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Trains to Edinburgh Zoo

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Located on the slopes of Corstorphine Hill in Edinburgh, Edinburgh Zoo  is home to a menagerie of exciting creatures from all over the world. From the pygmy hippopotamus native to West Africa to the tiny blue poison dart frog of South America. Driven by their commitment to wildlife conservation and the education and empowerment of their visitors, this century-old zoo is the ideal destination to teach your little ones about valuing nature and all the creatures on Earth.

How to Get to Edinburgh Zoo by train:

You can visit Edinburgh Zoo with ease by hopping on a direct CrossCountry train from several major stations across Britain; including Glasgow Central, Newcastle station, and Birmingham New Street. Once you’ve made it to Edinburgh Waverley, you can get to the zoo in roughly twenty minutes with multiple bus connection options.

The journey is equally simple if you’re travelling from Haymarket station, requiring only a brief ten-minute bus ride. You can reach Haymarket station from plenty of routes, including connections from Dundee station and Aberdeen station.

Whether you’re travelling from nearby in Scotland or even as far as Cornwall, getting to Edinburgh Zoo is straightforward with CrossCountry.

Things to do at Edinburgh Zoo

Beyond enjoying the park and its animals, Edinburgh Zoo has plenty of unique activities on offer. Perhaps most exciting is the Keeper Experience, providing visitors with the chance to get up close to some of the parks most beloved creatures. By participating in this programme, you step into the role of a zookeeper for a day, contributing to animal feeding, engaging in enrichment activities, and gaining insights into the daily operations of the zoo. If you’ve got some little creatures of your own, check out the Junior Keeper Experience for 8–15-year-olds or the Mini Keeper Experience for 5–7-year-olds, where they’ll be delighted to spend time with armadillos, meerkats, warty pigs and more. 

If you’re not keen on getting your hands dirty, Edinburgh Zoo has lots more activities awaiting. Birthday parties with show and tell and plenty of cake, corporate team-building exercises and a chance to travel back in time to prehistory are just some of the ways you can make the most of your day.

One of our favourite things to do at Edinburgh Zoo is visit Penguins Rock, Europe’s largest outdoor penguin pool. The pool is home to three different species of penguins, king, gentoo and rockhopper, and with over 100 individuals splashing around it’s important that there’s enough space for all to live a comfortable and happy life. The pool can hold a whopping 1.2 million litres of water, giving the penguins plenty of space to slide down the water shoot and play in the waterfall.

About Edinburgh Zoo

Edinburgh Zoo has been open to the public of Scotland’s capital city since 1913, when Thomas Gillespie, founder of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), opened the gates of Edinburgh Zoo. The first animal to be acquired by the zoo was a gannet, a large white bird with a yellowish head and one of the largest seabirds of the North Atlantic. Since then, many charming and fascinating creatures have lived at Edinburgh Zoo, such as Wojtek the Syrian Brown Bear. Wojtek spent his retirement at Edinburgh Zoo after being a mascot for the 22nd Company Polish Army Service and Corps during the war. 

Edinburgh Zoo is perhaps best known for its penguin population, with one proud little penguin even featuring on the logo. The zoo’s history with penguins goes right back to 1913 when three king penguins arrived in Leith. Then in 1919, Edinburgh Zoo saw the very first penguin chick hatch in captivity. These days, the zoo prides itself on its cutting-edge penguin care and science. Keep an eye out for Sir Nils Olav, a particularly special penguin who was knighted under the instruction of the King of Norway, King Harald V in 2008!

Edinburgh Zoo is deeply committed to conservation, leading a range of innovative research initiatives both within the zoo and across various locations in Scotland and globally. These efforts all have a common goal of safeguarding precious species from extinction. In 2010, the Wildgenes laboratory opened in the zoo and has been providing genetic analysis to support conservation ever since.

For visitors who are eager to explore the fascinating world of conservation initiatives further, RZSS conservation projects  is the perfect library of discovery. There is a wealth of articles about all kinds of research and discovery, like successful breeding programmes, on-site biodiversity studies and conservation of specific animals. These stories showcase the incredible efforts contributing to the preservation of our planet's precious wildlife and are the perfect read for any animal lover on a long train journey, with our free on-board WiFi.

Five Quick Facts about Edinburgh Zoo

  1. Edinburgh Zoo is home to over 2500 individual animal species.
  2. They are open every day of the year except Christmas Day
  3. There are a variety of animal cams available so you can watch giraffes, lions, penguins, tigers and koalas from home.
  4. The zoo’s goal is to reverse the decline of at least 50 species by 2030.
  5. The park was designed to be an ‘open-zoo’ with spacious enclosures, ditches and moats separating animals from visitors rather than cages.

Visiting Edinburgh Zoo is easiest when you book online. Be sure to take a look at some of their upcoming events, which often include workshops, talks, and kid-friendly arts and crafts. We’re particularly excited about the annual pebble painting session for the penguin’s nests! 
There are also multiple restaurants on offer serving up delicious snacks, treats, and meals. Their newest addition is The Gannet, with a menu focusing on locally sourced ingredients. There’s also Penguins Café, where you can pick up a nice hot lunch and a coffee and Grasslands Restaurant, which offers a relaxed dining experience for the whole family. 

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