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ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - General Zoo Access

B4540, Whipsnade, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 2LF

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Access Guide

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ZSL Whipsnade Zoo - Accessibility and Inclusivity Information

  • When visiting ZSL Whipsnade Zoo by car there are two options:
  • You may park in our free external car park with designated Accessible parking bays and push around the Zoo
  • You may drive into the Zoo and park in specified areas around the Zoo (if you have a blue badge, essential car entry is free of charge).
  • An essential carer is also optional, free of charge, for you to enjoy the Zoo with the support that you need.
  • Wheelchair hire
  • The Zoo have a limited number of wheelchairs that are available for hire on a first-come, first-served basis and it is therefore advised to book them in advance of your visit by calling the Retail Shop on 01582 871517. A deposit of £25 is required which will be refunded on return of the wheelchair at the end of your visit.
  • The wheelchairs are non-motorised and are not self-propelling.
  • It is also possible to hire a mobility scooter, and again we'd recommend booking in advance of your visit. A mobility scooter will cost £20 to hire, plus a refundable deposit of £30.
  • Assistance dogs
  • Assistance dogs are not currently permitted inside ZSL Whipsnade Zoo because the Zoo have free-roaming animals such as mara, wallabies, Chinese water deer and muntjac around our Zoo. They use all of the Zoo and therefore the Zoo are not able to offer routes to for assistance dogs at present. The Zoo are working with Guide Dogs UK to resolve this and hope to be able to welcome dogs to certain areas of the Zoo in the future.
  • The Zoo do offer two kennels which are located in a quiet area at the entrance of the Zoo for assistance dogs to stay during your visit. Many dogs may not like being left all day in this new kennel with the smells and sounds of the Zoo so close so please contact our support centre in advance of your visit to make alternative arrangements on 0344 225 1826 or email [email protected]
  • For additional Accessibility and Inclusivity Information please click the link (opens in new tab).

Location

  • The venue is situated within the centre of the area.
  • This venue is situated in Whipsnade.
  • The venue is not situated on a road which has a steep gradient.
  • There is a bus stop within 150m (164yds) of the venue.
  • The nearest mainline station is Luton.

Related Access Guides (Main Car Park, Entrance to the Zoo and Visitor Centre)

Parking Around The Zoo

  • ZSL Whipsnade Zoo covers a large area, vehicles are permitted within the grounds at an additional cost, parking is free of charge for Blue Badge holders . Please note ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is not a safari park.
  • There are parking areas around the Zoo located near to the Europe, Asia, Africa Areas.
  • There are blue badge parking spaces near to Africa Outpost, Asia Area and neat the Base Camp.

Base Camp Area

  • There is step free access throughout the Base Camp area.
  • The paths have a tarmac surface.
  • There are slight slopes in places along the paths.
  • There are large maps of the park in places.
  • There is clear directional signage to other areas.
  • The animals and attractions within Base Camp include Aquarium & Butterfly House, Hullabazoo Indoor/Outdoor Play, Farm, Chimpanzees, Lemurs and other animals.

Base Camp - Hullabazoo - Outdoor and Indoor Play

  • The Hullabazoo - Outdoor and Indoor Play is located within the Base Camp area of the zoo.
  • There is step free access to the play area.
  • The outdoor play has two access points at either end one which is a swing gate and one which is a wide opening gate.
  • Hullabazoo outdoor play has the following accessible play equipment:
  • ramped sand play access, ramped bridge, water pump at a lower height, accessible slide, flat accessible roundabout, sound play, wide carousel swing
  • and quiet areas.
  • There are surfaced paths in the outdoor play area.
  • There is benched seating available.
  • The indoor play area is accessed by automatic doors.
  • There is step free access to the Toddler Play, the majority of the rest of the play equipment is accessed by climbing apparatus.
  • There is a café available.
  • There is an accessible toilet, standard toilet, parent & baby room available.

Accessible Toilet (Base Camp - Hullabazoo - Outdoor and Indoor Play)

