Preserving endangered species
Zoos have been popular in Britain since the 19th century, in fact the world's first reptile house, public aquarium, insect house and children's zoo can all be found in the UK. A visit to one of Britain's fantastic zoos is a great family day out. Here's our list of the top 10 UK zoos.
Banham Zoo is home to over 1,000 animals in 35 acres of beautiful parkland and gardens. For over 30 years, Banham has been watching over wildlife and as a British Zoo Federation member, the zoo is committed to species survival. Don't miss the presentation in the Heritage Stables, where you can see some of the animals up close, and the Birds of Prey display.
Price: Adults £10.95 - £11.95, Children £7.50 - £7.95 (prices depending on date), Under 3's free.
Web: Banham Zoo
Bristol Zoo is the perfect place to spend a fun-packed day with over 400 amazing species from lions to love beetles. You can also learn about the plight of many creatures in the wild, and as the zoo is a registered charity, your visit will help support the zoo's conservation programmes. Take the Zoolympics trail, where you can try to beat the animal record breakers.
Price: Adults £11.50, Children £7.25, Under 3's free, Family ticket (2 adults + 2 children) £34.00. Prices include voluntary donation to the zoo.
Web: Bristol Zoo
Chester is the largest of the zoos in the UK, and you'll definitely need a full day to explore it. The zoo is home to over 7,000 animals representing over 400 species, so you won't be short of things to see. Around half of the species here are threatened, so conservation is at the heart of the zoo. Don't miss Tsavo - the Black Rhino Experience where you can see Chester's 7 Black Rhinos.
Price: Adults £14.95, Children £10.95, Under 3's free, Family ticket (2 adults + 2 children) £49.50. Prices include voluntary donation to the zoo.
Web: Chester Zoo
Colchester Zoo is home to over 200 species of animals, many of which are classified as endangered or vulnerable species. The zoo has some of the best cat and primate collections in Europe, so don't miss the Valley Zone, where you can see Medellin and Spider Monkeys, Lion Rock, where you can see the African Lions being fed, and White Tiger Valley, where you'll come eye to eye with a White Tiger and Giant Anteater.
Price: Adults £13.99, Children £7.75, Under 3's free.
Web: Colchester Zoo
Drusillas Park is widely regarded as the best of the small zoos in the UK, and has created an animal and child-friendly environment. With naturalistic animal enclosures, innovative design and low level viewing, Drusillas enable children to come nose to nose with nature by meeting the animals face to face. There is also a playland for children which includes Monkey Kingdom and the Toddler's indoor village.
Price: Adults £10.70 - £12.95, Children £9.70 - £11.95, Under 2's free, Family tickets from £19.40 (prices depending on date).
Web: Drusillas Park, Dudley Zoo, West Midlands
Dudley Zoo is home to some of the biggest and rarest animals in Europe, and it's also home to Dudley Castle. The remains of the 11th century castle overlook the zoo, which houses over 200 species from across the world. Don't miss the 'Monkey Tails' attraction, where you can enjoy a close-up walkthrough encounter with Squirrel monkeys, Marmosets and Goeldis monkeys.
Price: Adult £9.95 (includes voluntary donation to the zoo), Children £6.95, Under 3's free.
Web: Dudley Zoo
Edinburgh Zoo is the largest and more exciting wildlife attraction in Scotland. Home to over 1,000 animals, the zoo is situated in beautiful parkland on the outskirts of Edinburgh. The zoo is a registered charity, and also takes part in conservation programmes to help protect its endangered species. Enjoy a ride on the free Hilltop Safari, which takes you through the zoo with a guide.
Price: Adult £10.50, Children £7.50, Under 3's free, Family tickets from £34.00. Prices include voluntary donation to the zoo.
Web: Edinburgh Zoo
London Zoo is a 36-acre conservation centre which houses more than 650 species. Here you'll see all sorts of weird and wonderful mammals, birds, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians and fish. Don't miss the daily penguin and lion feedings, or your chance to meet the monkeys in the 1500m enclosure designed to recreate the Bolivian rainforest.
Price: Adult £16.00, Child £12.50, Under 3's free. Prices include voluntary donation to the zoo.
Web: London Zoo
Newquay Zoo is set in lush, sub-tropical gardens, and is home to many of the world's endangered species. Red Pandas, Red Ruffed Lemurs and Siberian Lynx are among the many animals which are part of the conservation breeding programme at the zoo. Don't miss the happy penguins in their new enclosure, they're sure to put a smile on your children's faces.
Price: Adult £8.95, Children £6.00, Under 3's free, Family ticket (2 adults + 2 children) £25.00. Prices include a voluntary donation to the zoo.
Web: Newquay Zoo
Twycross Zoo is set in 40 acres of beautiful Leicestershire countryside, and is a charitable trust concentrating on conservation and education. The zoo is famous for its collection of primates, and has around 35 species of them. Twycross is home to more than 1,000 animals, and the daily sea lion feeding and elephant training are not to be missed.
Price: Adult £9.00, Children £5.50, Family ticket (2 adults + 2 children) £27.00. Prices include voluntary donation to the zoo.
Web: Twycross Zoo