A Trip to Edinburgh Zoo
I finally got to go somewhere in lockdown! I was so excited when I heard Edinburgh Zoo was able to reopen; I knew I had to go. They are currently only allowing people in who have pre-booked tickets, so if you're interested, make sure you book online first! I thought today I'd share my experience at the zoo, so you can make an informed decision about whether you want to visit, if you find yourself in the area soon.
I got to the zoo by taking the Lothian 26 bus from the City Centre to the entrance. This was super simple, and only took about 10 minutes. The Zoo is in the city, but is about an hour walk from the centre, so I recommend taking public transport to get there. You of course have to show your ticket when you arrive, which is indoors, so be sure to bring a face mask with you. You also need to go indoors to exit, so don't throw it away! While you're walking around there's no need for a mask though.
The animal experiences begin as soon as you walk in, with the meerkats right in front of you. I could have stood and watched them all day! Because of the booking system, the zoo was empty. I recommend booking the first slot of the day, as you basically have every exhibit to yourself. Once I was past the first few enclosures I didn't see another visitor the entire time, I really felt like I had the whole place to myself which was great. It meant I could go at my own pace and look at things for as long as I wanted, making it a really relaxing experience.
Another benefit to going first thing in the morning is the animal encounters. Most of the animals I saw where really lively and energetic, and as such I got some amazing experiences; some of the best I've ever had at any zoo. This included an up-close tiger encounter, I got to see the pandas up close, and the lions were roaring like crazy (apologies about the poor panda photo; it was in a strange position)!
Edinburgh Zoo is very hilly, and at some points is incredibly steep. It can be tough, but if you're able to make it to the top, I highly recommend it. This photo doesn't do it justice, but you get some amazing views!
Of course, although there were many positives to my visit, there were some negatives too. Unfortunately, there was hardly anything to see on my visit. A lot of the exhibits at Edinburgh Zoo involve going into indoor spaces, all of which were closed, I'm assuming to keep with Covid regulations. As such, a lot of the animals people really like to see where completely closed off, including the rhino and the koalas. As such, my visit ended up actually being quite short, which was disappointing. The zoo currently has a one way system, but trust me, it does not work! If you truly follow it, you end up in weird places, and everyone ended up going whatever way they wanted as a result, which wasn't really a problem since it was so empty. It was a bit frustrating though to be following the system for 5 minutes without seeing anything, only to come to a dead end and have to retrace my steps.
Even taking those negatives into account, I had a really fun time at the zoo. It was so nice to do something different during lockdown, and it was actually a great way to get some exercise in too. If you're considering it, I highly recommend taking a visit, I'm sure I'll be back soon!
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Until next time,