“ Address: Coalbeck Farm / Keswick / Cumbria / CA12 4RD / England „
When I had a date set for my friends G, S, K and R to come up to stay I had to decide where I'd take them, and it went without saying that one of our activities would be animal related (you might like to read my review of the Sheep and Wool centre for more Cumbria animal fun and frolics).
Trotters World of Animals was a place I'd not been to before, although had wanted to visit for a while so after looking at the website (www.trottersworld.com) I made the executive decision that this was the place to go!
---Where is it---
Trotters World of Animals is located between Keswick and Cockermouth, near to Bassenthwaite. There are signs for where to turn off the main road (the A591). When you've turned off take the left hand turn and follow the road. Trotters seemed relatively easy to find, but then I wasn't driving.
---Arrival, prices and times---
We arrived at about 2pm, and having parked in a pretty bumpy car park (you've been warned), we headed to the entrance. It was disappointing before getting to the entrance that there was a an empty field with a sign saying "alpacas" - alpacas are of course one of my most favourite animals (see review on the Alpaca Centre), second only to moose, so to have an alpaca-less field with an alpaca sign just rubbed it in really.
Outside the entrance it was clearly marked with the prices - £7.25 for adults, £5.25 for 3-14s and under 3s free. The place that you pay is also the gift shop, which we visited after the animals (more about that in a bit), and café (which we didn't use).
It's open from 10am to 5.30pm daily or until dusk, with last admission at 5pm.
A full list of animals can be found here - www.trottersworld.com/species_list.html - I'll just run through the highlights of our visit!
Tapir - The first animals we came across were the South American Tapir - two of them, so cute. To be honest they probably could have done with a bit of a bigger enclosure, but they seemed happy enough just sitting and doing nothing - I think I'd quite like to be a Tapir, looks like a nice life.
Onwards and upwards, we had a lot of animals to get through and a relatively short amount of time because rain looked imminent!
The Meerkats - It seems that everyone loves meerkats these days what with the adverts for cheaper car insurance - simples! It was a bit disappointing to find just two meerkats at Trotters World of Animals (and one of them with hormonal problems leading to it 'loosing' its hair - I think they meant 'losing'- never fails to amaze me what idiots they get to write the signs in these places!) I had thought that meerkats were supposed to be living in a pack rather than groups of two. The meerkats did however seem happy eating some sort of dead bird in a cage.
Reptile House - Next up was the reptile house with the usual selection of snakes, lizards and tarantulas (I don't think tarantulas are reptiles actually, but they had to go somewhere I suppose) and frogs (aren't these amphibians?). And then moving on to the tortoises and turtles. I love tortoises, so always good to see a few!
Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Porcupines (we could only see their rear ends - they were hiding) - I realise that the animals such as the rabbits can be touched during the pet talks. However, it was a bit of a shame that you couldn't otherwise. At Eden Ostrich World you can go and stroke/pick up the rabbits at any time you want!
Birds - there's a load of large birds such as vultures, hawks, falcons and eagles, some of which feature in the bird display. There's also a selection of owls and various other birds (pheasants and fowls) If it's owls and birds of prey you really want to see then I'd recommend visiting Muncaster Castle and Gardens in Ravenglass. I felt that the birds at Trotters didn't really have as much space as they should. The emus, ostriches, ducks and swans (some black ones) had more space to roam.
The World's Smallest Otter - aka the Asian Short Clawed Otter - there were 5 of these (if I recall), and they made quite a noise, and were highly entertaining to watch! And then there was the Asian Fishing Cat, apparently the best swimmer of all cats.
Monkey House - there's a nice selection of cute little monkeys including the Cappuchin and Squirrel Monkeys, and Geoffroy's Marmoset (I always think this is a funny name) - unfortunately since they're behind glass, it's difficult to get a decent picture of them.
Mandrill - Moving onto the largest of monkeys, there is Charlie the Mandrill (you can read more about him on the website) and his family. Unfortunately he wasn't coming out to play anywhere near us, so we could only see his rear end at a distance!
Zebra - this was the highlight of my day, and prompted a new Facebook status - "touched a zebra", as I stuck my hand through the fence to touch it (the zebra didn't seem to object). Funny how close up zebras are not really very white in the slightest, a kind of dirty colour!
I could go on and talk about the sheep, goats, pigs, ponies, capybara (I love these), deer and cattle. And not to mention the lemurs (I think it was the lemurs who were making an obscene amount of noise) who did actually have a nice enclosure, but I think I've said quite enough!
What I should mention is that Trotters World of Animals is very well laid out with a clear route to walk around so that you don't miss any of the animals, unlike some zoos where you have to go back on yourself.
