My visit to ZSL London Zoo in Regent’s Park, London.
Blue Badge Parking: Yes
Concessions/Carer Prices: Concession for disabled person and free entry for carer
Wheelchair/Mobility Scooter hire: Wheelchairs only (deposit required, booking recommended)
Accessible Toilets: Yes
I visited London Zoo on the 8th and 9th March with family. I actually stayed in Gir Lion Lodge – the small on site village where you can stay and have after hours tours with the keepers. If you love wildlife, this is an experience I would fully recommend and can commend the staff for making every effort to make it accessible and take care of dietary requirements. There is also a significant discount for disabled visitors. However, I will be writing a general review of the zoo’s accessibility and if you wish to contact me with any questions regarding my experience at Gir Lion Lodge you may do so in the contact section of my blog.
There is a wealth of information on the website regarding accessibility, including a list of places to find blue badge parking, a specialised map of access and locations of disabled toilets. I found these toilets to be spacious and have plenty of grab rails.
The vast majority of the paths in the zoo are smooth, besides a few potholes to be careful of. The only issue I really had in terms of terrain was the under road tunnel you have to travel through to get from one side of the zoo to the other. The hills that go down to it and up the other side are extremely steep and I would not have been able to control my wheelchair without assistance.
Many of the doors in the zoo are automatic, which is perfect. I did find however that some of the automatic doors did not seem to be working. I don’t know if this was just a one-off but I could not have got through some of the doors without assistance, so this is worth noting.
The viewing areas in the exhibits have been designed really well to include all visitors, particularly small children and those in wheelchairs; as most are made completely of glass which is very well maintained. There was never a situation in which I could not see a particular animal due to a large fence or wall, unlike my experiences in some other animal attractions around the country. In exhibits where there are multiple levels (such as Tiger Territory), lifts have been included to take you between floors. The only place I could not see particularly well was the old Penguin Pool, as the wall surrounding it was too high for me to see over. However, this is a listed building and no longer has any animals in it as it has been deemed unsuitable.
The cafe was very accessible with a total of four ramps outside and in to allow you to get around. The staff were very considerate and willing to help and they have lots of different options for dietary requirements.
Overall I absolutely loved the zoo and felt they’d made a real effort to make it accessible to all.
Thanks for reading.