ZSL Whipsnade Zoo


Whipsnade Zoo, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 2LF

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ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is the UK’s biggest Zoo.

Set over 600 acres on the picturesque Chiltern Hills and home to almost 3,000 animals, including lions, tigers, rhinos, hippos, brown bears, giraffes, zebras, penguins and a herd of Asian elephants, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo makes for a magical day for visitors young and old. From the furry and feathered to the jumbo and majestic, there are amazing animal exhibits, talks, feeds and demonstrations every day.

The Visitor Centre
The ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Visitor Centre is the hub where all guests to the Zoo start their ZSL adventure. Here visitors can purchase their entry tickets, book several Animal Experiences, from Meeting the Elephants to feeding the tallest of the Zoo's residents, the giraffe. With its own café serving hot, savoury snacks, drinks and bakery items, visitors can refuel before exploring the UK’s largest Zoo. The Visitor Centre also contains the Zoo’s award-winning gift shop. Here you can find everything you need for a memento of your day, from beautiful homeware, unique children’s toys or clothing. Featuring exclusive products and ranges, the shop home to hundreds of high-quality and affordable products, making it the perfect place for animal fans to pick up the perfect gift. 

Visitors can get around the UK’s largest zoo on foot, bus and car or even by hopping aboard the Whipsnade Steam Railway. The Birds of the World demonstration is not to be missed, while the lively Sea Lion talk is a fantastic way to learn about these marine mammals. The Zoo’s immersive In with the Lemurs experience allows visitors to see the curious primates close-up, while those wanting an even closer encounter can book a special Meet the Animals experience and come face-to-face with elephants, lions, giraffes or tigers. The Zoo’s Butterfly House, one of the largest butterfly biomes of any UK Zoo, allows visitors to immerse themselves in a tropical environment whilst marvelling at hundreds of colourful butterflies and moths (and a ‘bask’ of West African dwarf crocodiles!). Another treat is spotting the many ‘free-roaming’ animals such as wallabies and mara that happily bounce around the site. Several cafés and refreshment stops will keep you stocked up on hot food, drinks and snacks.

Children will love the Hullabazoo Indoor and Outdoor Play area, as well as the chance to pet pygmy goats, bunnies and more at Hullabazoo Farm.

Hullabazoo Indoor Play

At the centre of ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is Hullabazoo – a special area dedicated to entertaining your little creatures. The indoor play area is designed around different habitats enabling your children to have fun and mimic their favourite animals. You’ll be able to watch your little ones crawl through the garden, climb like an insect or journey through the Antarctic to become a penguin sliding down the ice. 

Hullabazoo Indoor Play is hugely popular with time slots allocated every 45 minutes accommodating a limited number of children at any one time, meaning there’s lots of space for everyone to have a great time. Sessions can be booked online or at Hullabazoo’s reception desk and it’s recommended that visitors do so early on arrival to avoid disappointment. If your children love their play time, Hullabazoo indoor play can be booked out exclusively for private parties, with availability on most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays all year round.  For the adults there’s comfy chairs, coffee, tea and snacks all while you watch over your little ones. 

For more information visit https://www.zsl.org/zsl-whipsnade-zoo/visitor-information/hullabazoo

On Site Catering

Feeding time at the Zoo has become a mouth-watering experience for our visitors with the introduction of the Zoo’s Basecamp Restaurant and River Cottage Kitchen and Deli. The Base Camp restaurant offers tasty food made from locally sourced, seasonal ingredients in a comfortable, modern, family friendly setting. Lots of seating, electronic ordering and table service means there’s opportunity to relax while your meals are prepared.

The River Cottage Kitchen and Deli has been developed as part of an exciting new collaboration with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his River Cottage team, which sees the food writer and campaigner bring his River Cottage restaurant to the UK’s largest Zoo.  At the unique restaurant visitors can enjoy delicious lunches where the finest seasonal ingredients, ethically and locally-sourced, are at the heart of delightful new menus. The experience doesn’t stop with delicious food; the rustic restaurant overlooks the picturesque Chiltern Hills on one side and the Zoo’s herd of white rhinos on the other side, making for a truly unique experience.

For those looking for a quick bite to eat, the Zoo has plenty of other options including its Visitor Centre Café, serving hot savoury snacks and drinks as well as bakery items. Parents and Little ones can visit the Hullabazoo Kids Café where you can get five items for £5, as well as house-prepared sandwiches and salads, bakery items and hot and cold drinks. If you have a sweet tooth, Africa Outpost is the place to go. Selling waffles, ice creams and sweet treats, plus a range of hot & cold drinks to help you keep fuelled.

For more information visit https://www.zsl.org/zsl-whipsnade-zoo/visitor-information

Lookout Lodge

Situated within the beautiful surroundings overlooking the Chiltern Downs and a herd of White Rhinos for neighbours, you can find ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s overnight stay Lookout Lodge. With each lodge named after one of the zoo’s amazing animal species, guests will have everything they need to enjoy a truly unique and cosy night’s stay, with either double or twin beds available and a private veranda.

