FAQs for school visits to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

  • How do I book my school visit to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo?

If you would like to book entry and an education session with a member of the Discovery & Learning team, please phone at 0344 967 0832

Or, for entry tickets only, you can book or reserve your entry tickets online:

Book Online

  • How much does it cost to visit?

The price of entry varies by school term.

See Current Prices

  • How do I make payment for my visit?

Payment can be made by card, by cheque or by BACS up to two weeks in advance. Any payment made on the day of the visit at the Zoo entrance must be made by a single cheque, cash or card. Cheques are to be made payable to Zoological Society of London.

If posting any payment, please send payment to Finance, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Whipsnade, Dunstable LU6 2LF. You will be charged for the number of students booked for the visit, the number of accompanying adults above the free ratio and any schools sessions you may choose to book. If you are sending a cheque please send it by recorded delivery as you may have to be invoiced on the day if we have not received the cheque.

Book Online

  • Do we get any free adult tickets for supervision purposes?

To ensure adequate supervision for school groups, one adult is admitted free for every 10 paying secondary students or every 6 paying primary students. Any additional adults above the free ratio will be charged the Education Adult rate.

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  • Are there sessions for schools at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo?

Yes, we have an extensive learning programme at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. The range of learning activities available at Whipsnade caters for EYFS up to post-16 students and is free from September to March. The sessions cost £1.50 per student from March to July.

Find out more

  • What can I expect from an education session?

Your session will be delivered by one of our enthusiastic Discovery & Learning Officers in one of our fantastic learning spaces in the Zoo. All sessions are linked to the National Curriculum or specific Exam Board Syllabi. The sessions are between 30-60 minutes in duration, dependant on the year group and session booked.

We encourage hands on activity wherever possible, engaging students with real objects from the natural world and handling collections of animals where possible. We also aim to link to and showcase the species present in the Zoo, ZSL conservation work relevant to the topics covered, and the expertise and excellence of all the staff who work for ZSL.

  • Where are the education sessions held in ZSL Whipsnade Zoo?

The sessions are held in a number of different learning spaces around ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

Sessions are held in the Unicorn room (meeting point 1), Griffin room (meeting point 2), outside at animal enclosures or in our Native Species Habitat Space. On booking you will receive information about which meeting point you are to meet your Discovery & Learning Officer.

Map for Teachers

  • Are there any self-guided resources we can use around the zoo?

If you are booking a session delivered by one of our Discovery & Learning team, each activity will have a pre-visit information sheet that includes activities to do at the Zoo downloadable from the individual activity’s web page.

We have a range of self-guided resources you can use with your group while in the Zoo:

Find out more

  • What else can we do at the Zoo?

There are a range of fantastic talks and events to enrich your students’ learning at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo. To help you make the most of your day here's a list of our daily events, feeds and demonstrations:

Daily Events at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

  • What do I need to know before we visit?

There is a range of information that is useful before you visit ZSL Whipsnade Zoo with your group.

Please find useful pre-visit information here:

Pre-visit checklist

Map for Teachers

  • Do you have a risk assessment for school visits to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo?

Yes, we do. More information, a downloadable pdf version of the risk assessment and our active public liability insurance policy can be found here:

Education Risk Assessment

  • Are there lunch facilities available?

There are a number of spaces that can be used by school groups for lunches. If there is fair weather, we have abundant outdoor green spaces to use as picnic areas.

If there is inclement weather, we have a Schools Lunch Room available for the use of school groups only. This cannot be booked and is on a first come first served basis. We also have wet weather shelters dotted around the zoo which you can use for lunch.

Find out more

  • Where can we eat lunch if it’s raining?

If there is inclement weather, we have a Schools Lunch Room available for the use of school groups only. This cannot be booked and is on a first come first served basis. The schools lunchroom can be found on the map.

Map for Teachers

  • What are the opening times of ZSL Whipsnade Zoo?

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is open every day of the year except Christmas Day.

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  • How do we get to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo?

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is the UK's biggest zoo. Set in 600 acres of beautiful parkland on the Chiltern Hills, north of London, the zoo is home to more than 2,500 animals, many of which are endangered in the wild. ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is just north of London in Dunstable, Bedfordshire. 

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  • Where do we enter ZSL Whipsnade Zoo?

Entrance for school groups is through the Visitor Centre to the Zoo. A member of the Discovery & Learning team will meet you at the gate to ensure you have everything that you need for easy access to the zoo with your group (weekdays, during term time). 

Download 'What To Expect on a Visit' PDF

Map for Teachers

  • What if we are running late?

Please call the Supporter Services team on 0344 967 0832 if you are running late and they will get a message to the Discovery & Learning team. We appreciate that unforeseen circumstances can make a group late and will do the best to accommodate late groups where we have capacity.

If your late arrival time means you miss out on your planned session, we will make every effort to inform you of alternative self-guided activity within the Zoo.

  • What facilities are there for groups with special education needs?

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo seeks to provide equal opportunity for all to enjoy the animal exhibits and visitor facilities. 

A member of the Discovery & Learning team will be at the Main Entrance to greet schools each morning (weekdays, during term time) and can answer any questions or address any concerns you might have to make your day easier.

Find out more about disabled access

  • What happens if a child goes missing during our visit?

If a child goes missing during your visit, please find a member of Zoo staff and notify them immediately so we can help find them.

The meeting point for lost children (also the first aid point) is at the Visitor Centre.

Map for Teachers

  • How can I keep up to date with learning activities and events at the Zoo?

You can sign up for emails from ZSL, which feature the latest Education news and offers.

Sign up

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FAQs for school groups - ZSL Whipsnade Zoo (316.92 KB)