I went to Longleat and enjoyed it, but I have found that I actually prefer smaller zoos, they have a wider variety of animals and being in your car you can feel a bit distant from them. I also didn't like the monkeys getting near my car!!
The best bit was the tiget walking right next to the car, I held my breath it was that close, and you don't get that in a zoo!
It's a nice day out, and there's other stuff locally you could stop at. However, I bet all three are good.
Do you only want one suggestion, or is it for several different days out?
If it's a day out from London I think I'd go for the closest, they will all be fun but the travel is always tedious. I've never been to a zoo or other animal park that I haven't enjoyed, though Whipsnade will probably be quite educational as well, as it's ZSL, and it's got the elephants!
THANKS Zoe, that's helpful!! Yes it's true they are all extortionately expensive - but so is London Zoo. And the day out in the country is part of the programme. They are all quite a way away, Longleat's practically in Bath. But, there we go.
I visited Longleat while staying near Cheddar Gorge, and it was quite a travel from there, it's down lots of small roads and just seemed quite a pain to get to, I think I'd go for Woburn or Whipsnade from London.
What about Howletts, that's just next to Canterbury, so could be combined, or Port Lympne, with a visit to the coast. I saw an ad that said they gave you quite a big discount if you bought online (15% something like that).
I've never been so if you go do feedback, so I can decide if to visit!