Head out on a safari in search of hippos, snow leopards and giraffes or check out unusual reptiles at this spacious zoo and wildlife park.
Marvel at swimming penguins and spot cheetahs hiding among the trees at Marwell Zoo, Winchester’s expansive wildlife park. Learn about a range of animals while relaxing on a steam train as it slowly weaves its way through this 140-acre (56-hectare) park.
Start your tour at Penguin Cove, which is located on your left as you enter the park. Watch the adorable Humboldt penguins as they amble about their rocky beach, then head to the underground viewing area to see them darting through the water.
Continue to the giraffe house to get up-close to the park’s tallest residents. Attend an informative talk at this enclosure to find out why the giraffe’s neck is so long.
Just round the corner, African Valley holds some of the park’s most exciting creatures. Look on in awe as cheetahs pace around the open field. Test your running speed to discover if you could outpace an ostrich or zebra.
Carry on to the Fur, Feathers and Scales section at the far end of the park. Look for wallabies as you explore the Australian bush and keep watch for flashes of exotic birds, including several species of parrot. Reptile lovers will enjoy watching the sinister-looking beaded lizard and slithering boas.
Don’t miss the pygmy hippos, which provide excellent entertainment as they splash and frolic in their pool. Admire the elegance and beauty of the snow leopards in the opposite enclosure.
If you’d like to discover more, hop aboard the pretty steam train. This will take you on a loop around a section of the park that presents great views of the rhino, flamingo and hippo enclosures.
Marwell Zoo is 8 miles (12.9 kilometers) south of Winchester. A local bus connects the zoo to Eastleigh and Winchester railway stations. The park has several cafés, as well as playgrounds and a gift shop. The park is open daily and there is an entry fee.