Travel & Tourism

Chester Zoo forced to close as high winds from Storm Pia set to battle country

It's going to be windy out there today folks.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 21st December 2023

Chester Zoo has announced that it will have to close for the safety of its animals, as Storm Pia is set to bring strong winds across the north west today.

The popular tourist attraction says it’s now working to get in touch with people who had booked an experience at the zoo, including school visits and the ‘Dine with Santa’ experience.

A yellow weather warning is in place for large parts of the UK, including Greater Manchester and Cheshire, until 9pm on Thursday 21 December.

Storm Pia has been named by the Danish Meteorological Institute and is expected to cause travel disruption.

Chester Zoo has taken the decision to close the zoo today, Thursday, to look after all the animals kept there as well as to keep the public safe.


They wrote: “It’s going to be a bit windy out there tomorrow, so we’re going to have to keep the zoo closed on Thursday 21 December for the safety of our staff, visitors and the animals under our care.

“If you have booked tickets to the zoo for tomorrow then we’ve automatically extended them until the end of June 2024 (this includes pre-booked tickets as part of our ‘kids go free’ offer).


“You don’t need to do anything, just turn up to the zoo anytime with your confirmation and enjoy your day! If you’ve booked on to an experience, school visit or Dine with Santa, our team will contact you directly.”

Chester Zoo’s Lanterns & Lights festive light trail is expected to run as normal as the weather calms down in the afternoon, but ticket-holders are advised to check the zoo’s social media pages at midday for an official update.

The zoo then added: “We’re really, really sorry for causing any disruption to your plans but we hope you understand. Our team of conservationists will, of course, be at the zoo making sure the animals are tucked up and cared for with their favourite treats.”


It also said an official update on reopening the zoo would be shared soon.

The Met Office has said its yellow weather warning for wind may bring the following:

  • Some bus and train services affected, with some journeys taking longer
  • Some delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport expected
  • Some short term loss of power and other services
  • Coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities will be affected by spray and/or large waves
  • Delays for high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges

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Featured image: Chester Zoo