A Day Trip to Belfast Zoo


The Warrior and the Poet at the front doors of the Zoo

Last Saturday I went on a little day trip.  I say little, it was a twelve hour trip from here in Ayrshire across the sea to Northern Ireland, to Belfast, to visit the Zoo there.  A treat for the children and for myself since they behaved well for the whole school summer holidays and due to work it was the only holiday I got!  It was actually a scheduled day trip organised by Thomas Cook’s branch in Girvan and for just twenty pounds a person including ferry travel, transfers and zoo entry it was awesome value.

Leaving from Cairnryan Ferry Port the journey by Stenaline Ferry took just over two hours.  The ship was modern, clean, excellently equipped and the staff were very friendly too.  Upon arrival at Belfast we were taken by coach along with a group of other people on a short drive to Belfast Zoo where my good lady snapped the picture above.  If you remember I began the kids summer holidays with a visit to Edinburgh Zoo so how so the two places compare?  Well for a start the weather was much nicer in Belfast and that helped.  As far as the zoo’s compare Edinburgh is larger and has more animals but Belfast was cleaner and actually more interesting as it did not sacrifice all of its big animals for the ruddy Pandas.  Belfast had lions, tigers, elephants, giraffe and so on; all missing now in Edinburgh.  Belfast is much cheaper on ticket price too.  On balance they are both worth a day but I am more taken with Northern Ireland and might go back…ironically its closer to home too!


Toucan play that Game!

An animal that really caught my attention was the Toucan.  I have never seen one before and its vivid colours really grabbed me.  Fantastic bird that, since I got two minutes alone with it against the glass, actually made eye contact and mimicked my motions.  Highlight of the day for me really.  Below you can see me with the Giraffe’s.  By a total fluke all ten of them were sealed in the indoor paddock.  I have never seen so many or so close, I even got to touch one that lowered it head to me.  No sugar cubes or hay from me since I had none and you never feed zoo animals don’t you know.


GBS among the long necks!

The trip back to Scotland was pleasant enough and dinner on the ferry was well priced and good quality.  Aside from a brief encounter with a couple of ‘lower sorts’ (what is it about certain football shirts that turn human beings into morons?) which ended well enough for me, it was plain sailing.  I got myself a zoo key ring (its tradition in a gift shop to do that with me) and a discontinued Guiness bight red mug with a Toucan on it on the Ferry.

A day trip that I would recommend to anyone who lives near enough the ferry ports on the west coast to make it in a day.  Excellent Fun!