Colchester Zoo

Maldon Road, Stanway, Colchester, Essex CO3 0SL

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Opening Times

Open every day except Christmas Day, from 9:30am. Closing times vary throughout the year, typically 4:30pm - 6:30pm.; see zoo's website for current times.

Admission Prices

April 5-July 18:



Child (3-14)


Child under 3


Senior (60+)




One carer may enter at the appropriate disabled price.

Online discounts, season tickets and group rates also available; see zoo's website for details.

Note: prices do change, so visit the zoo's website for the latest information.


Colchester Zoo is situated in the grounds of Stanway Hall in a hilly woodland setting. The Zoo receives regular awards from the East of England Tourist Board and is committed to conservation both within the Zoo itself and with projects world wide. Although on a hilly site, the Zoo has designated an 'Easier Route' around its exhibits to allow less able visitors, such as those in wheelchairs or with buggies, avoid the steepest gradients.

The Zoo has a collection of over 260 different animal species and features a daily programme of over 50 displays, including feeding times for many of the animals, so many that you will need to visit the zoo more than once to see them all. Some of the highlights of the collection include.

Wilds of Asia, with Pileated Gibbons, Macaques, Red Pandas, Hornbills and Burmese Pythons;

Edge of Africa, with Cheetahs, Spotted Hyenas, Mandrills, Red River Hogs, Warthogs in large enclosures;

Spirit of Africa, with the Elephants;

Kingdom of the Wild, with a mixed paddock of Giraffes, White Rhinos, Zebras, Ostriches and Greater Kudu, together with Pygmy Hippos, Patas Monkeys, Vultures and the Aardvarks in nearby enclosures;

Playa Patagonia, with Patagonian Sea Lions that can be viewed swimming from a glass tunnel under their pool;

Orangutan Forest, with large undercover viewing area overlooking the outdoor climbing area, live camera link to the indoor area, and associated enclosures featuring a selection of Asian fish and reptiles;

Dragons of Komodo, with a pair of Komodo Dragons;

Tiger Taiga, with the pair of Amur Tigers;

Lion Rock, with three African Lions,

Leopards at Ussuri Falls, with the pair of Amur Leopards;

Penguin Shores, with a large group of Humboldt Penguins;

Suricata, with the Meerkats;

Worlds Apart, with a walkthrough enclosure of small primates, and Rhinoceros Iguanas, Anacondas, Poison Dart Frogs and a variety of fish in separate enclosures;

Chimp World, with a large group of Chimpanzees;

Lemur Islands, with Red-Ruffed and Ring-Tailed Lemurs and a viewing bridge over their enclosures;

Wallaby Walkabout, a walkthrough enclosure with Bennett's Wallabies;

Otter Creek, with a group of Smooth-Coated Otters;

Familiar Friends, with a selection of farm animals, some of which you can feed yourself, together with Llamas, Alpacas, Pygmy Gliders, Guinea Pigs, Rats and Chinchillas.

Also spread around the Zoo are several different themed play areas for children of various ages, together with a variety of restaurants, cafes, refreshments kiosks, and picnic areas.

Official Website

(Opens in separate window)


Car Park

Free. Car park closes 30 minutes max. after the zoo closes.


Cafe UmPhafa, Southern Fried Chicken, Playa Patagonia Coffee House, Rollover Hot Dogs, Kokopelli's Pizza Bar, Tiger Taiga Chip & Dip

For Kids

Baby changing facilities, Ladies' baby feeding areas, Meeting Point and Lost and Found.
Kids Safari Train
Meerkat Hangout play area
Remi Brown Play Area
Ark Adventure Play Area (to be replaced for 2012)
Kalahari Capers indoor soft play area
Pan for gold at `Gold Valley River'
Kilimanjaro Play Area

Note: some of these activities are subject to additional charges.

Special Needs

Manual wheelchairs hire, disabled toilets. The Zoo has got steep hills and therefore disabled visitors are advised to follow the `Easier Route'.

Other Facilities

Public telephones, First Aid Stations, Passes Out to enable you to re-enter the Zoo.


Animal Collections

Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fish, Invertebrates

Note: The animal pictures on this page are merely representative of this type of attraction; they do not mean that the animals can be found at this specific attraction.

Star Animals

Giant Anteater, Komodo Dragons, Lions, Elephants, Chimps, Orangutans, Sealions, Vultures, Giraffes, Hyenas, Aardvarks and many, many more.

