A Day Out to Edinburgh Zoo

In our excellent vague planning on our drive up to Edinburgh we had decided to do a big out to Edinburgh Zoo so that Little Z would have at least one very child centric day out. What we didn’t realise at the time was that about 95% of Edinburgh was child friendly and that he was going to love pretty much everything we did. The castle, the walks through all the parks and gardens, the running up the Scot Monument and the wandering around the historic mile, as well as the very modern Princes street. The only thing we didn’t dare attempt with a three year old is Arthurs Seat. We hadn’t really looked into it properly and weren’t sure if there was a very easy path for a small child to run up. And then once he was at the top we weren’t very sure if he would stay relatively static in one place. So Edinburgh Zoo was going to be his big one. As well as the hubby’s if he’s completely honest.

Edinburgh Zoo is located about a 10 minute bus journey from Princes street and we piled onto a wifi friendly bus (everything happened to be very wifi friendly!), and made our way there. It was a quiet week day so the queues were non existent and we were in almost straight away. We’d been really looking forward to seeing the pandas and I’d known Tian Tian was due any day now but not kept up to date with it all and assumed she had given birth. Unfortunately we found out that she was about 8 days overdue at the time and the signs weren’t looking too good for her. It was lovely to see most of the zoo staff could tell you exactly how old she ws (11 years old) and that they were all still holding out hope that she’d have a little cub, especially after her miscarriage the previous year. Sadly, to date I’m not sure anything has been announced so I think its not going to be her year this year. I was surprised to find that Pandas enter oestrus (mating season) for 2 to 4 days a year. THAT’S IT!!!! So Mr Panda needs to really turn on the charm and the chocolates and the Barry White music or else its another year gone. Here’s hoping she has a much better year next year. So I didn’t get to see her but I did walk away extremely knowledgeable about Panda birth and breeding.

One of my favourite things to see was the Penguin rocks enclosure. They have a large number that happily flap and waddle and swim all day long and even do a daily parade outside of their enclosed area. We all dutifully lined up and, apparently, they will gladly swipe at handbag handles so we were told to keep them well out of the way. After a lot of excitement we watched the penguins come up to the door and then suddenly have a change of heart and take a running dive straight back into the pool. So we didn’t get our parade either but it was a lot of fun to see them waddle out to the gate in a group and take a nosey peek outside. Its also lovely that their keepers don’t force them to do anything they don’t want to. The penguins are much much in control and decide whether they want to put on a show that day.

The zoo was one of the best we’d been too and I realised I’d never seen a one horned Rhinoceros in the flesh before visiting there. Little Z kept insisting it was a “horsey” really loudly no matter how much we corrected him, and I swear I caught a glimpse of a cheeky smile from him hinting he was winding us up. With the Zoo being so vast with all its hills and walks he enjoyed giving his little legs a workout and pretty much ran around non stop picking up every perfect looking golden leaf from the floor. We spent a lot of time waiting for him to select his latest one from from the ground. His most favourite bit had to be seeing the Meerkats. He stills doesn’t quite get that Meerkats are not named Alexandser or Oleg, or that they don’t really wear clothes, so he spends a few minutes confused about why they’re running about in the nude. He was pleased to see them in their birthday suits nonetheless.

I was really impressed with the selection of animals and wildlife they hold. We saw everything from very large looking sea eagles to rhinos to a very big lion enclosure and its evident they are committed to giving their animals a good home. It’s a place that would take most of the day to get around. My one recommendation would be to take lots of snacks for little ones (and big ones). Most of their cafes and shops were shut so we resorted to buying a lot of cake from the coffee stand that we did find. We left with two very happy boys and talk of coming back again, next time to definitely definitely see the Pandas. Hopefully.














 photo 93142f35-6d39-479f-b3de-d94dbca68162_zps58499252.jpg

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


  1. Nikki Thomas September 22, 2014 / 6:25 am

    We haven’t been to a proper zoo for a while but that looks amazing. Gorgeous photos and I love the bit about the pandas.2-4 days!!! No wonder there aren’t many left!
    Nikki Thomas recently posted…A fond farewell to morning televisionMy Profile

  2. Not a frumpy mum September 22, 2014 / 6:33 am

    Great pictures and looks like you had a wonderful time. I’ve never been to Edinburgh but keep nagging hubby to go, so lovely to hear how family friendly it is. xx
    Not a frumpy mum recently posted…I’m a Tough MudderMy Profile

  3. Mummy Tries September 22, 2014 / 6:51 am

    Fab photos Tas! Looks like a great day out. Seeing lions and zebra has just reminded me of our safari in South Africa… one of the last holidays hubby and I had pre-kids. Ahhh different life!! #magicmoments
    Mummy Tries recently posted…Chocolate PancakesMy Profile

  4. The Mummy Diary September 22, 2014 / 7:32 am

    Looks like a fantastic day out and the rest of Edinburgh sounds pretty amazing too, we keep on saying we should go one day. I love the penguins, they always look cheeky, thank you for linking up to #magicmoments
    The Mummy Diary recently posted…Learning to DrawMy Profile

  5. Coombe Mill September 22, 2014 / 10:20 am

    It looks like you had a fab day seeing all the animals. I love that Little Z thinks Meerkats are called Alexander and Oleg and that they’re supposed to wear clothes! Great photos. Popping in from Magic Moments.

