More than just monkey magic at Twycross Zoo
You will find all creatures great and small at Twycross Zoo '“ but if primates are your thing it's definitely the place to go.
It is the only zoo in the UK which has all four types of great ape – gorilla, orang utan, chimpanzee and bonobo – which makes it a perfect day out for your own little monkeys.
Tucked away in the heart of the Midlands countryside, it is easy to get to and well signposted with plenty of (free) parking.
Before you enter the actual grounds of the zoo you have to make your way through the Himalaya Centre, which looks a bit like something the Teletubbies would live in with its grass roof.
You could in all honesty spend a day here – it’s free to enter and houses a restaurant, Costa outlet, gift shop and soft play area (there is a charge for this element).
And if you’re lucky you’ll get your first glimpse of the zoo’s animals in the form of the snow leopards.
They are right next door to the restaurant, which has huge windows all along one side so you can watch these majestic creatures while tucking in to your pizza or burger.
The zoo itself has signposts everywhere so it’s easy to make your way around, and there are plenty of free maps available as well.
Toilets are plentiful too, as are benches and other places to sit and cimbing areas to keep the children busy in between animal viewings.
But what about the animals? Well, alongside the aforementioned apes and snow leopards you can add giraffes, elephants, kangaroos, lemurs, meerkats, flamingos and penguins.
There is also a butterfly forest where you can have them literally eating out of your hand, an aviary with some amazingly colourful birds, and some truly giant tortoises.
We were also lucky enough to see the boa constrictor moving about and pressing its nose against the glass of its enclosure (thankfully no Harry Potter-type escapades ensued!).
New for 2018 is the Chimpanzee Eden area, which replicates the primates’ natural habitat while giving visitors multiple viewing opportunities inside and out.
It was fascinating to watch the likes of the black-and-white colobus monkey in action, and at this time of year there are plenty of babies getting to know their surroundings too – always compulsive viewing.
Keepers give daily talks on all sorts of subjects, giving great insights into the animals and how they live.
While it’s a fairly sizeable site, unlike some zoos it’s possible to get around it in one visit so value for money is guaranteed.
You can bring your own food for a picnic if you don’t want to eat in the restaurant or at one of the cafes or refreshment areas dotted around the place.
All in all it’s a great day out and well worth a visit.