Reopening FAQs

Are you open?

Both Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project have reopened on Monday 12 April.

Please book your tickets on our website, in advance of your visit. A strictly limited number of tickets are available each day to ensure that everyone has the space to enjoy Bristol Zoo Gardens safely.

Tickets can be booked here.

Please make sure you are following up-to-date Government guidance on meeting up with friends and family, including the ‘Rule of 6’ and any relevant travel restrictions. Please refer to the Government guidance for more information and any exemptions.

Some areas, including some play equipment and our indoor animal houses remain closed. These closures are in place due to Government restrictions or because social distancing is not currently possible. Please see our updates page for more information.

Members, and those with tickets purchased prior to lockdown have received information by email on how to book or rebook a visit.

We are anticipating that we will be very busy with enquiries and bookings on our website, so please bear with us at this time. 

We are really looking forward to welcoming you back!

Thank you for your understanding and support.

I heard on the news that Bristol Zoo Gardens was closing permanently – can you tell me more?

We understand that you will have many questions, and we have prepared a video, a frequently asked questions document and news release. Over the coming weeks and months, we will be sharing more details and asking people to join us in a conversation to shape a bold new future for Bristol Zoological Society and Bristol Zoo.

We know that the closure of Bristol Zoo Gardens in late 2022, will come as sad news and the Zoo has a special place in the hearts of many people, but we hope that you can understand why we have reached this decision. This plan will ensure that Bristol Zoo continues to exist for generations to come, offering millions more people the opportunity to experience the magic of a new Bristol Zoo.

Bristol Zoo Gardens will continue to welcome visitors into 2022, and Wild Place Project will remain open throughout the development phase until it becomes the new Bristol Zoo in 2024.

What changes have you made to make sure a visit to Bristol Zoo Gardens is safe?

Together we can ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable visit.

To ensure the safety of our visitors and staff, additional measures will be in place during your visit. It is essential that you read and fully understand our Site Rules, which are available on our website, on booking, and on site at Bristol Zoo Gardens.

Ways we are keeping you safe

  • Timed tickets have been implemented to create a staggered entry and allow us to carefully manage any potential queues at the entrance. A strictly limited number of tickets are available each day, so please book your tickets online, in advance.
  • A one-way system is in place to aid with social distancing. 
  • Volunteer Navigators will be available to help visitors find their way around the site safely.
  • We are operating on a completely cashless basis, this includes our car parks, shops and catering outlets.
  • Additional hand sanitising points and hand washing facilities and have been installed throughout Bristol Zoo Gardens.
  • Onsite cleaners are in place ensuring that the toilets are kept clean. We have enhanced our cleaning regime and cleaning checks.
  • There is clear signage on site to remind visitors to abide by social distancing measures.
  • Picnic benches have been spaced out across the site.
  • Queues will be marked with two-metre measures where possible.
  • Some areas, including some playground equipment and our indoor animal houses remain closed. These closures are in place due to Government restrictions or because social distancing is not currently possible. Please see our updates page for more information.
  • Keeper talks are not taking place at this time to reduce the potential for crowds to gather.
  • In line with Government guidelines, we will only be offering takeaway food at this time and undercover seating is limited.

For the safety and wellbeing of everyone, if you fail to observe the Site Rules during your visit, you will be politely asked to leave.

The responsibility to keep everyone safe, is one everyone shares.

Thank you for your help and understanding

Can we meet up with friends when we visit?

Please make sure you are following up-to-date Government guidance on meeting up with friends and family, including the ‘Rule of 6’ and any relevant travel restrictions. Please refer to the Government guidance for more information and any exemptions.

I want to make a booking for more than 6 for ZooRopia. Does the Rule of 6 apply?

Yes, it does.

What are you doing in response to the changes to Test and Trace?

As part of the Government Test and Trace initiative, every visitor over the age of 16 will be asked to provide their individual contact details. Visitors can either scan the official NHS QR code on arrival or complete a form. We advise where possible completing the form ahead of your visit.

Why have you implemented a one-way route?

We have implemented a one-way route at Bristol Zoo to ensure that visitors are able to maintain the 2-metre social distancing requirements.

The majority of paths and walkways at Bristol Zoo are not wide enough to allow groups to pass comfortably whilst maintaining a two-metre space and therefore we have implemented a one-way route.

Do I need to wear a face covering when visiting?

You MUST wear a face covering in all enclosed spaces in line with Government guidance, unless you are exempt by law. This includes through-ways and toilets as well as our admissions and retail building. Please remember to bring your face covering with you as there are places along the one-way route that are enclosed, where there is no alternative route available.

Please see our map for more information.

Are you accepting cash?

We are currently operating a cash-free site to help us eliminate as many contact points as possible and minimise the risk to our visitors and staff.

How long can I stay at Bristol Zoo Gardens?

