Yesterday, as a birthday treat, Christine and I went to Tropical World. It’s effectively an indoor zoo, housed in a series of greenhouses in a corner of Roundhay Park, in the northeast corner of Leeds.
Whilst I’m not sure of the full history of the place, I get the impression that it was originally designed to house tropical plants (of which there are many – Tropical World has one of the largest collections outside Kew Gardens in London), and has later had butterflies and other animals added to it. These include a crocodile, various fish, frogs and snakes, bats, jerboas, a slow loris (allegedly – it was hiding when we went), a wide variety of birds and the ever popular meerkats. There’s a photo of one above; cute, but it didn’t offer me a great deal on my car insurance.
Tropical World is not a big place and we got around in a little under two hours, but it’s not expensive either: £5 each for adults, with discounts for children and local residents. It has also recently re-opened after a refurbishment, and now sports a much larger café and gift shop, along with a central American themed zone. With hindsight, yesterday wasn’t a great day to go, with it being a bank holiday and also the school half term holiday – consequently we had to queue for half an hour to get in. There were plenty of kids there – who were fine on the whole. Shame that couldn’t be said about some of the parents.
This was our second visit to Tropical World – the first time was three years ago, prior to the refurbishment. I’m sure we’ll be back again sometime – it’s a nice place to go, easily reached from Leeds city centre by the number 12 bus from outside the top entrance to Leeds market, and it’s not too expensive either. And it’s indoor, so great for even the most foul, cold winter days.