Belfast Zoo

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Antrim Road, Belfast, United Kingdom
028 9077 6277

Belfast Zoo Reviews

Purdy Purdy
37 reviews
Feb 11, 2007
I love Belfast Zoo and have visited it on numerous occasions – l now even have the pleasure of not living far away from it! I have been able to see the extensive renovations and enlargements made for the benefit of all the animals housed. I can remember visiting the zoo as part of an organised trip by my branch of the Girls Brigade. I know l was under 10 at the time but l remember the polar bears pacing back and forth in these tiny cages with bars and water pouring through. Even to an under 10 l could see the sadness and resignation in the poor creature’s eyes. Now, thankfully things are so much better – for the polar bears and all the other animals housed here. Large enclosures have been erected – polar bears have diving pools and areas to swim, also fake caves have been made for them to hide in.


The zoo is known to locals as Bellevue – this is simply the area surrounding it. It is etched into the side of Cavehill - which towers over Belfast. From this you may well assume there’s a lot of up hill walking involved in your zoo visit! It is worth reaching the top of the enclosures though – the views across Belfast Lough are spectacular – you can watch the ships & ferries cone in and out or see the giant cranes Samson & Goliath found at the historic Harland & Wolff shipyard.

If you are travelling from the Belfast follow the M2 until you reach the “Glengormley” slip road, follow the road until you reach a roundabout and then take the 2nd last turn off. You are now on the Antrim Road, follow this road making no deviations from it and you will see the sign for the zoo entrance – it is about 11/2 miles down this road.

If you are travelling from Londonderry or the North West once you hit the M2 follow it until you see the slip road for “Glengormley” You should come upon a roundabout, take the 2nd turn off and this is the Antrim Road. Follow the directions as then given above.


At different times of the year the zoo opens at different hours – obviously the summer months are the most popular times.

* April-September 10am – 5pm – Monday to Sunday

* October – March 10am – 2.30pm – Monday to Sunday

 Adults - £5.90

 Children (4-14) - £2.90

 Under 4’s – free

 Senior Citizens – free

 Disabled – free

 Family Ticket – 2 adults & 2 kids - £16 – you save £1.50

Obviously prices are subject to change so check with the zoo for correct prices


So on top of seeing the animals what else is on offer at the zoo?

 Ark Restaurant – overpriced and lacks originality – but if its wet you can get a warm meal!

 Mountain TeaShop – once you reach this point in the zoo refreshment is essential so this teashop is in the ideal locus! Just what you’d expect – tea, coffee and tray bakes!

 Sweet/Snack Shops – get your ice-lollies, ice creams, soft drinks or candy floss here – keeps both the young and big kids happy!

 Souvenir Shop – good marketing here – you pass this shop on your way in and on your way out! Buy soft toys, figurines, masks etc of your favourite animals. Expensive sums it up really. I feel sorry for those parents dragged in here by their kids.

 First Aid – various posts are located around the zoo

 Toilets & Mum & Baby Rooms – again these are dotted around the zoo. I must say though that l found the toilets vile – they stink and are covered in graffiti – but unfortunately if you gotta go you gotta go!

 Picnic Tables – just use these – you have wonderful views, there are trees for shade and plenty of waste paper bins around. There are green areas too for kiddies to play. Excellent as long as the weather stays dry!

 Free Parking – quite a large car park with separate coach parking facilities. It does tend to fill up quickly at weekends and during summer months


 The Children’s Farm

Unfortunately due to foot and mouth this area was closed to the public. We were still able to catch a glimpse of the rare breeds of cattle and sheep etc. Generally this is a popular area as certain animals can be stroked

 Spider Monkey Island

Purpose built for the spider monkeys. They are very agile – you can see them swinging, climbing and playing. There were a few babies with their mummies there on our visit

 Primate Enclosure

This is where the chimps and gorillas can be found. One of our favourite areas! I could spend ages admiring these amazing creatures. The gorillas seemed to be playing tag when we were there and seemed oblivious to our stares! Also on view are Columbus Monkeys.

 African Enclosure

This selection of the zoo is given over to some of the larger animals of the animal kingdom. There are special enclosures, which are heated for the animal’s wellbeing. We saw zebras, giraffe’s, ostrich’s and camels. There was a baby giraffe there which was amazing – really magnificent creatures.

 The Elephant Enclosure

The elephants at Belfast Zoo are Asian and we have Vishesh here. Vishesh is the 3rd only surviving baby found in the British Isles. She was with her mum and boy was she a cutie! !

 Penguin & Sealion Pools

Here you can see both the sealions and penguins in their surroundings and if you wish you can view them swimming under water!

These are only a few of the animals to see at Belfast Zoo. My personal favourites have to be the mere cats – they are real little characters.

Belfast zoo is a great day out – although knackering. If the weather is good there are play areas for kids whilst grown ups can relax by the duck pond. One word of advice though – wear comfortable shoes – there’s a lot of up hill walking!
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