1. Colchester Zoo
Where is it? Colchester.
What is it? Home to actual dragons (of the komodo kind), this award-winning zoo is one of the biggest and best in the country. Its 60 acres of parkland are home to more than 260 different species, so there’s loads to pack into a day trip here.
Why go? Hand feed elephants and giraffes, walk through underwater tunnels as sea lions swim overhead and, on sunny days, be transported to African plains in the Kingdom of the Wild, where you can feel like you’re on safari watching white rhino, ostrich and zebra.