Hear them roar!
Go wild and visit ZSL London Zoo’s LandoftheLions experience (p. 29). The huge enclosure, which is bigger than Trafalgar Square, is a breeding centre for endangered Asiatic lions, of which only 520 remain in India’s Gir Forest National Park. Modelled after the park, complete with a railway track and corrugated roof over a ‘train station’ ticket hall, you can stroll on raised boardwalks with the lions beneath you. You can also sleep in Gir Lion Lodge chalets; the price includes two days’ zoo entry, tours, a two-course dinner and breakfast. Forget your alarm clock – you’ll be woken by the lions’ roars! Visit the grand home of the Duke of Wellington to see its opulent interiors and fine art. Please check website for times. 13-14 May: Museums at Night. Be guided around the house after hours. WedSun 11am-5pm. Adult £8.80; child £5.20. Charges for special events. www.english-heritage.org.uk/ apsleyhouse. 149 Piccadilly, Hyde Park Corner, W1J 7NT. T: 020-7499 5676. F6. Station: Hyde Park Corner.
This 17th-century building was designed by Inigo Jones for James I, with an exquisite painted ceiling by celebrated Baroque artist Peter Paul Rubens. It is the only remaining part of the Palace of Westminster, which was destroyed by fire. Please check website for times. Closed after 3pm 4, 9 & 18 May & after 1pm 7 May. Adult £6.60; child free. www.hrp.org.uk. Whitehall, SW1A 2ER. T: 020-3166 6000. E8. Station: Westminster.
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
Charming zoo inside the park, with a petting farm with donkeys, chinchillas and goats, plus a play area and Go Ape (p. 28). Daily 10am-5.30pm. Adult £8.95; child £6.95. www.batterseaparkzoo.co.uk. Battersea Park, Chelsea Bridge Gate, SW11 4NJ. T: 020-7924 5826. Off map. Station: Battersea Park.