ZSL London Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the world, having first opened its doors in 1828. It's run by the Zoological Society of London, a conservation charity who focus on animal preservation and protection while educating the public about issues like pollution, habitat loss and illegal hunting. Enclosures are spacious and imitate native habitats, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows for unparalleled views of the animals.

In addition to the animals, there are regular talks, workshops and feeding sessions. You can climb right into the enclosures with the Meet the Animals or Keeper for a Day programmes, or spend the night at a lodge inside the Land of Lions exhibit. Outside the zoo, conservation projects take place around London, including one that improves the biodiversity of the Thames by introducing populations of seals, porpoises and seahorses.

ZSL London Zoo - one of the highlights of 11 Best Family Things to Do in London (Read all about London here)

What are the highlights of ZSL London Zoo?

ZSL London Zoo's enclosures are carefully designed to mimic natural habitats from across the world. Hang out in an Indonesian jungle with a pair of endangered Sumatran tigers, then hop across to flourishing west India, where Asiatic lions stalk around crumbling temples. Penguin Beach is a recreation of the South American coastline, housing a colony of adorable Humboldt penguin – you can see them splashing and diving from the spectacular underwater viewing gallery.

The Reptile House is nice and toasty all year round to keep it comfortable for cold-blooded inhabitants like Philippine crocodiles, Annam leaf turtles and Chinese giant salamanders. Get right up close to the animals in Butterfly Paradise, which houses gorgeous butterfly species from all over the world in a special 'walk-through' greenhouse. The Blackburn Pavilion is where toucans, kookaburras, and red-crested turaco flit around above your head.

What are the best things to do at ZSL London Zoo?

ZSL London Zoo has a diverse programme of lectures, demonstrations and feeding times that let you learn more about the extraordinary animals. Twice a day, you can watch penguins diving for fish at Penguin Beach, or meet them up close by going behind the scenes with a zookeeper. You can also help muck out giraffes and feed them from the herb garden, or shadow a keeper for the whole day and learn about feeding and caring for the zoo's residents.

See the animals fly, leap or climb around the amphitheatre at a demonstration, or join a sunset safari to enjoy the zoo on a summer evening. Take better photos of animals by joining one of the zoo's photography workshops and practising at amazing spots around the zoo with guidance from a professional photographer.

Good to know about ZSL London Zoo

ZSL London Zoo is only a 15-minute walk from Camden Town underground station on the Northern Line. Walking from Baker Street on the Bakerloo, Circle and Metropolitan lines will take you about 20 minutes. If you're cycling, you can lock your bike in the public bike shed opposite the main entrance. There can be long queues for tickets, especially on weekends, so it can be worth buying a Fast Track ticket online and using the Priority Entrance.

The zoo occupies the north-eastern corner of The Regent's Park, a beautiful 200-year-old park with gorgeous rose gardens and a boating lake. London's popular attractions, Madame Tussauds and the Sherlock Holmes Museum are just south of the park. Nearby, Camden High Street is a popular shopping and dining spot.

ZSL London Zoo

ที่ตั้ง: Outer Cir, London NW1 4RY, UK

เปิด: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm

โทร: +44 (0)20 7449 6200

Victoria Hughes | นักเขียนประจำ