Frequently Asked Questions

A crowd at the new coati enclosure

Our full list of FAQs is below, or search for your question.

Education Visits

How do I book an education visit?

To check availability, book workshop sessions, self guided park visits, conference places and recce visits please click here. Please be aware that bookings cannot be made without a valid PO number. Schools without a PO cannot be invoiced and must pay on arrival.

Are there any tips or guidelines for educational visits?

Yes! We have a whole list of Top Tips and Park Guidelines in our handy downloadable pdf.

Group Visits

Are there discounts for groups?

If your group consists of 12 or more paying guests then yes! Groups can benefit from great discounts and a special offer. See our group visits page for details.

What are the incentives for coach drivers?

As well as free all day coach parking, coach drivers will receive FREE entry plus a £5 lunch voucher. Please note: this is not included for education visits.

About your website

Who created your website?

Thanks for asking. We work with the friendly team at Semantic.

Where are your webcams?

If you haven't discovered our live webcams already - please check out our webcams page in the 'Keep in touch' section of our website. You'll find live video webcams featuring our meerkats, flamingos and leaf-cutter ants alongside still webcams from our penguins, giraffes, lemurs and cheetahs.

Pre-Arrival

Where can I fill my Marwell coffee flask?

Flask filling points

  • Coffee Corner
    Inside the Gift Shop, open all year round.
  • Bushtucker Bites
    By the wallaby walkthrough. Open April - October, on busier days in February, March & November and weekends only during December & January (subject to weather).
  • Picnic marquee kiosk
    By tiger enclosure. Open on busier days April - October.

Each of the outlets listed above display a large poster advertising them as ‘flask filling points’, to make it easy for flask users to identify them. We regret that we are not able to give flask owners priority over other guests, if queuing.

Can I still fill my flask at Café Graze?

At Café Graze, the self-service drinks machines will no longer be available for flask filling. If, as a flask owner, you wish to use your flask whilst purchasing a meal, we recommend that you fill it at one of the above outlets beforehand. Alternatively, you may of course purchase a drink with your meal.

Fair usage

We would also like to politely remind our loyal flask owners that flasks were sold for personal usage only. They should not be used as a ‘vessel’ for re-filling other drinks containers for friends and families. Our staff are monitoring frequency of re-fills to ensure that usage is appropriate.

We no longer sell refillable flasks as the offer has finished.

At what age can children visit the park without an adult?

 Children up to and including the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Can I bring a camper van to the zoo?

Unfortunately, camping overnight in our car park is not permitted.  However, if you wish to use this mode of transport on your day visit you may be asked to park in our coach park.  Please check with a member of our team upon arrival who will be more than happy to assist you.

Can I bring a picnic?

Guests are more than welcome to bring their own food and drink. We have many picnic areas and plenty of seating. Please note: Picnics are not to be consumed in Cafe Graze or Coffee Corner.

Top Tips to enjoy your picnic

  • Avoid attracting uninvited wasps by sitting in the shade and keeping food covered while you eat.
  • Feed only yourselves - feeding birds can also attract pests.
  • Once finished, please recycle and dispose of your rubbish thoughtfully.

 

Bon appétit!

Don't forget we have a number of options for food and drink at the zoo - enough to satisfy all appettites!

Can I bring my dog?

Dogs and all other animals are not permitted in the park or to be left in cars. Assistance dogs are welcome. We ask that guests using assistance dogs let us know at admissions where they will be given an Assistance Dogs map & factsheet.

Can I buy a ticket that’s not for a specific date?

Yes, tickets are available to purchase by card on our gifts page or by calling us on 01962 777 965. These tickets are valid for 12 months – a great gift idea! For other great ideas visit our gift shop page.

Can I hire a wheelchair?

A limited number of manual wheelchairs are available to hire for free although a small deposit is required. Phone ahead on 01962 777407 if you’d like us to reserve one for you.

More detail is available in our access statement. Did you know we're the first 'Makaton Friendly' zoo? Find out more on our education page.

Can I transfer my online booking date?

Sorry, online bookings are non-transferable and non-refundable.

Can my children bring a scooter?

Sorry, scooters, roller skates and similar push-alongs are not permitted in the park.

Do disabled guests get discount?

Disabled guests are required to pay the standard rate but we will admit a carer for free. Download our Access Statement on our Top Tips page.

Is Marwell open all year round?

Yes Marwell is open from 10am every day except Christmas and Boxing Day. Closing times vary throughout the year so please see our opening times page to check.

Is the parking free?

Yes! No payment is required for parking. Coach parking is also free.

