Updated: Nov 2
Welcome back to Rarars Adventures.
Today We visited Marwell Zoo, this is the first large place we have been to visit!
I contacted Marwell Zoo and they said they I could visit but based on my own personal view only, which I was quite happy about, It would have been nice to be able to ask more questions while going around but maybe I can visit at a later date.
Marwell Zoo is based in Winchester we drove there, but you can get a coach or bus there, (links at the end of this page.)
(quoted from website to make sure I give the right information)
“Marwell zoo is owned by the world-renowned, action-oriented charity, Marwell Wildlife. With an aim to conserve, global biologists are behind programs in both the UK and Africa. Working towards living in balance with nature, our talented scientist creates adoptive initiatives to identify some of the most important animal habitats and help restore destroyed ecosystems.”
Because of COVID-19, some things are closed, or not active, you must wear face coverings in enclosed buildings, there is a one-way system in place clockwise, they are not doing talks, or offering experience days at this time.
They are also not running the land train or the miniature train for the safety of the public and staff. There is hand gel all around the zoo so you can always wash your hands.
Now before we go on I didn't do enough research stupidly, which is why we didn't manage to see all there was, because I didn’t know that the land train wasn’t working until a couple of days before going, so please do this before visiting! I found it really hard walking around Marwell Zoo, and in some ways, I wish that I could have hired a mobility scooter but they don’t offer this which is fine, but if you have a way of bringing one I would strongly advise it, they do hire out wheelchairs, which I also wish I did but didn’t, there is loads of seating all around Marwell Zoo, which is brilliant because I was sitting down quite often. Their wheelchairs you can pre-book when you know the date you are going there, which I would strongly recommend if that is something that you will need, they have quite a few but if it’s busy you may not get one.
It is all wheelchair accessible apart from a couple of places. They have toilets at various locations around the zoo, which are wheelchair friendly, and changing bays, as well as a call alarm if needed, you also do not need a RADAR KEY which is good. There are also lots of picnic areas to stop and eat, and lots of cafes, and pop up BBQs, which I thought was really cool (this is what we had, lol ) they have also made an app that you can download before you go, this has a few things like audio, and talks as you go around the zoo, if you put your Bluetooth on it links where you are to give you talks about which part of the zoo you are in. which I thought was a really good idea!
There is so much to see and do here you could easily spend two days, Maybe longer if you are like me. We didn’t’ get to see everything on our visit which I was sad about, but it couldn’t be helped, it’s a lot of walking as I said before, and we had so many stops because I was struggling so much, I loved everything we did see though. Note to all, if you struggle with walking, hire a wheelchair, I can not stress this enough. We had a lovely day, and hope we may go back again to see what we missed, next time we will be better prepared.
Marwell has a hotel as well, would be lovely to stay in the hotel and see what they have to offer guests, and would give loads more time to see everything else, we noticed that for those of us that get the odd panic attack there are plenty of places to get away from the crowds and sit quietly for a bit, which I was pleased about, so did sit quietly for a bit, they also offer a free carer if you are disabled, but you do have to bring proof, I showed them my bus pass as this has +carer and photo ID.
And normally (not with COVID -19) there is a bus from the car park to the entrance which is really good, it's a ten-minute walk, for people without disabilities, its downhill going and uphill coming back (I wished that was running on the day we visited, as by this time I was really struggling)
There is one other part that I personally found hard which was the Tropical House! Its all ok for wheelchairs but if walking with an aid or you struggle to stand for a while there is no seating there at all, when you walk up to the Tropical House there is a notice that says queues from here 15 min long, luckily it didn’t seem to take the whole 15 minutes but was about 10 which again was a struggle (again wish I hired the wheelchair!)once you get in, there are a couple of places you can quickly rest which I did, and have to say it was worth the wait it was AMAZING!!! All in all, this is a brilliant place to visit like I said before I think you need two days there, instead of just the one, as there is so much to do and see and normally interact with, I wish I had more time there, although it took me a week to recover but completely worth it. I loved every minute apart from my pain level, the animals are beautiful I loved them all, my favorite was the Amur tigers, I love tigers anyway but to see them was amazing I personally would have been happy there all day lol, (Also if you watch the YouTube video you will see when I'm talking about the Amur Tiger, one walks right behind me in the video which I didn't know till later, and it absolutely made my day.) they have a gift shop there which is quite large but because we were so long they were closing it, as it was closing time but we managed to get in there just in time, don’t worry we came home with souvenirs so I was very happy (like a big kid sometimes!)
Marwell Zoo offers also Adopt an animal, Membership, Gifts in wills, Gifts in memory, Amazon wish list, Donate, Raise funds for wildlife, Weather lottery.
(you can find out more on their website)
Are at the moment 10 am – 5 pm
Please check the website as you can only book a couple of days in advance and please if you have not booked, they will not let you in, you have to book until further notice. This is because of COVID-19, so this can change.
They are sticking to government guidelines to keep the public and staff safe.
If you watch the video which there is a link for at the end you will notice how tired I am, I was going to edit it out but my family thought it was important to show how I get at the end of my visits how much it takes it out of me, so I have left it in. (Sorry in advance as I do not look my best!)
But I did have an amazing time!
I would also like to say even though I was doing this from my own experience I would like to say thank you to Marwell Zoo, Staff as they are really helpful. You have an amazing team working with you which makes visiting brilliant being able to ask questions of any kind, whether it's about the animals or you have personal problems they all seem willing to help. So thank you to everyone at Marwell Zoo!
Here are the links for Marwell Zoo
Hello, before you go don't forget to check out the vlog here is the link :