Edinburgh Zoo, situated in stunning parkland on the outskirts of Edinburgh, is home to over 1000 animals, the zoo’s mission statement being "To excite and inspire our visitors with the wonder of living animals, and so to promote the conservation of threatened species and habitats".
Amongst the attractions are Tian Tian and Yang Guang, the only two giant pandas resident in the UK. There’s also the Budongo Trail which enables the visitor to watch chimpanzees in their incredible, interactive chimpanzee enclosure and to learn about their links with humans. Another primate facility is Living Links, which houses capuchin and squirrel monkeys, and there’s also a new white-faced saki monkey walk-through enclosure to experience.
Edinburgh is home to the only koalas in the UK. There were currently two adult male koalas at Edinburgh, and one adult female who has a young joey. In January 2014, the joey was assessed and found to be a male. The koalas feed on eucalyptus which, being such a low energy food, means they spend much of their day asleep. Nevertheless, they are still very much worth a visit.
100 years of penguins at Edinburgh
There have been penguins in Edinburgh for 100 years – the centenary was in late January 2014. The zoo’s original penguins (four king penguins, a gentoo and a macaroni) were shipped to Leith Docks and were celebrities in their day, being the first ever penguins to be seen in Europe. In 1934, King George V and Queen Mary even visited the penguin enclosure. In 1951, the daily penguin parade began, and visitors were allowed to get close to them for the first time. The penguins have always been very popular with visitors, and Edinburgh has been at the forefront of breeding programmes. The Penguin Rocks habitat was upgraded in 2013, costing £750,000.
The site of the zoo used to be a nursery and two famous apple varieties – James Grieve and John Downie – were created there. The tree-related tradition is still kept up as the arboreal collection in the gardens is incredibly diverse – around 120 species thrive here. The gardens are interesting and some parts are even quirky and unexpected – for example, the Physics Garden has a planting display of medicinal plants in the shape of a human body, and the South facing slope of he site enables the outdoor growing of many palms and bananas.
Accommodation near to Edinburgh Zoo
Housing birds, bears, big cats, reptiles and many other creatures, a visit to Edinburgh Zoo is a fantastic day out for the whole family. The zoo is easily accessible by public transport and by car, being located on the Corstorphine Hill, with panoramic views of Edinburgh. Staying in any of our Edinburgh properties, whether for a couple of nights to explore the zoo in detail, or as part of a longer holiday, promises to be a wonderful experience. Take in the other sights of the capital too.
We can offer accommodation in the city itself as well as properties for a relaxed stay on the outskirts of the city.