Opened in 1972, Blackpool Zoo remains a great family day out. Situated on 32 acres, the site is only a short trip from the town centre. Unlike some zoos we’ve visited the enclosures and enrichment activities seem to have evolved with modern thinking and conservation and on a whole the animals seemed contented and behaving as naturally as they can in such an artificial setting. All the enclosures are framed within green landscaping that give the park a nice atmosphere and setting to see the various creatures.
The most striking area is arguably Project Elephant. The single biggest development investment in the zoo’s history it includes an outdoor grass paddock, sand paddock, pool and the largest indoor elephant house in the UK. In human terms it’s massive and offers far more space than any such enclosure we’ve seen both in this country and abroad. There are plenty of enrichment activities for the animals both inside and out to stave off boredom and lots of visitor information about the conservation of this truly magnificent animal. That said for 5 to 6 elephants it’s still far from their natural environment – but that’s a debate for another occasion.
The ape houses were another highlight, again with plenty of climbing frames, ropes, swings, hidden food and space for the animals.
Over 1000 mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates live there so there’s something for everyone. That said we visited with a 3 year old boy and his favourite enclosure was the farm one – we spent ages staring at tens of guinea pigs and chickens whilst the lions and tigers didn’t prompt anything like as much interest!
Our top tip is wear sensible footwear and prepare yourself of a big day out. We went in the school holidays when it was a hot sunny busy August day. It was tiring but well worth the admission. Blackpool Zoo opens at 10am, closing varies depending on the time of year. Adult admission is around £23 (2021 prices) but you can save money with dedicated family tickets.
LOCATION & MAP
Address: Blackpool Zoo, East Park Drive, Blackpool FY3 8PP
Tel: +44 1253 375187