Marwell Zoo, Winchester is around 10 miles north-west of Southampton. It covers an area of 140 acres and is home to hundreds of animals including some lovely, long-legged giraffes, cheeky penguins, majestic tigers, bright-eyed meerkats and – to the delight of my youngest – a number of striking zebras.
My husband and I were delighted to see the white rhino looking fabulous and pleased to find out that Marwell Wildlife, which owns the Zoo, is a global conservation charity leading programmes in the UK, Africa and across the world.
However, the real purpose of our visit was to check out the BRICKOSAURS!
The Brickosaurs are 50 large life-like dinosaur models that are made entirely of LEGO – over 2 million bricks of Lego in fact! Marwell Zoo is the first attraction in the world to host the collection.
I don’t think they are quite life-size but they are not far off and they are wonderfully colourful and posed ready for action. The inspiration behind the vibrant colours for the Parasaurolophus was the designer’s favourite ice-cream: a Twister.
It took Bright Bricks, the professional team of builders that built the Brickosaurs, more than 10,000 hours to create the whole collections. Wow! My boys are the biggest Lego fans I know and we couldn’t wait to see their faces when they came face to face with them (we kept the treat a surprise). Their reaction did not disappoint! It was the perfect trip for them and their little sister too who, although she doesn’t love dinosaurs or Lego, loved everything about Marwell Zoo and the Brickosaurs.
The Brickosaur models really are life-like from a distance and look exactly like the dinosaurs they are named after. My dinosaur-mad 6 year old could name every one of the species before we even got close to the signs! The 8-metre Tyrannosaurus rex is the largest touring Lego brick dinosaur sculpture ever made and it stands with its cute little T-Rex offspring in front of Marwell Hall in the heart of the estate. We were amazed to find out that the T-Rex weighs 2500kg which is as much as Kiri, the zoo’s white rhino!
The Brickosaurs are dotted around all over the site giving us the perfect combination of checking out real animals and Lego dinosaurs together, which kept everybody happy. To help children record what dinosaurs they’ve seen there is an A4 Brickosaurs tick sheet, or you can download the Marwell Zoo App.
Half way round our tour we found the Brickosaurs Basecamp where the kids could rest for a while whilst playing in the two large brick pits. We roared with laughter (excuse the pun) at the opportunity to pose for photographs inside the Megalosaurus head.
Food-wise we took a picnic and ate in one of the designated picnic sites. Marwell Zoo has its own cafe with an extensive menu and this was busy when we popped in. Elsewhere there are a number of snack huts around the grounds. We couldn’t resist the clotted cream ice cream and can confirm that the chocolate, vanilla, mint choc and blackcurrant flavours are all delicious!
We would thoroughly recommend a trip as we had a really enjoyable day out. There is something for everyone to see at Marwell Zoo. The Brickosaurs collection is there until 1st September 2019 so don’t waste any time if you want to go and see them. Looking at prices, if you live locally the option of annual membership seems great value. For more information visit www.marwell.org.uk.
Ad/Gifted – we were invited to visit Marwell Zoo to experience the Brickosaurs in exchange for this review, but all views and opinions are our own.