Is there an ATM on site?

We accept both cash and card but there are no ATMs at Marwell so please make sure you bring cash with you.

What do I need to bring?

  • Camera
  • Pen
  • Sun cream, Sun hat (on hot days)
  • Waterproofs, Umbrella, Wellington boots (just in case...)

What do you accept as proof of disability?

We will accept Gateway cards, letters from Disability Support Services, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) letters, appropriate Travel / Leisure Cards, and blue badges (although these should be left in your vehicle). Don't worry if you do not have any of the above, please contact us ahead of your visit for advice.

Where can I stay nearby?

Not local? There are plenty of places to stay nearby and in our wonderful county of Hampshire. Marwell Hotel is situated just opposite our entrance and offer packages for families with tickets included. Alternatively search for accommodation providers near our postcode SO21 1JH and you'll find plenty of other fine establishments!

Where is Marwell Zoo?

Marwell is in the heart of the beautiful Hampshire countryside, just eight miles from Winchester, five from Eastleigh and twelve from Southampton. The park is within easy reach of two main motorways and rail stations. Our postcode is SO21 1JH. For more details see our Travel & Directions page.

Is there a Threatened Species Trail?

We do have a Threatened Species Trail and there are three versions available using signs located around the park. The trails are available to download from our education pages and aimed at school groups with Key Stage 2Key Stage 3 and A-level students.

Changing Places Facility

Marwell Zoo is the UK’s first zoological park and Hampshire’s first ever visitor attraction to open a ‘Changing Places’ toilet facility. This is located opposite Tropical World and is accessible with a Radar key. 

'Changing Places' toilet facilities are different to standard disabled toilets, catering for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as other serious impairments such as spinal or brain injuries. They often need extra facilities to allow them to use toilets comfortably, and come equipped with extra features including adjustable changing benches and ceiling hoists plus enough room for at least two carers.

Are there baby-changing facilities?

Baby-changing facilities are available in all our toilet blocks, including Café Graze, where you’ll also find a microwave for heating up baby food.

Are there places to buy food?

If you'd like to leave your picnic hamper at home, we have a wide range of tasty snacks, sit down meals and refreshing drinks at various kiosks or our main restaurant, Café Graze. Visit our Food & Drink page for more information.

Marwell Zoo Map

You can find maps dotted around the zoo to help find your way. Alternatively, download our 2017 zoo map.

Park Guidelines

Please read our Park Guidelines.

Marwell Zoo Access Statement

We welcome guests with disabilities together with their helpers and carers. Download our Access Statement on our Top Tips page for more information. For blind guests we recommend downloading our new sensory trail mp3.

What if it's raining?

Don't worry if the weather forecast looks bleak for the day you plan to visit! We have plenty of covered areas across the zoo for you to take shelter in and by downloading our map you'll be able to follow our wet weather route. We sell ponchos and umbrellas in the gift shop in case you need one too.

What animals do you have?

A list of all the species we have at Marwell Zoo can be found in our Animal Inventory. Or browse our Animal Directory for fascinating facts on most of the species we have here.

Is an induction loop available?

An induction loop is available at the seating area of our ring-tailed coatis to enable guests to hear our daily talk at 2pm. 

For more information on guests with disabilities please download our access statement.

Is there a bus I can catch?

Yes!

There are 3 seasonal services direct to Marwell Zoo from Eastleigh, Southampton and Winchester. There's also a service to Fishers Pond but it's not for the faint hearted. Find out when they operate and how often they run on our Travel and directions page.

Do you have any discounts, vouchers or offers?

We regularly receive enquiries on where to find Marwell Zoo discounts, vouchers, promotions, offers, discounted tickets and voucher codes.

We are pleased to advise that in 2016 we can guarantee the lowest price available for tickets when you book with us direct and we have several special offers available.

During your visit

Where can I fill my Marwell coffee flask?

Flask filling points

  • Coffee Corner
    Inside the Gift Shop, open all year round.
  • Bushtucker Bites
    By the wallaby walkthrough. Open April - October, on busier days in February, March & November and weekends only during December & January (subject to weather).
  • Picnic marquee kiosk
    By tiger enclosure. Open on busier days April - October.

Each of the outlets listed above display a large poster advertising them as ‘flask filling points’, to make it easy for flask users to identify them. We regret that we are not able to give flask owners priority over other guests, if queuing.

Can I still fill my flask at Café Graze?