Special Attractions

Otter Creek, Orangutan Forest, Wallaby Walkabout, Lion Rock, Falconry Display, Seal Pool, Chimp World, KD Theatre including Bug Handling and Reptile Encounter, various displays and feeding times (see the Zoo's website for details)

Other Attractions

UmPhafa Road Train, Keeper for the day, Birthday Parties, Animal Adoptions, Acacia Shop (stocking a wide variety of high quality items from around the world including wooden tables and chairs, carvings and statues), Ark Shop.

How To Get There:

By Car

Colchester Zoo is located just south of Colchester, on the B1022. Take the A1124 exit off the main A12, then follow the elephant signs:

Take the A1124 south towards Stanway. At the next roundabout, take the 3rd exit (approximately straight on) onto the unclassified Tollgate Road. Continue over next roundabout and along Tollgate Road for about 0.5 mile. Then turn left then right onto Warren Lane. Continue south on Warren Lane for just over 1 mile, to junction with B1022 Maldon Road. Turn left onto B1022, and Colchester Zoo will then be on the right after about 0.5 mile.

From London (M25 J28):

Follow the A12 north-east around Chelmsford and on towards Colchester. Leave the A12 at the A1124 junction, as described above.

From Southend-On-Sea:

Follow the A127 west towards Basildon, then turn right onto A130 and continue to Chelmsford. Turn right onto the A12, and continue to Colchester as described above.

From Cambridge:

Follow the M11 south to junction 8, Bishop's Stortford. Turn left onto A120 towards Colchester. Continue on A120 past Braintree, and merge with A12 from Chelmsford. Continue on A12 to next junction (A1124), then follow the signs to the Zoo as described above.

From Bury St. Edmunds:

Follow the A134 south to Sudbury. Continue onto the A131 through Sudbury and towards Braintree. At Halstead, turn left onto the A1124 towards Colchester. Continue on A1124 to and across the A12, then follow the signs to the Zoo, as described above.

From Norwich:

Follow the A140 south towards Ipswich. Turn left onto A14 and continue around Ipswich to junction with A12. Turn right onto A12 towards Colchester. Continue on A12 around Colchester to junction with A1124, then follow the signs to the Zoo, as described above.

From Lowestoft:

Follow the A12 south towards Ipswich and Felixstowe. Turn right onto A14 and follow it west around Ipswich then turn left back onto the A12. Continue on A12 to and around Colchester, to junction with A1124, then follow the signs to the Zoo, as described above.

From Harwich:

Follow the A120 towards and past Colchester. Turn left onto A12 and continue around Colchester to junction with A1124, then follow the signs to the Zoo, as described above.

From Clacton-On-Sea:

Follow the A133 towards Colchester and Harwich. Turn left onto A120 towards Colchester, and continue as described above (from Harwich).

By Public Transport

By train:

Colchester has two railway stations: North and Town. Colchester North (also referred to as simply Colchester) is on the main line between London Liverpool Street and Ipswich, and is served by express trains between London (approx. 50 mins.), and Ipswich, Norwich, Lowestoft, and Harwich. Colchester Town Station is located nearer to the town centre and bus and coach station, but receives less frequent services. Mainly those to/from Clacton and Walton-on-Naze. At least some of these services also serve Colchester North, and provide a way of travelling between the two Colchester stations.

Colchester Zoo is just 10 minutes by taxi or can be reached by bus; the bus station is a short walk (less than 500m) from the Town station, or can be reached by bus numbers 61, 65, 66, 67, 67A, 78, or 78A from the North station (approx. 10 mins.). These services run from the bus lay by across the main road outside the exit from platform 4.

By bus:

National Express operates many coach services to/from Colchester bus station.

All bus services to Colchester Bus Station regularly connect with the Eastern National 75 for Maldon or Tiptree and Colchester Zoo. On arrival at Colchester Bus Station look for Stand 9. Departures are on the hour, with an approx. 15 minute journey to Colchester Zoo. Return services mostly depart from the Zoo at 39 mins. past the hour. To return to the North train station, you should alight in Head Street and catch one of the services listed above from the front bus stop in Head Street (near the traffic lights).

A First Day ticket, priced at £3.20 for adults or £2.00 for children is also available, that allows unlimited travel within the Colchester area.

Colchester Zoo may also be reached using the Colchester City Sightseeing Tour bus, which also stops at the North station. See zoo's website for more details.

Data on this page last updated: Apr 13 2014

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