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This post is by Elaine who blogs at Entertaining Elliot. Elliot is nearly 3 and obviously Elaine’s inspiration for the blog. This is a lovely post about a family day out at Longleat Safari Park when the dinosaurs were in town! Elaine can also be found tweeting as @
We visited Longleat Safari and Adventure Park twice last year (see here and here) and it is definitely one of our favourite attractions in the UK. There is just so much to do and you really do get your moneys worth here, especially if you use your Tesco Clubcard points to buy your ticket! We had one free ticket courtesy of our clubcard and Elliot was free so we just needed to pay for one adult. I pre-booked online the night before and it cost £29.65. The earlier you book, the more online discount you receive.
We arrived at Longleat just after 10am so we headed straight for the Safari, our first stop being the African Village. We didn’t get to see the Giraffes on our last visit as it was too wet so Elliot was really excited to see them out this time around, and to be able to see them up close too! Longleat have a viewing platform which is perfect height to see the Giraffes, and we were also in time for the feeding session. From £2 you can purchase branches to feed the giraffes and we did just that. It was really fun but after a quick munch on our leafy branch, Gerty the giraffe decided she’d had enough and moved on to the next branch! The giraffes are probably my favourite animal at Longleat and we even managed to spot a baby one who was 2 weeks old, and pretty big!
Moving on to the Lemur Walkthrough and we were happy to see the lemurs playing and sunbathing on the grass. On our last visit they were tucked away from the awful weather in their little houses and didn’t want want to come out! They were very cute, especially the mummy lemur carrying her babies on her back. On our way back to the car we passed a safari jeep guide who was offering a 20 minute tour through the Monkey Enclosure for £5 pp. We had decided not to risk the monkeys again because we got off lightly last time and didn’t want to push our luck but at this price it was alot cheaper than a repair to the car would be! Well worth the money, our guide gave us lots of facts and we enjoyed seeing the monkeys wrecking other peoples cars…we even saw a car going round with his window open, madness!
We drove round the rest of the safari in our own car and luckily it wasn’t too busy so we didn’t have to wait too long getting through the big cat enclosure. (You can read all about the safari in my previous Longleat post). When the safari was over, it was lunchtime so headed over to the Adventure Park and found a shady spot for lunch. (And tried to avoid the swarming gangs of kids on their school trip!)
Longleat often have special events on and this summer saw the arrival of the Dinosaurs Alive. 20 life-sized dinosaurs can be found around the Adventure Park and we soon spotted our first prehistoric beast….the might T-Rex. Elliot loves dinosaurs but he was a bit scared of this one, it moves and roars and had massive teeth! Elliot posed for a few pics but he kept looking over his shoulder as if he expected the t-rex to chase him!
We decided to skip the Jungle Cruise as we’d done it before but we really wanted to go on the Jungle Express train and although the queue was pretty big we managed to find an empty carriage. The train winds along next to the lake and we managed to spot the hippos and one of the gorillas, plus lots of pelicans. We also passed several dinosaurs which Elliot was excited to see from a distance.
Walking through to the penguin enclosure we passed lots more dinosaurs and Elliot’s avid watching of Andy and his dinosaurs has obviously paid off because he could name all of them! These ones were a lot less intimidating than the T-Rex so he was happy to get a bit closer!
We popped into Animal Adventure where Elliot was brave enough to hold a snake…quite glad the tarantulas weren’t out! We then found ourselves in the gift shop….Elliot’s idea of heaven! We actually managed to make it out just £2 lighter, could have been so much worse with all those lovely toys and gifts.
The weather had taken a turn for the worse at this point and have come over very grey and windy but we just had time to check out the Adventure Castle playground. I’d assumed it would be for bigger kids and there were a lot of things to keep big kids entertained but there was also lots for Elliot’s age. He enjoyed the trampolines and there was also a big spinning roundabout thing that he loved! We did spot a splashpad tucked away at the back of the park but the water wasn’t turned on which was a pity although probably for the best as it was a bit chilly!
We ended the day with a trip into the Batcave – I’m not really a fan of bats so I didn’t linger but Elliot was fascinated. Especially by the bat who liked to wee on passing visitors!!
We had a brilliant day at Longleat and can’t wait to return!