  • Accessible toilet facilities are available.
  • Location and Access View
    • There is pictorial and written text signage on or near the toilet door.
    • This accessible toilet is located to the right of the of the indoor play area.
    • There is level access to this accessible toilet.
  • Features and Dimensions View
    • This is a shared toilet.
    • A key is not required for the accessible toilet.
    • The door is locked by a lever twist.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 85cm (2ft 9in).
    • The door is easy to open.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 230cm x 225cm (7ft 7in x 7ft 5in).
    • There is sufficient turning space in the cubicle for a wheelchair user.
    • There is a lateral transfer space.
    • As you face the toilet pan the transfer space is on the left.
    • The lateral transfer space is 167cm (5ft 6in).
    • There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
    • There is a flush on the transfer side.
    • The tap type is lever.
    • There is a mixer tap.
    • There is an emergency alarm.
    • The emergency pull cord alarm is not fully functional.
    • The alarm was out of reach (higher than 10cm (4") from floor) when surveyed.
    • Disposal facilities are available in the cubicle.
    • There is a/are sanitary, non-infectious waste and general domestic waste disposal units.
    • There is a/are coat hook(s).
    • The height of the coat hook is 140cm from the floor.
  • Position of Fixtures View
    • Wall mounted grab rails are available for the toilet.
    • As you face the toilet the wall-mounted grab rails are on both sides.
    • There is not a shelf within the accessible toilet.
    • There is a mirror.
    • Mirrors are placed at a lower level or at an angle for ease of use.
    • The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 47cm (1ft 7in).
    • There is not a hand dryer.
    • There is a towel dispenser.
    • The towel dispenser cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The towel dispenser is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is a toilet roll holder.
    • The toilet roll holder can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • There is a wash basin.
    • The wash basin can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The wash basin is not placed higher than 74cm (2ft 5in).
  • Colour Contrast and Lighting View
    • The contrast between the external door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the internal door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the walls and floor is good.
    • The lighting levels are moderate to good.
  • Baby Change Facilities View
    • Baby change facilities are located within the venue.
    • The height of the baby change table once extended is 87cm (2ft 10in).

Asia Area

  • There is step free access throughout the Asia area.
  • The paths have a tarmac, wooden boards or loose chipping surface.
  • There are slight slopes in places along the paths.
  • There are large maps of the park in places.
  • There is clear directional signage to other areas.
  • There is bench seating available.
  • There are some internal animal viewing areas.
  • There is a steep slope leading up to Asian Rhinos viewing area.
  • There is a long slight slope leading up to the Asian Elephant viewing area.
  • There is steep or slight slopes leading up to the Tiger enclosure.
  • The animals and attractions within the Asia Area include Tigers, Sloth Bears, Yaks, Camels, Asian Rhinos and Elephants.

Africa Area

  • There is step free access throughout the Africa area.
  • The paths have a tarmac, wooden boards or loose chipping surface.
  • There are slight slopes in places along the paths.
  • There are large maps of the park in places.
  • There is clear directional signage to other areas.
  • There is bench seating available.
  • There are some internal animal viewing areas.
  • The is steep slope leading from the Base Camp area to the Flamingos enclosure.
  • There is a long slight slope leading up to the raised Giraffe viewing area.
  • The attractions and animals within the Africa Area include Flamingos, Zebras, Cheetahs, Hippos, Oryx, Lions, White Rhinos, Giraffes and Meerkats.

Europe Area

  • There is step free access throughout the Europe area.
  • The paths have a tarmac, wooden boards or loose chipping surface.
  • There are slight slopes in places along the paths.
  • There are large maps of the park in places.
  • There is clear directional signage to other areas.
  • There is bench seating available.
  • There are some internal animal viewing areas.
  • There is a slight slope leading up to the Lynx and Wild Boar Enclosure.
  • There is a slight slope leading up to the Wolverines and Brown Bears Enclosure.
  • The attractions and animals within the Europe Area include - Lynx, Wild Boars, Wolverines, Brown Bears, Penguins and Reindeer.

Eating and Drinking around the Zoo

  • There are a number of takeaway eateries located around the zoo including Visitor Centre Cafe, Africa Out Post, Station Store and Base Camp Restaurant Barbeque.
  • There is step free access to the eateries.
  • The height of the counters varies depending on the outlet.

River Cottage Café and Deli

  • The River Cottage Café and Deli is located at rear of the Europe and Africa Areas.
  • There is parking available next to the building.
  • There is step free access into the café area via the rear of the building, the directional signage to this entrance.
  • There is stepped access into the café area from the front of the building.
  • There is step free access into the deli area at the front of the building.
  • The height of the underside of the tables from the floor is 65cm and 75cm.
  • There is an out door seating area.
  • The deli has a counter, the height of the counter is 87cm.
  • There are accessible toilets and standard toilets in a toilet block located near to the River Cottage Café and Deli.

