Gorilla - Bristol Zoo
Destination UK

A Winter visit to Bristol Zoo Gardens

Posted on
January 15, 2019

Since Kian started university in Bristol, we have been down a couple of times to visit, combining our time with him and visiting some of the local attractions with Visit Bristol.

There are so many fun days out to do with the kids that it is hard to pick, but the kids all unanimously voted to visit Bristol Zoo Gardens, which is set in the beautiful Clifton area of the city.

Like many UK zoo’s, Bristol Zoological Society is a conservation and education charity, which runs and operates Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Wild Place Project and has helped save over 175 species from extinction, since it first opened in 1836, making it the fifth oldest zoo in the world.

As a city zoo, we weren’t expecting it to be huge, however, we were pleasantly surprised to find plenty to keep the kids interested for a whole day, with our first animal encounter of the day being Asiatic Lion brothers; Kamran and Ketan.

The zoo is very well set out and flows nicely in a circle, or you can choose to zig zag across the gardens if you choose.

The zoo is home to a number of walk-through enclosures, with our first being the home of 12 Livingstone fruit bats. It was a little nerve-wracking at first and you are advised not to stand directly underneath them, but they were not bothered by our presence at all and we were fascinated by their antics.

The zoo has over 400 species of animals from across the globe, all set in 12 acres of beautiful award-winning gardens and their most famous residents have to be the seven western lowland gorillas that live on their own island in the centre of the zoo.

I highly recommend you stay for their feeding time, as it is wonderful to watch and the keepers are full of such wonderful information and fun facts about the gorilla’s.

As well as all the outdoor enclosures there are nine under cover animal houses to explore, including the tropical zone, aquarium, bug world, butterfly forest and twilight world, perfect for any wet weather visits.

For kids that need to burn off a little extra energy, there is a large children’s play area with a low ropes course, plus plenty of animal challenges to complete dotted around the zoo.

Tickets cost from £12 for adults and £7 for children, online in advance but prices do increase on the door.

Bristol Zoo is easily accessible by bus, train, bicycle or car and is open from 9.00 – 17.00, 364 days a year.

What are your favourite animals to see at the zoo?

  1. Reply

    Hannah Wood

    January 15, 2019

    We have not been to this Zoo before sure looks a good place to go visit and take the kids.

  2. Reply


    January 15, 2019

    I love going to the zoo with the kids. It’s always such a fun time, and it really highlights the wonder of the natural world. Bristol Zoo looks like a great one!

  3. Reply


    January 15, 2019

    I forgot how fun the zoo is and it looks like your family had an amazing time. Thanks for sharing your photos.

  4. Reply

    Lydia Smith

    January 15, 2019

    I’m going to be a great mom to my kids. I’ve read a lot about family fun activities to engage them in. Including visiting Bristol Zoo.

  5. Reply


    January 16, 2019

    We love the zoo in our family! We have annual passes for the LA zoo, and go all the time. I love seeing other zoos. That’s cool that the feeding time there is pretty awesome!

  6. Reply

    Kita Roberts

    January 16, 2019

    This zoo looks like a great place to spend a day or two. I like the extra activities for kids to do!

  7. Reply


    January 16, 2019

    The Bristol Zoo sounds great! I like that it focuses on conservation and education of species. My favorite zoo is in Atlanta, Georgia and it does the same. They have many of the same animals, including red pandas. They also have my favorite animal, pandas! 😀

  8. Reply


    January 16, 2019

    Uni! How time flies. I’ve not been to the Bristol zoo, perhaps we’ll be going there soon too!

  9. Reply


    January 16, 2019

    Aww I love going to the zoo. It is such a fun day out for the family.

  10. Reply

    Tracey Kifford

    January 16, 2019

    I’ve been told this is a really good zoo. Didn’t realise the range of animals they have … I love walking through fruit bat enclosures!

  11. Reply

    Treasure Every Moment

    January 16, 2019

    Aww such beautiful photos! We visited Bristol Zoo at the end of last year and were really impressed with the range of animals they had there 🙂

  12. Reply


    January 16, 2019

    I lived in Bristol for a few years sometime ago. I didn’t know they had zoos.

