Bristol Zoo Gardens

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One of the top attractions in Bristol and the South West, Bristol Zoo Gardens offers 12-acres of gardens housing more than 400 different species and nine under-cover animal enclosures.

The zoo is the oldest in the world outside a capital city, and the 220 founder shareholders included Isambard Kingdom Brunel, members of the Wills and Fry families, William Goldney, the Duke of Beaufort and Thomas Tyndall.

A visit to Bristol Zoo will mean a direct contribution to the conservation of endangered species and habitats; admission prices include a voluntary donation to conservation projects, such as the Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation which undertakes original research to provide critical insights into areas of conservation concern and implements actions that lead to wildlife conservation and protection by whatever means are appropriate.

The gorillas are the highlight, of course, but I also like the lions, red pandas, seals and penguins. I don't know if it's just luck but the animals here seem to be more active than in other zoos I've seen, which makes for a far better experience. I think it may be that the zoo is intelligent about feeding times.

Chris Cope

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