February 15-March 31 and October 1-November 3:
Open daily, 10am to 4pm
April 1-September 30:
Open daily, 10am to 5:30pm
Thursdays-Sundays only, 11am to 3pm (weather permitting)
Seniors or Disabled:
Isle of Wight Resident (with proof):
Return within a week of your first visit and get in again for £1 per person.
Group rates also available, see zoo's website for details
Originally known as Sandown Zoo, the Isle of Wight Zoo is located on the edge of Sandown Bay at the eastern end of the Island, within the walls of a fort that was part of the Victorian coastal defence network. By the 1970s, the zoo had fallen into decline, being described as the `Slum Zoo of Britain'. This damnation was, however, the zoo's salvation, since it brought it to the attention of a successful businessman who took over the zoo in 1976. A Herpetological Centre (Reptiles and Amphibians) was added within a year, and the first Tigers arrived by the end of the 70s. Further big cat species have since been added, and the Lemurs arrived in the 90s.
The Zoo has now established itself as a serious centre for wildlife conservation and management, with Tigers and Lemurs as its main areas of specialisation, and the Zoo supports in-situ conservation projects in India and Madagascar. The Zoo has also recently been home to the `Tiger Island' TV series on ITV Meridian (also available outside the Meridian region on Sky TV).
In addition to the Tiger Sanctuary and Lemurland, the Zoo is home to a wide variety of other animal species, including lions, leopards, jaguars, monkeys, snakes, lizards and spiders. The animals are all housed in naturalistic enclosures that are designed to allow them to display their natural behaviours.
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Cafe serving hot & cold food and drinks
Play area, baby changing facility
Access for the disabled throughout. Free wheelchair loan available - booking in advance recommended.
Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians, 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.
Tiger Sanctuary houses Britain's largest collection of Tigers
Lemurland features four species of Lemurs
Nature's Nightmares is an indoor collection of exotic amphibians, reptiles, spiders and insects
Programme of regular presentations, feeding times and tours throughout the day, from 10:30am to 5pm.
How To Get There:
The Zoo is located on the north-eastern end of the seafront of Sandown Bay, a short distance from Sandown town centre.
Take the A3055 south towards Sandown, and into Brading. Continue through the centre of Brading, then turn left onto the B3395 towards Yaverland and Bembridge. After about 1km, turn right (still on B3395) towards Yaverland and Sandown. Continue through Yaverland, and the Zoo will be on the right shortly after the road joins the seafront of Sandown Bay.
Alternatively, continue on A3055 through Brading, and on to the outskirts of Sandown. Shortly after passing under the railway, continue forwards onto B3329 Avenue Road at junction where the main road turns right, and follow the road to the seafront. Turn left onto B3395 towards Yaverland and Bembridge, and continue along the seafront. The Zoo will be on the left shortly before the road leaves the seafront and enters Yaverland.
Take the B3395 south-west towards Brading. Continue past Bembridge Airport and around Bembridge Down, then turn left (still B3395) towards Yaverland and Sandown. Continue through Yaverland, and the Zoo will be on the right shortly after the road joins the seafront of Sandown Bay.
From Ventnor, Shanklin, and the South of the Island:
Take the A3055 north through Shanklin and Lake to Sandown. Shortly after passing under the railway, fork right onto B3329 just after the Leisure Centre towards the town centre and seafront. Continue through the town centre and onto the B3395 along the north-eastern seafront towards Yaverland and Bembridge. The Zoo will be on the left shortly before the road leaves the seafront and enters Yaverland.
Alternatively, continue on A3055 to bypass Sandown Town Centre, then turn right onto B3329 Avenue Road at a T-junction where the main road turns left.
Take the A3020 South towards Shanklin and into Blackwater. Turn left onto A3056 towards Sandown. Continue into Lake, and turn left at T-junction onto A3055 towards Sandown. Continue to the Zoo as described above (from Ventnor).
By Public Transport
An open-topped bus service directly links other parts of the Island to the zoo.
A seasonal dotto train provides a frequent service to the zoo's entrance from various stops around Sandown town centre. Sandown is served by good bus services from most of the Island, and also by a rail service from Ryde Pier Head (itself served by passenger-only ferry and hovercraft services from Portsmouth and Southsea on the mainland). Optio bus service 104 links Sandown Station with the zoo.
Data on this page last updated: Apr 13 2014