  6. Erica Price September 22, 2014 / 10:45 am

    Great pictures! It’s a lovely zoo isn’t it? We went in peak school summer holiday season and most of the cafes were open, but the snacks were still useful because it’s such a big site. When we visited the rhinos they were showing off their ‘equipment’ and I kept hoping that H wouldn’t comment as I really didn’t know what to say.
    Erica Price recently posted…Learning The CelloMy Profile

  7. Iona@Redpeffer September 22, 2014 / 1:57 pm

    Oh, you’ve brought back many memories of visiting the zoo. I loved the penguin parade and just the thrill of going to the zoo generally. I have quite a few photo’s of me there as a little girl. Thanks for sharing your wonderful trip xx
    Iona@Redpeffer recently posted…Creation Climbing WallMy Profile

  8. Susan Mann September 22, 2014 / 3:21 pm

    I love the penguin parade, one bit me when I went as a child, but never put me off. Great pictures x
    Susan Mann recently posted…Silent Sunday – Week 38My Profile

  9. LauraCYMFT September 22, 2014 / 7:31 pm

    I haven’t been to Edinburgh zoo in years. It still looks like a really fun place to visit. Great photos.
    LauraCYMFT recently posted…The First CanterMy Profile

  10. Emma T September 22, 2014 / 11:15 pm

    We went to Edinburgh when I was 7 1/2 months pregnant, but didn’t get to the zoo. Guess without children, it’s not really a place that occurs to go to.

    Looks like it’s a lot bigger than I thought it would be, and you got to see lots.
    Emma T recently posted…Living Arrows 38/52My Profile

  11. bettyl - NZ September 23, 2014 / 2:41 am

    It looks like a great place to spend the day! You got some very awesome shots.
    bettyl – NZ recently posted…sunday driveMy Profile

  12. Hayley @hayleyfromhome September 23, 2014 / 10:09 am

    Love your photos, especially the penguins and meerkats. Also very impressed with your panda birthing knowledge 🙂 can’t believe they only get chance once a year! We have never been but it looks great, I don’t know why we’ve never thought about going when we’ve been there. Sounds like Z enjoyed it too! x
    Hayley @hayleyfromhome recently posted…Dyson DC59 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner – My Cleaning RevolutionMy Profile

  13. Sarah MumofThree World September 24, 2014 / 6:47 am

    What beautiful photos! It sounds like a fantastic place, and very interesting to hear about the pandas. I hope the meerkats weren’t too cold without their coats on!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Top of the leagueMy Profile

  14. Jenny September 24, 2014 / 7:49 pm

    Edinburgh Zoo looks absolutely amazing. Buba would love all the penguins too they are his favorite. He loves how they waddle. I think the meerkats are my fave. Great photos. I always think Zoos are the best place to make great memories growing up. Animals fascinate the kids and parents too! Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme
    Jenny recently posted…Share With Me ~ wk 34My Profile

  15. ghostwritermummy September 25, 2014 / 1:00 pm

    Oh my goodness your photos are amazing. What a wonderful day out! We went to Edinburgh for the first time last summer and loved it- will definitely out the zoo on the list when we go back x x x
    ghostwritermummy recently posted…An IUGR baby: our story so farMy Profile

  16. MissPond September 26, 2014 / 1:41 pm

    Oh I do love days out at the zoo! I recently went to San Diego zoo when I was over in the US. I must visit Edinburgh though as it looks fantastic 🙂
    MissPond recently posted…#184 Teach First Run The River 10kMy Profile

  17. Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely September 26, 2014 / 8:54 pm

    I adore your photos. You’re really doing well with your camera. I still haven’t fully got to grips with mine. I love, love, love your travel and days out posts. They’re so well written and so useful for planning future trips.
    Rachel @ The Ordinary Lovely recently posted…These are the days: The Good Life ExperienceMy Profile

  18. The Reading Residence September 27, 2014 / 8:15 am

    We have to go there! It looks lovely and and your posts and making me add a trip to Edinburgh to our list as soon as we can! x
    The Reading Residence recently posted…The Bikes Are Out!My Profile

  19. Sara (@mumturnedmom) September 27, 2014 / 3:02 pm

    I’ve loved reading about how much you enjoyed Edinburgh, makes me smile 🙂 The zoo is fab, we spent a lot of time there, had membership so that we could pop in for an hour if we were passing! Always had to see the penguins, the chimps and the monkeys 🙂 Shame the cafés weren’t all open, they’re actually not bad. I still get member emails from the zoo and sadly no baby panda for Tian Tian this year 🙁 #CountryKids
    Sara (@mumturnedmom) recently posted…Country Kids: encouraging independenceMy Profile

  20. Louise September 27, 2014 / 6:15 pm

    What wonderful photos – sounds like you had a fabulous day out and sad to hear that things are not looking too promising with regards to having a panda cub this year. We went to Edinburgh Zoo a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it – we were lucky enough to get to see the pandas – hopefully you will get to see them next time.
    Louise recently posted…Blackberry pickingMy Profile

  21. Louisa September 28, 2014 / 7:24 pm

    Your photos are great. It looks like a fantastic zoo. My kids all adore penguins so they would’ve been in their element there x #countrykids
    Louisa recently posted…Camping out in the gardenMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge