5 days out in London where you can meet the animals
- Credit: ZSL/PA
The foxes and squirrels aside, London is not the first place that comes to mind when thinking of wildlife, but the city is home to an array of parks and animal sanctuaries.
Whether you’re looking to reconnect with nature or plan an adventure day out with the kids, London offers animal experiences that are affordable and surprisingly close to home.
Dependent on opening and any restrictions in place, plan your visits now.
1. Regent’s Park, ZSL London Zoo
Se on the canal at Regent's Park, ZSL’s 36-acre plot is home to more than 750 species (20,329 animals).
With zones including Tiger Territory, Into Africa, The Outback, Penguin Beach and the Land of the Lions, to name a few, London Zoo will keep you occupied all day.
At a distance, you can enjoy a glimpse of the giraffes and other “into Africa” animals without paying a penny. ZSL also offer experiences that include overnight stays, feeding the gorillas, and meeting the penguins.
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2. Clissold Park
Located in Stoke Newington this open space is home to a small collection of animals including an aviary of exotic birds.
Meet the cockatiels, parakeets, zebra finches, budgerigars and lovebirds, a parrot species native to Africa and Madagascar. After unwinding in tranquil birdsong, venture on to see the other animals such as chickens, goats, and fallow deer.
3. Kentish Town City Farm
This charity offers people the chances to spend some therapeutic time with the animals. Pigs Wilma and Betty, Shirley the cow, and Dora and Nora the donkeys are just a few of the public’s favourite residents.
4. Golders Hill Park
Situated in Golders Green this formal park is home to a free zoo managed by the City of London Corporation. It offers the chance to see a ring-tailed lemur, coatis, and laughing kookaburras, donkeys, a European eagle owl and white-faced whistling ducks.
5. Sea Life London Aquarium
London's aquarium, on the South Bank is home to sharks, octopus, penguins, rays, and many more. It has the UK's largest living coral reef and offers the chance to learn about the spectacular lives of jellyfish and the wildlife of the rainforest.
... and, when it reopens, Camley Street Natural Park
It is temporarily closed while a new visitor centre is built, but when open Camley Street Natural Park offers a beautiful two-acre animal haven run by the London Wildlife Trust.
Hidden away in King’s Cross, visitors can enjoy the tranquillity of the natural woodland, grassland and wetland that houses birds, butterflies, amphibians and plant life.