It’s taken me a long time to write this post! Enjoy the pics.
A break from people around me and London at last! Another time for The Geek to adventure alone into the wilderness of Dunstable (near Luton). Hmmm, why did I go by myself? Well, there’s a lot of walking involved and the journey is more than 2 hours long from London… If I went with Miss Pinky and co. I’m sure they will start moaning about the whole thing, which is what I didn’t need before the start of a long weekend!! ^_^
So the day started early. Really early. 😦 I took the bus to Blackfriars and was looking for the cheapest off peak ticket on the machine to Luton. It’s £10 for the off peak super saver ticket. I stood at the platform and waited for the 7.24 am train (yep, that’s right… I was there early – not the usual time I would get to work!) and it arrived on time.
The journey to Luton is not long, about 40 minutes-ish. So I sat there looking out of the window and admiring my phone. When I got to Luton I went to look for the bus. I realised that there were bus stops on to my right hand side… and if you walk down further you will see the bus stop for the X31 and 31 bus stop. Unfortunately the X31 is not in use during the bank holidays, but the 31 bus is. The next bus was not going to be there until 9.52 am!!! More than an hour too early… so I went towards Silver Street which is where you would normally get the X31 bus to Whipsnade Zoo… You have to walk straight out of the station, walk towards the shopping centre and the bus stop is on your right. Can’t miss it!
As I was very, very early. No point getting a taxi because I would have still been too early since Whipsnade Zoo doesn’t open until 10 am. ¬,¬” So off I went to explore the tiny town centre… plus I had a McDonald’s breakfast just to pass the time away… 😛
I made my way back to the bus stop by the station… and it arrived. Phew!! I asked how much the tickets were and it’s about £4.50 (something like that) for a single ticket and it’s £5.90 for an adult return ticket. I obviously chose the return ticket!
It was more than a 30 minute ride on the bus… you pass the vistor’s centre and unfortunately there’s no alert sign on the bus I was on to indicate where I was… so I was using my Google Maps on my phone just to be on the safe side… Got to Whipsnade Zoo around 10.40 am! So happy!!
I purchased my ticket which is £25. It’s cheaper if you buy it online but I chose to buy it at the ticket office as I didn’t know what the weather was going to be like… a rainy day was expected and I purposely went to avoid a big crowd. When it rains, fewer people are likely to go… ^_^ That’s the main trick of going to places that are always busy. (Geeky trick, but commonly known!). So loo time and then I entered… forgot to say they give you a sticky wrist band so that you can access the areas (and I think not to get lost… somehow… ¬,¬”).
I asked a lady at the entrance to see which way it was to the elephants (this is the VERY main reason I went). She said to go through the farm area and just keep going straight until I see more signs… About a 10 minute walk unless I get distracted in which I did. Maras (a part rabbit, part deer) were roaming around the grounds… Whipsnade is a safari as well as a zoo, so the animals just roam around all day long, eating the grass… And yep, it was really foggy that morning…
It took me a while to see which way to turn so I turned left after the train station…
And I saw one of the tigers whilst heading to the elephants. ^_^
Where are the elephants?! They are so far away, but there is a sign to show you where to go. If you’re heading there via car there is a parking space for you to use.
I saw a few people already there and I just had to go and see them… I think I could have been there all day long just staring at them. I haven’t seen the elephants since they were at London Zoo… and that was a long time ago! I remembered touching their tough skin, it felt rough and they swayed as they walked. Childhood memories. 😀
Then off I went to other parts of the zoo…
The sea lions had a show around 12 pm, so I just made it in time…
And then back to the elephants for the 12.30 pm talk…
After the talk, I went towards the Africa end of the zoo (also had my lunch in one of those lightless huts… people started joining me too). Went to nearly every part of the zoo that afternoon…
The lions are so lazy… Sleep most of the time!!
Awww… I got to see a baby wallaby in its mother’s pouch!! ^_^
|Reminds me of my own cuddly bear
I almost decided to go home, but in the end I went to the penguin section. The penguins love to show off their wings and swimming skills. ^_^
Was about to head back to the main entrance when I suddenly saw the elephants getting their daily walk! Whoopee!! My favourite animals…
Wow… see that wallaby go…
I didn’t stay for too long as my legs were getting tired, so I went back towards the bears… and they were play fighting… And one of them was being sad… Awwww…
Now it was time to go home. I actually stood at the bus stop for over an hour (the opposite one from where I got off) but when the bus came he said it was the opposite side that I needed to stand at for me to go back to Luton (just for the bank holidays I believe, otherwise it is definitely the opposite side for the X31 which don’t work on bank holidays). Huh?! I think I was in shock. But anyway, I went to the opposite side and waited for another 20 minutes or so in the pouring rain… luckily I didn’t feel so cold. I think it was the biggish lunch I had. By the way, they should at least put some bus shelters up!!
|The right bus stop during bank holidays!!!
|The wrong bus stop during bank holidays
Got back to Luton (near the town centre) after a bus change over too – you have to get off at City Hall as the bus 31 doesn’t stop by the station. Then you go back into the shopping centre, walk left, down the escalator and then walk straight out towards the station…
The trains back to London are usually on Platform 2 and 3 (a couple of girls were amused at my expression because I didn’t know the way back… I think they were shocked when I spoke to them in a plain South London accent. Hah! They thought I was foreigner 😛 – well I am). Got to Platform 2 for the 18.14 train… and thankfully it stopped at Elephant and Castle!! Whoopee again!!
I was so hungry when I got back I decided to eat at Tai Tip Mein… Wonton noodle soup and a big plate of fried squid. ^_^
Whipsnade Zoo is a fun place to go to if you can’t go to a real safari (although most of the animals are caged up). I advise a packed lunch and if you’re going from London it’s at least £40 per person (adult) for the transport and the zoo ticket. Defo check the train times and the bus times before heading out and make sure (wherever in the UK) to bring an umpbrella!! ^_^
Address: Dunstable, Bedfordshire LU6 2LF (opens from 10 am till 6 pm)
Telephone: 0344 225 1826
Nearest trains: Hempstead Heath and Luton
Buses: X31 (not on bank holidays), 31 (during bank holidays)