Which is "best" for togs - YWP or Chester ?

Messages
3,447
Name
Mark
Edit My Images
Yes
#1
Trying to plan my year out already, and have many good things said about YWP, and whilst Chester seems a popular zoo according to the internetz, is as good, better, or worse than YWP ?

When I say best, I mean provides great photo ops of the animals without dirty glass, big lumps of mesh or any other zoo parafernalia spoing the shot......

Both are best part of 3 hours drive from me, but only 2 hours apart when (its grim) Up North, so need some guidance or advice or even an opinion....

Cheers all
 
OP
OP
Hertsman
Messages
3,447
Name
Mark
Edit My Images
Yes
#2
Aww, guys, 60 odd views and no comments ? I know theres a good group of regular zoo shooters on here....
 
Last edited:
Messages
6,627
Edit My Images
No
#3
I am watching this thread because suggested locations insights are always good to learn about.

Hopefully those with the "knowledge" will chime :)
 

Cobra

Just not grey enough
Staff member
Messages
83,614
Name
Phitt, Hissy Phitt
Edit My Images
No
#4
They both have there advantages, YWP has to be the polar bears, And Chester is a lot bigger!
Last year a couple of us did both, YWP first ( less than 2.5 hours from me) and then drove to HERE stayed overnight in one of the Chalets. Cheap & comfortable food was OK too (y)
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Hertsman
Messages
3,447
Name
Mark
Edit My Images
Yes
#5
They both have there advantages, YWP has to be the polar bears, And Chester is a lot bigger!
Last year a couple of us did both, YWP first ( less than 2.5 hours from me) and then drove to HERE stayed overnight in one of the Chalets. Cheap & comfortable food was OK too (y)
Was kind of my thinking Chris......
 
Messages
7,164
Name
Carl
Edit My Images
Yes
#6
I can't compare, having not visited YWP, but Chester zoo is great & big enough to spend all day in. (must be 5 yrs since I last visited though)
Blackpool zoo isn't too bad either tbh.........as long as it aint during the main school holidays.
 
Messages
2,136
Name
Paul
Edit My Images
No
#7
Live about 60mins from YWC, been once and WILL NOT revisit.
Although we went on a school holiday day, some animals were fearful of the screaming children.
There was a lack of toilet facilities available (one area was closed).
Food provision was appalling, with one area sold out by 12:15 and no idea of Re-provision.
A display of a poor business model.
Tigers were good for viewing/images.
Rhinos were far too far away and in a pen with tractor equipment and tyres?
Never seen a Polar Bear in a green field and so dirty it looks like a Grizzly - here you go.
Sorry to be so negative, but for a full day out, plus petrol, entrance, disappointment and a meal on the way home, I was hoping for more.
 
Messages
3,768
Name
Chris
Edit My Images
Yes
#8
Its a while since Ive been to Chester, but from memory it was very big with the enclosures not being overly friendly for the photographers. YWP is the opposite, whilst it isn’t overly big (in fairness compared to most of the others it is still in its infancy) the enclosures are very photographer friendly with very few fences. The way they are designed is that the walkways are raised up so that you can shoot over them. The Cheetahs for example have 2 viewing points 1 on the ground through glass and a a second in a tresshouse sort of thing which puts you level the higher platforms, on the other side are the giraffes which you are almost levels with their heads. Tigers again have a walkway over the lower section (where the pond is) and is level with the top section.

As you can tell I am a bit of a fan of YWP :) Its a bit of a trek but if you’re interested in Polar Bears, Highland Wildlife Park up near Aviemore have just announced a cub has been born. I will hopefully be up there later in the year
 
Last edited:

Cobra

Just not grey enough
Staff member
Messages
83,614
Name
Phitt, Hissy Phitt
Edit My Images
No
#9
Although we went on a school holiday day, some animals were fearful of the screaming children.
They seemed pretty chilled when I was there,

129A1881.jpg

Never seen a Polar Bear in a green field and so dirty it looks like a Grizzly - here you go.
but of course the real trick is to catch them in the water

129A1864.jpg

I never saw any of the "complaints" that you have, Its strange how peoples perceptions differ.
I'm not saying you are wrong of course, but we never experienced any of those negatives.
 

Cobra

Just not grey enough
Staff member
Messages
83,614
Name
Phitt, Hissy Phitt
Edit My Images
No
#10
Oh one last thing, the lion "enclosure" at YWP is pretty damned good, no glass or wire to get in the way, and the Lions are real posers too.

129A0396.jpg
 
Messages
29,148
Name
Bat-Frog
Edit My Images
No
#12
I, too, had a cracking visit to YWP.
Yes, there was construction going on...this is a relatively new park, and expansion is inevitable, but the animals were easy to shoot, calm, not displaying boredom behaviour, and a delight to see.
 
Messages
1,122
Name
Matt
Edit My Images
Yes
#13
As a native of the Chester area I get there a lot and I do like it, but depending on what you want to shoot the opportunities can be limited by either chainlink or think glass. In some cases like the Jaguars or new Orangutan enclosure you can get a clean view off the walkways, but in others like the tigers it's either fence or glass.

Nevertheless, I enjoy it for a good day out with the family, it's a large site and you could easily make a day of it, just try and avoid the crowded times.
 
