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Lancashire has one of the best zoos in the country – can you guess where it is?

Despite Monday’s announcement that the final stage of lockdown restrictions will remain in place until July 19, there are still plenty of family-friendly adventures to be had with the many attractions that are already open. 

One of these attractions is the zoo, and with zoos finally able to welcome visitors once again, Parkdean Resorts have created a ranking of UK zoos, based on entry fee, TripAdvisor reviews and range of animals on offer.

And incredibly, a zoo in Lancashire has ranked fourth on the list.

The TOP 10 zoos in the UK are listed from left to right as follows; ranking; British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) Zoos; county; entry fee (£); species of animals; % of 5* Tripadvisor reviews; index score

1. Tilgate Nature Centre, West Sussex, £6.00, 144, 70%, 86.6

2. Kirkleatham Owl Centre, North Yorkshire, £3.50, 104, 64%, 77.1

3. Five Sisters Zoo, West Lothian, £12.95, 196, 75%, 75.4

4. Wild Discovery, Lancashire, £7.50, 79, 69%, 74.0

5. Askham Bryan Wildlife and Conservation Park, Yorkshire, £6.95, 65, 71%, 72.9

6. Colchester Zoo, Essex, £16.99, 222, 74%, 69.4

7. Exmoor Zoological Park, North Devon, £15.15, 175, 68%, 67.7

8. Gauntley Bird of Prey – Eagle and Vulture Park, Cheshire, £8.50, 46, 85%, 67.6

9. International Centre for Birds of Prey, Gloucestershire, £11.00, 60, 90%, 67.4

10. Wild Zoological Park, Staffordshire, £12.00, 72, 88%, 67.3

Scoring 74 out of 100 in the index, Wild Discovery, Lancashire came in fourth place.

Wild Discovery charges a £7.50 entry fee and offers 79 different species of animals.

Not only that, but the animal centre at Ribby Hall Village in Preston has 69 per cent of five star TripAdvisor reviews, showing that those who have already experienced everything Wild Discovery has to offer were impressed.

The other zoos in the top five are as follows:

1. Tilgate Nature Centre, West Sussex – Parkdean’s index found that Tilgate Nature Centre in West Sussex was the best overall UK zoo, with 70 per cent of its TripAdvisor reviews giving it five stars. Not only that but Tilgate Nature Centre offers an impressive 144 different animal species, and only charges £6 per entry.

2. Kirkleatham Owl Centre, North Yorkshire – Coming in at second place is Kirkleatham Owl Centre in North Yorkshire, the oldest owl sanctuary in the country, and is home to 104 animal species beyond just owls. With tickets at only £3.50 and 64 per cent of TripAdvisor reviews being five star, Kirkleatham Owl Centre is not one to miss.

3. Five Sisters Zoo, Scotland – Ranking third in the index is Five Sisters Zoo in Scotland. Offering a huge 196 animal species for £12.95 a ticket, not only that but 75 per cent of Five Sisters Zoo’s TripAdvisor reviews were five stars. Overall, Five Sisters Zoo in Scotland scored 75.4 in Parkdean’s index.

5. Askham Bryan Wildlife and Conservation Park, Yorkshire – And coming in at fifth place is Askham Bryan Wildlife and Conservation Park in Yorkshire. The park offers 65 different species of animals at £6.95 a ticket, and 71 per cent of TripAdvisors were five star. Overall, Askham Bryan Wildlife Park scored 72.9 in Parkdean’s index.

The best value for money zoos 

1. Golders Hill Park Zoo, London, Free

2. Calderglen Zoo, South Lanarkshire, £1.10

3. Kirkleatham Owl Centre, North Yorkshire, £3.50

4. Williamson Park, Lancashire, £3.90

5. Hanwell Zoo, London, £4.50

Williamson Park in Lancaster came in at fourth place for best value for money at £3.90 entry fee, and under 3’s go free.

The park is located on 54 acres of parkland close to Fylde Coast, Morecambe Bay and the Lakeland fells.

The park’s main attractions feature a butterfly house and mini zoo, home to resident meerkats, marmosets, minibeasts and birds.

However, if you’re planning a family day out on a budget, Golders Hill Park Zoo in London is free.

Not only do they have 21 different species of animals, Golden Hill Park Zoo offers beautiful gardens and architecture, making it the perfect place for all the family to enjoy.

The best reviewed zoos with the highest number of 5* reviews on TripAdvisor

1. Chester Zoo, Cheshire, 10,320

2. Longleat, Wiltshire, 5,807

3. Yorkshire Wildlife Park, South Yorkshire, 5,405

4. Colchester Zoo, Essex, 4,340

5. Folly Farm, Pembrokeshire, 4,270

One of the UK’s biggest zoos, Chester Zoo is home to a staggering 500 different animal species. 

But all those animals do come at a price, with tickets at £22.72, Chester Zoo is one of the most expensive to visit.

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