Family, Travel & Adventure

Saturday, 20 June 2015

The Penguin Parade, Pandas and Dinosaur Fun at Edinburgh zoo

Last weekend when Steve was at work I took the kids on a road trip to Edinburgh Zoo. The Zoo is very easy to get to from the North East - pretty much straight up the A1. We left at 8am and arrived at the zoo for 10:15am. We had a lovely day and didn't leave until 5pm. A trip is definitely achievable in a day.


The Pandas


You need to pre-book to see the Pandas  and are given a separate ticket (no additional cost). We decided on the 11 am slot and headed to see the Pandas first (they are fairly close to the entrance). Unfortunately the Pandas were sleeping during our visit (I am told this is their favourite hobby) however it was still lovely to see them and there was a guide there who provided lots of information.


A trip to Edinburgh Zoo is very educational and as we left the Panda enclosure we learned all about their habitat and the bamboo that they eat.


Dinosaurs Return

My four year old is not keen on walking up hills so we caught the courtesy bus from the main reception up to Dinosaurs Return.  My children are dinosaur mad and were thrilled with this exhibition - walking amongst moving dinosaurs that towered above them was certainly memorable! We loved the fact boards too.






At the top of the hill we enjoyed the view and spotted zebras, lions and tigers. Although they were mostly sleeping it was still an amazing experience to see them in real life. We also got to see the cutest koalas which I believe are the only ones in the UK.


There are a few experiences that we could walk through and really get close to the animals including the wallabies, pelicans (although closed for maintenance on our visit) and some of the monkeys. Yes we are the family that had to hop past the wallabies and pretend we were one of them!

Another real highlight for us was the Budongo Trail. The chimps were captivating to watch and there was so much information to read and learn and compare how human-like they actually are.

The Penguin Parade

The Penguin Parade was the highlight of our day. I loved how the Penguin Parade is completely voluntary. The keepers explained that they would never coerce or entice the penguins out with food and it is 100% their choice if they would like to take part. There is currently one parade per day so make sure you head down to Penguin Rocks early to get a good vantage point. We loved watching the penguins toddle past.


After the parade we decided to explore Penguin Rocks a little further. The Penguins at Edinburgh Zoo are housed in Europe's largest outdoor penguin pool and there were plenty of spots to watch the penguins and learn about their behaviour.





Lunch Time

There are a fair few dining choices  at the zoo including picnic areas if you wish to bring your own food as we did (you can hire a locker for £1 deposit at reception if you don't want to carry it around with you). There are also a few play parks dotted about which are perfect when the grown ups need to stop for coffee.



For the rest of our day we enjoyed watching baby Rhea's, the Capuchins, Drill, Meerkats, Lemur, Reptile House and Birds of Prey to name but a few.




You can check out more of the fun we had in our short video highlights below:-



Need to Know

*On site Car parking is charged at £4 per day.
*Tickets are priced at £17 per adult, £12.50 per child and under 3's are free. Family discounts are available (click here for details)
*The Zoo is open daily from 9am-6pm throughout the Summer (times here)
*Make sure you check out the daily keeper talks 
*Pick up a zoo map from the Zoo reception as the signage can be confusing at times

We loved our day at Edinburgh Zoo and hope you enjoyed this post. As you may be aware we are one of six blogs to make the finals of this years MAD Blog Awards in the BEST FAMILY FUN category. We would really appreciate your vote if you can spare 20 seconds - 



MAD Blog Awards UK 2015
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
My Travel Monkey
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23 comments

  1. I've been to Edinburgh a fair few times but never made it to the Zoo, I'm desperate to see the penguins and pandas though, so many people have told me how great they are so we really should try and plan a trip this Summer! x

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    1. The penguins are a definite highlight, the zoo is pretty easy to get to from the city centre I think

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  2. Oh what a lovely post, such an in-depth review of the zoo, I love it. I'd really love to see pandas. I think it's great that zoos do so much for conservation these days, it's so important for animals like pandas whose wild habitat is threatened.x

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    1. Thanks - I agree, zoo's are a lot more focused on conservation now which is great to see x

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  3. Oh my there is so much there, I wouldn't know which animals to go fir first. I must say I think penguins are a hoot and the penguin parage made me smile. What a wonderful family day and well worth the 2 hour blast up the MI. Thank you for sharing with me on Country Kids.

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    1. It was a great day - the Penguins are certainly unique!

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  4. I love Edinburgh zoo - I used to visit a lot although I've realised that's suddenly a long time ago (15 years +!) and we're not as near any more. They've obviously changed and added a lot which looks wonderful - glad the penguins still parade though. I did visit once and see a single penguin hop waddling along! #countrykids

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    1. Haha time flies when you're having fun doesn't it!

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  5. this looks like so much fun and you captured some great images too x

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    1. Thanks! It's pretty tricky taking photos, filming and keeping an eye on three kids but we got there.

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  6. What a fab day out! Love the penguin parade and the dinosaur trail would go down very well with my daughter! #mondayescapes

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  7. OOO I didnt know they had Pandas :D we went several years ago, and had a great time. Maybe one to plan for the future as we live in Sussex but I love Edinburgh so would be a good excuse to go back. Thank you #MondayEscapes

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    1. Over 1 million people have seen the pandas now. They were very sleepy but still great to see ;-)

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  8. This looks like such a great day out. I have never actually been to Edinburgh Zoo before even though i have been to Edinburgh lots of times. We were meant to visit for Sophias 2nd birthday in May but we ended up postponing until next year when Jacob is a bit bigger and can enjoy it too xx

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  9. Edinburgh Zoo looks absolutely fab!! I want to go! I love the mix of all the different types of animals and dinos, too! The Penguin Parade looks awesome. What a fab day out and so lucky it's not too far from you! Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

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  10. We went to Edinburgh Zoo last July and the male panda was asleep at the time we went in - the female was pretending to be pregnant I think. It's a lovely zoo and you're right it's not far from the north-east.

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  11. Edinburgh Zoo looks amazing - I loved seeing Panda's when I was a kid and we used to have them at London Zoo - but I think Koala's would be my highlight I've never seen one and they are just so unique. (Our family would join you hopping through the enclosure as we do many times in Colchester Zoo as well :) )

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  12. I LOVE Edinburgh Zoo! The penguins were my favourite, I could've watched them for hours! One of the pandas was having a phantom pregnancy when we visited so I couldn't see them :(. Looks like you had a fab day out!

    Kay xx
    Idreamofcoco.blogspot.co.uk

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  13. I love how zoo's are moving from just being an animal showcase, to more educational and conservation focused. Ofc, they needed to evolve really in this day and age, but it's still great to see.

    Edinburgh for us is *that* place. The place we always say time and again looks a great city to visit. The place we always say we must go there some time. The place that we never ever manage to get to, haha.

    One day I'll make it...one day. And the zoo is definitely on the agenda when we do as obviously Panda's are cool. Nearly as cool as Penguins :D

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  14. Edinburgh Zoo looks SO good - it's always somewhere I forget about! Definitely must visit soon x

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  15. Oh my God! This zoo looks like a dream! I'm moving to Edinburgh next month, so I can't wait until I have settled and have all the time to spend my days walking on streets and visiting all the places I like there!

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  16. I'd love to go to the Edinburgh zoo. The penguins!!! I am mad about penguins. It looks a lot better than the London zoo.

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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