Monday, 22 October 2012

Half Term Holiday Part II – Back To Nature

Wildlife Parks
When I was a child zoos often housed animals in cramped conditions, with minimal greenery and little provided for them to resemble life in the wild. All that has changed, with large, leafy enclosures and many wildlife parks operating breeding and conservation programmes to save endangered species.

Africa Alive, Lowestoft, Suffolk, admission: adult £15.95 child (3 - 15) £10.95. This is a great place with a superb lion enclosure complete with viewing balcony where you can watch the male lion with his six lionesses – much more akin to a pride in the wild than is represented in some zoos. Great African animals, many that you have heard of, and some that you may not. A 25-minute land train ride around the park is included in admission. Half-term week (27th October to 4th November) is ‘Un-myth-able’ week, check out their website. Their sister park Banham Zoo, Norfolk, adults £15.95 children (aged 3-15 years) £10.95 is also worth a visit.
Colchester Zoo, Essex, adults £17.99, children (3-14) £11.50 has so much to see. Their viewing tunnel where you can get right underneath the sea lions is a great favourite and there are opportunities to feed some of the animals. It made my day to feed a giraffe! Half-term week (dates as above) is Shriek Week.
Drusillas Zoo, East Sussex, individual adults and children £16.50, and family rates from £31 to £77.50 depending on family size. Specialising in smaller animals this has great lemur and meerkat enclosures and a bat house. To wear the kids out while you’re there, there is a huge play area, which they’ll love. 27th October to 4th Nov is Halloween Shriek Week.

Note: All of the above accept Tesco Days Out Vouchers, so you can visit for FREE.

Country Parks
Weather permitting these are great places to get rid of some energy, with many offering added activities.

Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, Nr Ringwood, Dorset. There is no actual admission charge, but you do pay for parking, with charges ranging from £2.50 for an hour, to £8 for over four. This makes a wonderful woodland walk with the added fun of a play trail, various play areas and a tree top trail. Definitely worth the parking charges.
Dalby Forest, Pickering, North Yorkshire. £7 per car until end of October, from November to February £4. Great walks and popular place for bike-riding, two play areas and toilet facilities available.

There are bound to be country parks local to you, so have a good look round for something that is offering the type of activities that you are looking for. Many have visitor centres, cafés, play areas, designated trails and display boards so that you can identify wildlife. Many also run activity sessions for the children during school holidays.

Conclusion of Half Term Holiday Trilogy follows in a few days.

Any more ideas? Email

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