“ Colden Common / Winchester / Hants SO21 1JH / Tel: 01962 777407 / www.marwell.org.uk „
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Marwell is a zoo located in Winchester, Hampshire and gives you chance to get close to the wonders of the natural world and play a big part in helping them. The zoo contains many different animals including Poison Arrow Frogs, Leopards, Meerkats, Giraffe's and many more species. The zoo includes over 170 species of animals to see which is spread over 140 acres of beautiful parkland. The zoo also has play parks, trains, and animal talks and feeds that you can watch. By visiting the zoo you make a contribution to their conservation projects in the UK and Africa. This means that you help to save endangered wildlife for generations to come. There are a range of different places to eat at in the zoo so there is no need to bring your own food, although there are plenty of seating areas if you do bring anything with you. You should allow approximately 4hrs for your visit to the zoo. As soon as you walk through the entrance to the zoo we were given a free park map. There is a nice pond on the left hand side with some carved wooden statues and other statues of animals such as a rhino. There are toilets on the left hand side of the park just after you enter and the first animals to see are the Penguins.
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Some of the animals are in their own special sections and contain look out points where you can get a better view of the animals and their surroundings. I will go into detail about some of the lookout points and the animals below:
* Savannah Tracks - This is a great opportunity to see the cheetah's in their enclosure. The wooden walkway goes above their enclosure where you can see them resting on spots including large boulders and shady areas. This enclosure is suited very well to their natural habitat of the open savannah in Africa. As you follow this walkway it will take you to an undercover viewing platform. It's nice to walk up the wooden walkway to see their enclosure. We spotted 2 Cheetah's, one of which was roaming around for everyone to see and the other one was laying down towards to the back of the enclosure. The viewing platform contained some interesting information about the animals.
* Into Africa - This are contains a wide range of different animals including Porcupines, Colobus Monkeys, Bongo, Buffalo, Lizards, Fish and Giraffes. The main attraction here for me was the Giraffe's where you can go into the Giraffe house to watch them eat. There were at least 4 Giraffe's in here and also a baby giraffe. The Giraffe's aren't always in their house but you can walk around the side and back of the fenced area outside and see the Giraffe's there. It seemed as though on the day we visited that they liked the attention of people taking photos as most of them were outside. The fish and lizards are actually located just behind the Giraffe house and are contained in another small building. This again gives interesting facts and information about the animals in this section.
* African Valley - This area contains animals you would expect to find in the African Valley including Ellipsen waterbuck, Grevy's Zebra and Ostrich. They all roam together in their new habitat which is contained in 20 acres of natural valley field. You can clearly see all the animals in their enclosures and you can also get some fantastic pictures of them as well as you see them roam about.
* Aridlands & Desert Carnivores - This area contains a favourite of mine which is Sand Cats, these are absolutely gorgeous, fluffy animals. These are kept in a glad enclosure but you can clearly see them walking around in their enclosures and climbing on the rocks and tree branches. There is also an inside area where you may see the Cats resting in their house. This area also contains Addax and Dorcas Gazelles.
* Tropical World - This was my boyfriend's favourite part of the zoo and I really enjoyed it too. This is a glass house that gives you a sense of what it is like to be in a tropical rainforest. The glass house is full of stunning and beautiful plants, some tall and others very small. You may even spot some exotic fruit (I didn't on this occasion) growing amongst the flowers. There aren't only plants in here but also beautiful coloured frogs, spiders and lizards (all in their own vivariums). Follow the path through the glass house past the pacu in the pool and the piranhas in their own aquarium. I liked the dwarf crocodile resting in its pool. You can also follow the trail of leaf cutter ants as they collect leaves and take them to their home.
* World of Lemurs - This area contains many different enclosures which different types of Lemurs in. These are beautiful and quite cute looking animals. We saw plenty of these on our visit as we walked around this area taking photographs. You will find a lot of them resting on wooden stands or climbing the ropes in their enclosures.
* Penguin Cove - This is actually the first animal enclosure you will see when entering the zoo as it's on the left hand side. This is a lovely enclosure with rocks and a large pool area where the penguins can swim about. During our visit most of the penguins were standing on the rock area towards the back but there was one penguin swimming about in the water showing off a little as there were lots of people watching him. There is also another viewing area where you can see the penguins swim underwater as well.
* Tiger Junction - This enclosure is very large and it can often be hard to find the Tiger amongst all the bushes and tree's. We managed to spot the Tiger soaking up the sun on one of the high platforms. Unfortunately it was too high so I couldn't get a very good picture.
* Encounter Village - This area contains 3 different types of enclosures/areas for you to enjoy. Cold Blooded Corner has a range of different reptiles including Snakes & Lizards. Me and my boyfriend was looking forwards to this area but there isn't that much in here and it's quite hard to see into some of the glass vivarium's due to the condensation on the glass. There is also a Bird Walk Through enclosure but this was actually closed during our visit. You can choose whether to do the Australian Bushwalk which is a small grassed area where you call through the Wallaby enclosure whilst they hop around you. There are barriers in this area where you cannot cross.
