Chester Zoo Reviews

Chester Zoo
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Latest Reviews

“Great for the whole family”


written by BigBearJ on 19/10/2021

There is alot to see and do here so have a plan of what you want to tick off as its just too big for a day. The layout is well designed and staff very helpful. Fyi some of the animals maybe hidden away or sleeping but still plenty of others to entertain you. Worth taking few water bottles with you as waiting in line at some of the shops is a bit of a pain.

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“i think that chester zoo is a fantastic family day...”


written by Roselynx16 on 02/03/2016

i think that chester zoo is a fantastic family day out. some people have complained about the shrubbery in the enclosures but i think that adds to the excitement. my two children both found it entertaining looking closely for the animals in their enclosures and the whole family had a great day out. the zoo is large and therefore takes all day to walk around so in my opinion, the entry price is good value. i do also agree that the animal enclosures are great and are of good size and are fair to the animals. chester zoo also contributes to good animal welfare and i think the staff are very friendly. overall, a GREAT day out!!

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“spoilt day out”


written by ErinGardner188 on 24/02/2015

I found the zoo a let down there was loads off toilets the side where there chimpanzee and the butterfly elephant side was.but the side where the bats and the meerkats ar there was no toilets my daughter is 6 and I couldn't find a toilet any where we walked for 5 mins and couldn't find one in the end she had accident and it spoilt ar day.and she was so imbarrissed

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written by Stret81 on 12/12/2014

We took out yearly membership back in May 2014 for me, my wife and our daughter. Having now been there at least 5 times this year this for us has been fantastic value for money. Sometimes we only go for a couple of hours but this is the great thing. Our daughter is only nearly two years old but she has had a few nice experiences from doing this. I am really looking forward to the new "Islands at Chester Zoo" experience that will hopefully be opening next year as I think that this will further enhance the experience at the Zoo. The downside that I have felt was last nights Christmas Lantern Walk. This was £9.99 each (our daughter was free as under 3 years old) which included a warm winter drink (a rather small cup of hot chocolate) and a short walk around the park. This walk was nicely lit with very pretty lights however I would have expected a few more 'animal-related' lights. There were a few near the manor house but that was it. Also got to "see" Father Christmas. Plenty of Elves walking around the park entertaining the children which was a nice touch do I did feel a little ripped off as there weren't any animals to see. (Elephants you could see and the Bats, but that was it) Overall - I love Chester Zoo and will visit again whilst I've got my membership but I don't think I would waste my money on the Lantern Walk again.

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“Complete waste of money”


written by ydAllen213 on 03/08/2014

The place was a complete let down for my me and my family. The Zoo claims to be the biggest in England, which may be true based on its size. However there were only a handful of animals and tigers and leopards were no where to be seen. I spent £99 on tickets to visit this dismal place and was constantly being pestered by the staff for a photo shoot. On the other hand, I have been to Knowsley safari park which is much better and cheaper for a great family day out. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON CHESTER ZOO!

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written by barrydavids1 on 23/10/2013

Chester Zoo is definitely a great way of spending the day, especially if you have young children! The size of the zoo means that you can easily fill the day looking through the huge selection of animals housed there. There are also several activity areas for children so I would certainly be confident that on a sunny day your kids will love it! The main downfall like most attractions like this is the quality and price of food on site. Their basic typical selection of low quality burgers or hotdogs with chips at astronomical prices is something that tends to aggravate me when on days out at such places. That aside though baring in mind the selection of animals and attractions, I would definitely recommend, although I would probably advise bringing a packed lunch if you are a fan of edible food! For those brave enough there is a bat cave! Yes, you literally walk through a dark cave with hundreds of bats flying past your head at speed! In summary, a great venue for a day out with a poor selection of food options. As long as you are prepared for that you will not be disappointed!

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“Love this place!”


written by on 22/10/2013

I've been to many zoo's in the UK and this is by FAR my favourite. They really seem to care about animal welfare and it's great to see how much space they have. The lions enclosure could be improved though... they seem to have the least space!

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“I understand that the shruberry makes it difficult for...”


written by on 03/10/2010

I understand that the shruberry makes it difficult for children to see but it is there to reduce stress for the animals and degree studies have proved that the shrus reduce the animals' dtress by 70%. The elephant enclosure here is probably one of the best in the UK and I am doing a zoology degree so I know. I understand that if you pay you want to see animals but the shrubs and platforms away from viewing areas help the animals cope much better imagine having children screaming in your face all day long 7 days a week

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“Some enclosures had nothing at all in them but you...”


written by on 06/09/2010

Some enclosures had nothing at all in them but you didn't find this out until you had trekked to them.
Hedges etc so high that at 5'2" even i couldn't see anything let alone children.
They should not have elephants as the enclosure is just too small.
Some animals alone in enclosures with nothing (it seemed to me anyway) to amuse them.
Overall we just felt disapointed that we went to a zoo but saw very little animals-and yes I know that sounds ridiculous!

