Visiting our Zoos during the Summer Holidays

Our zoos are safely open and ready for your visit

Good to Go logo

We want everyone visiting our zoos to enjoy a great experience, and we want to continue playing our part in the wider community to keep everyone safe and healthy.

During the school summer holidays we will continue to ask Members, Fellows and visitors to pre-book visits so we can make sure the flow of visitors around the zoo is well-managed. Members and Fellows can additionally visit without pre-booking any day from 3pm when the zoo is quieter.

We’ll be encouraging visitors to voluntarily continue wearing masks when inside our retail and catering spaces, and indoor exhibits.

To keep the animals in our walkthrough exhibits as safe as possible (the areas where visitors share the same space as our animals) we will be asking all visitors aged over 11yrs without exemptions to wear facemasks.

At ZSL London Zoo our one-way routes will remain marked and recommended to visitors as a great way to see everything, but you will be able to explore your own route if you prefer.

We know our members love to visit frequently, and we are increasing capacities to reflect this. We are confident our members will be able to visit on the dates they wish, without the zoo being overcrowded.

And of course, our handwashing and sanitiser stations will remain available across the zoos.
 

What do I need to know about visiting your Zoos?
  • Can I visit ZSL London and Whipsnade Zoos?

Yes, our Zoos are safely open and covid-secure. Both ZSL Whipsnade and London Zoos fall under social distancing guidance, which should have a minimal impact on your visit. You can pre-book your ticket here.

Visitors will need to pre-book tickets online (including Members and Fellows). Members and Fellows only need to pre-book for peak-days, if visiting before 3PM, which are weekends as well as school holidays and bank holidays. Visitors will select a date to visit and are granted entry any time after their selected time up to 5pm, one hour before we close at 6pm. 

Please wear a face covering on entering Whipsnade Zoo unless you are exempt or are entering the Zoo by car. You can remove it when you are outdoors and have passed through our admissions gate.

  • Will the Zoos be very busy with lots of queues?

We have strictly limited the number of tickets on sale each day. We will also be quickly scanning visitors on arrival to avoid big queues at the entrances, and we have marked out areas where queues might occur to help everyone maintain 2m distance from one another. 
We have also postponed several promotions and all third-party sales so that we can control numbers more effectively and ensure that visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience. 

  •  Are all the exhibits open?

We are working hard to have as much of our experience open as possible and our indoor enclosures at both our Zoos have safely reopened.

Masks are advised and are mandatory for visitors in indoor areas such as our gift shops and walkthrough exhibits such as Gorilla Kingdom at London Zoo. You don't have to wear a mask during the rest of your visit in outdoor areas, but we do encourage it as a courtesy to other visitors and staff.

We have also introduced one-way routes around London Zoo to help with visitor flow and to ensure social distancing. Visitors can choose from 3 different routes depending on the animals they would like to see and the time they would like to spend in the Zoo.

At Whipsnade, our penguins' area will close half an hour before zoo closing time.

  • Can I take the one-way routes around London Zoo multiple times?

Yes, all the routes end in the Zoo's central courtyard so you can take them in any order and as many times as you wish, as long as you remain in the Zoo.

Tickets are for single entry to the Zoo only. If you leave the premises, you will not be granted re-entry.

  • How long can I stay at the zoo?

There is no time limit on your visit but to manage capacities and ensure safe distancing, we would recommend you stay no longer than 4 hours.

  • Are the play areas open?

Yes! Play areas at both sites are safely open including our Splash Zone at London. If you're looking to visit our Hullabazoo indoor play area, you'll just need to book a spot the night before you go.

Book for Hullabazoo indoor play

  • Can I make purchases on-site using cash?

We are encouraging visitors to use contactless payment whenever possible and kindly ask that cash is only used as a last resort.  With the contactless limit having been increased to £45, there is also limited need for PIN entry and your payment can remain contactless.

  • Can I bring my own food and drink? And where can I eat it?

Yes, you can bring your own food. There are open-air picnic areas at both Zoos and outdoor tables. We kindly ask everyone, whether bringing their own food or buying food on site, to help our staff and please dispose of all waste in bins provided.

