Whipsnade Zoo has earned the accolade of Best Animal Day Out in the UK from well-known website Day Out With the Kids.
A total of 20,000 public votes were combined with industry expertise to help crown the most-loved family days out of 2018, with all regional winners being put forward for the national award.
Featuring six categories, the Family Favourites Awards are designed to specifically recognise the attractions excelling in the family travel and leisure sector.
The winners were:
> Best animal day out - Whipsnade Zoo,
> Best free family day out - National Railway Museum, Yorkshire,
> Best day out for under 5s - Paultons Park, Hampshire,
> Best event at an attraction - Electric Woods at Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight,
> Best educational day out - St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff,
> Best active day out - Treetop Trek Manchester.
Owen Craft, Chief Operating Officer of ZSL Whipsnade Zoo said: “We know our visitors love exploring our huge open spaces on the Chiltern hills and seeing our 3,500 fascinating animals, from the tiny butterflies that fill one of the largest butterfly biomes in the country, to towering giraffes, rhinos, lions, hippos, our herd of magnificent Asian elephants and our new litter of endangered Amur tiger cubs.
“In 2019, we will be opening a unique freshwater aquarium, giving children an up-close opportunity to see the work we’re doing to bring species on the edge of extinction back from the brink.
“We strive to provide the very best day out for families, with outdoor and indoor play areas, a children’s farm, a steam train, special family activities during school holidays and healthy, tasty food and drink, and are thrilled that our commitment to families has been recognised through this award.”
Simon Applebaum, Managing Director at www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk, said: “We’re the first place families come to when looking for ideas and inspiration for days out, so we really wanted to approach it from the other side and let our families tell us the days out that really matter to them.
“From the big name attractions to the local gems, the Family Favourites Awards champions family days out in a way that nowhere else does, and with 20,000 votes helping to crown our deserved winners, we’ve been blown away by the success of the awards this year.”