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“I thought Chester Zoo was lovely. Starting the day...”


written by on 02/09/2010

I thought Chester Zoo was lovely. Starting the day with a free shuttle bus to and from the train station was excellent and the driver was very friendly.
Booking online made sure there was no queuing and also gave a small discount but there really was no real queue at all.
The animal enclosures where great, people saying they were over grown are just silly as it obviously better for the animals to have more shrubery than just cast into a small enclosure.
Well worth the money as it took hours to explore and the selection of animals was great. The new baby elephant was beautiful.
The conservation at the zoo shows how great it is as they encourage breeding of endangered animals and many of the animals have been born at the zoo unlike other animal attractions I have visited. They even recycle.
The spectical bear was a favourite and had a lovely enclosure.
The staff were friendly and the talks were fun and educational especially the tiger and penguin talk.
Great day out.
Will visit again.

Guest's Comment

Written on: 08/09/2011

I found that Chester Zoo was very expensive, my 12 children enjoyed it very much as they are below 5. i found it quite hard to walk around the zoo as i have another on the way. signs should be clearer!
much love Susie.G xx

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“Really awful day out. People smoking everywhere,...”


written by on 12/08/2010

Really awful day out. People smoking everywhere, overgrown enclosures - children could not see the vast majority of the animals unless picked up (which after 11 miles, makes for an exhausting day). All activities inside zoo at an extra cost to the £55 entrance fee (for a family of 4).

Awful. Expensive. Tiring.

Good points: Lots of tall grass and other flora - which, had I been a pasture connoisseur may have been wonderful, but for me, it was just an expanse of overgrown lawns. Some people believe there were animals in there, but we mainly saw statues or wooden cut-out shapes.

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“I cannot bear to see the elephants in the tiny...”


written by on 20/07/2010

I cannot bear to see the elephants in the tiny enclosure. I would rather they became extinct than lived in such a tiny space. I have the same opinions about the apes. They all have great sadness in their eyes.
I won't ever be going again.

Liambirchall96's Comment

Written on: 13/11/2012

So you'd rather see an entire species die out than for them to be in what you say is a small enclosure. If you knew anything about animals you'd know that the enclosure is not too small, since the elephants dont need to migrate because they are in captivity and have access to plenty of food and water. The elephant enclosure is in fact quite good and is better than most other enclosures for any kind of animal. the elephant enclosure also has plenty of enrichment for the animals to keep them entertained and to prevent stereotypical behaviour.

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“elephant enclosure is sickeningly small and bare. it...”


written by whaleo on 04/07/2010

elephant enclosure is sickeningly small and bare. it made me sad looking at it so i cant begin to imagine how the elephants feel.
some of the other enclosures are well planted and well thought out for the animals needs. i really do not think they have elephants.

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“We've always loved Chester Zoo, but we haven't visited...”


written by on 28/06/2010

We've always loved Chester Zoo, but we haven't visited since our sons were children, our 19 year old sons girlfriend came to stay and we told her what a wonderful place it was to visit, even though expensive, it was well worth it as you could see many species of animals. We decided to go on a Sunday 28th June 2010, the weather was glorious and the zoo was not crowded due to the world cup on TV.
Upon arrival at around 11am we got good 'near to' parking, there was no queue and no waiting. we thought £16.95PP was a little expensive, but thought it would be well spent. The first exhibit we saw were the elephants, there were none outside so we had to go inside. we found the enclosure smell nauseating and in need of a clean. One of the elephants looked very drawn in the face and unhappy.
Most of the other exhibits were very disappointing, and nothing like they used to be. many of the animal species they used to have are gone, and the ones they do have are in fewer numbers, most of these animals prefer to live in groups or prides, but we found the majority of animal 'groups' we we lucky enough to see, consisted of just 2 animals.
Viewing each exhibit is a feat in itself, with most enclosures being surrounded by trees, bushes and/or 6 foot fences. you have to walk around the full size of each enclosure to find a small viewing area, this is very tiring and it would be hard to get to see through the small gaps during busy days full of people. The high fences are ugly and give the appearance of a building site. Other enclosures consist of a small fence, a large space then the cage fence, a row of trees then bushes. it is impossible to see anything behind that, others are 6-7 foot walls/fences with small slits you have to put your eye up to see through. There are also islands across a river, which supposedly contains animals, I don't know if there was, all I saw was bushes and trees far across a river. In total I can count on one hand the amount of animals I saw outside, I saw plenty of trees, fences and bushes though.
There were lots of oranutans in the indoor house, however it looked more like a pre Victorian prison than a home for them. they needed a nicer environment, this was just awful for them. They also needed some decent toys,
I would have liked to see the babies playing with something better than a tatty old cardboard box.
There were plenty of penguins, but outdoor viewing again was blocked by fencing and bushes, the underwater view would have been good if the water wasn't filthy and green. There was a notice saying that the water was bad due to technical problems and the penguins were ok, but swimming in a swamp can't be good for them.
The yellow mongooses were really cute, but there were just 2 of them.
We also saw kangaroos, which surprisingly were in a decent group, looked happy and were not obscured by ridiculous fencing or bushes.
We were very disappointed and felt that we had taken an expensive walk in a park rather than visited a zoo. We didn't see many animals at all, and some conditions need improvement.

