One of England's finest zoos with over 250 species of animal from elephants to reptiles, sea lions, seals, penguins, orangutans and chimps, all located in 60 acres of gardens and landscaped parkland. The zoo has won many awards and is an ideal attraction for a family day out.
Opening times: all year, daily
from 9.30 (exc. Xmas). Admission Charge
Location: Maldon Road, Colchester, Essex CO3 0SL
Tel: 01206 331292 - Website
Facilities: parking, restaurant, café, shop.
A small zoo and adventure park aimed at children between 2 and 10 years old. With over 100 exotic species from monkeys to meerkats and penguins, plus walk through enclosures of lemurs and sloths. Childrens rides, play area, spash pool. Thomas the Tank Engine train ride.
Opening times: daily
10am to 5pm (closed Xmas) - Admission
Location: Alfriston Rd, East Sussex BN26 5QS
Tel: 01323 874100
Visitor centre and wildlife discovery area located within the Wat Tyler Country Park, near Pitsea, Essex.
A great family attraction, especially if you are interested in wildlife and year-round bird watching. Nature trails, viewing points, wildlife garden and live CCTV nature cameras. Great for youngsters to enjoy, with guided walks and regular children's activities.
Opening times: 10am to 4pm winter, 10am to 5pm summer. Free Entry - charge for activities
Location: Wat Tyler Park, Pitsea Hall Lane, Basildon, SS16 4UH - Tel: 01268 498620 - Website
Facilities: Parking, picnic area, binocular hire, pushchair and wheelchair friendly, refreshments, educational facilities.
Located on the banks of the Thames, this ancient medieval marsh landscape was once used as military firing range. Acquired by the RSPB in 2000, it is now one of the best places to experience wildlife in Britain. The center-piece of the site is an award winning visitor centre, with large picture-windows overlooking the marshes. Visitors can follow one of the many boardwalks and pathways across the site to get up closer to nature. In spring and summer the site is a mecca for breeding wading birds, and large flocks of wild ducks visit the site in winter. Facilities include a wildlife garden and children's adventure play area. An ideal day out for families, walkers, wildlife enthusiasts and school groups.
Opening times: Nov~Mar 9.30am to 4.30 pm, Apr~Oct 9.30am to 5pm (closed Xmas)
Admission Charge (free to RSPB members and residents of Havering and Thurrock)
Location: RSPB Rainham Marshes nature reserve, new Tank Hill Road, Essex RM19 1SZ - Tel: 01708 899840 - Website
Facilities: parking, refreshments, shop, disabled facilities, play areas, events, group bookings welcome
Nature reserve that forms part of the South Essex Marshes. A perfect place to venture out into the wilderness and observe wildlife in its natural habitat. Superb area for walking with nature trails and viewing points. Lots of activities for children during the school holidays, including pond dipping and mini-beast hunting. All-year-round children's play area provided. Designated areas for dog walking. Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.
Opening times: car park open from 9am to 5pm Free Entry (donations welcome)
Location: SS8 0PT (near Canvey Island) - Tel: 01268 498620 - Website
Facilities: Parking, children's play area, picnic area, pushchair and wheelchair friendly.
Chelmsford, Basildon, Romford, Southend, Colchester, Harlow, Brentwood, West Ham, Witham
Please note that the above information was accurate at the time this page was last updated. This information is subject to change at any time (opening times in particular), therefore if you plan on visiting any of the above attractions, please check the owner's website first or phone them for the latest details.