Whipsnade Zoo, situated in the heart of the Bedfordshire countryside, can be found near Dunstable, a short drive up the M1.
The zoo is spread over a sizeable 600 acres and is home to more than 2500 animals, making it one of Europe's
biggest conservation parks.
Popular exhibits include:
- the Chimpnasium: you can probably work out what this is from its clever name. That's right, chimps plus gymnasium = chimpnasium. You won't see chimps on treadmills or lifting weights, but you will see lots of swings and things to play with. There are even hammocks to doze off in. Now that's my kind of gymnasium!
- Cheetah Rock: last year a litter of endangered Northern cheetah cubs were born at the zoo, and you can see them here.
- Lions of the Serengeti: get up close and personal with Whipsnade's pride of African lions. Don't worry, there'll be a three-metre-high floor-to-ceiling glass window between you and the lions.
- Rhinos of Nepal: the zoo is home to a number of greater one-horned rhinos. Watch them enjoying themselves in the recently opened £1m enclosure, which includes a heated pool – complete with lots of mucky mud, naturally.
These are just a few of the exhibits you can enjoy at Whipsnade Zoo.
Be sure to go along to some of the events that take place each day throughout the zoo. There's Sealion Splash, Tigerrific Tigers, Birds of the World, and the intriguingly named Elephant Talk – plus a load more. Click here to see the times of each event.
With all the walking you'll be doing between enclosures, you might want to take the weight off your feet by jumping aboard the Jumbo Express.
This wonderful steam train takes you through part of the zoo, enabling you to enjoy the animals (including llamas, camels and sloth bears) from the comfort of your seat.
If you don't have a car, you can reach the zoo by taking bus X31 (not Sundays) from Luton (centre and rail station) or Hemel Hempstead (centre and rail station). For full access information, click here.