Over the Easter period we were kindly invited to Hamerton Zoo in order to give a review. Hamerton Zoo Park is just on the outskirts of Peterborough it is very well sign posted from the A1. So do not worry if you are like us and not local to Peterborough. I have to admit I’d not heard of it before and speaking to the other people I am not the only one.
As we pulled into the car park I did think it looked more like a little farm. But it is actually a lot bigger than it looks. Hamerton Zoo is actually home to 100 different species of animals within the 25 acre zoo park. There are some which are exclusive to them in the UK. So there are going to be animals which you have not see at other zoo’s you have visited in the past. It may not be home to Lions, Rhinos, Giraffes and Elephants but do not let that put you off if you are thinking about visiting.
We arrived at Hamerton Zoo at around 11am we had planned getting there early but as you know with children this does not always work. We found it very easy to get into the zoo there was a short que but we did not have to wait for very long. Of course, because we visited during the Easter Weekend this could have meant that it was a lot busy than a normal weekend. Hamerton Zoo is open every day except Christmas and boxing days and tickets can be brought at the gate or in advance online. Tickets are £14.99 for adults and £9.99 for 3-12 year olds. This is a fraction of the price we have paid for similar zoos and wildlife park.
One thing which I would recommend is purchasing a guide book. This is something which we did not do and we did not realise the only way to get a map of the zoo was to do this. In turn this did mean that we did miss some of the animals when we went around first.
One thing you will notice as you walk around is the space that the animals have to roam around. One thing Hamerton Zoo does try to make clear is that the animals are not shut in or out. They have the freedom to be either inside or outside if they choose. This does mean that some of the animals may not easily seen because they may be hiding in their houses.
When you arrive one of the first animals you will see are the ring tailed lemurs.However, there was a lot of people around this area. They could have been more people because there is more of a one way system in the zoo. The reason behind this is because if you turn left you would end up in the shop, cafe and play area. They had just been fed which always attracts people. I noticed that one of the lemurs looked like it was pregnant as well. So in the future there may be more additions to this enclosure.
The first animal we spent a lot time at was the wallabies. As you can see they some Joey’s which is amazing because baby animals are so cute. There was a number of them which they looked like they could be pregnant. So if you manage to go in the next couple of months they may have even more babies. There was such number of wallabies they were a pleasure to watch. For sure I think they are one of my favourite animals on show at the Zoo.
The big cats are always my thing when we are visiting a zoo. Hamerton Zoo is home to 2 beautiful Malaysian Tiger and 2 white Bengal Tigers.I found I learn at fair bit at Hamerton Zoo for example about the white Bengal Tigers. All white Tigers in the world are decedents from one called “Mohan” who was captured and kept in a Palace in India. It wasn’t until Mohan was paired with his daughter did they have more white cubs. The white of the Bengal tiger is just a colour mutation. This does mean that all of the white Bengal tigers are direct descendants from this pair. It a nice to see the shear size of the tigers. Usually you do not get to be up close and personal to a tiger.
Stroll through Safari
There is also a stroll through safari which allows you to touch the animals. This is home to Pygmy goats, Alpacas, Camels, Chickens and Sheep. You can pay 20p for a handful of feed which you can share with these animals. This is something we opted against because there was so many people feeding them we thought they would not be that bothered. Jess actually decided that she was going to stroke the Pygmy Goats.
There is an Express Railroad Train which runs every weekend and everyday throughout the school holidays. You can catch it from the Donkey Enclosure and it runs to the tiger enclosure and back. You can actually walk this route and it does not take that long at all. The train does not go that fast that you could walk next to it. We did see a mum who was walking alongside the train and her daughter was on the train. The train is £2 per person and I will be honest I found it a little overpriced for the length of time you are on there. It doesn’t cover the entire park, I think this would have been better if it had done.
There is also a number of cheetah’s I think we saw a three at least, however it is home to 7 cheetah’s. Hamerton want to be one of the first zoo in the UK to actually breed cheetah’s most are unable to do this due to space. Hamerton actual have 5 enclosures which they have access to and then they are planning on building 3 more. This is going to help aid the breading programme which they have.
Another criticism I would have of the zoo is that it is does not tell you the name of the animals which you can see. It tells you where the animals are from and a bit about them however, I do like to know the name of the animals I can see in front of me.
There is a lot of picnic benches which you can sit on and have a picnic. It is undercover should you not be as lucky as us when you visit and have nice weather. If you do not want to bring your own food like we did you can actually purchase food from the Cafe. Later in the day we did purchase a Ice cream which allowed me to look at the prices. I seem to remember that a rollover hot dog was around £3.90. It would cost you the same as meal out to eat at this cafe.
I was unable to take any pictures of this area due to other children been around. There is a couple of parks on is aimed at under 6’s and the other over 6. However, Jess decided that she was going to play in the bigger one. There is a climbing pyramid,zip wire and a climbing frame. For sure this is an area which she spent a lot of time in. She loves the park and this is the way she burns a lot of energy. I think if we went back Jess would love to be able to go on the zip wire but she is a little bit too small.
The Gift Shop sells a range of merchandise, cuddly teddies, toys, stationery and more. There is a wide range of products which if like us you do not mind purchasing a toy at the end of an amazing day out. They do have a range of items which could purchase. We did not actually purchase anything because we have enough cuddly toys. There was nothing that stood out which we had to purchase.
Beware if you are going with little ones there is only one set of toilets. They are not that far off the enterance so it would be worth going when you pass them as there is no more. The toilets are old and really could do with a bit of an update. I think there are only 5 women toilets and a baby change. I seem to remember Joe said that there was one in the male toilets to.
We spent 5 and half hours at Hamerton Zoo. This was enough time to walk around the park twice. On the second lap we did it later and we saw animals which had not been out on the first time. This could have been as a result of it nearly been feeding time. Again we did have the a picnic and also we managed to spend a lot of time in the park as I have mentioned. I know Jess’ grandparents left after around 3 and half hours so we may have stayed longer than most people.
Have you visited Hammerton Zoo? If so what were your thoughts