No trip to the Island would be complete without a stop at the Isle of Wight Zoo, especially when you have little ones.
Set right on Sandown beach, it’s built inside the ruins of a Victorian Fort, and famous for walking their tigers on the beach they are sat opposite. Of course there are no longer tiger walks on the beach, but still lots of tigers to see inside.
Being a family owned and run zoo, it is on the smaller side, so realistically you aren’t going to be spending all day there. It’s easy enough to get around the whole place in an hour, but being small means you can go around a few times. It’s also a pretty great size for toddlers who want their independence to wander around freely but not get too tired.
Alongside its impressive collection of tigers, Isle of Wight Zoo also plays host to a sizeable number of Lemurs, monkeys and a nice farmyard section as well as meerkats and lions.
The animal talks are really interesting and informative (did you know it costs the zoo approximately £5,000 a year to feed their carnivores, but approximately £30,000 for the vegetarians, as a lot of their meat is donated whereas they have to buy vegetation) and pretty popular. It’s one of the things I really enjoyed about the zoo, it felt like an extra personal touch that a lot of other zoos just don’t have the capacity for. We popped along on a Saturday and it seemed that everyone in the zoo was listening to the talks as they moved through the zoo, but it didn’t feel crowded at all.
Of course, we went a little picture mad. Well actually Dann went a little picture mad, as 90% of these were taken by him, and I had A LOT of images to go through to get these down!
And no trip to the Isle of Wight Zoo would be complete without a visit to their infamous tiger walking beach. We didn’t have a tiger – except for the little one that Henry is obsessed with alongside his goat – but we did have our own baby shark, and these are now amongst my favourite photos ever. Especially this one I posted to Instagram.
Entry to the zoo is £12.49 with gift aid donation for adults and under 3’s are free.