Magic Moments // The Islands Chester Zoo

Magic Moments // The Islands Chester Zoo

We have an annual pass for Chester Zoo and we spend quite a lot of our time there as a family.  So when I saw that Channel 4 had made a programme about The Secret Life of Chester Zoo I immediately had it on series record.  I have always been fascinated about what goes on behind the scenes and the programme does not disappoint.  Last weeks programme focused on transporting the tigers to their new enclosure on the Islands and the stresses and planning that went in to it.  So this weekend we decided to pay them a visit in their new home.

As it was Valentines weekend we invited Harry’s best friend along for a (play) date.  It is lovely to see them together because they are very caring towards each other, playful and – on occasion – mischievous.  Both were extremely excited about being together and also about going to the zoo, so today they were more animated than normal.

The Islands Chester Zoo

Thankfully the weather was kind to us – albeit on the chilly side – so we wrapped up warm and set off.  When we arrived at the zoo car park it appeared that every other family in the Northern Hemisphere had the same idea.  The overflow to the overflow car park was already in use when we turned up.

Parts of the Islands are still under development and I wasn’t sure how many animals had been re-homed, but there were more than I expected. And luckily for us the animals had all been brought out by the crisp dry weather.  We got to see so many of them up close  – African painted dogs, Orang-utans, Sumatran tigers, Crocodiles, Giant Tortoise – and the Macaques.  My favourites were the Aardvarks.  They were all asleep and cuddling together right up by the glass viewing window.  One was on it’s back showing all it’s under carriage to anyone that wanted to look.  I would have loved to jump in with them and join in for a cuddle and a quick tummy tickle.

The Islands Chester Zoo

Dotted around the Islands are little stations that the children can go in and explore.  Hollie and Harry dived in to every one of them to see what they could find (and to pose for a couple of photos). There is also a meditation room for the adults but I didn’t go in as it would have been too tempting to stay in there.

The highlight for me was seeing the Aardvarks, my husbands was seeing the Crocodile, and if their squeals were anything to go by then theirs had nothing to do with the animals and more to do with the thick cord ropes that hang down from the doors in the Monsoon Forest.  They are there to prevent the birds from flying out but that was by-the-by to Harry and Hollie.  They liked the feeling of running through them and the fact it was dark when they were in them and they could lose each other.

Love Chester Zoo

Our day to the Islands at Chester Zoo was really enjoyable and a lovely way to spend Valentines Day.  We probably spent close to three hours on the Islands – 45 minutes of which was in the Monsoon Forest.  We didn’t get chance to go on the lazy boat river trip because Hollie and Harry had tired themselves out by then with all their running around, so we will have to go back soon and try it out.  Who knows, perhaps we could double date again!


Harry’s Honest Mummy x



  1. squishedblueberries
    February 21, 2016 / 8:06 am

    That sounds like a great day out. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a crocodile in the uk before, that would be exciting! #HappyDaysLinky

    • February 21, 2016 / 8:51 am

      It was amazing. Harry was a bit unsure of it as we were at head height with it (through the viewing glass). I still can’t believe the little fish just swimming in and out of his open jaws. Brave or stupid 🙂

  2. islandliving365
    February 21, 2016 / 9:19 am

    Awww looks like you all had a lovely day. What a lovely treat for Hollie and Harry #sundaystars

  3. Running in Lavender (@HeleddLavender)
    February 22, 2016 / 4:17 pm

    How cute that Harry had a little date on Valentine’s Day!! And the zoo sounds like the perfect venue. Love all the pictures too. Thank you so much for linking up to #SundayStars xx

  4. Hannah
    February 23, 2016 / 12:07 am

    Your photos are beautiful, its looks like you had a perfect day. Chester Zoo is on our list of places to visit, but we would need to stay overnight, it doesnt look amazing though.

    • Hannah
      February 23, 2016 / 12:07 am

      that was ment to say does!!

    • February 24, 2016 / 9:05 pm

      When you are coming let me know and I can recommend some places to stay 🙂

      • Hannah
        February 24, 2016 / 9:27 pm

        That would be fab, thank you! It will probably be late this year or early next as we have a full summer, but recommendations would be amazing, thank you xx

  5. Julia @ Rainbeaubelle
    February 23, 2016 / 5:45 am

    I go to Chester Zoo a lot too, although my pass has just run out! I went to the Islands enclosure in the summer but it wasn’t quite finished, so I must go again soon. Love that Harry had a little date! x #sundaystars

    • February 24, 2016 / 9:04 pm

      It’s not finished off completely yet but it is still worth while going to. Top tip though, don’t try and push a buggy and hold a cup of coffee. The way they have done the path in that section is awful, it is so bumpy. I threw my cup away in temper in the end (in to a bin).

  6. Carolyn
    February 24, 2016 / 10:56 pm

    Very cute photos! I saw some of that programme too, as you said it’s so interesting to see behind the scenes. I’d love to visit Chester zoo one day, my sister lives up North so I may go with her! #sharewithme


  7. nourishingmyscholar
    February 25, 2016 / 2:31 am

    Awe, what a sweet outing! The zoo sounds like loads of fun for everyone. I’ve never seen an African Wild Dog before. How exciting! Love the photos. Just gorgeous!

  8. Sian QuiteFranklySheSaid
    February 26, 2016 / 4:24 pm

    What a lovely day out! I’ve only ever taken my eldest to the zoo – and that was Chester zoo! – when he was about 6 months old. Thanks for linking up to #HappyDaysLinky x

  9. Katy (What Katy Said)
    February 26, 2016 / 8:19 pm

    Oh I missed that! We used to live in Chester and love the zoo. Must try and go back and take the girls soon. Thank you for sharing in #HappyDaysLinky x

  10. chloelifeunexpected
    February 28, 2016 / 9:28 pm

    Your pictures are so gorgeous. If I was next to a meditation room, I would go in and not leave for so long!!! The lazy boat trip sounds lovely. I saw part of this series on TV and I really want to visit. It sounds like you had some really magical moments. Thank you so much for sharing your adventures with #whatevertheweather x

  11. Jenny @ Let's Talk Mommy
    March 1, 2016 / 9:51 pm

    What a lovely time together. Love the captures. We love Chester Zoo. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  12. Jenny - Monkey and Mouse
    March 3, 2016 / 11:19 pm

    Such a sweet post, you clearly had a lovely time with them, it’s always nice to bring a friends along too. I always find that we need more than one visit to bigger attractions as the kids get tired out and are interested in staying in the same place for quite a while. Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

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