A stay at the Lookout Lodge includes three special tours including a sunset tour, torchlit nigh time tour and an early morning tour, which all take place when the Zoo is closed to the public. On each tour guests will enjoy private viewing of various animals around the Zoo, guided by an experienced host team who will share amazing animal facts and insider secrets about what goes on at the Zoo behind the scenes.

Also included in the evening is a delicious two-course dinner, as well as a complimentary drink on arrival. Guests also get two full days access to the Zoo, with the option to explore ZSL London Zoo on your second day! Breakfast is also included, with your choice of full English and continental options.

For more information visit https://www.zsl.org/zsl-whipsnade-zoo/experiences.

Animal Experiences at Whipsnade Zoo

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo offers a number of amazing experiences that allows visitors to get up close to some of the world’s most incredible animals species, including its Keeper for a Day and Meet the Animals Experiences. Hosted by the Zoo’s expert team of Keepers, they are a great opportunity to find out more about the ZSL’s global conservation work with a unique  behind the scenes perspective of life at the zoo.

So, whether it’s a full day’s immersion discovering what its like to be a keeper at the Zoo, or an up-close experience with Elephant, Giraffe, Lions or Tigers, Whipsnade Zoo has something for everyone.

There’s also something for the younger Explorer with the Zoo’s Junior Zoo Academy and Zoo Explorers experiences.

You can also capture some memorable moments through their Photography Workshop experiences with both general and advanced level workshops on offer.

For more information visit https://www.zsl.org/zsl-whipsnade-zoo/experiences.

Book online to receive a 10% discount when purchasing tickets in advance.

Book now or find out more about visiting ZSL Whipsnade Zoo at zsl.org/WhipsnadeZoo.

Site features – UK’s biggest Zoo, large outdoor spaces, Indoor and outdoor animal exhibits, Steam Train


Discover new depths as you delve deeper into the fascinating underwater worlds of ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s brand new Aquarium. 

From flooded forests to dark mysterious caves, you will take an interactive journey, heading below the surface and discovering the deepest, darkest secrets of freshwater fish.

Immerse yourself in unbelievable facts and fantastic tales about our newest residents. From the spotted hillstream loach, with suction cups made from its fins to help it crawl along the bottom of a fast-flowing river, to the striped shell dwelling cichlid who is an expert at hide and seek.

Join us as we take conservation to another level, uncovering some of the rarest and most critically endangered fish on the planet, such as the La Palma pupfish which is extinct in the wild.

Discover how fish have adapted to some of the world’s most challenging habitats, including the mangrove killifish which can survive out of water for 66 days when the waters of their mangrove home seasonally dry out. You can even take a peek behind the glass as you see our scientists hard at work.





Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Adult£24.45 per adult
Child£18.50 per adult
Concession£22.91 per adult

Save 10% if you book online - Prices valid until 28 October 2018 inclusive



  • Disabled access
  • Disabled toilets

Booking & Payment Details

  • Credit cards accepted (no fee)


  • Picnic site


  • Children welcome


  • Education/study area
  • Facilities for educational visits
  • Facilities for groups
  • Guided tours for groups

Meeting, Conference & Wedding Facilities

  • Grounds for outdoor activities


  • Free Parking

Property Facilities

  • Public toilets

Site Features

  • Regional Tourist Board Member

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups
  • Coach parties accepted

Map & Directions

Road Directions

By Public Transport: Combined entrance and bus ticket available from staffed rail stations. Take the X31 or 60 bus from the station. 40 minute journey. By Road: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is just north of London in Dunstable, Bedfordshire. For detailed directions, see their website www.zsl.org/zsl-whipsnade-zoo


  • Other AwardsSelf-assessed Accessibility Information Self-assessed Accessibility Information

Opening Times

Open New Year
Opening hours 10am to 6pm (29 Mar 2024 - 6 Sept 2024)
Opening hours 10am to 5 pm (7 Sept 2024 - 24 Oct 2024)
Opening Hours 10am to 4 pm (25 Oct 2024 - 12 Feb 2025)
Opening hours 10am to 4pm (1 Jan 2025 - 14 Feb 2025)
Opening hours 10am to 5 pm (13 Feb 2025 - 27 Mar 2025)
Opening hours 10 am to 5 pm (15 Feb 2025 - 28 Mar 2025)

* Open every day except Christmas Day

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Dining at ZSL Whipsnade ZooDining at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, DunstableDiscover delicious food and drink options at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.  Sink your teeth into a sumptuous treat at one of our many catering outlets around the Zoo. With options to suit every pallette and dietary need including vegan and vegetarian options, we'e certain you'll be spoiled for choice on your…

Lookout lodge exterior panLookout Lodge at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, DunstableExperience ZSL Whipsnade Zoo at night with a stay at Lookout Lodge. Guests will experience ZSL Whlipsnade Zoo after-dark and find out what our animals get up to at night...