Base Camp Restaurant

Accessible Toilet (Base Camp - Lawn area before Butterfly House/Aquarium)

  • Accessible toilet facilities are available.
  • Location and Access View
    • There is pictorial signage on or near the toilet door.
    • This accessible toilet is located in the Lawn area before Butterfly House/Aquarium.
    • There is level access to this accessible toilet.
  • Features and Dimensions View
    • This is a shared toilet.
    • A key is not required for the accessible toilet.
    • The door opens outwards.
    • The door is locked by a lever twist.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 80cm (2ft 7in).
    • The door is easy to open.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 260cm x 230cm (8ft 6in x 7ft 7in).
    • There is sufficient turning space in the cubicle for a wheelchair user.
    • There is a lateral transfer space.
    • As you face the toilet pan the transfer space is on the left.
    • The lateral transfer space is 180cm (5ft 11in).
    • There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
    • There is a flush on the transfer side.
    • The tap type is lever.
    • There is not a mixer tap.
    • There is an emergency alarm.
    • The emergency pull cord alarm is not fully functional.
    • The alarm was out of reach (higher than 10cm (4") from floor) when surveyed.
    • Disposal facilities are available in the cubicle.
    • There is a/are sanitary, non-infectious waste and general domestic waste disposal units.
    • There is not a/are not coat hook(s).
  • Position of Fixtures View
    • Wall mounted grab rails are available for the toilet.
    • As you face the toilet the wall-mounted grab rails are on the right.
    • There is not a shelf within the accessible toilet.
    • There is a mirror.
    • Mirrors are not placed at a lower level or at an angle for ease of use.
    • The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 44cm (1ft 5in).
    • There is not a hand dryer.
    • There is a towel dispenser.
    • The towel dispenser cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The towel dispenser is placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • The height of the towel dispenser is 110cm (3ft 7in).
    • There is a toilet roll holder.
    • The toilet roll holder can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The toilet roll holder is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is a wash basin.
    • The wash basin cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The wash basin is not placed higher than 74cm (2ft 5in).
  • Colour Contrast and Lighting View
    • The contrast between the external door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the internal door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is poor.
    • The contrast between the walls and floor is good.
    • The lighting levels are moderate to good.

Level Change (Accessible Toilet Base Camp - Lawn area before Butterfly House/Aquarium)

  • There is a ramp/slope to access this area/service.
  • The ramp/slope is located off the Base Camp path leading down to the Lawn Area.
  • The ramp/slope gradient is slight.
  • The ramp/slope is permanent.
  • The ramp does not have handrails.
  • There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are located off the Base Camp path leading down to the Lawn Area.
  • There is/are 2 step(s) to the area/service.
  • There is not tactile paving at the top and bottom of the steps.
  • The step(s) is/are clearly marked.
  • The step(s) is/are medium height (11cm - 17cm).
  • There is not a/are not handrail(s) at the step(s).
  • The ramp/slope does bypass the step(s).

Changing Places (Parital - Base Camp at the rear of the Butterfly House/Aquarium)

  • The facility is located at the rear of the Butterfly House/Aquarium.
  • The facility is in addition to standard and accessible toilets.
  • There is level access to the facility.
  • The facility surveyed is not for the sole use of disabled people.
  • The colour contrast between the external door and wall is good.
  • The colour contrast between the internal door and wall is good.
  • You do not need a key for the facility.
  • The door opens outwards.
  • The door is easy to open.
  • The door is locked by a twist lock.
  • The door does not have a horizontal grab rail.
  • The width of the door is 72cm (2ft 4in).
  • The dimensions of the facility are 400cm x 430cm.
  • The ceiling height is at a minimum of 2.4m.
  • There is a clear 200cm x 180cm manoeuvring space in the facility.
  • The facility has a non-slip floor.
  • The colour contrast between the walls and floor is good.
  • The facility changing bench is free standing.
  • The facility changing bench height is fixed.
  • The length of the facility changing bench is 180cm (5ft 11in).
  • The facility hoist is mobile.
  • There is not a shower unit with a detachable shower head.
  • A privacy screen is not available.
  • Wide tear off paper roll is available.
  • The wide paper roll dispenser is not at the recommended height of 80cm-100cm.
  • The height of the wide paper roll dispenser is 120cm.
  • There is not a hand dryer.
  • There is a towel dispenser.
  • The towel dispenser is not at the recommended height of 80cm-100cm.
  • The height of the towel dispenser is 120cm.
  • There is a mirror.
  • The mirror is placed at a lower level or at an angle for ease of use.
  • There is a/are non-infectious waste disposal units.
  • There is not an emergency alarm for the facility.
  • There is not a coat hook.
  • The lighting levels are moderate to good.

