As most people over the last year have done, we booked tickets for Edinburgh Zoo to see the Pandas, but alas no Pandas to be seen. No refund was offered by the Zoo, although I could re-schedule my visit to the Zoo if I wanted, which is not easy when we had to book train tickets and a hotel months in advance to facilitate the 300 mile journey. I fully appreciate that the Panda pregnancy is out of the Zoo's hands, and is ultimately good news, I have to however, review the Zoo on our whole experience.
The £50 it cost in tickets seemed a little steep, but Edinburgh Zoo is the only zoo in the UK with Pandas and seemed worth it for the one off experience. Without this USP I've got to say the whole place is mediocre at best. Built on a huge hillside, the upper areas of the zoo are definitely not an easy access for wheelchairs/pushchairs....and certainly raise the heart rate of anyone anywhere reasonably fit.
Plus points were the Chimpanzee enclosure and Koalas....both were really well thought out areas where you feel you can get up close to the animals in a semi-natural environment, but not feel too intrusive. . I have to say though, the rest of the exhibits are either too small, poorly populated, or empty. There is a large, easily accessible Penguin area, where, on our visit a few hundred people were disappointed by the "Penguin Parade" no-show.
There really are bigger and better places all over the UK to go if you want to see animals.
The gift shop as you leave the zoo is the final kick in the teeth.....full to the rafters with everything imaginable Panda shaped....Pandas? Oh yeah, those things behind the CLOSED 6ft gates.
Good luck to the staff of Edinburgh Zoo, I really hope Tian Tian's pregnancy does go full term. But when your only star exhibit is out of bounds, please consider your pricing and refund policy for those who have paid £100s to come a long way to visit your zoo.
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