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West Lothian sparkles with special Christmas illuminations

Lifestyle

West Lothian sparkles with special Christmas illuminations

West Lothian’s Five Sisters Zoo will shimmer and sparkle once more when its ever-popular illuminations bring some Christmas magic to this year’s festive season.

Zoo co-owner Brian Curran:

“This is always a magical time for us at the zoo and we’re thrilled to be staging our fantastic illuminations once again. Children just love Christmas and animals so it’s always such a winning combination and we’re anticipating another busy festive season.”

The attraction, at Gavieside, West Calder, will light up from November 17 right through to December 23, offering a spectacular yuletide experience for all the family. Thousands of lights and Christmas decorations will glitter around the grounds. There will also be a light show projection, a tunnel of light, a festive market with crafts and gifts, food and drink stalls selling a range of goodies including crepes and doughnuts, plus marshmallow toasting.

Youngsters will also get the chance to enjoy a spin on the children’s rides while grown-ups will appreciate the heated bar area serving mulled wine and cider and much more. And, of course, there’s the chance to see all the animals in the zoo’s collection.

For visitors with Additional Support Needs there will be a dedicated evening to suit their requirements on Sunday, November 26. The illuminations are open from 5-9pm every Friday and Saturday from November 17 to 25 and from 4-9pm every evening throughout December, up until the 23rd. Tickets are on sale now with free admittance for babies under a year old.

The Five Sisters Zoo began life as a horticulture centre run by landscape gardener Brian Curran and his wife Shirley. Both passionate animal lovers, they gradually found themselves agreeing to re-home a variety of unwanted pets, that became a small menagerie and an attraction for visitors. 

The zoo was officially established in 2005 with a modest selection of rabbits, guinea pigs, goats and pigs. Since then it has become home to an amazing collection of more than 180 different species of mammals, birds and reptiles from all over the world.  They include bears and lions saved and re-homed after performing in travelling circuses. Accredited by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, its mission is to encourage the conservation of endangered wildlife of both native and non-native species and to create a safe and natural environment for all animals in the collection, maintaining the highest standards of animal care and welfare.

Five Sisters Zoo is run by a team of dedicated zookeepers, grounds keepers and ticket desk and cafe staff as well as a large team of volunteers. As a not for profit making organisation, all proceeds are reinvested in the zoo to help with the animal’s upkeep, veterinary bills, and enclosure maintenance. The zoo, at Gavieside, West Calder in West Lothian, takes its name from the Five Sisters shale bings that overlook the site – remnants of the shale oil industry, a nationally important Scottish site and a protected monument.

Five Sisters Zoo also pledges to donate £1 per ticket from the Christmas Illuminations event to Yampil’s appeal.  For more information and to book tickets go to https://fivesisterszoo.co.uk/zoo-illuminations-2023/

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