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Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo is one of the biggest attractions for visitors to Chester. The UK's largest zoo covering 130 acres, is run by a registered charity North of England Zoological Society.

Being one of the most visited wildlife in the UK, the zoo's charity was founded in 1934 by the Mottershead family who owned a market garden business.

Chester Zoo is the brainchild of George Mottershead who collected animals such as insects and lizards that came along for the ride on the exotic plants that were imported for the market garden business.

He bought Oakfield Manor in 1930 which had 9 acres of gardens for a modest £3,500 (which was a lot in the 30s).


The zoo got underway and expanded rapidly after the second world war in the surrounding farmland in Upton-by-Chester.

There are other zoo's in the NW like Blackpool Zoo, however Chester Zoo has the biggest and it has to be one of the best.

Chester Zoo
Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo Design

George Mottershead wanted a zoo that didn't have the traditional victorian cages and iron bars to keep dangerous animals enclosed.


Moats and ditches were thought of as a more natural way to keep animals in a certain area of the attraction and proved to be very popular.


Islands that can be seen today are all part of the well-planned layout of the largest English Zoo.

In the 21st century, there has been a transformation with investment and in 2012 planning for one of the largest zoo developments in Europe.


Six islands were built to recreate a Southeast Asia environment for animals costing £40 million plus a 600,000 sq feet free nature reserve is situated outside the boundary of the zoo which has free entry to the public.

One of the biggest memories for many people over the years is the monorail that took a trip above many of the features and areas of the zoo.


Unfortunately, the ride closed in 2019 as after 20 years or more in became unreliable.


It covered a small area as the zoo expanded, so the decision was made to use the land the monorail took up to operate, and use the areas now known as Grasslands to represent the Africa Savannah along with its habitat.

Chester Zoo Six Islands
Chester Zoo Cheshire England
Chester Zoo Komodo Dragon
Lesser Antilles Iguana at Chester Zoo

Facilities at Chester Zoo

Facilities at Chester Zoo

Access for everybody has been planned for with hire services for mobility scooters and buggy hire being made available.

Plenty of places to eat and drink to make the perfect day out. Bembé Kitchen situated near the main entrance is a favourite, on the west side of the zoo, June's Pavillion, with Manado Street Kitchen nestled onto the Sulawesi which is incorporated with the islands exhibit.

Popular with families for both eating and functions is the Oakfield Restaurant which is built in a Victorian Mansion House on site.


Often heard nearby is the roar of the lion enclosure which is one of the more popular attractions. 

The Acorn Bar can be hired out too for private functions and also serves a good selection of cuisine throughout the day to visitors to Chester Zoo.

Bembé Kitchen chester zoo

Animals at Chester Zoo

Animals at Chester Zoo

A vast array of animals can be seen or are resident at Chester Zoo.

Reptiles at the zoo with 52 different species - around 230 total of animals

Mammals - number of species 79 - total number of animals 1864

Fish over 100 species - nearly 4000 fish

Birds 155 Species - total number of birds over 1100

Amphibians totally 24 different species and over 500 animals

Invertebrates over 1300 animals of 300 different species

Around 10,000 animals are placed at Chester Zoo Now we can see why it is one of the biggest in Europe!

Other pages on this site:

Chester Cathedral


Chester Zoo - Fish

Entrance to Chester Zoo

Entrance to Chester Zoo

How to get to Chester Zoo


From the A41 (the Chester By-Pass) you will find the entrance to Chester Zoo off Flag Lane.


The elephants are residents nearby to the entrance and there are good parking spaces leading up to the entrance making it an easy experience for drivers to park up and get into the zoo.

How To Get to Chester Zoo

Questions and Answers

Q & A

How much is an Adult ticket for Chester zoo?

An Adult ticket costs £25.45

Please note that these prices are subject to change, and it’s always best to check the official website for the latest information

What age is a senior ticket at Chester zoo?

Senior tickets start at the age of 65 and over for both men and women

How much is a senior ticket at Chester Zoo?

An Adult ticket costs £23.63 which is the same price for students to.

Please note that these prices are subject to change, and it’s always best to check the official website for the latest information

How much is a family ticket for Chester Zoo?

A Family Ticket costs £95.43 for 2 adults and 2 children

Please note that these prices are subject to change, and it’s always best to check the official website for the latest information

How much is a year pass to Chester Zoo?

An annual membership costs £105 for an adult or £94.50 if paid by direct debit

Please note that these prices are subject to change, and it’s always best to check the official website for the latest information

How many visitors does Chester Zoo get a year?

With the pandemic, obviously less visitors. In 2022 there was around 1.8 million visitors

How much is a taxi from Chester train station to Chester Zoo?

It costs between £12 - £15 and takes around 6 minutes. As an alternative, you can catch the No. 1 bus from the station to the zoo for between £2-£3 per person


A must-visit if you are staying in Chester for a few days or taking a break or living in the UK. Chester Zoo is always evolving and there is always something new to be seen.

A favourite with the kids and the whole family, make sure you visit for an amazing day out! We love Chester Zoo.

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