There are various talks and displays throughout the day, there's a sign up with times as you enter Trotters. We made a point of seeing the Bird of Prey Flying Demo at 3pm (which had been on twice earlier during the day), and we also saw the Lynx keeper talk at 3:30pm as we happened to be there. Talks we missed were those about the otter and red panda, lemur, tapir, and the reptile encounter and pet show in the green barn (I imagine that these two are more interactive and children can touch the animals, so this could be fun). There are also Tractor Trailer rides and Pony rides (which have an additional cost) at certain times - it might be worth checking times beforehand if you have kids that want to do specific things when you're at Trotters.
The Bird of Prey Flying Demo was good, and the man giving the talk was clearly enthusiastic. There was an amusing moment where a bird scared one of the llamas and nearly hit a wild boar. Some might be interested that for £25 you can book an hour long halk walk.
The Lynx talk was informative, we learnt that they recently had three babies (since we visited apparently the lynx at Trotters have recently been featured on Channel 5), but that the father killed one of them, and since then he has to be kept in a separate part of the enclosure so he can't get at the other two!
---Children's Play Area---
There is a nice soft play area (ball pool etc) inside the Green Barn which would be great for a rainy day, and looked like fun for small children. There is also an outdoor play area which possibly could be a bit better. There's also a random teepee which we all had to get inside.
My friend K has a somewhat unhealthy obsession with spending money on random crap in giftshops, and this one was no exception - he parted with the best part of £20 and general tack including a cuddly toy. I bought the usual fridge magnet (for the fridge) which I think was £1.50, although it could have been more.
More information can be found on the website www.trottersworld.com - I should mention that there are special events throughout the year. It can also be used as a venue for a birthday party, for school groups, and animals can be adopted which helps towards the conversation of the animals.
Toilet facilities were clean, but we didn't use the Tea room which provides snacks and hot meals, and is licensed for beer and wine.
Trotters World of Animals is worth a visit, and I will almost certainly revisit when I have small children, as it is pretty nearby. But, I wouldn't suggest that people go out of their way to visit, and it is quite expensive if you're not going to spend longer there (that said though on a day with nicer weather, and if you have children with you, it would be easy to spend longer there - take a picnic and make a day of it!)
Personally I would suggest that people visit the Eden Ostrich World (what I shame I didn't write a review of that - will have to revisit!) instead as you can interact more with the animals there (that said I did get bitten by a rhea - I did ask for it as I put my finger in its mouth, G & S dared me! - but we won't go into that now...) as although you don't get the exotic monkeys and the like, it's more fun and slightly cheaper, and I think the animals had more space there which is always an issue at these places.
This review can also be found on Ciao with photos, including the zebra that I touched!
This is a small zoo / animal centre with soft play and outdoor play situated in the North Lakes not too far from Keswick and Cockermouth. For those of you who know the area it is situated next to Bassenthwaite Lake and Armathwaite Hall Hotel. It may actually be owned by them as it was their name that came up on our credit card receipt.
We just followed the brown signs on the A66 after we had gone past Keswick. It was quite hard to spot the entrance as the sign had got knocked and we (like other cars we spotted) missed the entrance. Car parking was ok and not too far to walk to the entrance.
10 am to 5.30 daily. Last admission is 5 pm. We got there on a Saturday at 11.30 ish and the car park wasn't too full.
Adults: £ 7.25, Child 3-14: £5.25, under 3's free.
I think it's quite pricey but I'm still getting used to admission fees to these sorts of places as my child is only 15 months. However we went to Folly Farm in Wales which was only 50 p more and had far more to do there.
As a small zoo it's got zebra, mandrills, gibbons, lynx, meerkats, vultures, eagles, red pandas, otters, monkeys, wild boar plus small animals like guinea pigs plus some snakes and reptiles.
There is a soft play zone which is quite ok but a poor outdoor play area which could do with expanding for a wider range of ages.
There is a small gift shop and a small cafe. There are quite a number of picnic benches for you to eat your packed lunch.
They have a range of displays and talks throughout the day. We quite enjoyed the falconry display.
It worked well for my family. With a small child it was just big enough for him and had enough animals without him getting over excited. He also liked the ball pool in the soft play. I think the price is quite steep for what you get (compared to Folly Farm in Wales). I don't know how much children above the age of 8 would be impressed by it.
I would think twice about driving a really long way for it but if you are in the area for a holiday or day out it might be worth checking it out as it does have a greater range of animals then the average pigs, sheep and cows.
You can find hundreds of animals including traditional farm favorites, endangered species, birds of prey and reptiles all in one place: Trollter World of Animals. Fun for the entire family!