One of England's finest zoos, Colchester Zoo has nearly 260 species of animal. Visitors can feed the elephants and giraffes themselves, and enjoy daily displays. Enclosures include Spirit of Africa for African elephants, Playa Patagonia where sea lions swim above your head in a 24 metre underwater tunnel and the Kingdom of the Wild, with giraffes, zebras, and rhinos. Don't miss the Bears of the Rising Sun enclosure for the rescued sun bears. There is also an undercover soft play complex, road trains, adventure play areas, eating places and gift shops, all set in 60 acres of gardens.
Facilities – at a glance
Suitable for all child ages
- Suitable for children of all ages
- Parking onsite
- Facilities: Wheelchairs for hire
- Accessible toilets
- Open all year
- Opening Times: Open all year, daily from 9.30 (closing times vary according to season). Closed 25 Dec
Also in the area
About the area
Essex is full of pleasant surprises. It has the largest coastline of any county in England, with its fair share of castles, royal connections and scenic valleys. Take Colchester, for example, which was built by the Romans and is Britain’s oldest recorded town. Its castle contains the country’s largest Norman keep and yet, a stone’s throw from here, East Anglia’s newest arts centre promises to put Colchester firmly on the map as Essex’s capital of culture.
Tidal estuaries are plentiful and their mudflats offer migrating birds a winter feeding place. Essex was known as the land of the East Saxons and for centuries people from all over Europe settled here, each wave leaving its own distinctive cultural and social mark on the landscape. Walking a little off the beaten track will lead you to the rural retreats of deepest Essex, while all over the county there are ancient monuments to explore:
- the great Waltham Abbey
- Greensted, thought to be the oldest wooden church in the world
- the delightful village of Pleshey has one of the finest examples of a former motte-and-bailey castle
- Hedingham Castle, magnificently preserved and dating from the 11th century.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
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