If you’re a big fan of wildlife and looking for a thrilling day out just 40 minutes from Bournemouth, why not head to Marwell Zoo in Colden Common, Winchester? This beautiful 140-acre park is home to hundreds of exotic and endangered animals including giraffes, penguins, tigers, hippos and meerkats.
Stroll around the zoo watching its residents go about their daily lives or keep tabs on the talks and feeding time schedules to learn more about these majestic animals. The park also offers five children’s playgrounds, fun road and rail trains and a unique Wild Explorers exhibit, where you can get up close to natives of the African wilderness with unrestricted views and ‘spy in the grass’ cameras.
Marwell Zoo is the closest zoo to Bournemouth, situated a 40-mile drive out of town at Owslebury near Winchester, Hampshire. This expansive site is home to more than 1,200 animals of some 235 different species and was one of the first zoos in Europe to place an emphasis on conservation. Marwell opened its doors to the public in 1972 and has become an important breeding centre for some species already extinct in the wild (like the Mongolian wild horse) or close to it (the snow leopard and Siberian tiger). Within the grounds stands Marwell Hall, which was built in 1320 and the park itself is divided into various zones including Into Africa, Tropical World, Australian Bush World and Penguin Cove. The zoo has 449 mammals of 81 species, 309 birds of 42 species, 61 reptiles of 24 species, 31 amphibians of 7 species, 18 fish of 7 species and 839 invertebrates of 27 species.