We left with the feeling that most of the exhibits were ridiculously obscured to hide the fact that there were very few animals inside. Since our last visit the amount of species has halved and the amount in each enclosure has also halved.

The picnic areas also lacked anything to looks at, unless you like bushes or the sides of buildings.

Good: if you like trees, bushes, fences, rivers, walking, kangaroos then Chester zoo is the place to go
Bad: If you want to see animals. Try pets at home.

We won't be visiting again.

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“Waste of time and money! Crowds were MASSIVE, you...”


written by on 31/05/2010

Waste of time and money! Crowds were MASSIVE, you should not queue to visit enclosures?!?

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“Do not go to Chester Zoo during cold months as you...”


written by on 16/02/2010

Do not go to Chester Zoo during cold months as you will be dissappointed by the absence of many animals. As we went during half term the entry fee was almost £16 each. For the this we saw many signs saying the zoo apologises for inconvenience while works are underway to improve enclosures. In my opinion this sign should be at the entrance so you can make a judgement regarding value for money before going in. The grounds are impressive, but the bad layout causes you to double back on yourself to find entrances to many of the houses.

Joeheaver's Comment

Written on: 25/03/2010

The author of this review is clearly one of the typical gawking idiots which plague zoos around the world. The fact that you would blame Colchester Zoo, a centre with the aim of conserving rare and exotic species, for the fact that some of the animals, most of which are from tropical or sub-tropical environments, did not want to come out from their indoor enclosures to admire your gormless face is, in my opinion, obscene. I personally think that Colchester zoo is brilliant and I believe this review to be completely invalid.

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Me123456789's Comment

Written on: 01/10/2012

I think the reviewer recognizes that the animals weren't outside because it was cold so doesn't deserve to be called gormless.

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“Chester Zoo is quite large. ”


written by on 23/08/2009

Chester Zoo is quite large.
It was hard to see a lot of the supposed animals as their cages were full of long grass and shrubs. Couldn't see anything in a lot of the enclosures
In my view, it was a waste of money and its not cheap either.
Knowsley safari park is better equipped and you can see their animals and its cheaper too. Wouldn't go to Chester Zoo again, ever.

Whaleo's Comment

Written on: 04/07/2010

yeah they should kept them in empty cages, infact just chain them up so they cant move so we can always see them
<br/>sod making the animals feel comfortable.

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Hollyringer's Comment

Written on: 05/03/2015

they shouldn't be kept in empty cages, what cruel human being are you? its hard to see them due to the shrubs around so it is less stressful to be in an enclosure and have awful people like you and children staring at them all day.

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“What an absolutely superb day out we had at Chester...”


written by on 21/08/2009

What an absolutely superb day out we had at Chester Zoo! Since our last visit ( a few years ago), the zoo has made great efforts to update and renew areas. It is easy to get around, rices for food and drinks inside are not too bad (espacilly in the beer garden!), the staff are friendly and helpful and the new butterfly house is amazing. We will definately be visiting again very soon.

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“I thought that the chester zoo was brilliant and i...”


written by on 13/08/2009

I thought that the chester zoo was brilliant and i have being going many years, there are a lot of new enclosures and it is bang up to date. a lot of information about the animals and nice gardens to relax in. There wasnt much rubbish around and the site was vey clean and enjoyable to spend time in Altogether a great family day out! I would recomend it to everyone.

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“Really looked forward to taking my little girl to...”


written by on 07/08/2009

Really looked forward to taking my little girl to Chester Zoo as I remember visiting when I was younger and loving it. I thought the zoo provided poor value for money. The animals were very difficult to spot due to all the vegetation and massive amount of fencing. I felt that the animals were very far away from the viewing areas. Many of the animals looked bored and lacked any real stimulation. The bat house was really poor as it was almost impossible to see them properly.

There were lots of staff walking round not seeming to be doing a great deal. Most things on sale were vastly overpriced as once inside you are a captive audience. The toilet facilities gradually got poorer throughout the day, with a lack of hand towels and toilet paper.

It is a massive site and you need a push chair for the young and it is not eldrely friendly due to it's size.

Will certainly not be returning for a repeat visit.

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