ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

Dunstable, Bedfordshire LU6 2LF

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Opening Times

Open every day except Christmas Day, from 10am.

Closing times vary; see zoo's website for latest information.

Admission Prices

Peak season (15 February to 2 November):



Child (3 - 15 years):


Child under 3:


Seniors, Students, Disabled:


Car admission to the Zoo:


Winter season (November - March):



Child (3 - 15 years):


Child under 3:


Seniors, Students, Disabled:


Free car entry or one free essential carer accompanying a disabled person can enter the Zoo.

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


Whipsnade Zoo is set amidst 600 acres of stunning parkland on the Chiltern Hills, north of London. Whipsnade was opened in 1931 and was the first open zoo in Europe. Even then, the founder, Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell, envisaged the Zoo as a conservation centre. Whipsnade is now one of the largest wild animal parks in Europe and is home to more than 2,500 animals, many of which are endangered in the wild. Whipsnade remains committed to conservation.

Owing to its large size, visitors with small children or reduced mobility are advised to either bring their own transport into the Zoo, or rely on the services such as the Safari Bus or the Jumbo Express (steam train). The availability of these services varies throughout the year; see the Zoo's website for details.

Whipsnade has a particularly large collection of larger animal species, most housed in large, open paddocks. These include Elephants, Giraffes, Bison, Bears, Camels, Zebras, Hippos, Rhinos (3 species), Lions, Tigers, Cheetahs, and a variety of deer, antelope and other hoofed animals. The Zoo also has a number of smaller species, such as Chimpanzees, Lemurs, Marmosets, Red Pandas, and a selection of birds and reptiles.

Official Website


(Opens in separate window)


Car Park

Free in external car park, or take your car into the Zoo and use it to get around (see above).


Cafe on the Lake, Lookout Cafe, kiosks, vending machines, coffee shop and several picnic areas.

For Kids

Children's farm, discovery centre, playground, baby changing facilities,

Special Needs

Most of the Zoo is wheelchair friendly although access to the Woodland Bird Walk may cause wheelchair users some difficulty.

Manual wheelchairs are available for hire; book in advance to avoid disappointment (Tel: 01582 872171 ext. 2217).

Disabled toilets.


No dogs allowed. Two kennels are located at the main entrance for Assistance Dogs only. The dogs will be provided with water only during their stay and owners are required to leave a mobile number and must check on their dog regularly.

Bicycles and Motor bikes not allowed.

BBQs not allowed.


Animal Collections

Mammals, Birds, 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.

Star Animals

Brown Bear, African Lions, Asian Elephants, Cheetahs, Red Panda, Hippos, Chimpanzees, Penguins, Rhinos, Sealions, and many, many more

Special Attractions

Wild Wild Whipsnade, featuring formerly native species such as Lynx, Wolverines, Wild Boar, Moose, and eventually European Brown Bears and Wolves.

Rhinos of Nepal, with indoor and outdoor viewing areas; Cheetah Rock, with floor-to-ceiling glass viewing from an African-style hut.

In with the Lemurs walk-through enclosure.

Lions of the Serengeti: simulated Maasai village and African Lion enclosure with large glass viewing windows.

Passage through Asia: drive-through paddock.

Woodland Birdwalk: walk-through aviary.

Discovery Centre: tropical experience with a variety of mammals, reptiles and insects.

Other Attractions

Free Safari Bus with stops around the Zoo.

The Jumbo Express steam train through certain enclosures with commentary.

Various daily shows and events.

Children's parties, keeper for a day, adopt an animal.

Note: The availability of the various transport services around the park and the shows and events vary throughout the year; see zoo's website for details.

How To Get There:

By Car

Whipsnade Zoo is signposted from the M1 (junction 9 and junction 12) and all major roads.

From London & M25:

Follow the M1 north to junction 9 (Note: major roadworks until autumn 2008). Turn left onto A5 towards Dunstable. Continue through the village of Markayte, then after about another 1 mile, turn left onto B4540 towards Whipsnade village. Continue through the village of Kensworth and on towards Whipsnade. Continue across roundabout on the B4540 and into and through Whipsnade village. The Zoo will then be on your left shortly after leaving the village.

From the Midlands & M1 north:

Follow the M1 south past Milton Keynes to junction 12. Turn right onto A5120 towards Dunstable. Continue through the village of Toddington and into Dunstable. Turn left onto A5 towards the town centre. After about 1 mile, turn right at traffic lights onto B489 West street towards Aston Clinton. After about 3/4 mile turn left at roundabout onto B4551 towards Whipsnade and Kensworth. Continue on B4551 to its end, and turn right at roundabout onto B4540 and continue into and through the village of Whipsnade. The Zoo will then be on your left shortly after leaving the village.

From Bicester (and M40 juntion 9):

Follow the A41 east to and into Aylesbury. At fourth (?) roundabout, turn left onto A4157 ring road. Continue across A413 (to Buckingham) to rounabout junction with A418. Turn left onto A418 towards Leighton Buzzard. Continue on A418 around Leighton Buzzard, towards Dunstable. At roundabout junction with A4146 and A505, turn right onto A4146 towards Hemel Hempstead. About 1 mile after passing the village of Edlesborough, turn left at double roundabout onto B489 Icknield Way towards Dunstable. After just over 1 mile, turn right at roundabout onto B4506 towards Dagnall. After another 1/4 mile, fork left onto B4540 towards Whipsnade. Proceed down the hill, and the entrance to the Zoo will then shortly be on your right.

By Public Transport

By bus:

The Park is served by Centrebus route X31, linking Luton Rail Station, Luton Center, Dunstable and Hemel Hempstead with the Zoo at 2-hour intervals Monday to Saturday, with extra services at peak times. See www.centrebus.co.uk for details.

By train:

The nearest stations are Luton Parkway and Hemel Hempstead Boxmoor (both about 10 miles away from the Zoo).

Data on this page last updated: Apr 13 2014

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