  13. Reply

    Becky Jarratt

    January 16, 2019

    The Bristol Zoo sounds like a great place to spend a day! We will look out for it if we visit that part of the country.

  14. Reply

    Erica D Ardali

    January 16, 2019

    I love a nice trip to the zoo… Also the colors of the beetle are just beautiful

  15. Reply

    Brianne Tursi Manz

    January 16, 2019

    Our kids LOVE the zoo! There’s so many animals that we love to see, and Bristol Zoo has what we love to see!

  16. Reply


    January 16, 2019

    I do love a zoo visit and being able to get so up close to all the animals – looks like you had a great time!

  17. Reply

    Anne Fraser

    January 16, 2019

    I live in Bristol and still enjoy visiting the zoo. You should also try visiting wild place the other site which is home to the bigger animals and is a good place to let children burn off excess energy.

  18. Reply


    January 16, 2019

    I love all your pictures; the zoo is always a hit with my family too!

  19. Reply


    January 16, 2019

    Bristol Zoo sounds like a nice place to visit with your family. I didn’t know that it was so big.

  20. Reply

    Nickolai Kinny Whitmore

    January 16, 2019

    This looks like a fun day out for the entire family. We’ll have to give this zoo a visit, the pictures look lovely.

  21. Reply

    Maggie Unzueta

    January 16, 2019

    O Wow! Bristol Zoo Gardens looks so exciting. My son would really love this. Wish we could visit this some time.

  22. Reply

    Demi Perera

    January 17, 2019

    Don’t the animals look happy here! Wonderful to see it. Glad the kids enjoyed it too.

  23. Reply

    Jasmine Hewitt

    January 17, 2019

    you never have a bad time at the zoo! this one looks pretty fun

  24. Reply

    Dominique Brooks

    January 17, 2019

    Seeing all of these animals is always a good time! Your family looks like they really enjoyed themselves!

  25. Reply

    Catherine Santiago Jose

    January 17, 2019

    My kids will definitely love this amazing place, it has many activity and animals. Such a nice zoo to be blog and give us a very good glimpse of what this place has to offer. Thank you for sharing this to us.

  26. Reply


    January 17, 2019

    Such a fun experience. This looks like a great place to visit with the kids. Will def add this to my list.

  27. Reply


    January 17, 2019

    I love the colour of that beetle (I think that’s what it is!). My favourites to see are the giraffes when we go to the zoo x

  28. Reply

    Super Busy Mum

    January 17, 2019

    Nothing beats a zoo trip and this particular zoo looks great!! I love the wee peek holes for the kids to observe the animals better. Every zoo needs these!!

  29. Reply


    January 17, 2019

    The price is fantastic for what the zoo offers. I do love staying for feeding time with the keepers as you get to see the animals personality come alive and learn more about them. I think my favourite zoo moment was feeding penguins at my local zoo – whipsnade as a kid.

  30. Reply


    January 17, 2019

    Oooo looks like y’all had a great time! I never thought to head to the zoo in the winter!!! I will have to do that!

  31. Reply


    January 18, 2019

    Bristol Zoo looks like a great place to visit. Looks like you guys had a great time.

  32. Reply

    Crystal (The Busy Mom Diary)

    January 19, 2019

    The zoo is such a fun adventure for all ages, and it looks like you all had a fab time.

  33. Reply


    January 19, 2019

    This zoo sounds like so much fun! I can’t wait for the weather to get better around here so that we can go to a zoo.

  34. Reply


    January 19, 2019

    omg this looks like so much fun! I love the zoo! adding this to my list for my daughter and I

  35. Reply


    January 19, 2019

    Ooh, we’re off to Bristol later in the year so I’ll keep this in mind for something to do. It looks fantastic 🙂
    Louise x

  36. Reply


    January 22, 2019

    I haven’t been to Bristol zoo in years! I’ll need to add this to my summer visit list!

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog chelseamamma.co.uk