on April 17, 2012
During the Easter holiday I took my kids to the Lake District for a few days and while we weren’t blessed with gorgeous weather we did have a lovely time. One of their favourite things we did during our trip was to visit South Lakes Wild Animal Park. South Lakes Wild Animal Park is the only open zoo in Cumbria and it was my first experience of visiting an open zoo but hopefully it will not be my last. Getting there was relatively easy by car. We were based just outside Lake Windermere and the park was located in Dalton in Furness which was about a 20 minute drive away. The journey was pretty straight forward and the park was well signposted so we had no troubles with finding it. Once we got there however we did struggle to find a parking space as it was very busy but we got one eventually and it was free to use the car parking facilities. The park crams in such a lot to see and so that I would recommend you set aside an entire day to see everything factoring in some time to have some lunch. Entry was £13.50 for me and £8.00 for each of the kids though we did have leaflets which got us a few pounds off the entrance price. The best thing about this park in comparison with other zoos that I have visited is that you do get so close to the animals here and you are even allowed to walk freely amongst many of them. The park has a great selection of animals such as Giraffes and Tigers and smaller animals such as Wallabies and Lemurs. The first animals that we saw in the park were the Giraffes being up close to these wonderful creatures was a real highlight of the park for me. The park is split up into sections of the world with their respective animals that are native to that continent. The favourite part of the day for the kids was the feeding times of the animals and the fact that they were allowed to actually feed some animals themselves. They got to feed the Giraffes and the penguins themselves and seeing the tigers and lions being fed was a real experience if not a little scary. You are allowed to walk freely around some animals such as the Lemurs and the Wallabies. The Wallabies especially were so cute and friendly and you are allowed to hand feed them. At most of the main animals there are talks given at certain times of the day which are not only educational but really interesting. The times of the talks given are all well-advertised and I would recommend that you don’t miss out on them. For lunch we went to the on-site restaurant ‘Maki’ which was ok but nothing special but it wasn’t as expensive as some restaurants at tourist sites can. The best thing about the restaurant was the outside decking which is high up and offers an aerial view of the animals down below. There is also a gift shop that sells not only gifts to take away with you but also food to give to the animals. I would highly recommend South Lakes Wild Animal Park as it was a fabulous day out and a real highlight of our trip to The lake District. The fact that we got to see so many magnificent animals up close is something that I will remember for a long time and I am already looking planning my next trip. For those who are interested in visiting the park it is open every day of the year except Christmas day.
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