Chester Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the United Kingdom. Very close to the historic city of Chester, the zoo is set in over 100 acres, which provide a home to an amazing 7,000 animals and an incredible 400 different species - many of which are endangered. This provides a fine setting for a fun packed and educational day out for all the family. Visitor figures are now approaching one and a half million per year.
The zoo opens at 10am every day with the exception of Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Closing times vary according to the seasons and school holidays. Last entry and closing times vary with the seasons too. A number of discount vouchers and other offers are usually available, so do your research, pick the best time for you to visit, and book your tickets online.
To help get the most out of your day at Chester Zoo you may wish to take advantage of their Animal Talk Times. Specialist presenters give at least seven informative talks about the animals each day. Check the itinerary beforehand.
To ensure the animals get the best possible care, the in-house animal health centre provides a full range of veterinary care and facilities. All animal enclosures and nutrition are under constant review. The zoo's gardens are award winning and provide a fabulous background to the animals. Featuring plants from all around the world, the gardens help to provide the natural environment of many of the more exotic species.
The zoo gives its mission statement as "to be a major force in conserving biodiversity worldwide." They achieve that by contributing to the protection of species and habitats through a combination of field conservation, research, conservation breeding, advances in animal welfare and education.
Additionally Chester Zoo is a member of various national, European and international zoo bodies, which include the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
Given that the zoo is set in 100 plus acres, getting around seeing all, can be a strain on the legs. If you cannot walk far there are other options provided. This includes the Zoo Monorail for the high ride or if you prefer, why not try the more genteel Waterbus?
After exploring you will have worked up an appetite. This can be satisfied by anything from a quick snack and a coffee, enjoy a meal at any of the zoo's numerous eating places. Ever mindful of conservation issues the zoo sources food locally, and seeks to steer clear of ingredients which may affect their conservation efforts.
Chester Zoo is a wonderful day out. However, the area offers much more to see and do, and a 2-3 day stay will afford lots of fun and interest. The city of Chester itself is on the doorstep offering a rich historical heritage. Liverpool is just a short train and river trip, for those wanting to explore the Beatles connection. For those wishing a more scenic option the breathtaking North Wales coastline by train to Conway is half an hour away.
If you are planning a visit to the zoo why not consider turning it in to a mini-break, perhaps over a weekend, and mid-week. Visit other sights and attractions in the area. A full range of hotel, bed and breakfast and self-catering accommodation is available.