Your booked time, is your arrival time – but you are free to stay as long as you wish until closure.

Please note: the Zoo closes at 5:30pm.

When are tickets being released?

We are releasing tickets in line with the Government Roadmap, and we will release further dates when we are able to do so. This will depend on the Government guidelines. We will not be pre-advertising the exact time the ticket slots will be released for sale, so as to help prevent technical issues. We anticipate that demand may be high and we have taken steps to anticipate potentially higher volumes of website traffic, but we must also try to reduce the pressure on our website to ensure people are able to successfully organise their visit.

Do Members and Corporate Members need to book?

Yes, please book all visits online, in advance. A strictly limited number of tickets are available each day to ensure that everyone has the space to enjoy their visit safely.

To avoid disappointment, all visitors, including Dual Members, Members and Corporate Members should book online in advance of their visit. A dedicated booking page has been set up and you will be required to show your booking reference and Membership card on arrival to validate your ticket.

You will have already received information by email on how to book, which contains more information.

Whilst we appreciate that some visitors may find this inconvenient, this change is essential to ensure we are able to maintain social-distancing measures for the benefit of everyone and we are asking Members for their understanding at this time.

What do I do if I can’t remember my Membership number?

Please make sure you have the Membership numbers for all your group before starting to buy your tickets.

If you don’t have the Membership numbers of those you’re trying to book for, please email us on info@bristolzoo.org.uk. To help us process your email quicker please send us the full names of all Members, and first line of your address. This helps us to find the Membership numbers you need.

We are receiving a high number of email enquiries, and are responding to them as quickly as we can. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Whilst I’m waiting for my Membership numbers, can I buy timed tickets and then request a refund when I have my numbers? I don’t want to lose out.

Please do not ‘hold’ a time slot by buying tickets and then asking us for a refund after you have all the Membership numbers you need. Please only book your timed entry slot once you have all your Membership numbers. Our tickets are non-refundable.

I’m a Member and I’ve booked to visit on multiple occasions. Do I have to turn up for them all?

Yes, we ask that you turn up for all your booked slots. If you book and do not visit then you are unfortunately stopping others from visiting and limiting the revenue we can generate to care for the animals and carry out our conservation work.

Can I move my booking to another day or time?

Due to the number of enquiries we receive, and the need for our team to welcome and manage visitors on site, we are currently unable to move bookings to an alternative date or time.

Can I have a refund if the weather is wet, cold or hot?

Our tickets are non-refundable and we won’t issue refunds if the weather is 'too wet, cold or hot. We are confident that you can have a wonderful time, whatever the weather!

Will I be allowed on site if I have a booking, but it’s not for the right entry time or date?

You will not be permitted to enter if you arrive at a different date / time from your booking and allocated timed entry slot. Due to the restrictions on the number of visitors we are permitted at Bristol Zoo Gardens, we are unable to allow people to enter with tickets for the wrong date or time.

Do I need to book tickets for everybody in my group?

Yes. All members of your group need to have a ticket before arriving on site. Due to the restrictions on the number of visitors we are permitted on site, it is important that we do not exceed the capacity for each timed entry slot.

What areas remain closed?

Some areas, including some play equipment and our indoor houses remain closed. These closures are in place due to Government restrictions, because social distancing is not currently possible or because they include, by their nature, multiple high-frequency touch points.

Animal Houses are not permitted to be open at this stage of the Government Roadmap.

Similarly, our ‘interactive’ displays and the Activity Centre will be out of use to minimise ‘touch points’ and we will not be holding our daily Animal Talks, so as to ensure crowds do not form.

In line with Government guidelines, we are only able to offer takeaway service at our food outlets.

Whilst we appreciate that these closures may disappoint some visitors, safety must remain the top priority for us all.

Please see our updates page for more information.

Why do I have to walk over biosecurity matting when I arrive, depart and at the entrance and exit of the bird walkthroughs?

A strain of Avian Influenza has been found in wild and farmed birds in the UK. In order to reduce the risk of the disease coming to Bristol Zoo Gardens and affecting both Zoo birds and wildfowl, we have implemented additional biosecurity measures.

All visitors must walk across biosecurity matting on arrival/exit, and before entering/exiting both Seal & Penguin Coast and the Flamingo Walkthrough.

This disease is highly infectious and is most likely to be spread by contact with infected wild birds or poultry, in particular their faeces and contamination of footwear, equipment and feeders. Public Health England advises that the risk to public health is very low.

Will the shop be open?

Yes, the shop will be open, but a one-way route will be in operation and we ask visitors to refrain from touching items they do not intend to purchase.

We have reduced the number of products available to purchase, but our most popular items are still available.

If you do not wish to browse in our shop, there is an alternative direct exit route available.

Will the cafés and kiosks be open?