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There are 2 children's playgrounds in the park which includes rope bridges, climbing frames, slides, swings and more. There are also picnic tables and areas where you can eat or have a rest whilst the children enjoy playing. There are food and drink kiosks located in different areas on the park. Quite a few of these weren't actually open during our visit apart from the main one which is located next to Encounter Village. There are plenty of toilets in the park. There are manual wheelchairs that you can use during your visit in the park which are free of charge; how-ever they have limited availability on these. There are a number of baby changing facilities around the park and Café Graze has a microwave which you can use to heat up baby food. An information and First Aid Kiosk is located just inside the park entrance. There is a gift shop in the park which sells a range of cuddly toys, games and other items. Prices do vary and I think these items are rather pricey, how-ever all profits are returned back to the charity. An alternative to walking around the park is to get the free road train which goes around the park. You can also get a tractor ride as well around some areas of the park.
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I have been to the park twice now in the past 2 years and both times have enjoyed my visit's here. I love going to zoo's anyway so enjoy seeing the animals in their enclosures and learning about them. As there are lots of enclosures this does require a fair bit of walking which I think is why they tell you to allow 4 hours for your visit. When we visited the park we didn't have any children so we were able to complete our visit within about 2 hours or just over. As we visited the zoo during half term week it was of course busy, how-ever there was plenty of room to see into the enclosures. In terms of value I think the price is very reasonable for the range of animals and facilities in the park. Most of the areas are suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs, although there can be some uneven surfaces around the park. We chose not to eat during our visit here so I can't comment on the range of food or the price of the food here. The play areas for the children are quite big and will keep them entertained for a good amount of time whilst you have a rest or something to eat. I didn't watch any of the staff feeding the animals; how-ever I can imagine this gets rather busy. You definitely need a dry/warm day to visit the park as none of it is undercover and some areas can get a little muddy. Overall the park is very beautiful and has a great range of animals in. As I have already visited the park twice in the past 2 years I wouldn't go again for a good few years. I would recommend the zoo to others to visit.
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Marwell is open every day apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Opening/Closing times may very during different times of the years but a full list of these can be found on the Marwell website along with ticket prices.
Adult Ticket Price without Donation - £12.72 (£14.00 with donation)
Child Tickets Price 3-16yrs without Donation - £9.99 (£11.00 with donation)
They also do family tickets and senior/student tickets as well. If you book all your tickets online you can save some money.
Marwell Zoo, Colden Common, Winchester, Hampshire, SO21 1JH
Tel: 01962 777407
(review also on ciao)
Before starting our family Marwell Wildlife near Winchester, Hampshire (formally known as Marwell Zoo) used to be somewhere we visited at least once a year. As it had been a few years since our last visit I was really looking forward to our first family trip there. We arranged to meet up with my sister, her husband and my nephew (12) and niece (8). The weather forecast was looking good for the Saturday in August we had chosen to go and so after lots of singing 'we're going to the zoo' to the twins and practicing animal noises we were ready to go.
On the Friday before we were going we booked our tickets at Marwell.org.uk. It is really easy to book your tickets online and you get a 5% discount.
When purchasing your tickets you have a choice of prices one with and one without a donation. If you pay the with donation price Marwell are able to claim gift aid if you are a UK taxpayer. As our twins are under 3 they were free so we just purchased 2 adult tickets with donation @ £18 each. My sister paid £60 for the 4 of them including a donation. A full list of entrance prices can be found on their website http://www.marwell.org.uk/planning_your_day/times_prices.asp?css=1
Another advantage of booking online is you get to go through the fast track entrance avoiding any queues. We had to print the tickets off at home and just hand them in at the entrance, nice and simple and far better than queuing.
Marwell opens at 10am all year except Christmas day and we arranged to meet with my sister in the car park at half 10. We were travelling from different directions but both had good journeys and had no problems meeting in the large car park.
Once in the zoo
At the entrance we were given a map of the zoo, details of the talks happening at different animal enclosures and there was also the option of an activity sheet for younger children.
Having visited lots of times before we know our way around but there is a suggested route on the map provided if it is your first time. It suggests you allow 4 hours but I feel you would be rushing to cover the park in this time and want to take a break for lunch.
We always set off in a clockwise direction and the first enclosure we reach is the Penguins. These are one of my favourites and you are able to see them both above and below the water. Our twins enjoyed pointing to them through the glass and there was plenty of viewing room even though the park was busy. We quickly found that the girls couldn't see much from their pushchair so we had them out, one walking on reins and the other who has a delay with her walking was carried. The double pushchair was then put to good use carrying the picnics.
This was new since our last visit and is home to 3 Cheetahs, we managed to see one but it is a nice enclosure for them but quite steep to walk up with a pushchair. Opposite to this enclosure were the Flamingos who seemed to be lacking in numbers compared to previous visits. To make it appear as if there were more birds mirrors have been placed in the enclosure.
