Penguin Beach

Penguin Beach Banner

There are p-p-plenty of penguins at ZSL London Zoo in our stunning Penguin Beach exhibit – England’s biggest penguin pool!

Penguin Beach recreates a South American beach landscape in the heart of London, with stunning colony of Humboldt penguins (and one special rockhopper).

The new exhibit features a large pool with stunning underwater viewing areas so you can see how our flippered friends fly under water. The exhibit’s 1200 sq metre pool holds 450,000 litres of water!

Ricky the Penguin

Our large demonstration area turns feeding time in to an even bigger spectacle than before. Penguin Beach Live will feature twice daily feeds where visitors can watch the birds diving for their food.

Penguin Beach is a breeding facility for colonies of Humboldt penguins with a special penguin nursery, including a chick incubation unit and a pool where the youngsters can learn how to swim.

Penguin Facts

Humboldt penguins love cleaning (preening) themselves and their friends. When preening they gather oil from a gland in their tail and then apply this to their feathers – like penguin hair gel!

Humboldt penguins never chew with their mouth open because they don’t chew at all! Instead our penguins swallow their fish head first.

A Humboldt penguin can reach up to 30 miles per hour in the water!

Unlike other penguins, Rockhopper penguins prefer hopping to waddling. You can see Ricky bounding over rocks at Penguin Beach.


A keeper and child with a penguin for Meet the Penguins encounter

Meet the Penguins

Get up close to our penguins at ZSL London Zoo!

Find out more about the inhabitants of Penguin Beach


Penguin chicks at ZSL London Zoo

Find out what happens at feeding time for our very demanding yet totally adorable penguin chicks.

Puddle the penguin chick goes for first swim in the training pool at ZSL London Zoo

Puddle the penguin chick has swimming lessons.

A baby humbolt penguin chick sits on a blanket at ZSL London Zoo's Penguin Beach

Adorable penguin chick is already proving to be a bit of a demanding diva.

A close-up of a humboldt penguin at ZSL London Zoo.

Our expert penguin keeper Zuzana answers your questions on penguins.

A group of penguins at ZSL London Zoo

Can penguins predict the start of summer?

Penguin Beach Live demonstration

Behind the scenes with Lead Explainer - Ruth Thomas.


Our penguins are helping scientists find out how their famous waddle evolved.

Book tickets online for great savings! Select Fast Track tickets to jump the queue.

Tune in to this live underwater stream of ZSL London Zoo's Penguin Beach to watch our Humbolt penguins whizzing through the water. Keep your eyes peeled for Ricky the Rockhopper too!

Feeding time is at 11.30, 13.30 and 16.30 BST

Meet the Penguins experience at ZSL London Zoo
Come and meet our huge family of Humboldt penguins, you may spot one who looks different that’s just our resident rock hopper, Ricky! As you head into Penguin beach you will be able to access Penguin beach, this is an amazing opportunity to see our penguins close up . An expert Keeper will be on hand to answer any questions you have about these amazing animals, find out if all penguins live in cold climates, what makes them a unique bird and how fast they can swim. By taking part in this experience you will be supporting ZSL’s vital conservation work which includes programmes for amazing birds just like these, whose futures are threatened due to habitat loss and climate change.


  • Arrive at meeting point by 13:45 for a 13:50 start
  • Meeting point located at the VIP area at Penguin Beach

Please be aware we are unable to offer this experience during July, August and September as this is our penguin's moulting season.

Ticket prices for 2016

  • £54 per person Mon - Sun



Terms and conditions

  • General admission ticket or valid membership per person must be purchased to be allowed entry into the zoo and take part in the Meet the Penguins experience.
  • Please listen to the keeper at all times. (Your safety as well as the welfare of all animals is their upmost priority. As such, the keeper can stop the encounter or ask participants to exit the VIP area at any time should they feel necessary.)
  • Appropriate closed toe footwear must be worn for the experience.
  • Maximum of 6 participants per experience. Children: must be aged between 8 years and 16 years old and be accompanied by an adult. No more than 2 children per adult. Each adult must also has a valid Meet the Penguins ticket.
  • Disabilities: Participants with learning or visual impairment must be accompanied by a carer who takes full responsibility for the adherence of health and safety and welfare protocols. Accompanying carers can enter the VIP area free of charge but must not participate in the experience. Wheelchair access is available for this experience.
  • Pregnant/ nursing mothers who have given birth within the previous six months cannot participate for health and safety reasons.  
  • Cancellations: ZSL reserves the right to alter the experience or cancel on any given day if necessary. We will endeavour to contact you via email at least 24-hours before your visit to notify you of any changes. We recommend checking your emails on the day before your visit in case we have emailed you. If these changes result in you missing the encounter or you are no longer able to attend, please contact us to discuss options. Turning up late will invalidate your ticket and will not be refunded. Bookings cancelled up to 14 days before the date will be eligible for a full refund. Thereafter changes will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of ZSL. 

Meet the Animals Gift Pack

The perfect gift for the animal lover in your life - includes zoo entry and a Meet the Animals experience for two.