A range of takeaway hot and cold drinks and tasty food are available: 

The Hide Restaurant (takeaway - weekends & holidays)

Our rotational takeaway menu includes burgers, chips, wraps, kids’ meals as well as sandwiches, hot and cold drinks, and of course scrumptious cakes. Open from 11.30am to 3pm. Check the menu board for daily updates.

Hungry Monkey (takeaway)

The Hungry Monkey kiosk is the ideal stop for rumbling tums, with Cornish pasties, sandwiches and hot and cold drinks. We are also serving Marshfield’s organic soft scoop ice cream too! Kids’ lunch bags and confectionery are also available.

Coffee Shack (takeaway)

On weekends, our coffee shack offers a range of rainforest alliance coffee and Fairtrade teas, as well our luxury hot chocolates. There will also be a range of cakes, confectionary and hot dogs available.

West Lawn Ice Cream Van

Grab a refreshing drink or cooling ice cream and take a break on the West Lawn!

  • We are accepting contactless card payments only.
  • We have moved outdoor benches and tables around site to support our visitors to socially distance.
  • Please note that undercover eating areas are very limited.
  • Opening hours vary and the Hide may not be open on quieter days and mid-week, please check on arrival.
  • Due to current restrictions, ‘eat in’ is not possible at this time. 

What happens if I start to experience Coronavirus symptoms, or need to start self-isolating, after I have pre-purchased my ticket?

If you start to display symptoms of Coronavirus, or begin a period of self-isolation after you have booked your ticket, we will happily rearrange your visit for an alternative date and time. Email us at info@bristolzoo.org.uk with your booking confirmation number and your name.

I have a ticket that I have not been able to use due to lockdown – I was told that it was valid for 12 months – now what do I do?

Tickets that have expired whilst we have been closed will be extended for the duration of the closure period.

You will have already received an email from us with further instructions as to how you can book a new timed ticket.

If you have not received an email, please contact us on info@bristolzoo.org.uk.

Please be aware that the number of timed tickets available are strictly limited.

I have a complimentary ticket / gift voucher / free ticket with my Animal Adoption, how do I redeem this?

Unfortunately you will not be able to redeem gift vouchers or complimentary tickets online at this time.

You will need to pre-book in advance by emailing info@bristolzoo.org.uk with details of your voucher/ticket and your preferred time & date of visit.

Please be aware that the number of timed tickets available is strictly limited, and we are unable to process requests at short notice, so please contact us well ahead of your preferred date.

Availability is not guaranteed due to the capacity limits in place, so we recommend checking availability online, prior to contacting us to book.

Please do not arrive at the Zoo without a timed ticket slot, as you will be turned away.

You will be required to surrender your voucher or complimentary ticket on arrival – full details will be provided on your booking confirmation.

How are you protecting the animals? Can Zoo animals catch COVID-19?

None of our animals are displaying any symptoms of Coronavirus. To date there has been no evidence to suggest that the majority of zoo animals are susceptible to COVID-19.

However, as a precaution, we have been taking additional biosecurity measures with certain animals including big cats and non-human primates as well as some other animals in our care. In some cases, we have moved barriers to increase the distance between animals and visitors.

We are liaising with other zoos to ensure we have the latest information available and will continue to monitor the situation. No animals at Bristol Zoo Gardens or Wild Place are showing any evidence of having contracted Coronavirus and our veterinary team will remain vigilant.

When will The Lodge reopen?

Given the ongoing uncertainty caused by Coronavirus, we have taken the decision to not open The Lodge.

We have contacted those who were planning on staying with us this year, but if you had a booking and have not received our email or have any questions regarding your booking please contact info@bristolzoo.org.uk.

When will ‘Animal Experiences’ start again?

Our Animal Experiences, by their very nature, are ‘hands-on’ interactive sessions and we are firm in our approach to restart Experiences only when it is safe to do so for our visitors, colleagues and animals.

Please accept our sincere apologies for the disappointment that this will cause – we know how popular these activities are with our visitors, but we appreciate your patience during these unprecedented times.

A member of the team will be in contact to rearrange your Experience for a mutually convenient time when more is known.

What is the BZS Appeal?

We may be open, but we still need your help.

The support of our friends, donors and funders is vital to realise the vision for Bristol Zoological Society and enable us to fully reach our conservation, sustainability, education and outreach ambitions for the future.

To find out more, please see our BZS Appeal page and contribute if you can.

I have a further query, how do I get in contact?

Please email the team on info@bristolzoo.org.uk with your query and contact details, and we will come back to you as soon as we can.

I have sent an email but haven’t yet received a reply.

Thank you for contacting us, but please bear with us as we endeavour to work through email requests during these unprecedented times. We will be in contact as soon as we can, and in the meantime thank you for your patience and understanding.

Please also see our FAQs page for general information. Read our general FAQs.

We have reopened! Pre-book your timed tickets now

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We have reopened! Pre-book your timed tickets now