Heart of Africa
This is usually one of my favourite parts but we were all disappointed by the number of empty enclosures we walked past with no explanations as to where the animals were. After 15 minutes walking through the 'Heart of Africa' we still hadn't managed to find the Giraffes, on the way out there was a sign saying that if you hadn't seen them to try near the Cafe Graze. This was also new to us so we carried on hoping thst we would find them at some point.
We got to the Meerkats at 12pm which was when the talk was and the staff member doing the talk was great. She was very knowledgeable about them and introduced us to them all. My nephew really likes Meerkats and particularly enjoyed this.
Time for lunch
As we had bought a picnic we just did a quick toilet stop at the Cafe Graze on the way to finding a picnic spot. The toilets were clean and well stocked with toilet paper. The cafe itself appeared to have a good selection of food with hot mains, snacks and a kids menu. It also sells a good range of drinks. It was very busy and I was pleased we'd bought our picnic with us. On the way out we spotted the Giraffes way off down a field. I was disappointed that the girls didn't get to appreciate how tall they were as they were too far away.
All the picnic tables were busy but we had blankets and found a nice sheltered spot under trees next to the Tigers. We were probably being eyed up as lunch but we got to see a tiger close up which was nice after the previous disappointments.
Aridlands, Desert Carnivores, Przewaiski's horses, Zebra & Coati
After lunch we headed round the top of the park taking in the above. This also involves walking past a large children's adventure playground with lots for younger children to do.
Cold blooded corner and Encounter village
My nephew was keen to see the reptiles and as it was a hot day it was lovely and cool in here. The encounter village changed from being a farmyard into an Australian bush walk several years ago. This was a big improvement and we enjoyed walking through the Wallabies and birds. There is a Bush Tucker Bites eating area here and another children#s play area.
There is an island where the Macaque live, we saw a couple but were mainly inside as it was a hot afternoon. So yet more missing animals!
Getting into here with a double buggy was a bit of a challenge as it is a very steep slope, too steep to attempt with a wheelchair I would have thought. Some of the Lemurs were off being fed by a group who had paid for this. Did feel we had paid to see them too but it wasn't all of them as there is large collection of different Lemurs at Marwell.
Marwell Hall is located near here and is a Grade 1 listed building. It is available for corporate events and function, full details can be found on their website.
Time for ice cream
We reached an ice cream kiosk so decided to have a break, this turned out to be longer than we planned due to only one person serving on a busy afternoon. The ice cream was locally produced and lovely!
As it wasn't possible to take the double pushchair in here I waited outside, it is also very hot and I was quite warm enough. Tropical world is home to a wide range of plants, crocodiles and leaf cutter ants which are fascinating to watch.
Sadly they were in hiding when we were here so we didn't get to see them. I love seeing them so once again was disappointed and so quickly visited the Pygmy hippo and Anteaters on our way to the exit.
We didn't go on either but Marwell has both a road train which is free and railway train which you can ride on for a different view of the park for £2.
A must visit for myself and my niece, lots of lovely toy animals and gifts to choose from.
Would I recommend?
Yes but I didn't enjoy the visit as much as I have in the past and this view was shared by the other members of our group. Marwell has a wide range of animals but too many were 'missing' for the amount we had paid. Marwell is a lovely well kept wildlife park but I think we'll leave it a couple of years before visiting again and maybe go on a cooler day.
Me and my parents have been visiting animal parks since I was about 10; I've always loved animals and some of my best memories are from these days out. I am now nearly 21 and when I visited home last we decided to take a trip to Marwell like old times. We had been before about 8 years ago and so I didn't remember too much about it, other than it was absolutely pouring with rain!
This time, we had better luck with the weather; it was a bright sunny day, but not too hot to make it uncomfortable. The park is located about 8 miles outside of Winchester in Hampshire - very close to Southampton. We drove (there is free parking), but the park is well connected to Eastleigh Bus Station with bus services. The park opens at 10am and last entry is 90 minutes before closing time (closing time varies but during the summer it is mostly open till 6, spring and Autumn is 5 and winter is 4). Admission during peak times for an adult is £18 with a donation. You can pay without a donation for £16.35, but when you see the wonderful work they do, you've got to be pretty mean to not pay the donation! They also do children, student, senior, disability and family discounts - for full up to date prices see their website where it is all laid out very clearly.
So, what about the park itself? I had the best time! When we first arrived we decided to get the free road train once around the park which took about half an hour. We did this just to get our bearings and see what was on offer. It gave us a chance to sit down and look at the map and also gave us a sneak peak of some animals and got us pumped up for the day ahead. I think the train is actually designed as a way of getting from one part of the park to another - maybe if you have a disability or young children that find it hard to walk for a long distance. Unlike some other animal parks, the road train does not take you anywhere you cannot reach by foot.
