients.

We are very saddened that our special event this year, Rise of the Dinosaurs, didn’t impress you. So far our amazing, life-like, animatronic dinosaurs have been proving to be a big hit, especially with our younger guests.

Guests do have the choice of whether to opt out of the donation, making the entrance fee cheaper, so we do hope to see you again.

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Reviewed 28 July 2014 via mobile

Myself, my husband and my 2 yr old visited the zoo looking forward to a fun day out.
It turned out to be really disappointing.
First we were asked if it was ok if 10% of our entrance fee went to gift aid. We agreed, but the cashier failed to tell us that it would cost us more.
We ended up paying £19 each to get in.
Then they asked if we wanted to purchase a map for another £2.99! Surely this should be included in the price. We didn't purchase one, and we didn't need one.
First of all the grounds looked lovely. We had a picnic at the picnic area which was really nice.
We then went to the first enclosure which had loads of penguins swimming around. They were fantastic. Plenty of viewing stations, so lots of people could watch them. My son loved them. We got some lovely photos of him laughing at the penguins. These are the only photos we got all day.
After that there wasn't much more to see except the giraffes.
The park is large and as you walk round you have fields and enclosures on either side.
The problem is the enclosures are well and truly enclosed. You have to try and see in through trees and bushes. Why have trees and bushes on the visitors side? Either that or there were fences around them with windows to look through. This means only a couple of people at a time can look through.
The other problem was there was either no animals in the enclosures or just one or two. Usually when you visit a zoo, there are plenty of animals in each enclosure so that you'll always see something.
We over heard one family saying - this zoo is a challenge. The challenge being trying to spot the animals!
Another couple said at the fox enclosure - no, nothing to see here either. So it wasn't just us feeling disappointed.
Some enclosures had notices on them saying coming soon. At least we didn't waste our time trying to spot the animal in those ones.
Also the train wasn't running which is a shame as my son loves trains. Saying that you had to pay more money to have a ride on it. You would think that would have been included in the entrance fee. Most of these sort of attractions you go to, you pay one fee at the start, then all attractions inside are included.
There was a tractor ride going round, but it was always full, so we didn't get to go on it.
Unfortunately we all had a really boring day. My son was so fed up. He hardly saw anything all day. Such a shame.
We took him back to see the penguins before we went home as they were so entertaining.
I suggest if you want to go to a really good zoo, then go to longleat. Its amazing and worth every penny.
We're going back there in September for our 4th visit.

8  Thank capshere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MarwellManager, Manager at Marwell Zoo, responded to this reviewResponded 8 August 2014

Hello and thank you for taking the time to leave us your feedback after your visit to Marwell Zoo. We appreciate any comments as it helps us to keep improving. However, we are disappointed to hear that your recent visit did not meet your expectations.

At admissions, our staff will ask guests if they would like to pay the extra 10% donation, this is completely optional. On the boards leading to the entrance we display our prices, both with and without donation to inform guests of the difference. With the added donation, we are still comparable to most other attractions of this type.

For £2.99 you can purchase one of our fun guide books, packed with animals facts and pictures, park information, a guest questionnaire and a map.

We are happy to hear that you found our grounds lovely and enjoyed eating your picnic here. It’s also fantastic that you and your son had fun seeing our energetic penguins and gentle giraffes.

At Marwell, we have a policy to create ‘wild’ areas good for wildlife in the park and within some animal enclosures. We appreciate this is not to everyone’s taste. This policy sits well given our position in the South Downs National Park, indeed some wild flower areas have been created working jointly with the park authority. Various enclosures do have windows to look through and most have alternative view points. If a guest cannot see through a window due to other guests standing there, then there is usually another spot you can see the animal from. If not, it is a good idea to come back when it is less busy to get a look.

We advise our guests on our top tips page of our website, to look carefully at each enclosure as it may well be that the animal is hiding behind vegetation or climbing structures. Although, a lot of our animals have access to indoor and outdoor areas and naturally the animal can only be in one place at one time. We like to give our animals a lot of space and freedom within their environments and this includes not having too many animals in one area. It’s a good idea if a guest cannot spot the animal, to return later in the day when the animal is likely to then be visible.

For an extra £2.50 per person, guests can take a ride on the rail train which journeys through the park daily. It makes a circle around macaque island, and travels past the white rhinos, flamingo, capybaras, pygmy hippos and greater rhea. The rail train plays a big part in helping us fund our vital conservation projects overseas and in the UK.

We are disappointed that on the day you visited you were unable to get on the free road train. On busy days we will run two road trains, in order to ensure that there is enough space and opportunities for all guests to ride if they want to. If guests find that the road train is full, it’s good idea to see if there is space at the end of the day when it has quietened down.

We hope to see you and your son again soon.

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