Special Schools

Chester Zoo is a multi-sensory experience and everywhere is fully accessible for disabled visitors.

An amazing array of sights, sounds and smells get the senses going! 

You can’t touch our animals, but you can see them, hear them, smell them and, in our free-flight exhibits (Fruit Bat Forest and Butterfly Journey) you can feel them as they fly past you! 

We also have award winning interpretive panels with smells to alert the senses and fantastic interactives that you can feel.

For those visitors who need a visit a little out of the ordinary, here are a few ideas of where you can touch, smell and hear as well as see the zoo:

Download multi-sensory ideas here

As our collection is always changing, our interpretation changes too and we try to keep the above document as up to date as possible. To ensure that you and your pupils experience the most fulfilling day, we do encourage teachers to carry out a preliminary visit and details about this can be found on our All you need to know page.

Teaching programmes

We offer teaching programmes for KS1 upwards and welcome groups of all abilities in our classroom sessions.  The sessions we offer are listed under the relevant primary and secondary links to the left. 

If you are interested in taking advantage of our taught programmes, just make us aware of any special needs at the time of booking so we can ensure the teaching session is appropriate to your group

And we haven’t forgotten the everyday matters too! 

We have a number of wheelchairs available.  Pre-booking is essential (please telephone 01244 389482) and although this service is free of charge, we do ask for a £10 refundable deposit. 

There are accessible toilets across the site and there is a mobile hoist and changing mat in the Jubilee Square toilets near the lions.

We have compiled a resource for those teachers bringing pupils who are anxious about their visit to the Zoo and need a little more encouragement than most.  You can prepare your pupils beforehand by showing them what they can expect when they come.  There are lots of images in the document to enable your pupils to become familiar with the sights of the Zoo and, in doing so, we hope this will go some way to easing their apprehension.

Download our Social Story resource (PDF, 11 mb)

For any further information or assistance, please give our Education team a call on 01244 650205 or 01244 389444.