Monday, 27 July 2015

Is Chester Zoo really as great as everyone makes out?

Last Tuesday myself and my boyfriend visited Chester Zoo for the first time. We both work at a wildlife park which meant that we were lucky enough to be able to both receive free entry due to an agreement between zoos across the country - the perfect date day right?!

The usual price for adult entry is £25.00 which on first glance, I thought seemed pretty expensive. However as soon as I passed the ticket booth, I could tell why. Chester Zoo is absolutely huge! 100% the largest zoo I have ever visited. Before visiting Chester I was surprised when friends who had previously visited the zoo advised that we arrive as soon as the zoo opened at 10am; as I would never normally aim to be at an attraction such as a zoo, right from opening. However I am so glad that they did, because we spent at least 5 hours there and still didn't manage to get around all of the enclosures!

One of my favourite attractions was the zoo's monorail which transports you to a different area of the zoo by slowly passing above and through the top of several animal enclosures - giving you an amazing perspective of the animals that you were unable to see from the ground! I was personally delighted as the monorail went above the tiger enclosure - probably my all time favourite animal. Unfortunately I actually missed glimpsing the tiger from above, but I did manage to see an adult tiger and three tiger cubs from the ground below :)

Despite tigers being my favourite, I absolutely adore all other types of big cat just as much, and so I was so excited to find out that Chester Zoo is also the home to a family of lions, cheetahs, and jaguars too. Being the allusive kitties that they are, despite being hopeful, I wasn't expecting to actually see any of the big cats, so to be able to take these beautiful photos from such a short distance was amazing!

Unfortunately my iPhone didn't have a good enough camera in order for me to capture a photo of the jaguar or tiger, but I can happily say that I did manage to get a good look at them in person :) All of the enclosures were humungous which made it great for viewing the animals, but I was especially blown away by the jaguar enclosure. I really loved how open the floor to ceiling glass made the enclosure feel, enabling you to get as close as possible for the best view - if anything I was scared to get too close in case a jaguar suddenly leaped out and surprised me!

In answer to my question: 'Is Chester Zoo really as great as everyone makes out?' I have decided that the answer is yes. Even if I had to pay full entry price, I would definitely return (Adam and I have already planned a return trip to see the boat ride that is being opened this August), and would definitely recommend Chester Zoo to anyone who is an animal lover looking for a fun day out. My only negative would be how far away it is!

Have you visited Chester Zoo? What were your thoughts?


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