ZSL London Zoo
The conservation work of the Zoological Society of London has thrown animal rights activists off their high horses. Of London Zoo’s 721 species, over 100 are endangered and there are breeding programmes for over 130. It was founded in 1826 by Sir Stamford Raffles in Regent’s Park as the world’s first scientific zoo (Charles Darwin was a Fellow) and still retains some original Grade I- and II-listed structures, including the neoclassical Giraffe House (built in 1837) and Lord Snowdon’s aviary (built in 1964). Its most famous inhabitants are the Komodo dragons that grow up to 3.5m (10ft) long and can eat up to 80% of their bodyweight in one sitting. Book ahead online to avoid that caged-animal feeling in its long, long queues.