Finding a day out that all the family enjoys can be a challenge and this is especially true when you have an age gap between the children. However this summer we have been busy finding different days out that everyone in the family will enjoy. Whipsnade Zoo is a great day out and is certainly one of the best things to do in Bedfordshire for all the family. We recently spent the day exploring the vast park and left both exhausted and in awe of the animals, we were able to see.
Visiting Whipsnade Zoo was quite a drive for us from Gloucester but we had been invited down by the ZSL team and considering that it is the biggest Zoo in the UK we decided that it was worth a visit. It is somewhere that we wanted to say we had been to. So we packed up the car and headed off knowing that it was one of the best things to do in Bedfordshire.
The highlight at the moment is the baby tiger cubs who were only born this year. We were able to see one of the cubs being fed by her mummy which was an absolutely beautiful thing to witness! More on that later!
We arrived at Whipsnade Zoo at 11am and were immediately impressed with how the queues and entrance are organised. We were quickly in the park and the girls were given maps which helped them navigate their way around. They all had very specific plans on which animals which they prioritised to see!
A word of warning is that you will need the map, the zoo is huge and you will miss things if you don’t plan a route!
The weather was lovely and we wandered the zoo at our own pace. We saw the animals the girls really wanted all by foot. However, if walking is a challenge for you or your family members then you can tour Whipsnade Zoo by the free bus that takes you around the site, which is almost 600 acres. There is also a train option that runs around the park for a extra fee. The final alternative is that you can take your car in for an additional £25 and drives between areas. There was plenty of parking from what we could see. However, after a long drive, we were happy to be on foot.
Here Bella is pretending to be an elephant!
Most of the animals are in large enclosures and some will naturally be in their inside areas especially on hot days! However we saw almost everything that the girls wanted to.
To take some time out from walking we stopped and enjoyed a burger from the BBQ. These were well priced and there was a meal deal for kids that for £5 gave you a burger, soft drink and piece of fruit. There were plenty of places to sit and eat either food bought at Whipsnade Zoo or your own picnic foods. After the burgers, the girls insisted on ice creams which we bought from a van.
The girls then ran off their lunch in the huge play park which gave Holly and me time to sit down with a drink for 30 minutes. The girls would happily have stayed there for the afternoon had we not wanted to find the tiger cubs!
The Amur tiger cubs were born just a few months ago at Whipsnade and there has been much excitement since their delivery. We were fortunate enough to see one of the cubs nursing with their mum in the sun. The mother tiger was just lying there whilst one of the cubs fed. Every so often the cub would stretch and reposition itself but stayed close feeding the whole time we watched. There was quite a crowd watching this and everyone was enjoying seeing such a wonderful experience.
We then headed to the Butterfly house which was my favourite experience. Ther butterflies were flying all around us, landing on leaves and such like. The colours were breathtaking.
We then said a reluctant goodbye to Whipsnade Zoo and headed towards the exit. The Zoo is certainly a highlight of things to do in Bedforshire and we really enjoyed our day. There was just time to chose a treat from the shop and of course, the girls were once more drawn to the tiger cubs which was showing some pre records of their early days.