Hello, R here again, Herself’s small Scottish correspondent. Mummy and daddy took us to the zoo to see All The Animals, and I am here to tell you all about it in a guest post.
It was a day trip. Ah! I see you thinking. Scottish. I see you thinking. Zoo. I see you thinking. Off you popped to Edinburgh then! But there you would be wrong.
In fact, we went across to Ireland to Belfast Zoo on Stenaline ferries. Because Stenaline have a summertime offer which includes ferry tickets, zoo tickets, and a bus transfer between the two, which still works out cheaper than trying to see captive animals in Scotland’s capital.
And because the drive down to catch the ferry is somewhat more pleasant than dragging along the motorway and crawling through bits of two cities.
Plus, we got to go to Gran and Grandpa’s house because it’s on the way to Cairnryan! That’s where we catch the boat. Convenient, huh?
Everybody was very busy making lots of sandwiches and other yummy things to eat on the journey when we arrived. Preparations!
You remember my little brother L right? He approves of preparations too.
Although they do take a while. After waiting aaaaageeees (maybe even as much as a whole night) for everyone to get everything ready, we got in the car again. We drove and drove, then had to find the car somewhere to sleep. And then we had to wait for everyone else to come in the other car. Again with the waiting!
At least we got to have some snacks.
“my teddy bea crimps”
Yes L, we had crisps. The preparations were worth it!
Of course, after that we still had to walk a reeaaalllly looong way to get on the ferry (five minutes). Which is a really really big boat and cars and trucks can go on too. From my point of view, this is less interesting, though, than the fact that there’s a cinema and soft play, and there are also restaurants and even a spa (whatever that is) on board. The walk was worth it too!
Mummy said we were on the boat for over two hours.
But that’s not really very long as by the time we had had lunch and played in the little soft play area and explored the boat and run about for a bit more it was almost time to get back off again, and we hardly noticed this bit!
Then we had to go across aaanooootheeer big long bridge to get to the bus (ten minutes)!
I liked the bus though; it took us to Belfast Zoo!
When we got to the zoo we looked at lots and lots and lots of animals. There’s everything there! I really liked the big giraffes, and there were some baby giraffes too!
And big elephants!
“I seed a goats, dey was hungy”
Yep, there were goats and pigs and donkeys, rabbits and guinea pigs at the farm area, there were also LOTS of different kinds of monkeys. From huge big gorillas to capuchins and a wild variety of other things like lemurs and tamarind too.
And! There were brown bears, otters, sea lions, oh, and penguins!
We couldn’t see the tigers (they were doing very good hiding) but we did see a mummy lion!
And we also saw meerkats, prairie dogs, and flamingos too!
Belfast Zoo has all the animals, in fact, you could possibly ask for. I bet even Herself and Herself’s animal obsessed big brother would be impressed!
Of course, we had to do more walking to see all the animals. And the zoo is on a big hill so we didn’t quite get round all the animals in the three hours we had before we had to get back on the bus. It was still huge fun though. And we got to play on the ferry again on the way back, we even had dinner in the restaurant!
That’s what I call a day out!
It was so good that when Mummy and Daddy got us back in the car, L was already asleep, and I fell asleep on the way back to Gran and Grandpa’s house.
So if you live close enough to Cairnryan to take advantage, Stenaline ferries have day out offers to convenient bits of Ireland throughout the year, although this specific one to Belfast Zoo has already finished. Still, I imagine there are people actually living or staying close enough to Belfast who might be interested in a zoo experience too, so my advice is go!
This is what the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has to say about the motorway network of Northern Ireland.
Address: Belfast Zoo, Antrim Rd, Belfast BT36 7PN
Opening: Winter opening: 10am to 4pm daily Summer opening is longer.
Admission: Families – 33.50GBP, adults – 17GBP, kids over four – 6.50GBP, kids under four – free! Plus, the aforementioned deal with Stenaline ferries, which
Getting there: Obviously we recommend being in Scotland and going across to Ireland via Cainryan with Stenaline. If this is not convenient for some reason, you can get to Belfast Zoo via the M1 or M2 motorways depending on which direction you are approaching Belfast from. There is, the zoo’s website assures me, plenty of free parking. The nearest train station (Whiteabbey) is three miles away. There are numerous buses from Belfast city centre.
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