We’ve been planning to go back for some time, but it’s an expensive day out for two adults. You can expect to pay over £20 per person, even when booked in advance. But as Lizzie is still under 3, she goes free, so for one adult and a very young child it’s not so bad. Even with a ticket booked on the morning of the visit, I still saved a bit of money over the gate price.
From Sowerby Bridge, Chester Zoo is a little over an hour’s drive with clear roads. So, after dropping Christine off at work, we headed straight over and got there just before the official opening time of 10am. And, apart from a half hour lunch break, we didn’t leave until 4:45pm.
This is because Chester Zoo is huge. It claims to be England’s most visited zoo, and it can certainly absorb a lot of people. Which is good – the weather was glorious and so there were hundreds of people visiting. I reckon there were a couple of hundred cars there already, even before 10am. And yet it never felt too busy – Lizzie and I had no trouble getting close enough to see the animals.
Chester Zoo’s new arrival
What I hadn’t realised was that, only three days before, a baby elephant had been born. The day we visited was only its second day out in public, which explained the crowds around the elephant enclosure.
There was also a baby rhino, which was just a few weeks old. I didn’t manage to get a good photo of it, unfortunately.
Since our last visit, Chester Zoo has extended somewhat, with a new ‘islands’ zone that focusses on animals from the islands of South East Asia. We got around most of it, but must’ve taken a wrong turn as we missed the tigers.
Towards the end, we went on the Monorail. This runs in a circuit around the site, although you can only travel point to point between two stations. I hadn’t been on it before, but it allows you to get another perspective of the animals. It’s £2.25 for a single trip or £4 for multiple trips, but as it was getting to the end of the day we just made a single trip.
Lizzie loves animals and really enjoyed herself. Unfortunately she wasn’t so keen on walking around or being in the pushchair, so I spent a lot of the day pushing an empty pushchair whilst carrying her. My back did not thank me the next day.
The rest of my photos are up on Flickr. Oddly, I never uploaded my photos from our 2012 visit.