There are about 180 species of animal at Marwell covering a wide range of sizes, habitats and level of endangerment. My personal highlights were the giraffes, the snow leopards and the fossa - a cat-like mammal from Madagascar that I have never heard of before. I was fascinated by the leaf-cutter ants; they have set up a tube about 8 meters long with the ants nest at one end and a plant at the other and you can watch the ants cut the leaves and carry them all the way back to their nest - a true miracle of nature. They also have lemurs, zebras, meerkats, kangaroos, flamingos and penguins among others. It is so varied that you don't get bored and each new enclosure is something completely different. Every enclosure has a sign that tells you what is in it, where it is from and it's conservation status. A lot of the signs also have trivia about either the animal, or the work that Marwell is doing in connection with the animal. Now that I'm a bit older I read all the signs and I found it so interesting learning about the work and animals of Marwell.
There is a lot for children to do; lots of play areas etc. but I can imagine young children losing interest. It's an animal park, not a zoo which means the animals are in very large enclosures as similar to their natural habitat as possible. This means they can sometimes be hard to spot, sometimes impossible. It can be disappointing, but I understand how important it is that they have somewhere to hide out of view of the public. There were lots of school trips while we were there which was a bit frustrating as they were shouting and screaming near some of the small enclosures and it was clearly distressing the animals.
We took our own lunch as animal parks aren't particularly well-known for their culinary delights, but there was one café that looked quite nice with hot meals and cold drinks. This was situated in the 'into Africa' part of the zoo and the benches outside looked out over a huge field where zebra, giraffes and ostriches were roaming freely - it truly felt like you were in Africa - amazing view! Even though we went in the summer peak, there were none of the ice cream stalls open! I would have loved a cornetto! The gift shop was like any other zoo gift shop; lots of stuffed toys, animal pictures, books for children and pens and pencils at slightly higher prices than you'd find elsewhere!
Marwell has no drive round safari - all the animals can be viewed and accessed by foot. I personally don't like the drive-round bits as I never have enough faith in my car! There are daily talks with keepers - the times change, but there is a chalk board by the entrance with the day's times. Talks are on Giraffes, Meerkats, Rhinos and Penguins. I wasn't fortunate enough to make these talks, but next time I go I would definitely make sure to be in the right place at the right time.
As an environment student, I found the conservation work they do very interesting. They work with communities in other countries to ensure local protection of the natural wildlife. Their social study on Macaques is really interesting; they are monkeys whose interactions are similar to humans and the research is just fascinating! There are so many things like this to read around the park and I learned so much.
Despite all the animals being enclosed, there are some excellent photo opportunities. My stepfather is a keen photographer and managed to get some amazing photos that didn't even look like we were in a zoo! He managed to cut out fences and glass walls to get photos that looked like we were right next to the animals! Some of the animals are so beautiful it's well worth taking your camera! Having said this, there isn't many good opportunities to have your picture taken with the animals as they are often quite far away from where you are standing.
I would 100% recommend going to Marwell weather you have children or not. There is such a variation in the things to do and there really is something for everyone.
As a child I used to go to Marwell zoo quite alot - my dad would take me there for a day out while we were staying at my grandparents caravan on Hayling Island, as it wasn't too far away. I used to love going there and dad would always buy me a t-shirt from the main gift shop on the way out (I still have some of them and they still fit because dad always bought my clothes several sizes too big!). Anyway I now live on the south coast with my boyfriend and I decided that we should visit the zoo together for an enjoyable day out and to give me a chance to do some animal photography.
We decided to visit today (23rd of January) because at this time of year the zoo charges 'off peak' prices which are the cheapest available and on their website you can get a voucher giving you 2 for 1 entry until the end of the month. This meant that it cost us £14 for two adults which seemed reasonable considering the cost of many other attractions. Prices do vary throughout the year and are clearly posted on the zoo's website, so you won't get any nasty surprises when you arrive.
Getting there and parking:
The zoo was fairly well sign posted all the way from the M27, although we did use the sat nav on my phone to help us at times. On arrival the car park is a decent size although even on a quiet Sunday in January, it still seemed quite busy - even so we found ourselves a space quickly. The one bad point I did have about the car park was that there were no sign posted areas and as the whole thing looks the same, you may struggle to remember where you parked the car, especially during peak season!
There are several pay cubicles available, with one set aside for pass holders. On a day like today where there were no ques, they only had 2 open as this was all that was needed, but in summer the que's can get quite long. The woman who served us was friendly and approachable - she accepted our voucher and processed the cost of the tickets whilst explaining that if we were tax payers we could fill out a gift aid form which we duly did. She also asked if we would like a 2010 guide book which had been reduced to £1, which we accepted (they didn't seem to have any 2011 guide books available but the differences are probably minimal and I doubt I would be willing to part with the RRP cost).
