The kids love a visit to the zoo and our favourite one is Marwell, set just outside the New Forest in Hampshire.
We normally visit for their Christmas at Marwell experience, but this year decided to treat the kids to a visit, between Christmas and New Year in a bid to get them out the house and into the fresh air.
Although their Christmas event didn’t run this year, there are fun decorations dotted around the park to see, plus a Nordic gnome hide and seek trail, with fun facts about the elves and letters to find.
To get the best out of Marwell, you need at least 4 hours to explore and we tend to walk around it in a clockwise route.
Marwell Zoo covers 140-acres of parkland, so there is plenty of outdoor space to enjoy, with wide pathways perfect for scooters and a whole host of animals to see, including giraffe, rhino, zebra, lemur, tigers and snow leopards.
We have visited a few times in winter and you still get to see most of the animals, even if it is raining. My top tip is to check the weather before you visit and dress accordingly.
There are also 5 adventure playgrounds, designed to help the kids burn off some steam, dotted all around the park and animal houses or enclosed picnic areas where you can shelter from any inclement weather.
There have also been some exciting new additions to the Marwell family in recent months, including a scimitar-horned oryx calf, a grevy’s zebra calf, a new female Amur tiger and a male sloth called Santos, who you can just about make out in my picture, camouflaged in the leaves.
My favourite animal at Marwell is the snow leopards, but the last couple of visits we haven’t managed to spot them. Thankfully this time they were both out, albeit having a cheeky afternoon snooze.
In the summer, there are lots of food kiosks serving food and drink. This time of year, there are a couple of kiosks serving hot drinks and Cafe Graze is open for hot food. There are also a number free water filling stations dotted around the zoo.
Some activities are not currently running, such as the fossil area and the education zones, however this really doesn’t detract from the visit as there is still plenty to see.
Marwell Zoo is open daily throughout the winter from 10am until 4pm and costs £19 per adult and £15.50 for children aged 3+. Tickets must be booked in advance as they are still restricting numbers in the park due to COVID19.
Have you visited Marwell before?
Disclaimer: We were guests of Marwell for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions are our own