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Monkey World (Dorset)
Member Name: abbadabbado
Monkey World (Dorset)
Advantages: a great day out
Disadvantages: see review
** Getting There **
Monkey World is situated on the A35 between Wool and Wareham in Dorset. The nearest train station is Wool which can be reached from many big cities and towns. The nearest Motorways if you're driving are the M27 and M3.
Once you're there, and it is well signposted from the roads, the car park is very large, yet some of it bumpy over unmade roads and poorly laid out gravel. This is easily overcome, but just remember where you park as the large open space can be disorientating after a day's monkey watching. The car park is free for you to stay as long as you like though.
** Getting In **
I have always found Monkey World to be good value for money, and couple that with the fact that you are contributing to the upkeep and the work of the dedicated staff by paying this then I think you are getting a good day out.
A typical adults ticket is £10.50, Children are £7.25 (3 - 15 years). There are many family options you can pay for to reduce the price with two adults and two children coming in at £31.
If you're going as a large group there are further payment options as well as school booking which obviously give off a bit of a discount as well.
** The Park **
Inside the park which is almost set out to be walked around in a large circle (if you start in the right direction), there are 14 attractions. These are mainly varieties of monkeys but you can also see a pet corner and a bird area as well.
Coupled with the main attractions are always plenty of places to spend your money and these include a restaurant and gift shops, along with ice creams and the adoption centre.
We usually aim to spend at least three hours in the park, and this doesn't account for lunch breaks and the large park that they have for the kids to play in.
In our experience we have found that if we arrive at the park just before 12pm, we can then find a vacant picnic table almost straight away in the vast areas that are dotted around, and enjoy a nice lunch before we start walking. This not only relieves the weight of the bags we are carrying, but means no-one is nagging us for lunch all the way around.
I have always found there to be plenty of bins in the park, and the general areas appear tidy. We often see the staff in with the animals, and if you're lucky enough to time your visits you will see the brief talks and feeding times given by the staff. These times can be very crowded so arrive early or save your viewing for a quieter period.
** Monkeys **
Monkey World has Orang-utans; Woolly monkeys, Marmosets, Capuchins, Gibbons, babies, Chimpanzees, lemurs, squirrel tail monkeys, and stump tail macaques.
Each breed of monkey has their own houses and there are also extensive facts about who is living where on each house. You can also learn their names and how old they are, how they came to the park and how they were rescued.
The stories provide interesting reading. I find the children get bored with this side of the park, as they just want to look at the monkeys. But I like treading their history, albeit sometimes it's very sad.
** Extras **
A big attraction for Monkey World is their large wooded play area. It's set on a big hill at the back of the park, and has a large central climbing area with lots of little extra swings and slides etc. They provide plenty of wheelchair access slides in this area which I think are a great idea.
Be warned that once you get here with the kids you probably won't leave for at least an hour. There is so much for them to do and unless you keep a close watch on them you could easily lose track of them through all the pieces of equipment available.
We have learnt that this is the time to find a bench and have a well deserved break whilst the kids play.
The Gift shop, like all places is well placed as the exit of the park. The shop isn't very spacious but they do have a large shop. The prices are not that bad compared to other attractions we have visited in the past, but obviously there is a large monkey theme going on in the shop, you have to be prepared to buy a monkey toy or walk on by very quickly.
There is a restaurant but I cannot comment on the quality of the food as we don't ever eat in there as we prefer to bring our own picnic. The cost of having a day out with a lot of children can be costly sometimes so we have to have a cut back somewhere.
I am pleased to tell you that there are plenty of toilets dotted around. They aren't always the cleanest unfortunately and when we spot this I always go and find a staff member (they must hate me), but there's nothing worse than finding a dirty toilet.
The baby change has always been ok, but because there is a toilet in there as well, I have noticed it being used by people without children to change when the queues are long. I don't mind this unless I need to change my daughter and can't due to this reason.
** Opening Times **
Monkey World is open every day except Christmas day between 10am - 5pm. I wouldn't recommend going any later than lunch time as you will be limited on time.
Being open all year means you can almost go in most weathers apart from rain. You would miss out on the park with children, but wrapped up, even in colder weathers the park is a nice walk round. I think the adults would appreciate that more than the children though.
** Overall **
We visit Monkey World at least once a year and we will always return. I do find it sad when we go back and learn that a monkey has passed away, but this is a fact of life so to be expected. It's lovely to see new monkeys sitting in houses, being looked after by other primates.
As a day out if you're in the vicinity I think it would almost be a crime to miss it. The whole atmosphere of the park makes for a brilliant feel good day out.
If you're interested in monkeys as well there is an adoption centre where you can adopt your very own monkey. This isn't something I have done but I think it's a great idea to help the revenue of the park.
Summary: go for a visit if you're near
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