Last weekend we visited Marwell Zoo to check out the new Brickosaurs which is running until the 1st of September. We are bigs fans of the zoo which is located near Winchester having visited a couple of times before. Both boys are lego mad so I was hoping for a great day out and we weren’t disappointed. It was also nice to see some of the new areas which they have been focusing on since our last visit such as the new Tropical House.
Two years in the planning Marwell’s Brickosaurs is a world exclusive and includes the largest touring LEGO brick model ever built. The T-Rex measures eight metres from nose to tip and has the biggest set of teeth of all the Brickosaurs. They alone took one builder a full day to construct and put in place.
When we arrived the carpark was already busy, not surprising on May Bank Holiday weekend. I was impressed to see plenty of carpark attendants on hand to help. Just past the entrance you can pick up a map which allows you to mark off all the Brickosaurs. It also points you in the right direction if you are struggling to find the last one or two. At the moment there are sixteen different models to find. With an additional five being put in situ from the 19th of July. Its also possible to download the Marwell Zoo app which will also show you the trail.
The first model we came upon was that of a mini dinosaur and a crate with dinosaur noises coming from it. It helped to set the scene for what was to come with both boys excitement growing. Each Brickosaur has a little sign which tells you how many bricks, how many people and the number of hours it took to build. There is the opportunity to win a visit to the Bright Bricks Studio by guessing the number of bricks used to make the T-Rex.
I love the layout of Marwell Zoo l all the animals have huge enclosures which allow them the freedom they need. It also has a natural walking route round which starts with the penguins. If you have little ones that will not manage to walk there is a tractor land train which can take you up to the top of the zoo. There is also a train ride which you can go on for an additional £2.50 per person which takes you close to the two largest enclosures.
Marwell has a great number of different animals including giraffes, tigers, cheetahs, hippos, zebra and rhinos. I think by far the giraffes are my favourite. You actually get to walk through their sleeping area or if they are outside you can walk up the viewing platforms into the enclosure. The exist quite happily with the zebras and rhinos. There are lots of play areas to burn off any extra energy too. Both boys enjoyed the one next to the Wild Explorers area. Despite it being aimed at 6-12 year olds Kipper was happily climbing all over the netting and going down the slide.
Food wise there are plenty of places to buy drinks and Ice creams, picnic areas and also a cafe where we ate. The day we visited they also had a BBQ which was particularly welcomed. Prices are pretty much what I would expect to pay on a day out. The burgers from the BBQ was £5.50. Despite it being busy we managed to find a table easily. I think this is because of all the different picnic areas which are dotted around the zoo. There are also plenty of places to stop for coffee and ice cream with a number of mobile ones being set up in the busiest areas.
The Tropical House has moved to a new building which is just past Cafe Graze. I really like that its accessible for buggys now. Entering near the top of the building you work your way downwards through the building that is similar to a greenhouse, down to the bottom. Weaving through the different enclosures. By far may favourite was the sloth. Having not seen one in captivity before I was fascinated watching it. Kipper was particularly fascinated by tortoises.
Base Camp is located near the house and provides the opportunity for the kids to build. I think we must have spent over an hour in the giant tent letting their imagination loose. I was pleased to see both duplo and normal lego brick pits. There was also the opportunity for face painting and to have you photo taken in the mouth of a dinosaur.
We managed to spot a few more of the Brickosaurs before heading towards the entrance. Via the hippo statue which has become a little bit of a tradition. Only this time Monkey was able to climb up on it himself!
Of course we couldn’t leave without a little trip on the train, it was a relief to see that they only accepted card payments. As we whizzed around the track both boys expressed a desire to come back and visit again soon. It should definitely be one for the list over the holiday season, we are planning a trip back to meet the new Brickosaurs making an appearance in July.
Things you need to know:
- Address: Thompson’s Ln, Colden Common, Winchester SO21 1JY
- Ticket Prices: Adults £21, Children aged 3-16 £17 and under 2s are free. They offer a family ticket of two adults and two children for £72.
- Open every day from 10am except Christmas Day and Boxing Day
- Its worth checking out their whats on page on the website for details of their daily talks and feeds: Marwell Whats On.