Newest Review: ... free map and can also purchase a £1.99 guide book, which does have a very child friendly breakdown of what to expect from the park as well ... more
Member Name: CarolineH
Date: 21/09/01, updated on 21/09/01 (1023 review reads)
Advantages: Lots to see, and nicely maintained, Not too expensive, Close to Farnham - a lovely town to visit.
Disadvantages: Lack of toddler play areas
Don't be put off by the name!! It's not just a place for Bill Oddie wannabes, but a great family day out, with a lot more to see than a few manky parrots and penguins.
One very hot Saturday in July (yes, there was one), myself, my husband, my mum and stepdad took Thomas (then 18 months) to see the 'dirds' at Birdworld. We paid £8.50 each to get in (under 3s are free) - this included access to all parts of Birdworld plus Underwater World, a small and relatively interesting section with tanks of fish, seahorses, coral and an area with alligators. Entrance to Birdworld is, of course, through the large shop - I would imagine this would be a real pain with older children.
The park is set out beautifully, with cages of birds in groups, and shady pathways weaving between them. There is information about the each bird, and many reassurances about their welfare. It was fairly quiet when we went, but even if it had been busy, everyone wandering about at their own pace and in their own direction would have meant little congestion. One word of warning though - get to the penguin area early for feeding time, as this is incredibly popular.
There are many different species of birds to see, from storks to spoonbills, including emus, ostriches, vultures, toucans… There are woodland and seaside walks, where the birds are walking free (their wings are clipped to stop them flying away - this does not hurt them) and a 'train' ride to see the larger birds a bit closer. Thomas enjoyed the ride, although he was a bit confused by the train, which appeared to look more like a big car!
Right at the end of the park is the Jenny Wren Farm area, with all the usual pigs, chickens etc, plus mice, ferrets and guinea pigs which you can get close to. There are animal handling sessions at certain times, and plenty of places to wash hands afterwards. The highlight of Thomas' day was sitting on an old tractor sunk into the ground in
the play area - a big hit with most of the children we saw there.
I would advise taking a picnic with you if you go to Birdworld. There is a café (with limited seating, and with highchairs) selling sandwiches, salads, warm meals and drinks, and a few cabins around the park selling hotdogs, chips etc and it's not too horrendously priced. However, there are many grassy areas and picnic benches, and nowhere is too far from the carpark, so you needn't carry it all with you. There are also excellent play areas for older children, although not a lot suitable for toddlers. On a practical note, there are plenty of toilets and baby changing facilities dotted around the park.
We had a great day at Birdworld. Thomas left clutching his new cuddly owl (courtesy of Nanny and Grandad) and his new penguin (courtesy of mummy and daddy - suckers!) and even began to call the 'dirds' 'birds'! We were there about 4 hours, but it could easily be a whole day out with older children. Be prepared to walk quite a lot, expect some loud squawks and pungent smells, and have a fantastic day out at Birdworld!
Open every day until 4th Nov 2001.
Open 9.30 - 6pm (in summer) - last admission 5pm.
Adults £8.50; Children 3 - 14 years £5.50; Family £24.50; Senior Citizens £6.95.
You can book online, but only 2 or more days in advance - then you get a 10% discount. They have a website with loads more details, plus winter opening times:
More reviews in the field of Theme Park / Zoo National
- It`s not just mobile phones that do pay-as-you-go
- Daisy and Family in Land in Lilliput
- Scream- no-one will hear you.
- Chessington for the under 5s
- Towers above it's opposition!
- Never again.
- Fishy Fun
- Come and be a Pirate, Fairy or Cowboy for the day!
- The adventures in Robin Hill
- We're going to the zoo, how about you? We hope you come too.
- Mabie Farm Park (Dumfrieshire)
- White Post Farm Centre (Farnsfield)
- Wetlands Animal Park (Nottinghamshire)
- Tayto Park (Kilbrew)
- Marine Aquarium (Lyme Regis)
- Yorkshire Wildlife Park (Doncaster)
- Docker Park Farm Visitor Centre (Arkholme)
- Crocodiles of the World (Oxfordshire)
- The Big Apple (Wokingham)
- Lake District Coast Aquarium (Maryport)