The vast majority of path ways are tarmaced and quite wide which makes them suitable for the disabled, although the follow the contours of the land which gives a more natural feel. There are some viewing platforms aswell which have stairs/slopes leading up to them - these can be handy for watching the giraffes when they are out in the paddock, although they were all inside on this occassion.
On the website it suggests that you give yourself 4-5 hours for a visit, however we were around and out again in two hours and I was lingering at enclosures to take photos, so I can't see most people needing 4-5 hours to go around the whole zoo.
There are a number of cafe's, kiosks and vending machines located around the zoo, so you wouldn't think you'd have any trouble finding something to eat. At the entrance to the zoo is a cafe located to the left, up a slight incline however this was closed on our visit (possible refurbishment?) and many of the smaller kiosks were closed due to the out of season timing of our visit. There was one cafe open near the zebra's which seemed to be the only one in the whole zoo selling a decent selection of food (regardless of whether or not the others were open) as it actually seemed to sell sandwiches and the like, however it was packed and the que was ridiculously long so we decided to press on and find somewhere else to satisfy our hunger.
The next place we found was near the back of the zoo in the 'close encounters' section, however this only provided drinks, chocolate and cakes which really wasn't what we were looking for considering it was lunch time. When we arrived back at the entrance we went into the gift shop where we discovered a small cafe in the corner - this usually sells sandwiches however by the time we got there (2pm) they had only 2 decrepit looking ones left and they were priced far too high at £3.50 each, so we gave in and got a bit of cake each with our drinks. (Ginger beer, a glass of milk and 2 slices of cake came to £8.75).
Overall the food available was a real disappointment - there was nowhere near enough 'proper' food and I imagine that in the summer there will be much the same problem as the increased number of visitors will be putting the available facilities under even more of a strain. Also considering the high price of the food, I would recommend that you consider bringing a packed lunch with you and taking advantage of one of the couple of picnic areas, or any number of numerous benches available.
My view on the animals is split - there were plenty of different species from many different parts of the world to see, which of course is a plus, however some of the enclosures seemed a bit small. Further to this the big cats never seem to cease pacing, which I've heard is a sign of boredom.
Our English winters can be a bit on the cold side and as many of the animals are natives to warmer locations, at this time of year a great number of them were huddled away inside their sleeping quarters. I can't say that I blame them as I'd do the same, but it did of course mean that there were less animals to view (probably about 30% of them were out of view). This will of course be different in the summer.
Overall I give the zoo 3 out of 5 - it's not as good as I remember it being when I was a child (but what is?), we weren't able to see quite a few of the animals, some of them were pacing, the available refreshments were poor and the gift shop was over priced.
The zoo is probably at it's optimum in spring - I imagine most things will be open by then, more animals will be out but there won't be quite as many visitors as in the summer (it was relatively quiet there today however there was still one person who pointed out a leopard to her grandson, whilst standing by a big sign that said leopard, and said 'Look at the tiger!')
Although Marwell is just up the road from us, we'd never been until we had our son last year. We're now regulars and go most week.
Marwell is home to a wide variety of animals, from penguins to tigers, rhinos to giraffes there really really is plenty to see, and often you are able to get up really close to the animals. For example the giraffes can often be found in their house, so you can almost (but not quite) reach up and touch them. This close proximity is great for kids as they really feel involved in the experience.
Marwell is particularly well known for its penguins, and one in particular. Ralph the penguin has a skin disorder which causes him to shed his feathers, so he can often be seen in a custom made wetsuit to protect his sensitive skin from the sun.
We are annual pass holders, and if you are local the pass offers excellent value. At £52.50 for adults, £33.50 for children and free for under 3s you only need to visit three times within the year to save money on the standard entry fee.
As well as the huge variety of animals, there are also a number of play areas, catering for children of all ages. There is also a big sand pit play area that children can explore. For the parents there are a number of cafes and coffee shops. Annual pass holders benefit from 10% off in all cafes as well as the gift shop and I highly recommend purchasing a 'Marwell Mug'. This is a re-usable insulated mug that costs £22.50 but entitles the owner to free hot drinks in any of the cafes. A real bonus particularly when the weather's not so great! My only real criticism of Marwell is that the food is expensive, but we always take a picnic and there are ample picnic areas, both inside and outdoors so this isn't a big problem.
Marwell has ample free parking, which is a real bonus, particularly in the holidays. There is also a free road train inside Marwell, is great when little ones are tired and you just want to be able to take in the whole park. The train gives a great view of many of the main attraction animals such as the leopards and zebras. There is also a rail train at a cost of £2 per person which runs at peak times.
My son is 3 now and he very well knows wild animals. He sometimes pretends to be a Tiger or sometimes a Monkey or a Tortoise. Seeing his interest we planned to take him to zoo for the weekend day out.
On searching the internet we came across Marwell Wildlife and preferred to go here as the location was only 20 miles from our residence and the information given in the website was very impressive.
We booked our tickets online as we get 5% discount on our tickets.
