Twycross Zoo, Atherstone, Warwickshire

by - April 07, 2018


On a rare Saturday together as a family, we decided to head to Twycross Zoo in Warwickshire. Although the zoo specialises in primates (there are loads!), you won't be disappointed by the range of other animals you can see here. Make sure you have a look at the timetable for when the 'Keeper Talks' are taking place throughout the day. Access around the whole zoo is very good for pushchairs aside from a bumpy journey from some parts of the car park to the entrance. Entrance fees are £19.95 for adults, £14.95 for children aged between 2-16 years old and under 2s go free. These prices include a 10% Gift Aid donation to the zoo's conservation work (a worthy cause!). If you book online you can save 5% from the prices mentioned above. Information about annual memberships can be found here.

Food & Drink
There are quite a few choices of places to eat at Twycross including an indoor picnic area, picnic benches outside and large grass areas if you have brought your own food. There are food and drink kiosks around the zoo as well as a fish and chip restaurant 'Twycross Fish Bar', Explorer Coffee House, The View Restaurant and Vine Cafe. We chose to eat at the The View Restaurant named so because it looks out onto the amazing snow leopard enclosure. The restaurant has plenty of room to park up your pram/pushchair and it's easy to manoeuvre between most of the tables to find somewhere to sit. I managed to count around 20 highchairs, most of which were the Ikea Antilop highchair (without the tray) and were a perfect height for the tables. The food at The View is amazing quality but you're looking at a main dish of about £10. The children's menu offers a main, side, dessert and drink for £7. The coffee is Costa which is always a bonus for me. The only downside is that you have to place your order at the bar and carry the drinks back to the table which is fine if you're with someone but you may have to ask for help if you're by yourself with a little one attached to your hip...or leg - they're very friendly and helpful so I'm sure someone would be more than willing to help. If you don't want a full meal then I'd suggest heading to the Vine Cafe which sells sandwiches, toasties, hot/cold drinks and ice creams. For children, you can pick 5 items for £4.95. 

The restaurant and cafe have three baby changing facilities - two of which are located within the accessible toilets and the third is a baby changing room (I didn't get to look in it as it was locked each time I tried to see!). The baby changing facilities I used had a drop down table without a strap and the room was big enough for a pram and clean.

Within the same building as The View Restaurant and Vine Cafe is 'The Jungle' a multi-tiered soft play area open every day 10am-6pm. You don't have to pay entrance to the zoo in order to access the restaurant, cafe or soft play area. The soft play area has a baby area for children aged 0-2, a toddler area for children aged 2-5 and an area for older children aged 5-12. It looked like so much fun but unfortunately Millie was absolutely shattered by the time we got round to it so we decided to leave it for another day. Prices for the soft play area are as follows:
  • £4.50 for 3-12 year olds (members just £2)
  • £3.50 for under 3s (members just £2)
  • £1 for babies under age 1
The Twycross Fish Bar offers cod, scampi, pies, fish fingers and a children's meal deal where you can choose from sausage, cod or chicken nuggets and chips and a kid’s drink for £4.95. I didn't get chance to peer in and look like a weirdo checking the highchairs and accessibility unfortunately! The Coffee House serves sandwiches, paninis and some yummy-looking cakes and muffins! I saw at least two Ikea highchairs without trays and there was lots of space for prams. They also sold the 5 children's items for £4.95 here too.

Baby Changing Facilities
In addition to the baby changing facilities mentioned above, there are at least two other changing facilities around the zoo but unfortunately the one we used was situated in the ladies' toilets with nothing available in the men's toilets. It was also near the sinks rather than being more private within a cubicle. The other changing facilities we walked past were within an accessible toilet but had a sign stating it was out of order. If daddies are by themselves with the little ones, they'd have had to walk back to the Himalaya Visitor Centre (where The View Restaurant, Vine Cafe and soft play area is) which isn't ideal.

Playgrounds


Next to the Coffee House are two play areas. The main, larger playground has items such as swings, spring rockers, a climbing frame with a slide, seesaw and a mini climbing frame. There is also a smaller play area for children under the age 7 which we had to ourselves for quite a while - see the above picture.


A second playground (above) was under construction when we visited, much to Millie's disappointment. She tried to get in nonetheless!


Twycross Zoo also has a 'Wet 'n' Wild' play area with water fountains and an outdoor area to change. It looked like so much fun and there were a few people who braved the cold water on a not-so-Spring-like Spring day. 

Ratings

Ease of access
Highchairs
Changing facilities
Friendliness of staff
Food & drink
Activities for children
Value for money
Overall 

Overall
We all had a fantastic day at Twycross Zoo and despite Millie often being more interested in puddles, she loved seeing all the animals. I can't recommend this place enough for a fun-filled family day out. And to top if off, you aren't forced to walk through the gift shop on your way out - how rare is that!!!

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