Newest Review: ... enclosure there does not appear to be any restrictions on the monkeys movement. There are pathways around the forest marked out by knee... more
A unique day out
Monkey Forest (Trentham)
Member Name: MsRachF
Monkey Forest (Trentham)
Advantages: Unique experience, learn about Barbary Macaques and watch them going about their monkey business
Disadvantages: The cafe could be better value
Last September my daughter and I had been to Alton Towers for her birthday, we'd spent the night in the area and were looking for something to do the next day before meeting up with friends on the evening. We decided to visit Trentham Monkey Forest after reading the leaflet in the B&B and I'm really pleased we did!
Trentham Monkey Forest is home to 140 Barbary Macaques, these monkeys usually live in the wild in Algeria but these two families have been homed here as part of conservation programme, which seems to be ethical and well run.
The monkeys wander freely within a 60 acre enclosed forest. Other than the fences for the enclosure there does not appear to be any restrictions on the monkeys movement. There are pathways around the forest marked out by knee height wooden barriers to keep visitors to the paths. the monkeys however are not restrained by the barriers and also walk freely along ad across the paths coming very close to the visitors. There are boards with information about the monkeys placed regularly along the path and hour there were feeding talks by the knowledgable and passionate guides who were always around to answer any questions and maintain the safety of the monkeys and visitors. We picked up a quiz on the way in which my daughter completed on the way round and was able to take to school to show her teacher and classmates what she'd been up to and what she'd learnt (on her unauthorised absence!). Its fascinating to watch the monkeys act as they would in the wild and demonstrate the behaviours talked about the info boards and by the guides. You could easily fill in a few hours wandering around the forest - you are free to go in and out of the enclosed area, for lunch etc.
As someone completely unfamiliar with the area I found the place easy to find following some basic directions and was signposted clearly once you got close.
I would say the ticket pricing is quite reasonable, it is by no means a cheap day out but not extortianate for a unique attraction. I would say we enjoyed it as much as Alton Towers the day before, which was much more expensive. If we'd had more time or lived close by I would have purchased a joint ticket for the Forest and Estate as there looks some fun things to do there.
There was a cafe and shop hich were both fairly standard in prices and goods for visitor attractions in the UK. There was also a picnic area. The toilets were clean and the children's play areas a good size and well maintained. There was lots of free parking and from what I remember the place was mostly wheelchair/pushchair friendly.
We visited on a very sunny weekday in September, it was school term time but the place was still reasonably busy. I would imagine it can get fairly packed in school holidays and at weekends.
Summary: A lovely day out for all of the family!