There are two types of ticket prices one with donation and other without donation. We paid a total of £45.52 for me, my husband and our kid who is 39 months. Children less than three years can go free. Thought the prices are bit pricey the money will indeed go for the maintenance of Marwell Wildlife Park which is an action oriented conservation charity.
On entering the entrance we immediately got our tickets as we booked online and we can buy a guide for £3. I was very impressed with the variety of animals being taken care of. The animals had good roaming place available and the areas were clean and not smelly. We saw Tigers, Rhinoceros, Meerkats, tortoise, cheetah, Giraffe, Zebra, Colobus monkeys, Ostrich, swans, penguins. On seeing some animals I felt like some cartoon characters were coming to life like Meerkats, penguins which I have seen for the first time here. There are under water windows where we can see the penguins diving in the water and there is a sound system which replicates the sound of an ocean which makes the penguin area look more real.
There is a tropical area which resembles a tropical rain forest. It has a collection of tropical plants of exotic fruits and exotic flowers. There are animals like leaf cutter red ants securely placed in a glass box, butterflies, spider and many more. There are fish floating in a small pool of clear water which is fun to watch. There are poisonous frogs in an amazing green and black colour with red eyes. The information about these species is clearly mentioned there. This was a stunning experience for us.
There is a nice play area for kids which includes rope climbing, three slides, bridges and climbing frames. There are many benches around the play area where we can sit and relax or enjoy our snacks. I observed many people bringing packed lunches and snacks and enjoying in the open areas.
There the Ark Gift Shop which has lot of animal cuddle toys, children drink bottles and lot more. There is a cafe within the ark shop. There is a free bus which takes us around some places of the park. Also there is a train service which charges two pound per head. It takes around the park and is twenty minutes ride to and fro.
There is a 'what not to buy' shop which gives us information what animal products not to buy which includes animal skins etc.
Marwell wild life park are doing an excellent job by conserving various animals which are standing in the line of extinction. Any one interested in this wild life park can visit their website www.marwell.org.uk .
Overall it is a nice day out with kids which is both entertaining and educative for the kids and adults too.
I love Marwell and as a child used to go there yearly but nowadays every few years I try to get back there. I last went last year and it is still a lovely place.
The upkeep of the place is spot on and I'v have never come across anything to complain about. The animals all look well looked after and most have very good sized enclosures to roam about in.
It's easy to spend a day here as the park is spread over a large area but it is made so you can walk around in a big circuit so not getting lost and missing out lots. The guide leaflet provides a map in them so you can see whereabouts the animals are that you wish to see.
Marwell pride themselves on breeding animals too and have had success with baby Giraffes last time I heard.
The animals you can see range from Pink Flamingos to white leopards, Tigers to monkeys, Giraffes to penguins and many many more.
There is also an indoor reptile house which some people choose not to enter.
If you are not up to walking then there is a free road train that travels around with several stopping points. There is also a track train that goes from A to B and I have a feeling there was a small fee for this one.
There is a restaurant near the park entrance and several kiosks scattered around the park. You are welcome to take a picnic as they have picnic tables scattered around, I like to eat watching the tigers or monkeys.
I cant resist going to the ice cream parlour right opposite the Rhinos though before I head home.
The children with you or yourselves will enjoy the outdoor adventure play area.
The best way to get there is by car and you need to exit From M3 at Junction 11 and follow the signposts as about 10mins from that junction.
The parking is free when you get there and plenty of parking space.
The prices range from £13.00-18.00 adults and £10.00-14.00 for children aged 3-16.
Prices depend on time of year whether peak or off peak.
Whilst I was looking to check the information I'm giving is correct I noticed that on St Patricks day if you are name Patrick or Patrica you can get half price entry, St Georges day and St Davids day also offer the half price entry with matching names, David, Davina, George or Georgia.
For more information check out their website which also gives more details. www.marwell.org.uk
Aso forgot to mention that there is a fab gift shop called the Ark which is near the entrance/exit so ideal place to stop on way out to get gift reminders of the day...
Could someone at Dooyoo possible change the logo and info for this please as it appears they have renamed it Marwell wildlife,
Will always be zoological park to me....
Marwell is my favourite zoo in the Uk. The animals always look well cared for and there enclosures well maintained.
The highlights for me are the giffafe viewing platform, great for photos, the tiger enclosures the lemars, and the snow leopards.
Some of the enclosures are still on the small side but at least they have been designed with the animal in mind.
You can easily spend a whole day here as there is so much too see and do, and the zoo itself takes a fair while to walk around, there is also a free tractor and trailer ride which stops at allocated places and a train (which i believe you have to pay extra for.) if your feet get tired.
In the school holidays it gets incredibly busy, so really try and go outside of these times if possible, or walk around in the opposite direction to everyone else and your at least see some things with out a crowd.
I love this zoo and can easily just sit down for a hour and watch the tigers. The animals all seem content, which makes it a much more pleasant experiance for the visitor.
