A Favourite with kids – London Zoo

London offers a wide variety of attractions to tourists to the city. From historic palaces, world heritage sites, iconic landmarks, the best of museums, parks, art, luxury hotels, galleries and the list goes on. It is this variety that has made the city one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

It offers something for people of all age groups from kids to the elderly, with numerous activities to remain busy in. You can be sure that there will never tire of the many options available on your holiday to the city. It is great city for a family holiday and kids love the attractions that are tailor-made to quench their curiosity and keep them engaged at all times. The only thing you need to ensure when planning a holiday in London is to make your hotel bookings well in advance.

This is more so if you are travelling in the tourist season when there is a heavy influx of tourists and visitors to the city. Always choose a hotel at a central location with a good option being to choose a hotel near London zoo -Park Grand London Paddington. It will be easy to travel to different parts of London and will be convenient to visit the many attractions in the vicinity. Another benefit of choosing a hotel near London zoo is that it will be a great place to begin your tour of the city, and will keep the kids absolutely enthralled.

You will find London Zoo to the north of Regent’s Park and is known to be the oldest scientific zoo in the world. It was the idea of the Zoological Society of London and was opened on 27th April, 1828. Its intended use was to serve as a place of scientific study for the local wildlife. Later in 1847 the zoo authority opened doors to the general public and since then it has been a favorite with Londoners and visitors. In the early stages large animals like elephants and rhinos were kept which much later on were shifted to a larger zoo that is located in Bedfordshire. Nowadays you will find smaller species at the London Zoo, with over 5000 animals that represent around 650 species.

A favourite with kids is Gorilla Kingdom, which has been shaped as an enormous island which houses a troop of western lowland gorilla. The zoo authorities took immense care to construct the area in a manner that it resembles the natural environment of the primates. Therefore you will see herbs and plants that form part of the natural diet of the gorillas. There are also other inhabitants in the area which would normally live in close proximity to the chimps in the wild such as Diana monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, Nile monitors and mangabeys.

Another famous area in London Zoo is its renowned Blackburn Pavilion, which actually serves as a sanctuary for birds or a birdhouse. It has been painstakingly built to mimic a rainforest environment to minute detail. You will see more than 50 different types of birds, of endangered species with some of them even having become extinct in the wild.

Another exhibit that the kids love to visit is the Clore Rainforest Lookout that perfectly replicates a South-American rainforest. It serves as a home to animals in the zoo, which are indigenous to that part of the world. It houses diverse species like the agoutis, the two-toed sloth, the gentle lemur, the southern tamandua, Goeldi’s monkey and many others. Visitors can access both levels which are the floor as well as canopy levels. There is a section that imitates nightfall in a rainforest and gives visitors an idea as to how the environment operates in darkness, with species like the Malagasy giant jumping rat, the emperor scorpion and the Rodrigues fruit bat displaying nocturnal activity. There also are other exhibits that showcase animals from various other corners of the globe but are shown on a much smaller scale.

You can visit the Zoo on all days of the year with the exception of Christmas day. The timings are from   10 am to 4pm and the last admission is permitted exactly an hour before they close.  As the zoo is a very large place to explore and considering the limited time span to look around, it is recommended to arrive promptly when it opens at 10am so as to have a relaxed tour of the place.

London Zoo has had some exhibits that became very famous and brought a higher degree of recognition to the place over time. Two of some of the more famous occupants of the place were….

Jumbo the Elephant

An African bull elephant named Jumbo was brought here in 1865 and became extremely poular with the public and children for close to twenty years. When it was proposed to sell him there was a huge public outcry with even the Queen having made an appeal not to sell him. Although he was eventually sold and moved to New York, his legend remained etched in the memories of Londoners for a long while.

Guy the Gorilla

Guy the Gorilla derived his name from Guy Fawkes Day when he arrived at the zoo in 1947. He remained extremely popular for more than three decades and was remembered for his wonderful temperament. When he died in 1978 he was mourned by many and eventually a life-size statue was built which can be still seen close to the main entrance.


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