  • Will you be running talks and demonstrations?

As these attract groups of people standing in close proximity, we are not running our regular talks programme for the time being..

  • What about animal experiences like ‘Meet the animals’ or overnight stays in the Lodges?

Experiences are available to book in advance - please see the Experiences section of the website for the latest details.

  • Are the Zoos still accessible for wheelchair users?

Yes, both Zoos are still fully accessible. Find out more about accessibility at ZSL Whipsnade and London Zoos.

  • Will I still be able to hire a wheelchair?

Yes, both Zoos will still have wheelchairs for hire which will be cleaned after each use.

 

How do I book tickets?
  • Can I buy my ticket on arrival at the Zoo?

No, all tickets must be booked in advance including peak tickets for Members, Fellows, and under-3s. This is essential so that we can safely manage the number of people visiting the Zoo each day. Members and Fellows only need to pre-book during peak times, if visiting before 3PM, which are weekends as well as school holidays and bank holidays. Patrons will not need to prebook at all from 19 July 2021 onwards. 

  • I booked a ticket but now I cannot come on that day, can I get a refund?

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer a refund if you are now unable to visit. If you need to self-isolate, or feel uncomfortable visiting at the moment, please call us on 0344 225 1826 and we'll happily reschedule for you.

  • Do under-3s also need a ticket?

Yes, in order for us to manage capacities within the Zoos, everybody will need a pre-booked ticket including under 3s. The under-3 ticket remains free.

  • I am a Member, Fellow or Patron - how do I pre-book a ticket?

All Members and Fellows are able to pre-book free peak-time tickets here, using their membership ID as login. If you're visiting after 3pm on any day, you need not book at all.

You will be able to book tickets for yourself, everyone on your membership and for memberships related to your account. Members and Fellows only need to pre-book during peak times before 3pm, which include weekends as well as school holidays and bank holidays.

Patrons no longer need to book to visit the Zoo at all. 

If you have trouble logging in with your short membership ID / CRM ID, which can be found in anyl correspondence from us, please contact us at membership@zsl.org, fellowship@zsl.org or patronage@zsl.org respectively, or ring us on 0344 225 1826.

  • I booked a ticket via a third party – is it still valid?

London Pass holders simply need to arrive at the Zoo and present their pass to ZSL Admissions staff.

However, in order to manage numbers on site, we are currently not selling tickets through other third parties. This is so we can closely control how many tickets have been sold for each date and session. If you hold any other third party ticket, please contact the company you bought your voucher from for an exchange/refund.

  • How do I redeem my flexi ticket?

Your flexi/bulk voucher alone is not valid for entry to the Zoo. It must be exchanged in advance for a dated Zoo ticket. When you know which day you’d like to visit, simply go to zsl.org/BookTickets, choose the Zoo your ticket is valid for, select the date and the tickets for your group. When you proceed to pay, select ‘Pay now', then 'Gift voucher’ and enter your flexi ticket voucher number(s). That will reduce the cost of those tickets to zero.

  • Are any of the promotions that ran before your lockdown closures still valid?

So that we can manage our visitor numbers effectively and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone, we have decided to stop all active promotions at this moment in time. This means that we are not accepting Tesco Vouchers, National 241 Rail Offers or any other long-standing promotion. Unfortunately, this means that we are also unable to currently offer free entry to Blue Peter badge holders.

  • I have one of your 2020 flyers with a discount offer on it. Can I still use it?

No. So that we can manage the number of people entering the Zoo, we are only selling tickets online. This allows us to cap numbers really effectively for everyone’s safety. Unfortunately, this also means that promotions have had to be stopped, including the 20% offer which was valid for sales at the gate only.

  • What about tickets for essential carers? I don’t see them online…

Free admission for an essential carer is still available when visiting with a visitor with additional needs. This will be managed on the gate upon arrival.

  • Can I upgrade my Zoo ticket to become a member?

Yes! You can upgrade your Zoo ticket to membership within 14 days of your visit and only pay the difference! Find out more at www.zsl.org/membership.

I'm a Member, Fellow or Patron - what does this all mean for me?
  • Do I need to pre-book a ticket to visit?

We are operating on a reduced number of visitors at the Zoo per day to ensure that we keep everyone safe. This means that all Members and Fellows need to  continue pre-book free slots to visit the Zoo during peak times, if visiting before 3pm, which are weekends as well as school and bank holidays. From Mondays to Fridays outside of school or bank holidays, as well as during peak times if visiting before 3pm, you can visit the Zoo by showing your membership card - or temporary slip for new members - at the Zoo entrance on the day you would like to visit. 

Patrons no longer need to book to visit our Zoos and can do so at their leisure. 

When pre-booking free tickets: please bear in mind that every pre-booked free ticket is for members only, valid on the selected date for the selected Zoo and in conjunction with a valid ZSL Members or Fellows card, or temporary slip for new members. Otherwise, unfortunately, we will not be able to grant you entry into the Zoo.

  • How do I book as a Member or Fellow?

You can access the booking system through our website by visiting zsl.org/booktickets.
Please select the ‘BOOK FREE TICKETS’ option of the Zoo you would like to visit. 
You will be asked to enter your membership ID – you can find it on your temporary membership slip for new members, on the front of your membership card or in the ticket release emails you receive from us.

  • When will more member ticket dates be available? 

Tickets for our supporters are released in batches and are now available for visits up to the end of the summer school holidays on 5 September 2021. 
Keep an eye on your emails with all you need to know about member ticket releasess. Not signed up to emails yet? Sign up here

  • I am a new member – why can’t I book a ticket?

If you bought a new membership today, please allow 24 hours for your membership ID to be updated on the booking system and try again the next morning. You will then be able to book your free tickets – capacity permitting. Check the website regularly for the most up-to-date information on ticket availability and booking requirements.

  • Are tickets limited for Members and Fellows?

We want everyone visiting our Zoos to enjoy a great experience, and we want to continue playing our part in the wider community to keep everyone safe and healthy. During the school summer holidays from 22 July to 5 September 2021 we will continue to ask members and visitors to pre-book visits so we can make sure the flow of visitors around the Zoo is well-managed. Members can additionally visit without pre-booking any day from 3pm when the zoo is quieter. 

So that we can also generate much needed funds from single visit paying customers, we have ring-fenced allocations of tickets for our Members and Fellows. We have increased member allocations for the summer holidays and are confident our members will be able to visit on the dates they wish, without the Zoo being overcrowded.  

  • Why are there dates available for paying visitors but I can't book them as a member?

There is a pre-defined, ring-fenced allocation of tickets for members, that are released in batches, and they may become booked up at a different rate to paying visitor slots. For instance, many people buying tickets don't book them until the day before visiting. Tickets for paying visitors are released for several months in advance, whereas we are releasing member tickets much more frequently to give our supporters a fair chance to book a visit in the weeks ahead, whilst preventing block-bookings and decreasing the likelihood of no-shows.

Please note, paid visitor tickets are non-refundable. If you as a member decide to purchase a ticket to visit the Zoo, we will not be able to offer you a refund for this ticket.

  • How often can I come and visit?

Members and Fellows have unlimited visits during off-peak weekdays, and after 3pm during peak-times. This means you can visit the Zoo as often as you like from Monday to Friday outside of school and bank holidays, as well as during peak-time late afternoons. 

ZSL Patrons may visit whenever they wish without a need to pre-book a ticket.

  • What if I can’t make it to the Zoo on the day I have pre-booked?

To give as many visitors as possible the opportunity to visit our Zoos, we kindly ask you to consider dates carefully before booking your tickets. Please make sure you can visit on the day and time you have selected and cancel your booking as soon as you can if you can't attend at least one day before your booked visit so you can book in another visit, capacities permitting (see below).

  • Can I give my pre-booked free ticket to a friend?

No, free Members' and Fellows' tickets are non-transferable and can only be used by those listed on their Membership or Fellowship and in conjunction with a valid ZSL Membership or Fellowship card which must be shown when entering the Zoo. 

