Edinburgh Zoo

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When I found out we were heading to Edinburgh Zoo for the day I was beyond excited!  Knowing that it was the only Zoo in the country to have Panda’s made me as excited as a three year old! Honestly, I was uncontainable! I’d never seen a Panda in real life before, only in books.  I hardly slept the night before and woke up with bags under my eyes that you could have planted potatoes in, but I was full of the joys of spring – up, dressed and ready to go!  The trip was a surprise as part of a whole valentines weekend – don’t I just have the best boyfriend ever!

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We were lucky enough to have a super sunny (but freezing cold) day to visit. It was perfect! All the animals came out to say hello!

The zoo itself is massive. We literally got there when it opened and walked around all day, stopping only for a coffee in the morning!  My legs were aching, but my heart was full!

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There was so much to see – the monkeys and penguins were a particular favourite. They both have so much character!  These monkeys were zooming around their pen chasing each other and kept us entertained for ages.

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We were lucky to see the penguins being fed and they were enjoying the bright sunshine too. I’ve never noticed how penguins waddle. That also kept me immensely entertained!

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As we were walking around, a little robin followed us everywhere! It was brilliant – I love robins and to have one singing and tweeting as we wandered was a delight.  I managed to snap this photo of him, one that I will treasure – just made the whole weekend even more magical. He really is beautiful.

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Adam sought out the Meer cats – one of his favourites! He then proceeded to speak in a Russian accent for the next twenty minutes!!  I’m not ashamed to admit that it was hilarious.  He also suggested I get arty with this photo when we reached the Rhino:

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It was the only animal where things started getting a little crowded and it was difficult to get a photo without other tourists in it! It’s not surprising,  he was full of energy and enjoying his lettuce!

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We took a few trips to the Panda enclosure – three to be specific. Each time there was no Panda in sight – I was beginning to feel a little sad that we may have to leave without seeing the one animal I was hoping to see.  Then we discovered the indoor enclosure, hidden a little away from the main one! When I walked in I am not ashamed to say I shed a little tear.  They were magnificent. Okay – so they were sleeping, but wow – to see a Panda. Words can’t really describe it.

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According to other tourists in the enclosure, he’d been asleep all day – we walk in and he gets up, moves around, turns onto his back, hands behind his head and chills out!  Incredible!

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Literally couldn’t get any cuter and made my whole day.  It put that spring back in my step and we carried on with our Zoo adventure!

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Imagine my surprise when the next animal we happened upon was a Koala!! In the UK. Well, it floored me. Two new animals to tick off my bucket list in one day. He did look a little sad, so did his companion – but it was a really cold day and I think he was starting to feel it a little bit.

We stayed at the zoo until it closed and then headed to the souvenir shop before heading back to our apartment. We were still so full of energy we decided to walk it – 1 and half hours later and we got back – knackered, happy, content and my heart was bursting! What an amazing day!!

My tips if you’re thinking of heading to Edinburgh Zoo anytime soon….

(1) Buy your tickets online – get them cheaper and jump all the entrance queues!

(2) Head to the gift shop first – you’ll run out of time otherwise.

(3) When you get to the Panda’s don’t be disheartened if you can’t see them, head round the back to their indoor enclosure! You won’t be disappointed.

(4) Around 2pm, head to the penguin enclosure and stand near the door. They have a tradition of opening the doors and letting the penguins walk outside if they want to. They will walk right past your feet!

(5) Wear flat shoes! It’s super hilly in the grounds and you’ll be doing a lot of walking! I recommend you take a bottle of water too!

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