Holiday Time – Longleat Safari and Adventure Park

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As part of our holiday visiting friends in Wiltshire we visited Longleat, a real treat for us.  We rarely visit big attractions, but this seemed too good not to try and I honestly believe the boys appreciate it more when we do visit places like this, although I also think they were a little overwhelmed with the amount of things on offer.  We bought our tickets with Clubcard points making this great value for a day out.  We couldn’t say what the restaurants and cafes were like as we took our own picnic after reading reviews that food is expensive and average, so just bought ice creams before we finished. We started the trip with the safari park, we were all very excited.  I was excited to see the boys reaction to many animals they’ve only read about in stories or seen in films. The safari starts with the African Village, were you can park up and walk around to see giraffes with a chance to feed them, they were also with the zebras. Longleat - The African Village A walk around the lemur enclosure was brilliant, they are very cheeky things and happily run around your feet having a nosey at what you’ve got. We also walked around the wallaby enclosure, it’s nice to see they have lots of space with trees to snooze under too. Back in the car and we headed off through the safari looking at giraffes, zebras, tapirs, flamingos, ibis, spoonbill and vultures.  We then arrive at the monkey drive thru. Longleat - Monkey Drive Thru We had been warned the monkeys will wreck the car and there were plenty of signs advising this could happen too. But we couldn’t give up a chance of seeing monkeys hanging off our wing mirrors, so in we went.  As we came to a stop a crowd of monkeys sauntered up to see us, the first one to jump onto the car brought on screaming and shouting from The Farmer, he didn’t like it and wanted to go home. On the other hand the hysterical laughter from The Fireman managed to calm The Farmer down and bring him round to thinking it was actually funny.  A family drove past us laughing and pointing at our car covered in monkeys, what they didn’t realise is they have a number of monkeys sat on their rear bumper 🙂 Brilliant fun and all we lost was the rear windscreen squirter. Longleat - Safari Through the ostrich, camel and and oryx enclosure to end with rhinos, they are huge solid things! We could only assume the member of staff driving up and down in the tractor with a huge metal plate on the front was for pushing the rhinos off the road! Past Anne the Elephant and some amazing pelicans we drove onto the deer park.  You could feed the deer, but we didn’t bother, they looked very tame and happily stuck their heads into cars, I’m not sure the The Farmer would be very happy about it. We decided to eat our picnic whilst driving round to save time. Longleat - The Predators Driving into the predator enclosure did make me feel a little nervy, but they all looked so sleepy, apart from the cheetahs who looked a little edgy and ready for anything.  The wolves could have been big fluffy teddies as they were also sleeping, also it was at this point The Fireman announces he needs a wee, brilliant, I didn’t even think about needing the toilet halfway round.  He managed to hold on anyway. We headed back towards the adventure park, it was nice and quiet, which is good, you’ve probably realised by now I can’t stand crowds. We explored the Jungle Adventure first and were pleased to find out that things like the train and boat rides were all included in our ticket. The meerkats were great, you could walk in with them, they’re cheeky like the lemurs. The animal enclosures are nicely set out which makes it interesting to walk around. Longleat - Jungle Adventure We set off to explore Postman Pat World which sadly was closed, The Farmer was very sad about this, he loves Postman Pat.  It took a while to console him.  We tried to do the Deadly Challenge, but the boys are too young for this, it is however a brilliant way of engaging early teens in nature.  Our boys just couldn’t stand still long enough to complete the challenges and The Farmer was still a bit upset about Postman Pat World.  So we walked back round and through to the castle and play area which eventually cheered him up.  The tube slides here are massive, it makes me nervous when the boys go down them, but they were fine, there are also plenty of play areas for younger toddlers too. I think there is also an indoor soft play area, but we avoided that, for me it’s a similar dislike to crowds. Longleat - Adventure Castle Next stop Animal Adventure and The Monkey Temple, they liked the rabbits and the butterfly house, where they managed to have a butterfly sit on their hands.  I like that they have a full length mirror at the end so you can check if you have any butterflies still attached 🙂 They could have held a snake or other animals, but we knew we were all getting tired and really wanted to make sure we went on a boat ride. Longleat - Animal Adventure A short queue for the boat and we were off up the lake in search of hippos, sea-lions, and gorillas.  The sea-lions swimming alongside of us was brilliant, of course they’re waiting for visitors to feed them. It’s slightly unnerving as the boat tips when everyone piles over to one side of the boat to see the gorilla, but he was beautiful and I quite liked his little island. Longleat The boys had a treat of ice creams and a toy each, first of all they go straight for the swords, but I managed to persuade them that maybe they should buy something to remind them of the animals they saw, of course the toys have been pretty much forgotten about already. We were here for over five hours and still didn’t get chance to go in the maze, watch the bird of prey display or explore the house, but we were all so tired and couldn’t face anymore. Although it is rather pricey without vouchers, it was really exciting day for all of us, just to see a monkey on your car makes it worthwhile and we’d definitely go again, hopefully when Postman Pat World is back open again 😉

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