Marwell Zoo - Days out in Hampshire

Marwell Zoo can be found at Colden Common, near Winchester. It is one of the most popular days out for children in Hampshire.

Parking Your Car

Parking is excellent. There is plenty of room in the car parks.

Type of Attraction


Is it Buggy Friendly?

Good, well catered for. The trains have buggy trailers. Sometimes these can be very full at peak times. A lone parent with a baby and toddler will have difficulty, but I asked the tractor driver for assistance and he was very helpful.

Is Marwell Zoo an Indoor or Outdoor Attraction?

Most activities are outdoors and weather dependent. However most enclosures have an indoor section that enable you to escape from the elements for a break e.g. Giraffe house, Pygmy Hippo house, penguin pool to name just a few.

What is the Ideal Age for Visiting?

It is ideal for children of all ages.

Can You Buy Food There?

Yes. There are several areas.

Are the Food Options Varied? i.e. Vegetarian

Yes, ranges from Jacket potatoes, sandwiches to vegetable burgers.

What's it Like if You Take Your Own Food?

Bringing your own food is probably the best option. There are lots of picnic tables and you can also consider bringing a blanket to sit on.

Are the Toilets Clean?

Yes, OK.

Can You Do Everything in a Day?

Yes, although depending on the age of your children, it might not be feasible to stay a whole day. It can get very tiring for little ones.

Do You Have to Pay for Activities on Top of the Entrance Fee?

Not out of season, apart from the gift shop. However, in school holidays and the summer months, there is a charge for the rail train to the top of the park, or back to entrance. This can be costly especially as fee starts from 3 years. Also, at these peak times there are Bouncy castles and rides at additional cost. Road Trains are FREE!!!!

What is the Best Bit?

Tigers and the playground.

What Would You Say to People Considering Going?

Ask for help if needed. Use the toilet facilities near the main entrance (beneath the old Tree Tops restaurant) before you start going round, as the next opportunity is half way round the park.

It is great to go out of season as it is very quiet. Summer time is great as there are bouncy castles etc, however theses can add to the expense and just be a distraction for the children from the animals.

Wrap up warm in the winter months as a lot of the park is in the shade from early afternoon and it is fairly exposed so can get pretty cold.

Buy a season ticket, if you live within an hour's drive of the place. The price is very good compared to the day pass and it means you can just pop there in the afternoon for a couple of hours. I go throughout the year, sometimes once a week.

What "Unmissable" Bit Is There?

Pygmy Hippo house, (especially if the weather is cold). It is a lovely warm, quiet and tranquil place to watch these beautiful animals.

Giraffe house. When they are inside you can get really close to these magnificent animals.

Tiger enclosure. How often can you get to be within 3 inches of a Tiger, they will often brush passed the glass on the other side.

What Would Make it Better?

More toilet and baby changing facilities. More playground apparatus for very young children.

What Did You Think of Your Visit?

Very high standard of care for the animals and the environment they are living in. Excellent way to learn about animals, as the information at each enclosure is just enough to read and digest.

Please rate this attraction out of 5 stars.

(1 is poor and 5 is excellent).

5 Stars

Do You Have Any Final Comments?

Marwell is a registered charity. On their website ( they state their mission is "to contribute to the conservation of biological diversity through the presentation and breeding of threatened species, the conservation and management of wild species in their natural habitat and by inspiring improved understanding, awareness and care of wildlife and the environment." There is a Hotel next to the park and a grand house in the centre of the park that offers private and corporate function facilities.

What do You Think?

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