We go animal crackers in our latest post from Cook’s Green Cottage and take a look at some of our favourite animal attractions in the area. We are blessed with a diverse selection of educational, leisure and conservation facilities and hope our visitors enjoy them as much as we do on our days off.
Cotswold Farm Park
Better known by its name “Adam’s Farm”, this working farm has been family run for over forty years and specialises in conservation of rare breeds. Adam Henson who is the current generation running the farm is also well known as a television presenter on programmes such as Countryfile as well as specialist television shows featuring the farm and its produce. The farm is open to visitors who can choose to camp or caravan on the premises. With so much to see and do, the farm is not only an attraction that will appeal to families but is the perfect educational experience as well.
Children will love the special care barns where young animals that need special treatment are resident. You can also try to spot eggs hatching in the incubators and learn how to handle chicks and ducklings from experienced staff.
For horse lovers there is the opportunity to ride through the Cotswold countryside, while others will enjoy the farm animals and wildlife on a Wildlife walk where a Bronze Age burial mound is featured, dry stone walls. As well as the farm animal attractions, you may be lucky to see the rare Duke of Burgundy butterfly.
Relaxation where the living is easy comes in the shape of Adam’s Kitchen where homemade fare full of goodness and sweet delight is on offer. Try a steaming baked potato or some homemade sausages. There are two snack bars situated on the farm and for a fabulous meal enjoying the best of the farm’s produce try The Old Spot Bistro.
Cotswold Wildlife Park
If the family feels like going wild, try a fantastic day out at Cotswold Wildlife Park. Just strolling through the park gives perfect views of the animals and the setting makes it seem as though you are in the wild and could reach out and touch the animals (not to be encouraged though!) There are Zebra and Rhino casually grazing on the lawn in front of the house and you can walk through the giraffe walkway and go face to face with these wonderful creatures.
Enjoy time in the Walled Garden’s Tropical House where you will see birds, bats and sloths free ranging around. Follow up with penguin feeding and enjoy the comical lemurs. Bella the train will take families on a ride around the park for when feet need a rest. There are also animal petting areas, adventure playgrounds and educational activities also.
For the extra brave there is a reptile house with poisonous snakes including giant Anacondas, Black Mambas and Morelet’s Crocodiles to name a few. The Bat House and Insect House are also worth a visit. There is a main restaurant and also kiosks around the park or if you prefer picnic areas. End your day with a visit to the gift shop and take home a reminder of your day out.
West Midland Safari and Leisure Park
West Midland Safari and Leisure Park is located in rural Worcestershire. The park is some 200 acres with a four mile safari drive where you will see some spectacular wildlife. There is a pack of African Wild Hunting Dogs, exotic rare White Tigers; Giraffe; a Rhino family, Wallabies, Elephants and plenty of other species.
When your drive is complete, explore awhile on foot and enjoy Pets Corner featuring a Sealion Theatre. There is also a Seal Aquarium and Reptile House where the more friendly species are available for a meet and greet with fans! The Seaquarium is a must with a dazzling display of tropical and freshwater fish and other sea creatures. Watch the Hippo family swimming in their special hippo lakes.
Finally, there are plenty of places to eat and relax and for the adventurous, many theme rides. Souvenir shops round off the leisure area for a browse at the end of an exciting day.
One of nine wetland centres in the UK, it was founded in 1946 by Sir Peter Scott. Set in 120 acres, Slimbridge is a world renowned water bird reserve. The £6.2m visitor centre has a wildlife art gallery, Waterside Restaurant, The Hanson Discovery Centre, Observation Tower and a cinema.
From Russia, wild swans visit each winter and six kinds of flamingos entertain visitors during the summer. There is an extraordinary selection of wildlife from waders to water voles, dragonflies to wild hares. Slimbridge is home for the world’s largest collection of geese, swans, and ducks. There is an all year programme of events, walks, talks and wildlife encounters.
- Slimbridge recommends these following “must do” activities at the centre:
Explore the reserve on a Landrover Safari.
- Visit the duckling nursery.
- Dress in disguise to join in with the Great Crane Project. You can visit the marsh garden where the cranes are reared and help out with their education!
- Meet the six species of flamingos all in the one place without travelling the world.
- Enjoy the incredible spectacle of the daily wild bird feeds.
This area is in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. It is the perfect place to visit for nature lovers who prefer a peaceful visit to be in touch with nature. The area boasts a remarkable variety of plants and habitats and the limestone land supports many insect species including butterflies.
On the hill is evidence of human activity dated 4000 years ago, likely because the hill is a prominent spur of the local escarpment. Overlooking the Severn Vale, with wonderful views and the chance to see native wildlife, insects and birds, Crickley Hill is a special place to visit.
Best of the Rest
There are so many animal attractions that we will revisit some others in another post, but in the meantime, the remaining 5 from this top ten list are listed here: