In With The Spiders

In With The Spiders

Get In with the Spiders at ZSL London Zoo - the UK’s first ever walk-through spider exhibit 

ZSL London Zoo has taken on the challenge of a lifetime in a bid to clear the name of one of the world’s most feared, misunderstood and maligned creatures, in a unique and immersive exhibit.


In with the Spiders will bring people face-to-face with amazing arachnids from around the world in a completely unique and immersive experience within the Zoo’s popular B.U.G.S exhibit. 

Zoo visitors will first get gently acquainted with the UK native species and regular house guest, the ‘spider in a bathtub’, before meeting fascinating exotic species such as the black widow, huntsman and giant bird-eating spiders.

Orb Spider

Visitors will then discover the true meaning of ‘up close’ as they enter into the forest home of ZSL London Zoo’s uniquely sociable communal spiders, and stunning, golden orb spiders that spend their days posing proudly on huge one-metre wide webs. 

With the opportunity to take home a special souvenir from the walk-through expedition, visitors can pose for a pic with the golden orb spiders in front of the “Spider Selfie” mirror.  

A sneak peek into the Spider Nursery will give visitors an insight into the breeding work carried out by keepers at ZSL London Zoo, and hopefully a glimpse of tiny spiderlings. 

In with the Spiders will be home to one of the UK’s most endangered animals, the fen raft spider.  One of the biggest spiders in Britain, they have the remarkable ability to walk on water. As part of the Zoo’s worldwide conservation work, zookeepers at ZSL London Zoo worked with Natural England to rear tiny fen raft spiderlings into adults, which were then reintroduced back to the wild. 

Celebrating the creatures whose very name has been slandered over the years, In with the Spiders ‘talking tarantula’ will help to dispel the myths surrounding spiders to reveal why they are in fact friend, not foe. 

With two decades of curing arachnophobia under its belt with the hugely successful Friendly Spider Programme, ZSL London Zoo already knows a thing or two about converting spider-haters into spider-lovers. Visitors are sure to leave the exhibit with a new-found appreciation for arachnids. 

The incredible In with the Spiders experience is included in the entry ticket price for ZSL London Zoo. 


In With The Spiders: Europe's first spider walk through

Book Tickets Now

See the spiders up close

Friendly Spider Programme

Friendly Spider Programme logo

The Friendly Spider Programme (FSP) is an afternoon course, carefully designed to ease or eliminate the condition of arachnophobia – fear of spiders.

The programme is a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnotherapy led by ZSL’s Head of Invertebrates Dave Clarke, in conjunction with John Clifford of the Centre of Clinical Hypnosis.

Success is measured by participants catching house spiders under a glass, to take it outside, and if they so wish, cured participants are given the chance to meet one of ZSL London Zoo’s red kneed spiders. 

Find out more


Find out more about some of the residents of In with the Spiders.

Golden orb-weaver

This week's Curious Creature is the fascinating Golden Orb-Weaving Spider.

A Redback Spider, Latrodectus hasselti, in the Bugs! exhibit at ZSL London Zoo.

Find out how spiders are actually more likely to save your life than do you harm!

In With The Spiders

Get closer to one of nature's most fascinating creatures!

In With The Spiders infographic - Spiders are lucky

  • There are more than 47,000 species of spider worldwide, 670 of which are found in Britain.
  • All arachnids have an external skeleton which they need to shed to grow in size.
  • The largest house spiders in the UK are the Cardinal Spider or the Fen raft spider.
  • Giant House Spider don’t have to live in houses, it’s just they are the species most commonly seen inside.
  • Male huntsman spiders (also known as giant crab spiders) have recently been found to make a buzzing sound using vibration, to attract females.
  • False widow spiders, are not dangerous. Although the noble false widow originally came to the UK from Madeira and the Canary Island they have been here for more than a century and are considered native.

In with the Spiders - female golden orb spiders can be 50 times bigger than males

  • Orb spider webs are up to a metre across.
  • Silk from Madagascar orb spiders was used to make a golden cloak that was displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2012.
  • The Brazilian salmon pink bird-eating spider is one of the largest spiders in the world, growing to have a leg span of up to 28cm.
  • The spiderlings of the Martinique red tree spider are bright blue.

In With The Spiders infographic - social networking

  • Fen raft spiders hunt on the surface of water, only using silk as a retreat or to construct a nursery web.
  • The Peacock parachute spider, also known as the Gooty sapphire, is one of the most beautiful spiders in the world due to its blue colouration. It is also one of the rarest in the wild, living in a single patch of forest in West Bengal, India.
  • Regal jumping spiders have an elaborate courtship dance to attract a mate.

In with the Spiders infographic - there are no dangerous spiders in the UK


In With The Spiders: Europe's first spider walk through

Book Tickets Now

See the spiders up close from 23rd May