No family holiday in Bristol is complete without a visit to Bristol Zoo Gardens. Not only will you and your children enjoy the vast array of exhibits, but your visit also supports the Zoo’s mission to conserve endangered species and habitats. And with so much to see and do, it helps to know how to get the most out of Bristol Zoo and plan ahead for your visit.
The Zoo is designed as a loop, with the Coral Caf conveniently situated near the halfway mark, making it an ideal stop for lunch. Through the main entrance and left down the Top Terrace, your journey takes you first past the colorful flamingos, the majestic Asiatic lions, the red pandas, and the Livingstone fruit bats. The Twilight World on the Terrace is a fun display of nocturnal animals in their active nighttime environments.
Next along the path come the giant tortoise, the reptile house full of cold-blooded creatures of slime and scales, and the aquarium, loaded with fish. Then, just before the Coral Caf is Bug World, home to most of the creepy-crawly invertebrates in the Zoo.
After lunch, take a jaunt past the children’s play area and spend some time in the Activity Centre at the middle of the Zoo, where Bristol offers face painting, brass rubbing, and crafts designed to educate children about animals and habitats. Then, a slight backtrack will put you back on the loop and take you to Gorilla Island.
Unique among Bristol’s breeding collection include the aye aye lemur native to Madagascar, the western lowland gorillas, and the unusual zebra-striped okapi with its stunning red coat, all in the vicinity of Gorilla Island. Just past the gorillas you’ll find the Pygmy Hippo House on your right,, and the Seal and Penguin Coasts tucked in the corner of the Zoo on your left. Take a WC break before winding your way through the last portion of the loop, including the aviaries, Smarty Plants display, and Butterfly Forest. Once again past the flamingos and you’re at the entrance, ready to relax in one of the many hotels Bristol has to offer.
One way to maximize your visit to Bristol Zoo is to review the Zoo map in advance. Many hotels in Bristol can help you find a map in advance, so that you and your family can plan your visit around the exhibits that interest you the most.