Tropical World (Leeds)

Tropical World is a butterfly house and animal attraction located in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It is a licensed zoo with membership of BIAZA and also features the largest collection of tropical plants outside Kew Gardens.[3][4][5]

Tropical World
Tropical World Logo 2020.jpg
TropicalWorld Exterior2007.JPG
Date opened1988[1]
LocationRoundhay Park, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
Coordinates53°50′26.24″N 1°30′17.08″W / 53.8406222°N 1.5047444°W / 53.8406222; -1.5047444
Annual visitors300,000 (2019)[2]


In 1911, a conservatory building, named the Coronation House, was built in the Canal Gardens of Roundhay Park. It was later rebuilt in 1939 and modernised to its present state in 1984. Ambitious plans to expand and revitalise it resulted in the opening of a tropical butterfly house in 1988, named Tropical World. Birds, fish, reptiles and small mammals accompanied its rare and unusual tropical plants on display.[1][6][3]

In 2008, the attraction was renamed The Arnold and Marjorie Ziff Tropical World in honour of Arnold Ziff and his wife Marjorie who had been financial sponsors.[7]

In 2015, Tropical World reopened following a two-year refurbishment worth £1.5 million. The aquarium section was extensively revamped in particular, complete with new species and an Aztec theme. A new cafe was also built.[8][9]


The attraction is composed of several climate-controlled glass houses, each replicating a tropical environment from around the world. The houses contain tropical plants and live animals, including some which roam freely, such as butterflies and turtles.

The first house visitors enter is the butterfly zone which features free-flying butterflies in a swamp-like environment.[10] Terrapins and koi live in the various ponds and Morelet's crocodiles also occupy an enclosure. This house then leads into an Aztec-themed aquarium which features both freshwater and marine species, including poison dart frogs, axolotl, clownfish, octopus, stingrays, seahorse, red-bellied piranhas and catfish.[11][8][9][10]

The following rainforest floor section is themed after the rainforest floor and features a tumbling waterfall, tropical fish, leafcutter ants, terrestrial birds and butterfly pupae. This section leads visitors to an upper-floor with reptile displays, including snakes, lizards and iguanas.

A rainforest canopy house features free-flying birds, including parrots, as well as cotton-top tamarins. It leads into a desert house featuring a mob of meerkats, tortoises and birds. The final house is a nocturnal house, featuring bats, armadillos, Malagasy giant rats, Egyptian fruit bats, pygmy slow loris, mouse lemurs and potoroos.[10]

A cafe overlooking the Canal Gardens and a gift shop is available at the entrance.[12]



  1. ^ a b "An Illustrated History of Roundhay Park". The Thoresby Society. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  2. ^ "Proposals for new indoor play facility at The Arnold and Marjorie Ziff Tropical World to be discussed by executive board". GOV.UK. 19 June 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Equality, Diversity, Cohesion and Integration Impact Assessment" (PDF). Leeds City Council. 10 August 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Tropical World". BIAZA. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  5. ^ "Tropical World at Roundhay park". Tropical World. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  6. ^ "Roundhay Park, Tropical World". Leodis. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  7. ^ "Tropical World, in Canal Gardens". The Lakeside, Roundhay. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Tropical World in Leeds reopens after £1.5m refurbishment". BBC News. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  9. ^ a b "We're fully reopened after an exciting refurbishment". Tropical World. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  10. ^ a b c "Tropical World at Roundhay Park Education Pack" (PDF). Tropical World. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  11. ^ "Meet the animals". Tropical World. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  12. ^ "Plan your visit". Tropical World.