I love Marwell. I only live about an hour away which is great for taking younger kids that won't sit quietly any longer than an hour or so! I've been going to Marwell for years, even since I was a child anyway and have always loved going. The grounds are fantastic and at Christmas they usually have some sort of event, in 2007 they had santa and ice skating which was lovely. Going in the winter I think is the best time. As long as you don't mind wrapping up warm it's more magical. The park is all open and because it is cold most of the animals stay inside to keep warm which enables you to see most of them up a lot closer than in the summer when they are out. Marwell House is also a fantastic place to hire out for functions e.g. weddings, corporate events etc.
Marwell Zoo is a 100 acre park based in Hampshire.
It is situated just off the B2177 near Winchester.
Depending on what day you visit there is off peak, standard days and in peak season.
Adult: £12 - £18
Child: £9 - £14
OAP/Student: £10.50 - £16
Family: £38 - £56
Adult with disability: £10 - £15
Child with disability: £8 - £12
Under 3's do not pay
Over 16's are classed as adult
OAP 60 years and over
Student only with valid student card
One carer can be admitted free per disabled customer.
If you want a slightly cheaper twice, ask for the no donation price.
** Opening time **
Marwell opens at 10am every day excepet christmas day and boxing day.
Off peak days they close at 4pm, Standard days 5pm and in peak season is 6pm.
Last entry is 90 minutes before closing time.
Most of off peak is jan, feb and march apart from half term.
Peak season is most of summer holidays and bank holidays etc. the rest of the days are classed as standard days.
If you want to check their website gives a detailed calender.
* Facilities *
Cafe Graze where you can grab a meal. There is a menu on their website. I have not yet eaten in here so i cannot comment on the food.
Squirrel snacks kiosk where you can grab a snack such as sausage rolls, cakes, and drinks.
Okapi where you can grab icecreams.
African BBQ which is not open in the winter.
Bushtucker bites where you can get sandwiches, baguettes, hot and cold drinks.
Judes ice cream kiosk where you can get ice creams and drinks.
The ark gift shop which is very typical of a zoo gift shop "overpriced" but has a wide range of gifts for young and old.
Toilets are dotted all over the park which are always clean and fragrant.
Adventure playground for the kids.
First aid centre and information centre.
Picnic areas.. there are plenty dotted around. Although i do have one complaint.. there used to be a picnic area by the entrance but now the nearest one is a little bit of a walk. So if you want to take the picnic box back to the park its a bit of a nightmare. I suggest a picnic bag to go on the back or a plastic bag with lots of things you can throw away.
** Disabled visitors *
* Special rate for all guests with disabilities - individuals or groups
* One FREE carer admitted with one paying guest with disabilities.
* Special car parking area in main car park
* Manual wheelchairs also available
* Free road trains, one with special carriage accessible to wheelchair users
* Ample toilet facilities for guests with disabilities
* Free guide sheet.
* Ark Gift Shop with wide aisles for wheelchair access.
Marwell cannot admit guide dogs into the park though.
** The animals **
Marwell has a large offering of various animals. Such as:
Giraffes, Penguins, Zebras, tigers, monkeys. There are a few more animals i would like to see, but for a smallish zoo they do have a good choice. I would highly recommend the giraffe pen, it is fantastic, they have a walk out that goes right out into their field and they can get very close, excellent for photo opportunities.
** The road train **
Marwell operates a free road train, a trip around the whole park takes about 30 minutes and there are various stops around the park.
** My opinion **
I am lucky enough to live very close to Marwell and have been visiting since i was a very little girl. For a small local zoo i think it is very good, it has progressed so much over the past few years and i would recommend it to anyone who has a love for animals.
We tend to visit every year because any more than that is just way too pricey. But its expected from any zoo they always charge a fortune.
The surroundings of the zoo are lovely, very green and some lovely trees.
You can also get married at marwell in the house, if you wait around near the house you sometimes see the bridal party going in by horse drawn carriage.
I would recommend this place to anyone who loves animals.
* some facts taken from marwell website
I am lucky enough to live near Marwell Zoo and absolutely love visiting there. I now have two children and they love it just as much, if not more than me.
The zoo itself is well set out so visitors can wamder around and see all the animals. The animals all have large enclosures and most seem perfectly happy to be there. There is a good selection of animals from big animals such as tigers, leopards and giraffes to the smaller animals such as monkeys and wallabies. Each enclosure has an information plaque telling you where the animal comes from as well as how many are left in the wild. This draws your attention to the fact that many of these animals are now endangered and reminds visitors of the valuable job that Marwell and other zoo's do to ensure that no species become extinct.
The only animal missing is the elephant, although this is almost certainly due to the shear size that the enclosure would have to be. Maybe one day they will add this animal to their collection. The only other downside is that it is pretty expensive at £14.50 for adults and £10.50 for children. The annual passes work out more reasonable if you're planning on visiting over 3 times, like we do.
