• Bristol Zoo

    The fifth oldest zoo in the world

Bristol Zoo

Bristol Zoo Gardens is the fifth oldest zoo in the world 


Bristol Zoo Gardens is the fifth oldest zoo in the world and first opened its doors to the public on Monday 11 July 1836. Since then it has helped save over 175 species from extinction, showed generations of school-aged children the value of nature for human society and has given more than 90 million visitors a great day out. 

Visit before 3 September 2022, before it closes! There will be a series of special celebrations on the lead up to the closure. However, don't worry, this is not the end of the story for our famous 186-year-old site. The new zoo will open in 2024 at the Wild Place Project site.

The Zoo

A range of animal talks that run daily throughout the year, including the lions, gorillas, sharks, meerkats, crocodiles and penguins. You could also be a zookeeper for the day, work with the gardening team or meet and greet some of the animals.  

Zebi, the Zoo's famous elephant, was there from 1868 to 1909. She was quite a character, renowned for removing and eating straw hats!  In 1930 a young lowland gorilla arrived at the Zoo, Alfred. At the time there was only one other gorilla in a Zoo in Europe. Throughout the Second World War Alfred grew not only in size but also in popularity, still remaining one of the most popular animals in Bristol Zoo’s history.  In 1961 after 23 years at the Zoo, Rosie the elephant died, she had given over 80,000 rides a year to children. She was replaced by Wendy, an Asian elephant, and Christina, an African elephant. Christina sadly died in 1986 and Wendy, the last elephant at Bristol Zoo, lived here at the Zoo until 2002.

Bristol Zoological Society is a conservation and education charity, which runs and operates Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Wild Place Project. Through conservation science research they aim to save wildlife. They have helped re-introduce white-clawed crayfish into UK rivers to working with communities in the Philippines to save the Critically Endangered Negros bleeding heart dove.

More information


Stay at Future Inn Bristol

Based in the City Centre, opposite Cabot Circus, Future Inn Bristol is in the ideal central location.  All of the tourist attractions are within walking distance and with public transport routes on the opposite side of the road of the hotel, it makes it easy to get around Bristol.  

Bristol Zoo is a 13-minute taxi ride or drive from Future Inn Bristol.  Alternatively, the number 8 bus departs from across the road from Future Inns and stops outside Bristol Zoo, the whole journey takes around 28 minutes. Ona bike it takes approximately 22 minutes from the hotel.  If you would prefer to walk it would take around 49 minutes. 

Future Inn Bristol is an ideal base for the night offering various sized rooms including ones that can sleep up to four adults or a family.  In fact, under 12's stay for free! Perks include free car parking, free wifi and a complimentary robe and slippers. Book direct for the best available rates on our website or by contacting the Reservations Team on 0117 304 1010 or reservations.bristol@futureinns.co.uk

Pre or Post Exploring Dining

Chophouse Restaurant is ideal to fuel up before or after exploring. Every day the team serve breakfast, brunch, lunch, or an evening a-la-carte menu. Our set menu offers 3 courses for £23 daily between 5pm-9.30pm. Under 5's always eat for free, and the offer is extended to under 12's with a paying adult during school holidays. A large selection of drinks is also available including 2 for 1 on cocktails. Bookings can be made on 01752 701000 or chophouse@futureinns.co.uk.  Alternatively, you can book online: 

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