Accessible Toilet (Africa/Europe - near Lookout Lodges and River Cottage Kitchen and Deli)

  • Accessible toilet facilities are available.
  • Location and Access View
    • There is pictorial signage on or near the toilet door.
    • This accessible toilet is located at the rear of the Europe/Africa areas near to the Lookout Lodges and River Cottage Kitchen.
    • There is not level access to this accessible toilet.
  • Features and Dimensions View
    • This is a shared toilet.
    • A key is not required for the accessible toilet.
    • The door opens outwards.
    • The door is locked by a twist lock.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 8cm (3in).
    • The door may be difficult to open.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 175cm x 190cm (5ft 9in x 6ft 3in).
    • There is a lateral transfer space.
    • As you face the toilet pan the transfer space is on the right.
    • The lateral transfer space is 115cm (3ft 9in).
    • There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
    • There is a flush, however it is not on the transfer side.
    • The tap type is lever.
    • There is a mixer tap.
    • The emergency pull cord alarm is not fully functional.
    • Disposal facilities are available in the cubicle.
    • There is not a/are not coat hook(s).
  • Position of Fixtures View
    • Wall mounted grab rails are available for the toilet.
    • As you face the toilet the wall-mounted grab rails are on both sides.
    • There is not a shelf within the accessible toilet.
    • There is a mirror.
    • Mirrors are placed at a lower level or at an angle for ease of use.
    • The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 40cm (1ft 4in).
    • There is not a hand dryer.
    • There is a towel dispenser.
    • There is a toilet roll holder.
    • The toilet roll holder can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The toilet roll holder is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is a wash basin.
    • The wash basin cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The wash basin is not placed higher than 74cm (2ft 5in).
  • Colour Contrast and Lighting View
    • The contrast between the external door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the internal door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is poor.
    • The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is poor.
    • The contrast between the walls and floor is good.
    • The lighting levels are good.

Level Change (Toilets - Africa/Europe - near Lookout Lodges and River Cottage Kitchen and Deli)

  • There is a ramp/slope to access this area/service.
  • The ramp/slope is permanent.
  • The width of the ramp/slope is 110cm (3ft 7in).
  • There is a/are step(s) to access this area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are located leading down to the toilets.
  • There is/are 2 step(s) to the area/service.
  • The step(s) is/are clearly marked.
  • The step(s) is/are deep (18cm+).
  • There is not a/are not handrail(s) at the step(s).

Accessible Toilet (Base Camp/Asia - Between Base Camp Restaurant and Station Store)

  • Accessible toilet facilities are available.
  • Location and Access View
    • There is pictorial signage on or near the toilet door.
    • This accessible toilet is located near the Base Camp/Asia areas between Base Camp Restaurant and Station Store.
    • There is not level access to this accessible toilet.
  • Features and Dimensions View
    • This is a shared toilet.
    • A key is not required for the accessible toilet.
    • The door opens outwards.
    • The door is locked by a twist lock.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 85cm (2ft 9in).
    • The door may be difficult to open.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 160cm x 205cm (5ft 3in x 6ft 9in).
    • There is a lateral transfer space.
    • As you face the toilet pan the transfer space is on the left.
    • The lateral transfer space is 95cm (3ft 1in).
    • There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
    • There is a flush, however it is not on the transfer side.
    • The tap type is lever.
    • There is a mixer tap.
    • The emergency pull cord alarm is fully functional.
    • Disposal facilities are available in the cubicle.
    • There is not a/are not coat hook(s).
  • Position of Fixtures View
    • Wall mounted grab rails are available for the toilet.
    • As you face the toilet the wall-mounted grab rails are on both sides.
    • There is not a shelf within the accessible toilet.
    • There is a mirror.
    • Mirrors are placed at a lower level or at an angle for ease of use.
    • There is a hand dryer.
    • There is not a towel dispenser.
    • There is a toilet roll holder.
    • The toilet roll holder can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The toilet roll holder is placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is a wash basin.
    • The wash basin cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The wash basin is not placed higher than 74cm (2ft 5in).
  • Colour Contrast and Lighting View
    • The contrast between the external door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the internal door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is poor.
    • The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is poor.
    • The contrast between the walls and floor is good.
    • The lighting levels are low to moderate.

Level Change (Accessible Toilet -Base Camp/Asia - Between Base Camp Restaurant and Station Store)

  • There is a ramp/slope to access this area/service.
  • The ramp/slope is permanent.

Standard Toilets

  • There are standard toilets located in a number of areas around the Zoo.
  • They are located in the next to the visitor centre, next to the learning centre , at the rear of the Aquarium and Butterfly House, near to Station Store and Basecamp Restaurant, near to Africa Out Post and near to the River Cottage Kitchen and Deli.

Additional Info

  • Staff do receive disability awareness / equality training.
  • Documents are not available in Braille.
  • Documents can be requested in large print.
  • A member of staff trained in BSL skills is not generally on duty.
  • Staff are not Text Relay aware.