Messages
1,839
Name
Glenn
Edit My Images
Yes
#14
As a native of the Chester area I get there a lot and I do like it, but depending on what you want to shoot the opportunities can be limited by either chainlink or think glass. In some cases like the Jaguars or new Orangutan enclosure you can get a clean view off the walkways, but in others like the tigers it's either fence or glass.

Nevertheless, I enjoy it for a good day out with the family, it's a large site and you could easily make a day of it, just try and avoid the crowded times.
I agree...
 
Messages
628
Name
Steve
Edit My Images
Yes
#15
never been to Chester, sorry. Been to YWP a couple of times and want to go again! Really enjoyed it (know others haven't).

Rhinos do seem to be in a space near tractors etc. in the background, but there are a lot of viewpoints and not restricted viewing -

Rhino-1
by rackhs, on Flickr

Same for the Lions and viewing (as mentioned above) -

Lion-1
by rackhs, on Flickr

And haven't managed a water shot yet, maybe next time (although looking at it again, the whole shot looks a bit dark - that will be me then :) ) -

Polar Bear-1
by rackhs, on Flickr
 
Messages
6,831
Edit My Images
Yes
#16
Never been to YWP but am local to Chester so go there a lot this time of year I don't go in the summer it can be horrendously busy
As Matt says some of the enclosures are excellent for photos like the rhinos but some are terrible like the short clawed otters glass 4 feet back from a barrier
It's worth a visit tho there's lots to see and you would struggle to see it all in a day
 
OP
OP
Hertsman
Messages
3,447
Name
Mark
Edit My Images
Yes
#18
Thanks for all the replies so far guys, I would always avoid a good zoo in the school hols as a matter of course tbh........

I enjoy zoo shooting, but only if I can make the animal look like it was in the wild and not obvs behind bars....
 
Last edited:
Messages
12,967
Edit My Images
No
#19
@snerkler should be able to help
Tbh it depends. Generally speaking I prefer YWP, not just because it’s only 35mins away but because 99% of the animals can be taken without any glass, fencing or other obstruction. However, this does depend on the animals playing ball and being in the right place in the enclosure. That being said every time I’ve been (which must be approaching 20 times if not more) I’ve been able to take unobstructed pics. I would advise going to the Lemurs and Squirrel Monkeys at feeding times to make sure they’re out though. IMO they’ve made a bit of a mess of the lemur enclosure. The new house is great apart from the fact it’s got a very large roof which the lemurs like to congregate on, meaning they’re difficult to see and taking pics is a bit pointless, hence why it’s best to see them at feeding time when you know they’re going to be off the roof. Also they’ve cut far too many trees and branches down imo meaning the enclosure is quite sparse in comparison to what it used to be.

The Tigers are also far lazier than they used to be now they’re grown up and since they’ve split them up from their mum they tend to pace next to the enclosure that she’s in.

Despite the couple of negatives all in all it’s a great park.

Chester is A LOT bigger and as a result has a lot more variety of animals, some main ones being elephants, Jaguars and penguins. Oh and Tapirs, my wife loves tapirs ;)

Enclosures are much more split as to whether you have a clear view or have to view through glass or a fence. Also, as it’s so vast there’s a lot of walking involved if you want to see everything and as a result you don’t have the same amount of time to be patient waiting for the animals to stop sleeping or getting into a part of the enclosure which is more optimal for photos.

Again though, on the whole it’s a fantastic park and there are some good opportunities for pics.

Thanks for all the replies so far guys, I would always avoid a good zoo in the school hols as a matter of course tbh........

I enjoy zoo shooting, but only if I can make the animal look like it was in the wild and not obvs behind bars....
TBH it’s not always that bad during the school hols, just depends on times and weather. Going during the week in school times can actually be worse as you get large school parties. At weekends I tend to get to the YWP for opening time and you can get round most of the park in a couple of hours, before it starts getting too busy. After which you can go back and focus more on one or two animals.

At both Chester and YWP you can get pictures which aren’t obvious they were taken at a Wildlife Park, if the animals play ball of course ;) Obviously it’s not going to look like you’re in the middle of the Masai Mara, but you can get it so that there’s no man made structures etc in the shot ;)
 
Last edited:

Gremlin

William Wallace
Messages
14,130
Name
Ingrid
Edit My Images
No
#22
I loved the YWP, well it does have the Polar Bears :love:
It's not too big, enough to keep you occupied easily for a day, mind you I could have watched the Polar Bear all day , so playful.
I found Chester a bit to big and east to get lost in.
The accommodation Cobra mentioned is only a short drive away and if I went there again I would probably stay there longer and do 1 2 dy
visit to the zoo.
Only thing I would say a about the Hall is it is popular for weddings so can get a tad noisy on Saturday nights, other then that a lovely location
but good VFM
 
Messages
6,679
Name
Jeff
Edit My Images
No
#23
Can I offer a couple of alternatives I live near Chester zoo and while it’s large it’s not photographer friendly but there are alternatives if yer oop norf . First off at Colwyn Bay ,north wales ,you have the welsh mountain zoo ,not a lot there but it’s open and reasonably priced ,and next up in the Lake District there’s south Lakeland zoo ,which last year was free entry ,not sure this year though and was one of the best I have been to in the u.k photography wise .could have done with more time there ,the snow wolves were superb
 
Top