During the summer I won’t have as much time at the laptop as I would like, but I don’t want my blogging to suffer. I’ll be uploading photos from my phone. Safe to say, SEO will be the last thing on my mind when posting these! It feels more like old fashioned, early-noughties blogging. School finished here on Friday 29th June and we decided that we want to take as many days out as possible this summer. The first of these days out was to Edinburgh Zoo.
The first great thing about our trip to Edinburgh Zoo is that the prices were much cheaper than we had anticipated and that was because Alex has a student card so qualified for a concession and as a carer of a person with a +1 travel card (that’s Luke), I received free entry. Luke was the only one who paid the full price and as a 7 year old, he qualified for a child price. So, it was less than £25 for entry and £4 to park.
The staff we spoke to were friendly and knowledgeable but weren’t OTT and didn’t pester us with upselling. After we paid at the desk, we were given the times of all the talks and special interactive sessions. There was a talk on sun bears and another on the chimps. There’s also the famous penguin parade!
Last time we visited there was a special exhibit on about dinosaurs and some life-size models of dinosaurs were around. This time, they were gone. However, there was a leftover figure of a Chinese Dragon, which was part of a lantern festival last winter. I had wanted to blog about that and asked if there were any press events at that time but I never got a reply. So, my one gripe about Edinburgh Zoo is that they should work with bloggers, especially parenting bloggers or travel bloggers.
There were plenty of picnic areas available, which came in handy since the prices in the restaurant were extortionate. I would like to have been able to comment on the quality of the food or the range available for allergy sufferers, but I am not paying through the nose for lunches. We bought cool bags and ice blocks last week so all my trips will include picnics rather than eating out.
As a relic of the 90s, who lives in a rural area, the parking charge of £4 seemed a little steep. All-Day parking in Kilmarnock town centre is currently less than half of that but this is Edinburgh, where £4 is probably reasonable. However, if we are paying entry to the zoo, I really feel parking charges should be included in the entry fee rather than being separate. It would be another selling point for them.
Overall, we had a brilliant day at Edinburgh Zoo, even if the tigers were masters of the art of camouflage. There are a lot of nice modern twists, like an app you can download which gives you the chance to scan QR codes at each animal’s information point to receive badges. But there are also some areas where the zoo could improve, such as more reasonably priced food courts and maybe some water points where visitors could refill plastic bottles. It’s thirsty work climbing to the Asiatic Lion viewpoint!
I would definitely recommend a visit here, especially with primary school aged children.
Things to remember:
Comfortable shoes – there’s a lot of walking
Bring a picnic – the restaurants are expensive
Bring clothes for all weathers – even on a hot day it can be breezy up on the hill where the big cats are
Expect to pay for parking – it’s also quite limited for spaces
There is a “voluntary” donation added to your ticket price. You can have it removed, which makes you look/feel uncharitable. Count this into the price when budgeting
Definitely make time to see the penguins and pandas. They are really the highlight of the trip!