  • I haven't received my tickets via email. What do I do?

If you have booked though See Tickets and haven’t received your tickets, you can ask for them to be resent. Simply enter the email address you booked with into the ‘Forgotten Details’ section at the bottom of the SEE Tickets customer service page. Please check your spam and junk folders too. 

    • Will my additional benefits still be available?

    Most of your special Gold Member, Patron and Fellow benefits are safe to use and are available for you to enjoy, other than the following:

    • Fast Track entrance at the corner of Regents Park - closed for now
    • Reference use of ZSL Library – closed for now
    • Can I use my half price/complimentary tickets at the moment?

    We’re pleased to let you know that Members and Fellows are able to use their half price Zoo tickets again for all days. This means you can then use your half-price tickets not only during term time weekdays, but also for weekends, school holidays and bank holidays. Patrons' complimentary tickets can be used on any date.

    All half-price and complimentary tickets must be redeemed online. Find out more here.

    • As a Fellow, can I still bring in a family guest with me for free?

    As a Fellow, you are still able to bring a family guest into the Zoo with you, however you must also pre-book this ticket at the same time as you pre-book yours for peak days. Your guest must accompany you when you present your tickets and card at the gate. For off-peak periods, Fellows can sign in a family guest with their Fellowship cards, without pre-booking.

    • I am a Patron, can I still sign in family guests for free? 

    The Primary Patron (the one with the red card) can sign in two family guests each visit by showing their Patron card or welcome letter.  Patrons must accompany their family guests to gain admission.  If you are unsure of who your Primary Patron is, please contact us at patrons@zsl.org

    • I’m a new Member, Fellow or Patron, how can I pick up my membership card?

    The membership desks at both London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo are open – staffing levels permitting – to take your photos and print your membership cards. However, if there is a queue or if you would prefer to pick up your cards another time, please check back later and use your temporary membership slip to gain entry to the Zoo.

    • How do I cancel my free ticket?

    As we are working with See Tickets, you will need to cancel directly with them. All you need is your booking reference – you will have received with your PDF tickets – and the postcode associated with the order. Visit See Ticket's customer service page and fill in reference number and postcode in the top section, and proceed to cancel. Please cancel at least one day before your booked visit to give others the chance to enjoy the Zoo instead. If you cancel up to one day before your booked visit, your member ticket allocation will be automatically added back into your account within 10 minutes, so you can book in another visit capacities permitting. However, if you try to cancel on the day of your visit, the ticket cannot be released for others to use and you might not be able to book for another day.

    • I want to do more to help. What can I do?

    We need every bit of help we can get so we can bounce back after what has been an incredibly difficult year. Renewing your membership or a donation, of any size would make all the difference. You can donate online at donate.zsl.org.

    Can I book a school visit?

    Schools can now book for a visit in the upcoming 21-22 Autumn/Winter school term. We're fully booked for summer. To enquire about a visit, please select which zoo you'd like to visit, below:

    Enquire about an education visit for LONDON ZOO
    Enquire about an education for WHIPSNADE ZOO

    If you have any questions please email learning@zsl.org .
     

    Can I visit the ZSL library?

    ZSL’s Library is currently closed. If you have borrowed books we will be automatically renewing your loan, so please don’t worry. There’s no need to attempt to return your books at the moment.

    Treat your loved ones and support us, with a purchase from our online shop!

    We are still bustling away behind the scenes and packaging up everything an animal-lover could possibly desire, from animal adoptions to pangolin pyjamas and everything in between. Gold Members, Patrons and Fellows even get a whopping 10% off.

    Now more than ever is time to treat yourself. So have at it, head on over to shop.zsl.org and grab yourself a gift with a difference!

    SHOP NOW

     

    Can I book a birthday party or wedding?

    Our hire venues aren’t operating at the moment. Please do email us in the meantime, one of the team will get back to you as soon as we can.

    I have another question that isn't answered here, how can I get in touch?

    Please contact us on the details below if you have any questions that have not been answered in our FAQs

    Tiger at London Zoo - please donate

    Book your tickets now

    Pre-booking is essential for paying visitors