About Me

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Hi! I'm Eunice and I live in Bolton, Lancashire, with my two dogs Sophie and Sugar and an assortment of cats - well it used to be Sophie and Sugar, now it's Sophie and Poppie. I first began camping back in 1997 when my then partner took me to Anglesey for my birthday weekend. We slept in the back of the car - a hatchback - using the cushions off the settee at home as a mattress, and cooked and brewed up on a single burner camping stove. The site was good, the views were great, the weather fantastic and I was completely hooked. Following that weekend we got a two-man tent and some proper accessories and returned to Anglesey two weeks later, then over time we progressed to a three-man tent followed by an old trailer tent, then a new trailer tent, a campervan and finally a caravan. When my partner decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the street - literally - in April 2009 and I suddenly found myself alone after fifteen years, I decided there was no way I was going to give up camping and caravanning if I could cope on my own. This blog is the story of my travels, trials and tribulations since becoming a solo camper - I hope you like it

Thursday April 30th 2015 - Z is for Zoo

This post is part of the A - Z Challenge.

Over the years that I've been a solo camper I've visited several zoos while on my camping travels; a couple of these have been very well set out and very interesting and I've been very impressed. 

Africa Alive at Kessingland in Norfolk is dedicated completely to animals from Africa, and one of the best areas of the zoo is Lemur Encounters, a huge open enclosure where the public can walk among the many ring-tailed lemurs which live there. There's no extra charge to go in and you can stay as long as you like while the lemurs leap in and out of the trees and play around you. My time spent in there was undoubtedly the highlight of my visit to that particular zoo.

Banham Zoo, again in Norfolk, is the sister zoo to Africa Alive but has a more diverse range of animals. One of the nicest exhibits is the Province of the Snow Cat which houses the zoo's breeding pair of snow leopards and features rock faces and a meandering alpine stream. The highlight of my visit to that particular zoo was the 'meerkat feeding experience' where I accompanied a keeper into the meerkat enclosure to feed the little animals and spend some time with them; they were fascinating, comical and very cute little creatures, it was brilliant having them swarming all over me and some of them even allowed me to stroke them.

Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, a few miles from Yarmouth, is based in the 250-year old landscaped gardens of Thrigby Hall and is reputedly renowned for its collection of Asian mammals, birds and reptiles. Although I enjoyed my visit there I didn't think it was as interesting as Africa Alive and Banham; while I would return to those two zoos I wouldn't be in a hurry to go back to Thrigby Hall.

Amazona Zoo on the outskirts of Cromer is home to over 200 animals and birds from tropical South America. Attractions include daily 'feed the animal' events, a spider house with five varieties of tarantula, and a guinea pig village. While I found it better than Thrigby Hall it still wasn't as good as Africa alive and Banham.

The Welsh Mountain Zoo, set high in the hills above Colwyn Bay in North Wales, is also a botanical garden with numerous flower beds, rose gardens, herbaceous borders, woodland walks, and collections of hardy and tropical plants, some of which are rare and endangered. The flora were as much of an attraction to me as the fauna and it's a place I will certainly go back to in the near future. 

Well, this post concludes the A - Z Challenge; thank you to all those who took the trouble to stop by, read and comment on my ramblings, I hope I haven't bored you too much. And now I've finished the challenge maybe I can finally find the time to write about my Easter camping trip!


  1. Congratulations!!!! You made it through the challenge!!!
    I've enjoyed reading all about your alphabetical travels.
    We have a great zoo in indianapolis. They keep adding bigger and better areas for new animals. Just yesterday, my kids were begging me to go. We have a membership we go so often.

    1. I did indeed, and without too much difficulty. Thank you for reading, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      The nearest zoo to here is a 50-minute drive away, and strangely enough even though it's not that far I've never been or wanted to go, mainly because the seaside town it's in isn't my cup of tea. Zoos are really places I go to when I'm away from home whereas that would just be a day out, but maybe one day when I'm at a loose end I'll pay a visit.

  2. The A to Z or your travels through this green and pleasant land. Thanks for the mention of all those zoos. I stay well away from zoos. Last time I went to a zoo, the zoo keeper chased after me. Got out just in time :)

    Well done, Eunice.


    1. Thank you Gary, I hope you enjoyed reading through all the A - Z posts.

      To be honest I have mixed opinions of zoos. While I don't believe any truly wild animal should be kept in captivity for the so-called enjoyment of the public I recognise that zoos have come a long way from how they used to be years ago, and with so many animals and birds being classed as endangered species captive breeding are probably the only way to ensure their survival, so in that way zoos can only be a good thing. I only ever visit them if I'm camping somewhere and the weather isn't good enough for landscape photography.

  3. Zoos are responsible for the continuation of many of the worlds endangers species. I feel far more comfortable in a zoo than I would in a circus. Unfortunately you have to monetize the viewing of animals in order to have the resources to keep on looking after them.

    1. You have a very valid point. While I agree that zoos are needed to ensure the survival of endangered species I definitely DO NOT condone having animals in circuses.


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