Have you ever come across a place that you wished you had planned more time for? Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens is one of those places. It was such a pleasant surprise of a place – fun, relaxing and very, very interesting.
A year or two ago we were invited to a wedding of a dear English friend of ours along with the rest of my family. Unfortunately only we and my parents could make it to the wedding. This helped us spend some quality time together and it made things slightly cheaper too as we split costs of car hire (hired a 7seater to stay together) and accommodation. For accommodation we hired a house with a beautiful garden that was fantastic for our stay.
We had to travel from London to Gloucester, the nearest airport would be Birmingham but we couldn’t use that for this holiday. We arrived early morning in London and the kids were knackered as the flight was very early. I won’t do that again if I had a choice, check out more tips here. Until we got our car hire and set off on our way the kids had multiple naps but still were tiered throughout the whole day. We didn’t want to just travel on our first day so I looked up animal parks on our way and came across Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens. The best thing we could have done.
We started with lunch at their cafeteria and were very pleased to find that they treat kids with a lot of consideration especially when it comes to food. It was good quality food and not just the normal fast food that you would expect. That gave us all a good boost and then we started to venture the place.
The Park is massive. We only had a few hours to go around and I already knew we wouldn’t be able to see it all. So, we decided to take the train around the park to get our bearings and prioritise on what we really wanted to see.
On the train ride you realise how lucky the animals here are when compared to other animal parks especially those in Malta. The large open spaces for the animals to roam in are truly amazing and when you get to know what the park actually does you know that these animals are in good hands.
The park is actually a trust that raises funds for the conservation of animal species and endangered environments. They also educate and inform the public about nature and animals. They sometimes have events one can take part in. We just didn’t have the time but if you are interested in helping out you can even adopt an animal online.
We were in time to see the zookeepers give food to the penguins and explain to the kids and all those present about the dangers penguins are facing. Along with penguins we saw many other animals all in very natural habitats.
Some animals even roam wild among the trees and vegetation of the park and gardens. We took a nice walk along the paths of the park and just enjoyed the peace next to their pond area where the peacocks came and said hallo.
We also wondered into the tropical area were we could see a sloth (or rather we had to search for it high and low as it really can camouflage itself). The kids were just thrilled with the different amount of animals but in a different way than when they go to a zoo, some how it feels so much more relaxed and natural.
Before we left the place we left the kids (and myself) play in the kid’s area. This was so much fun! There was a massive tree house from which a large slide comes out. I became a kid myself.
There was also a tree obstacle course/climbing frame, they call it the “skymaze”, that was Jamie’s favourite. My parents just sat relaxing on a bench under a tree and took it all in.
Before we knew it, it was time for us to leave. It was such a pity as there was so much more we could have done and seen. Still, we had started our holiday on a great note and it put us in such a good mood.
If we have time we would go again from the morning and spend a good family day out here. So, if you are in the vicinity or may be you are looking for a family day out and have not tried this place out yet, we truely recommend it. You could even take your picnic bag as food is allowed on the premises along with pets on a leash. It is such a natural and interesting place to check. For further details or to buy ticket go on their website and buy the tickets from there as they are cheaper. Have you been? What did you think?