Marwell Zoo is a 100 acre zoological park set in the heart of the Hampshire countryside, just 6 miles from Winchester, 5 from Eastleigh and 12 from Southampton. It is within reasonably easy reach of two main motorways. From the M3 it is junction 11 northbound and junction 11 southbound. From the M27 it is junction 10 westbound and junction 5 eastbound. Marwell is situated just off the B2177 (between Colden Common and Bishops Waltham).
Marwell zoo is only 5 miles from where I live, and as a result I have visited it on numerous occasions with family, friends, school trips etc. I must say it is quite unique in that it has a very different feel to any other zoo I have visited. I think this is due to the feeling of space that you get upon entering the zoo. It is very lush and leafy with lots of trees and lvast areas of open fields. It definitely feels more like a parkland, with each of the attractions being very well spaced, sometimes too well spaced. There are parts of the zoo where there is quite a bit of walking to do before you reach the next enclosure/attraction. This would be fine if it were not for the fact that is slightly uphill all the way to the top of the zoo and then thankfully downhill on the way back to the exit.
For me, the main attractions are the giraffe house which has recently undergone complete renovation. There is a 30 metre walkway which extends out overlooking the giraffe paddock. It gives a brilliant view across the park. The tigers are also breathtaking, as are the snow leopards and rhinos. There are also some great features for kids such as the Australian bushwalk, where you can walk amongst wallaby's, and the newly re-developed Encounter Village, which contains mostly domestic animals including goats, guinea pigs and sheep. It also houses a reptile barn, a Golden lion tamarin walk through and a black rat exhibit. At various times throughout the day children can chat to the keepers and get up close to the animals. There is also a free road train to carry you around the zoo should you get tired!
For me, there are several downsides to Marwell, one is the price. At £14.50 per adult and £10.50 per child I feel it is a bit pricey when compared with other zoos. Bristol zoo is £10.88 per adult, Paignton £10.80 and Chester zoo £13.59 per adult. In my experience each zoo has it's specific attributes and attractions, however, I still believe it is a little over priced. Secondly, since the closure of Marwell's former Treetops restaurant there is a distinct lack of indoor eating options. This is disastrous given the British weather! The zoo is full of outdoor snack kiosks and picnic areas, however, a new restaurant is currently under construction and due to be completed this Autumn.
Overall, Marwell zoo is definitely worth a visit.
Marwell Zoological Park is a large zoo with over 200 species of animals. It is set in 100 acres of land and surrounds Marwell Hall. It was set up in 1972 by John Knowles realised there was a need to save certain animals from extinction. Because of this you are likely to see animals that are becoming extinct such as White Rhinos and Tigers.
This zoo is NOT IN LONDON. It is situated between Winchester and Southampton in Hampshire. It is very easy to find as it is sign posted from both the M27 and the M3. The park has a huge free car park, and if you live in the local are there is a bus stop for local buses.
OPENING TIMES AND PRICES:
The zoo opens everyday except Christmas day between 10am and 6pm in the summer and 10am and 4pm in the winter. (November - March) Last entry is 1 ½ hours before closing.
It costs £14.25 for adults and £10.25 for children. There are also cheaper prices for families (2 adults + 2 children), senior citizens and students. There is the opportunity to purchase annual passes which cost £45 for adults and £30 for children. These passes give unlimited admission for 12 months to Marwell zoo and 9 other zoos across the country.
The zoo has great facilities for people of all ages and abilities. The can provide electric scooters and wheelchairs for a small cost to make it easier for those less able to get around.
There are several places to eat dotted around the zoo, selling all kinds of sandwiches and hot food. A new restaurant is also opening in 2009. There are also carts selling drinks and ice creams, and vending machines. There are also several picnic areas if you wish to bring your own food.
There are also plenty of toilets and baby changing areas.
GETTING AROUND THE ZOO:
The zoo is very big and can easily take the whole day to get around. A free map is available as you enter is you want one but the zoo is also well sign posted.
There are several land train stops where you can ride to train around the zoo if you dont want to walk. This is free of charge to all visitors. There is also a rail train that travels around the zoo and you can board this for a small charge.
Walking is however the best way to get around because on the trains you will miss some of the exhibits and may not have time to take photos etc.
The zoo is separated into several sections although you dont have to visit them all or you can just visit part of one. The sections are; Tropical World, World of Lemurs, Penguin World, Heart of Africa and Giraffe Walkway.
There are several talks around the zoo at different time about various animals. These talks give you the opportunity to speak to the keeper and ask them questions.
This a great place to see plenty of endangered species. There is plenty to do and see and will keep you occupied for the entire day. It is easy to get to, so well worth a visit.
A visit to Marwell Wildlife is a chance to get close the wonders of the natural world - and play a big part in helping to save them. From ring-tailed coatis to red-eyed tree frogs, laughing kookaburra to frilled lizards, our 140 acre zoological park is home to over 250 exotic and endangered specie, in beautiful, landscaped surroundings.