The children’s zoo in Battersea park is in the middle of the north side of the park, near the river and the Peace Pagoda. It has a nice collection of small animals, a brilliant sand and water play area, and a playground with a real fire engine to play in.
The only bad thing about it is the large number of fairground-style games in the play areas that need money to make them work. Arguments over those put an unhappy edge to a day out here – and not just for us – walking around I overheard endless disputes and negotiations between parents and children over more pound coins for another go on one of the games. It would be a much nicer place to spend time in if they got rid of them all. But if you go with an iron will and no pound coins whatsoever, it makes a nice day out and is maybe worth it for the fire engine alone.
Best bits: It’s small so easy to see everything without getting overwhelmed.
Cost: Adults £8.75, children £6.50
Travel: The closest gate is Chelsea Gate and lots of buses go nearby. You can drive into that gate and park in the pay and display car park next to the zoo – the turn is immediately after Chelsea bridge from the north and easy to miss.
Where to eat: A small cafe on site has the standard kids lunchbox options.