Hanwell Zoo | Kidadl

Hanwell Zoo

Kidadl.com is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read our Terms & Conditions for further information.

  • Visit this intimate zoo in Hanwell, which is home to a selection of mammals, birds, invertebrates and reptiles.
  • Take a peek in the seasonal butterfly house, and see how many different species of butterfly you can identify.
  • Combine some exciting animal sightings with adventure at the awesome playground.
  • Get lost in the Millennium Maze, which is made up of 2000 yews.
  • Explore Brent Lodge Park and sample one of the best green spaces across London.

Hanwell Zoo is situated in the beautiful Brent Lodge Park in Hanwell, West London. Formerly known as Brent Lodge Animal Centre, the zoo has been visited by animal enthusiasts since 1975 and continues to develop opportunities for visitors to take part in. Although small, the zoo is home to a wide range of animals including birds, mammals and reptiles.

Hanwell Zoo is a hidden gem filled with exotic animals, and there is a variety of things to get excited about at the much-loved zoo. Formerly known as Bunny Park, it is home to more than 50 species - from mara to meerkats, marmosets to poison arrow frogs, tamarin monkeys to Patagonian maras. Dedicated to the conservation of animals, you will discover a whole host of spectacular and endangered animals. Take a walk through the zoo's Asian aviary and spot the green peacocks and red-crowned cranes. Come and meet the adorable ring-tailed lemurs, who are classified as endangered. Hatari and Kuchimba, the adorable prickly crested porcupines, live at the zoo and are extremely popular with visitors young and old. Don't miss the newest additions to the zoo - the two miniature donkeys named Anubis and Nile. With tiny dormice, giant rabbits and Marling, Twiglet and Wilbur the messy but adorable kunekune pigs, this animal centre is home to some unique and unusual animals big and small.

Take a trip to the tropics as you step inside the beautiful butterfly house. Discover hundreds of colourful butterflies and stunning tropical plants. Sample a little bit of paradise as you learn about the fascinating life cycle of this graceful insect. Take a stroll through the enclosure and watch as the butterflies flutter freely whilst feeding on fruits and nectar from the pretty flowers. If you are lucky, one may even land on you to say hello! Some of the butterflies that you may see include the blue morpho and the owl butterfly.

You will also find a small aquarium at Hanwell Zoo, which homes some of the rarest species of fish from the Indian Pacific region, including Banggai cardinalfish and Denison's barbs.

The zoo in West London is the a brilliant place to come to learn about conservation issues, as well as the urgent matter of climate emergency. By the time you leave, you'll feel like a knowledgeable zoo keeper! Hanwell Zoo works on a variety of fascinating projects that help raise awareness of the environment, including a life-size elephant created from almost 30,000 used batteries to highlight the importance of recycling.

As well as having a brilliant variety of animals, Hanwell Zoo has plenty of play space for kids, including a fantastic play park that has an awesome sandpit. A community zoo, the attraction works with a large number of groups and individuals from the area. The zoo holds regular community events and days where local people can learn more about what goes on here.  

A hit with kidadlers, Tanya says, "Hanwell Zoo is such a great little place to go with younger kids. Not a full day trip, probably about 1.5 - 2 hours [sic] depending but they have an array of animals (meerkats, flamingos, tropical animals etc) and a sand play area with slides etc. And if you have kids with special needs, the guy there told me they do a lot of work with these kids - however he didn’t specify what, so may be worth calling up to check and plan in advance what special things they can put on for you. Small cafeteria and shop as well and situated in the middle of a huge park. Worth going to to kill an afternoon. Oh and not expensive at all! £4 adults £2 kids!"

If you are looking for more things to do in Hanwell, spend some time in the tranquil Brent Lodge Park. Take a riverside walk, enjoy a picnic or look for wildlife in the extensive hay meadows. Meander around the awesome Millennium Maze and see if you can find the wooden house in the centre, which no doubt your children will enjoy playing in. Next to the zoo, you will also find a large playground. Nearby you'll also find Kidadler favourite the London Museum of Water & Steam.

What to know before you go

  • Hanwell Zoo is open every day except Christmas Day. From 11 September - 31 March, opening times are 10am - 4pm, and from 1 April - 10 September from 10am - 5pm.
  • The butterfly house has seasonal opening hours.
  • Please don't touch the butterflies in the butterfly house because their wings are sensitive.
  • There are daily activities at the zoo. On arrival, check the daily noticeboards for the times animal feeds are taking place.
  • Grab a bite to eat at the Lakeside Cafe at Brent Lodge Park. It serves jacket potatoes, burgers, sandwiches and paninis. It also has a kids' menu.
  • There is an on-site gift shop, selling souvenirs, gifts and learning aids.
  • There is wheelchair access. Please contact Hanwell Zoo prior to your visit if you need assistance.
  • Hanwell Zoo is buggy friendly.
  • There are toilets and baby-changing facilities available during opening hours.
  • Expect to spend at least two hours at Hanwell Zoo.

Getting there

  • Hanwell railway station is an 11-minute walk away from Hanwell Zoo. This station will be on the new Crossrail route.
  • Bus routes E3 and E1 stop nearby.
  • There are lots of bike racks available if you plan to cycle.
  • If you are driving, Hanwell Zoo parking is free. If you can't get a space in this car park, there is overflow parking available at the Brent Valley Golf Course.

More amazing things to do