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A unique animal adventure.......
Longleat Safari Park (Wiltshire)
Member Name: sparkymarky1973
Longleat Safari Park (Wiltshire)
Advantages: Gets you up close to the animals, closer than anywhere else.....
Disadvantages: Watch out for those monkeys!
Longleat Safari Park is something of a dying breed in these modern times; an animal Safari park that you can actually drive through instead of just seeing the animals in cages! Once you have paid your admission, you are given the option of driving through several enclosed pens containing all manner of wild beasts from giraffes to rhinos, tigers to lions with the added option of driving through the monkey enclosure at your own risk and of feeding some deer from the safety of your car. It is a wonderful experience and one I would not hesitate to recommend!
The monkey enclosure is paticulary funny! Before we got there, my brother-in-law was a bit concerned about the amount of damage they would do to his car! We all told him that that was just a myth propogated by television and film. I t wasn't till we got there that we relaised actually that pretty much was a possibilty! Driving through these pens, you will experience small monkeys up close clambering and climbing over your car. And yes, they do take a fancy to some cars! A Vauxhall in front of us had their rear windscreen washer jet bitten and torn off and a car on the opposite side of the track to us had two monkeys tearing off bits of their trim! That said, it is all part of the fun and part of the risk you have to take as it is an experience you will never forget! Of course, there is always an option to circumvent the monkeys enclosure but where's the fun in that?
At all times there are signs telling you that if you get into trouble, simply sound your horn and Wardens will come to your aid and asisstance. You can open your windows through some parts of the Safari but signs are up telling you when you need to keep them closed (such as with the monkeys!) and the whole Safari is accompanied by a CD narrated by Kate Humble which tells you what to lok out for in each section of your trip round.
But it is not just a Safari adventure! Oh no ~ Longleat has sooo much more to offer than just that!
Longleat is huge and getting through it all in a day means that you have to get there fairly early....like opening time! There is the House to go around featuring all manner of examples of how people would've lived back in the day and an impressive collection of art- though some of it is very randomly assembled! The mixture of styles, both classical and modern, alongside each other sometimes on the same wall space at times just felt a bit odd! And there are lots of "interesting" portraits of the Lord who owns Longleat!
There is also lots of other ground to cover....a train takes you around some of the grounds and a boat sails across the lake to Gorilla island where, unfortunately, they now only have one Gorilla after his mate deceased several years back. On the way across the lake, lucky quick guests can get the opportunity to feed the sea-lions who live in the lake and this, again, is a wonderful experience!
For the kids, there is a castle-themed play area and a small scale model of Postman Pat's village of Greendale complete with buttons you can press to animate some of the models! And there are a lot of cafes and eating places all around the grounds providing a wide choice of different things to eat at varying prices!
There is also a Bat cave, a Butterfly room and an enormous hedge maze to go around that myself and my daughter got lost in and took nearly an hour to get out! As you can see, there is a whole heap of thjings to see and do...it is like a normal zoo (say Colchester or Banham for example) except thsat there is about five times as much stuff to see and you can get closer, much closer, to the animals!
The tickets are not cheap but you can get 15% discount if you buy online and there are reductions for group bookings, family tickets and if you buy a double ticket that gives you admission to nearby Cheddar Gorge caves! That said, to my mind, this is werll worth the money and a great day out! It is an experience that all of us who went a couple of weeks ago will never forget and both our two children loved it though it was a reaaaaaalllllly loooooong day!
If you are in the area, you really should check this out! We had lots of fun and I cannot praise it enough!
Summary: A brilliant day out with lots to see and do!
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