At Café Graze, the self-service drinks machines will no longer be available for flask filling. If, as a flask owner, you wish to use your flask whilst purchasing a meal, we recommend that you fill it at one of the above outlets beforehand. Alternatively, you may of course purchase a drink with your meal.

Fair usage

We would also like to politely remind our loyal flask owners that flasks were sold for personal usage only. They should not be used as a ‘vessel’ for re-filling other drinks containers for friends and families. Our staff are monitoring frequency of re-fills to ensure that usage is appropriate.

We no longer sell refillable flasks as the offer has finished.

Can I smoke at Marwell?

Marwell Zoo is a family attraction and we wish to ensure that all our guests are free to enjoy a great day out in comfort. As such we would prefer you not to smoke whilst on the site. However, if you do need to smoke, please follow the guidance below.

In line with UK legislation, smoking is completely prohibited in all indoor and covered spaces in the zoo.

Outside, you may smoke in the wider grounds except in specific areas of the park, where smoking may cause a nuisance to other guests. These areas include:

    • Catering outlets and surrounding areas
    • Playgrounds and surrounding areas
    • Picnic areas
    • Train stops
    • Around or inside animal experiences and enclosures
    • Other areas where guests may congregate, such as the admissions gates, outside the gift shop, animal presentations, etc

 

Whilst some of these areas will be signposted, we respectfully ask smokers to be sensitive to other guests and ensure, at all times, that their smoke does not create a nuisance for others nearby.

Ashtrays are provided on all new bins, currently being introduced and we kindly ask smokers to ensure that they are used for disposal of all waste.Please note that we treat ‘e-cigarettes’ in the same way as tobacco based products so the same rules and restrictions apply.

Explorers Trail

Pick up your Explorers Trail from the Information Cabin and challenge your inner adventurer by collecting all eight stamps around the park. Don't forget to enter in the prize draw and pick up your Wild Explorer sticker from the gift shop! Plus, there's even a mini poo quiz inside :-)

How long should I spend here?

We recommend that guests spend at least 4 or 5 hours in the park so you see everything you hope to. If you don’t see our animals in their exhibits they could be inside or resting quietly so please look carefully or pop back and see them later in the day.

If you're not sure how to plan your day why not download our zoo map or check out our daily talks & feeds to plan your itinerary.

On our map you'll find our wet weather route in case of rain. There are a number of places to take shelter at Marwell Zoo including Tropical World, the Semi-Aquatic Mammal house, Wild Explorers, Cold Blooded Corner and our giraffe house.

When are the daily talks on?

Please check the times on our daily talks & activities page or ask at our friendly Information Cabin (just inside the entrance).

Is WiFi available in the zoo? What is mobile signal like?

Yes! We have WiFi hotspots in several locations around the park including:

  • Admissions - great if you'd like to buy tickets online and jump the queue!
  • Coffee Corner in our main gift shop
  • Penguin Cove
  • Giraffe house - improved signal coming soon
  • Cafe Graze
  • Ice cream kiosk near Tropical World (outlet open seasonally)
  • Marwell Hall (access by appointment or for Christmas at Marwell)
  • Science & Learning Centre (for visiting schools)
  • Fur, Feathers & Scales - coming soon
  • Wild Explorers

Additionally - we have good 3G/4G mobile reception for most mobile networks across the park.

What do I do if I lost an item during my visit?

All lost & found items are passed to our Reception team who record the details. Please see our Lost/Found Property information or download our Lost Property Registration Form

Is a Marwell Zoo app available?

Yes! Launched at Easter 2016, the Marwell Zoo app for Android and iOS is a fun accompaniment to your day out at the zoo giving location based information about our animals, a quiz, sound effects, listings for our daily talks and a map. Pop along to the App Store or Google Play to download the Marwell Zoo app now!

Do you have sloths?

If you love sloths and would like to see them at Marwell Zoo all we ask is for a little patience as for Easter 2018 we are opening a brand new £7.8m Tropical House which will house a host of colourful and charismatic mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and insects. 

Find out more here: https://www.marwell.org.uk/zoo/explore/tropical-house

Where can I share my photos from my visit? / Photo Credits

We'd love to see your photos on any of the following:

Our Flickr group is particularly as we regularly check this for images to use in our own marketing & promotional materials. If your images are used we will credit them by adding you to our Photographic Contributors group.

What is Marwell Hall's History and the tree trail?

Explore both our Formal Garden and grounds using our self-guided, tree trail. Discover our ancient trees and their historical and ecological importance.

For more about Marwell's History - check our History of Marwell or History of Marwell Zoo downloads

 

How can I learn facts about the animals?

