William H. Calvin


Chimpanzee mother Mwekundu and
six-month-old female infant Honey.

Twycross Zoo Directions to the formerly private zoo in the countryside two hours north of London. 

It's a hidden gem:  a chimpanzee field researcher told me that the zoo was worth a trip; otherwise I would never have heard of it.

Most well-off zoos have no more than three of the six ape species.  This zoo has them all.  It was founded in 1954 by Miss Molly Badham, who ran a pet shop and became attached to a monkey, leading her to spend her money creating a zoo with an excellent selection of primates.

William H. Calvin is a
 neurobiologist at the
 University of Washington
 Seattle WA 98195-1800 USA
 and the author of Almost Us, A Brain for All Seasons and A Brief History of the Mind

They even have a few species of Lemurs (here, the Golden Crowned Lemur). They ball up together when sleeping.

Juvenile orangutan playing with infant.

Two-year-old bonobo female Bokela playing with subadult male Keke; the grin was emphatically repeated.  She even grinned when running.


Photos copyright 2005 by William H. Calvin.  These low-resolution images may be borrowed for educational and noncommercial purposes; no need to ask permission.

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Travel Directions

The Twycross Zoo website has perfectly good travel directions by road, and their large parking lots attest to the number of people who visit daily (closed Christmas Day). But they seem geared up only for cars and tour busses.  When we asked their Information Office to call us a taxi to take us the seven miles to Nuneaton, it set off a search for the list of phone numbers, which was hidden away in a drawer.  Evidently taxi arrivals and departures are infrequent.  The taxi fare (2005) is about 20 pounds each way.

So this web page is intended only as a supplement to the Twycross Zoo pages (good write ups on the animals, better than many zoos).  Since I must have spent a day searching the web for information on how to do it as a day trip from London, this web page is intended to help fans of the apes find one of the world's best zoos for apes.

By Train and Bus:

Do not make the mistake of taking the St. P's train to Leicester, 17 miles east of the zoo.  The listed cab fare is 40 pounds each way, and the driver had to stop twice to ask for directions. However, if you get off at Market Bosworth, the cab ride should be even shorter than that from Nuneaton.

From London's Euston Station, you can buy a day return ticket for Nuneaton; trains are frequent and take 1-2 hours each way. The zoo is in the countryside seven miles north of the Nuneaton train station.  There is an hourly bus, except Sundays.

By car: Take the M1 north from London, then the A5 to the A444, and north to the zoo.  Consult Mapquest.

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William H. Calvin
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