Those of you who know me well will know that I both adore London and animals of various shapes and sizes, so when the lovely folk at Talented Talkers asked me if I fancied taking a trip to London Zoo with Avios I leapt at the chance. Avios is encouraging people to do more and enjoy their visit to the city in new and exciting ways. I chose the zoo - it is a real treasure within the city and does a lot of great work in conservation and animal protection. Plus - animals!
I was very happy to plan a visit there and got very excited about seeing some of my favourite animals. I had not been in a good long time so I was very pleased to be able to journey across to see some of the cutest inhabitants of Regents Park (including the little fellow above, who worked it for the camera like a pro! I could have done a post on him alone!).
Last Thursday dawned grey and murky, but by midmorning the skies were blue and a gentle autumnal sun was beaming down on the city. I walked through the park to the zoo entrance, where I met up with the lovely Charlotte of The World According to Charlotte Coster. I'd been gifted two tickets so had put a request out on twitter to see if anyone else fancied a day at the zoo. Charlotte was free so she joined me for the jaunt. It's always fun to meet other bloggers in real life and as it always turns out, after chatting for a wee while it transpired that we had tonnes in common. It was ever thus; I think several of the world's conflicts would be sussed if we all had to sit down with a cuppa before getting all hot-headed....
Tea solves all.
Below are some of the roughly eleventy million shots I took....there were whole swathes of the zoo we didn't even get to (reptile house, bug extravaganza) in our six hour visit - there are an awful lot of things to see!
Loved these elegant birds of prey - their wingspans were almost 8 feet!
The butterfly house was such fun - pretty butterflies everywhere, flitting around.
The children's farm is always worth a visit. The llamas, alpacas and donkeys were very pleased to see us, including this fine fellow who was hamming it up for the camera. Speaking of ham, we also saw two enormous piggies having a proper disagreement - their grunts were so loud!
Sleepy, sleepy fruitbats. They were so funny - really cute but also kind of clumsy when they crawled or flew. We thought it was cute that there was a little mouse in the bottom of their enclosure - clever fellow! Why risk the tube or the bins when you can live in a warm place with fruit on tap?
The giraffes were very sweet - I know it's passé but I alays get blown away by how tall they are! I learned on this visit that their tongues are half a metre long, and that they have black tongues so they don't get sunburnt.
You learn something new every day.
Loved this sign.
We went into the lemur enclosure, where they run around and you're in there too - SO fun! A lemur tapped my shoe....amazing. This action shot occur when a little shower started - run, little lemure, run for the shelter!
The meerkats were so sweet. This little guy took a break from his very industrious digging to have a snapshot.
The penguins are such a favourite of mine. Whenever Dad would go on detachment to the Falklands he'd come back with penguin stories and toys for us kids, and I just think they are the coolest creatures. I hadn't been to the zoo since Penguin Beach had been dolled up, so I loved spending a good half hour oohing and aahing at these little fellows!
In this shot they were all grooming themselves, a little like cats!
This sleepy owl was not feeling the middle of the day.
These monkeys were great, and absolutely fascinated by their neighbours in the next enclosure...
...who were playfighting/ Look at those wondrous, bushy tails!
Not the greatest shot, perhaps, but I loved spying this posse of sleepy otters!
You see a giant polar bear.....you go a little Strictly.
It was tiger naptime when we went over there - I always love how much big cats and domestic cats have in common. This could have been one of our trio napping, were it not for the enormo paws.
Our last stop was the spider monkey enclosure. Again, you can actually walk amongst the animals, who climb in the trees and along ropes centimetres from you. This little guy was fascinated by my iPhone.
I really had a magical time at the zoo and would recommend it to anyone visiting London. All of the animals were beautiful, and some of the exhibits, where you got to see the creatures close up, were stunning. Well worth a visit - thank you to Avios & Talented Talkers for giving me the chance to go, and thank you to Charlotte for coming along too.