During your visit there are plenty of signs around the zoo to learn more about the animals we have. Why not attend our daily talks or browse our animal directory for loads of facts about the animals we have here. Just to let you know - not all our animals are listed in this directory. For a full list - please check out our Animal Inventory.

Do we have sharks / gorillas / lions / elephants / orangutans / chimpanzees / crocodiles / monkeys / parrots?

Hello and thanks for searching on our website. The short answer to your question is no, but we do have...:

  • a carved shark sculpture you can stick your head into as part of a play area behind Penguin Cove
  • Golden-headed lion tamarins - not quite a lion but with a mane and a lion-style tail
  • Sulawesi black macaques - which look a bit like mini-gorillas!
  • Brazilian tapirs that have a trunk they use as a snorkel similar to elephant trunks
  • Siamangs (gibbons) have super-long arms and are perfectly adapted for swinging in trees just like orangutans
  • We have several species of new-world monkeys including silvery marmoset, white faced saki monkeys and cotton top tamarins (all found around the back lawn of Marwell Hall).
  • Technically we do have parrots! Our sun conures (in the aviary at Fur, Feather & Scales) are classified as parrots.
  • Gila monsters and beaded lizards - not crocodiles, but big reptiles: head to Cold Blooded Corner to find out more.

Check out our Animal Guide for a host of animals that we do have!

 

Do you have Wallabies?

Yes - visit our wallaby walkthrough in Fur, Feather & Scales to get in amongst our wallabies

Annual Membership

At what age does my child need a membership?

Children are allowed free entry into the zoo until they are three years old and as such they do not need a membership until this date.  We do not register or record their details until they reach the age of three.

Can friends and family members use my card to enter the zoo?

Unfortunately not. Memberships are sold on an individual basis and display your name and photograph. They are non-transferable and cannot be used by other individuals.

Can I purchase a membership as a gift?

Yes, a membership can be purchased on behalf of someone else. We will require the member’s full name, date of birth and a full address including postcode. This can be processed over the telephone on 01962 777960, in person at the Membership Cabin or online.

You will receive a gift pack with gift card for you to sign before gifting the membership. There will be letters for each member which they will need to bring with them on their first visit to the zoo. We will take their photo at the membership cabin and produce their membership card there and then.

Please note that the membership will start from the day of purchase, or agreed start date, not the date the photograph is taken.

 

Do I have to have my photograph on my membership card?

Yes, all members will have a photograph on their membership card. The photograph will be taken at the Membership Cabin on the member’s first visit and will avoid your card being used in error by another individual.

How long does the membership pack take to be delivered?

You should allow up to 2 weeks for your membership welcome pack to arrive in the post. You can start using your membership straight away if you purchase it online as you will be sent a temporary pass via email. You may prefer to take out membership on the day of your visit.

I am disabled, do I get a discount on membership if I need a carer?

Members who are disabled who require a carer can have an un-named carer added to their membership card for free. This will mean that any adult accompanying the member will be allowed access to the Zoo free of charge as the member’s carer.

The confirmation required is sight of a letter from a GP confirming disability, a letter confirming receipt of DLA/PIP or the standard blue badge for vehicles which depicts the disabled person’s name and identification. You can still take out membership via the internet or over the telephone on 01962 777960 but the “with carer” element will not be added to the membership card until proof has been seen at the Membership Office. You are only required to provide this proof once a year upon taking out or renewing your membership.

I have purchased a membership online, what do I do next?

If you have joined online you will receive a confirmation email with a temporary pass included. This temporary pass can be used for your first visit to the zoo, where we will take your photo and produce your membership card at the membership cabin.

If I come into the zoo today, can I take out a membership when I arrive?

Yes. All you need to do is purchase a membership at admissions then pop in the Membership Cabin where we’ll take your photo, capture your details and process the membership there and then. You’ll be able to enter the zoo with your membership cards on the day of purchase.

My child has reached the age of three and I am part way through my membership, what should I do?

Children must be paid for once they reach the age of three regardless of whether it’s a day entry ticket or an annual membership. If you wish to join your child as a junior member when they turn three, they can be added on a pro rata basis at a pro rata price to bring their membership expiry date in line with your own.

What date does a membership start from?

Membership will start on the day of purchase. Please call us on 01962 777960 if you would like to specify a start date. Membership is valid for one year.

Wild Explorers' Club

Don't forget if you're a junior annual member to attend our FREE Wild Explorers' club in the Science & Learning centre in the zoo for fun, informative sessions around wildlife and conservation. The sessions book up very quickly so be sure to book well in advance!

