The UK is a country of animal lovers and zoos are something we have plenty of.

If you’re looking for a memorable day out with the family, it’s difficult to beat a trip to the zoo. You’ll get to see a whole host of extraordinary creatures from around the world, and, if you go to the right one, you’ll help to support vital conservation efforts at the same time.

The UK, fortunately, is home to several world-class zoos — and, since they’re spread fairly uniformly across the country, the chances are good that you’re within reach of one. Let’s take a look at five of the best.

Chester Zoo

The inner goings-on at Chester Zoo were immortalised on television in the form of the wildly popular, ‘The Secret Life of the Zoo’ from Channel 4. But it’s been a success story for much longer than that. If you work for the National Health Service, then you’ll be able to make a trip to Chester Zoo all the more affordable with the help of Chester Zoo NHS discount packages.

Whipsnade Zoo

You’ll find this zoo in Dunstable, Bedfordshire. While it’s perhaps not as widely known as some of the other entries on this list, it’s actually the UK’s biggest Zoo. Home to lemurs, tigers, zebras, and an incredible aquarium, it’s well worth a visit. If you’re based in the capital, it’s a great alternative to London Zoo — though if you’re doing it on public transport, you should plan well in advance.

Longleat Safari Park

This is arguably the best safari park in the country, nestled in the Wiltshire countryside. You’ll be able to drive beside deer, monkeys, and wolves, to name but a few. If you want to see animals in a slightly freer, though still controlled environment, then Longleat is an excellent place to do it. Make sure that you stay inside the car when you’re going through the tiger enclosure!

London Zoo

The zoo is a major attraction for visitors to London. Set in Regents Park, it’s the oldest zoo in the country — and arguably, the world. Throughout the late 19th century, it served as a hub for scientific inquiry into animals and nature in general. It’s now home to more than nineteen thousand animals, spanning hundreds of unique species. Of particular interest is the insect house, which is always going to appeal to children.

Edinburgh Zoo

Heading up beyond the border we find Edinburgh Zoo, which is a significant player in global consevation. You’ll find giant pandas, koalas, and the only sloths in Scotland. If you’re planning a visit, then the best bet is to book well in advance. As part of the Zoo’s Science Festival for 2022, a number of dinosaur-related experiences are being hosted. If you’ve got an interest in prehistoric animals as well as contemporary ones, then it’s well worth a visit.