Whether you are looking for a zoo, farm park, garden, adventure playground or bird land you will find it all at Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens
The attraction offers a diverse range of highlights from giraffes and rhinos, a petting farm, reptile house, a large play area complete with huge tree house, beautiful manicured gardens to please the most avid of garden lovers and birds from around the world including blue/yellow macaws, Chilean flamingos, birds of prey and free roaming peacocks.
We visited this weekend with my parents in law and all enjoyed a fun filled day. These tips should ensure you also have a memorable visit
Book online and save some pennies! Tickets can be purchased online at Cotswold Wildlife Park for a discounted price of £14 for an adult ticket (regular gate price £15) and £9.50 for a child over three and OAP (discounted from £10). Online discount applies until the 28/02/16.
As always I would recommend packing a picnic. There are huge expanses of lawn to enjoy your picnic (we enjoyed ours overlooking the giraffe enclosure). Alternatively, there are numerous sheltered picnic areas and also picnic benches overlooking the adventure playground. The attraction also has a cafe and kiosks serving ice creams, hot drinks and snacks. If you do decide to use the facilities avoid the peak lunch time period as it does get busy.
Leave your picnic in the car and pick it up at lunch time. The park is really well laid out, unlike some attractions where you have to walk for miles, the car park is located within a few minutes walk from the rhinos, lions and giraffes. I would therefore suggest, particularly if your child is no longer in a push chair and you are carrying everything, leaving your picnic in the car until you need it.
Ride on the train to orientate yourself with the park upon arrival. We rode on the train quite soon after arriving which was great because we had a quick look around and knew exactly where we wanted to go back to. There is an additional charge of £1 per person however, it is definitely worth it.
Wear comfy footwear and take your child’s buggy board. The park is huge! You will walk a considerable distance so make sure you will be comfortable.
Connect on Twitter. If you follow the attraction on twitter @CotsWildTweets you can enter competitions and keep up to date with baby animal photos etc. We have just entered a photography competition, the prize is a giraffe encounter!
Highlights of our visit
Walking through the lemur enclosure. My sons loved walking amongst the ring tailed lemurs. They were showing off and pouncing from tree to tree, much to my boys amusement!
Watching the penguins. Daily feeds and talks take place at 11am & 3pm
Seeing eye to eye with the giraffes. There is a ramp up to the giraffe enclosure which brings you up to their eye level. Great fun for little ones!
Watching the newborn baby rhino. It was born a couple of days before our visit! Unfortunately, Mum kept on sheltering her newborn and so I was unable to take a good photo!
Petting the goats in the petting farm. My boys were following the goats around the petting farm, they were intrigued with them.
Playing in the sand pit (I hate to add this to the list as it drives me bonkers that where ever we go the boys want to play in the sand…. they are not interested by the sandpit in our back garden though!)
What we loved about the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens
* The attraction truly offers something for everyone. My parents in law enjoyed the day as much as my husband and I and our boys.
* The seamless entry and no queues. As you enter the car park the traffic is spilt up into four lines and you pay or show your booking reference number direct from your car window. You are then free to park your car and walk the very short distance over to the rhinos on the lawns.
* The attraction is very reasonably priced and is proud to be one of the lowest priced zoological collections in the UK.
* Although we visited on a hot sunny Saturday in August the park never felt busy. As the enclosures for the animals are large we never experienced any shoving our way through hoards of people to see the animals (this seems to be what we typically experience at zoos).
* We loved the fact that we were not forced to walk through a gift shop to exit the park. (This is my pet hate… there is seriously nothing worse than trying to escort a tired child through a gift shop enroute to car!)
* We enjoyed several drinks and ice creams and found the refreshments to be very reasonably priced.
* The attraction offers several options to upgrade, including being a keeper for the day and animal encounters (age restrictions apply). These experiences would make unique and memorable birthday presents – I intend to keep them in mind for when my boys are old enough!
Have you visited Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens? Can you add any other tips?