What if I have already paid for day entry and decide to become a member?

Just pop in and see us on your way out with your admission receipt and we will deduct your admission (excluding donation) off the membership price on a like for like basis. This can be done within 14 days of your visit by either returning the receipt to the Membership Cabin in person or with an application form by post. The receipt must be produced at the point of membership purchase as it cannot be refunded once membership has been taken out.

What should I do if I lose my card?

Please ensure you bring with you proof of address such as a drivers licence. Don’t worry, it’s only £2.50 for a replacement. Please call the membership team in order to replace your membership card.

When will I know that my membership is due to expire?

About a month before your membership is due to expire we will post out a renewal notice with different payment options for you to choose from.

Fundraising

Does Marwell donate tickets for fundraising events?

As Marwell Wildlife is a charity we have to carefully monitor the amount of tickets we donate. We do our best to support our local communities, working on a first come first serve basis. To apply for 2 child tickets to be used as prizes for raffles and auctions please complete our application form and send it in with a stamped and addressed envelope.

Scouts and Guides

Discovery Boxes

If you’re bringing a school, Scouts or Guides group then check out our Discovery Boxes - giant treasure chests filled with interactive activity ideas to help you find out more about some of the animals at our zoo.

Supporting Marwell Wildlife

Who won the last photographer of the year competition?

The results of the Marwell Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition 2016 sponsored by Wildlife Worldwide are in! See the winning photos from this years competition in Marwell News Winter Edition.

Can I book Animal Encounters & Experiences?

Yes! If you're keen to get really close to our animals these experiences are a must for you – or the perfect gift for your friends and family.

Each one comes with a selection of goodies - and they sell out fast so be sure to book early. It’s a once in a lifetime experience!

To find out more or book your experience now please call our Fundraising office on 01962 777988 or email fundraising@marwell.org.uk.

Volunteering at Marwell Wildlife

Marwell Wildlife has over 150 volunteers from all walks of life with a shared interest in conservation, wildlife and the environment who provide valuable support in helping us fulfill our charitable objectives.

Would you like the opportunity to inspire care for the natural world & share your passion for wildlife?

As well as general volunteering opportunities, we regularly look for the following specific opportunities:

  • Education volunteers

  • Public Engagement volunteers

  • Keeper volunteers

  • Corporate volunteering

Stay tuned to our Volunteers page for details.

 

About Marwell Wildlife

Do you have a team of vets?

Yes we have two vets and a vet nurse at Marwell Wildlife, looking after the animals in our zoo. Find out a little more here.

Where do I find out more about zookeepers?

We have a staff of around 60 zookeepers, vets and curators at Marwell Zoo to look after our animals. If you are interested in keeper work experience please read the following carefully before contacting us.

Experience is always useful so if you'd like to be a Zookeeper for a day, take a look at our Animal experiences.

What does it feel like to work as part of the Marwell family? Well, pretty unique! Our brand values of being warm, wise, welcoming and contemporary flow through everything we do and support our brand promise of connecting people with nature. Couple that with our genuine enthusiasm for wildlife conservation and you have an organisation which is making a positive and sustained impact on people’s lives.

If you feel that you have what it takes to join our mission then take a look at our vacancies page.

Where can I find your Annual Report?

You can find our Annual Report on our About Us page.

Do you have an Environmental Policy?

You can find our Environmental Policy on our About Us page.

Zoo Events

Where do I book Christmas at Marwell Tickets?

Christmas at Marwell is a magical event which takes place in Marwell Hall on selected dates from 18 November to 24 December. Tickets must be bought in advance online.

Are Photographic Experience Days available?

Yes! We offer fantastic Photographic Experience Days throughout the year. Cute, cuddly, furry or feathery – if wildlife photography is your passion then capture life through a lens on one of our unique Photographic Experience Days

Do you have any competitions running?

We often have competitions running via our social media channels. Check out our Facebook and Twitter pages for more info.

Win BIG in the latest edition of Marwell News! We're giving away Christmas at Marwell tickets in this festive issue.

When is the LEGO bricks safari event?

Check our event page for the Great Brick Safari - an interactive experience with LEGO(R) bricks running 1 August - 1 October 2017

Where next?

Continue planning your visit, or check out our ticket prices.

Tickets & Offers

Speedy
booking!

Check our ticket prices or...

Book tickets online

Wild Explorers Exhibit

Would just like to say how impressed I was with the new Wild Explorer exhibit, it was amazing. Couldn't get the children out of there 10 out of 10Dawn, 10th August 2015