This is without a doubt one of my favourite places in Yorkshire. We’ve got annual passes and certainly make full use of them! To the extent that Jess genuinely thinks that lions are a bit boring and cows are something a whole lot more unusual.
A standard day for us will be starting with the baboons. Always good for watching a family spat, or watch the babies play, or even some of the adults play (have fun explaining that to your three year old).
Our daughter is obsessed with the polar bears- so that is another early visit. They are truly incredible, and we’ve been lucky enough to frequently watch them playing in the water; honestly they’re a joy to watch. I always find it a bit odd seeing the houses overlooking this area, ha I can’t get my head around the idea of looking out of your window doing the washing up and seeing polar bears 😂
Other highlights include the tigers (sometimes hard to spot) and the bears- quite a new addition and it’s great to have seen their confidence grow whilst at the park.
Giraffes are another favourite- and you’re in luck if you catch them feeding in the Giraffe house and can get close up to make friends!
Our final favourites are the lions. Absolutely incredible animals- it’s fantastic to hear them roar!
Jess always enjoys visiting the areas where you can enter enclosures of smaller mammals and see them up close and personal 😍😍
I suppose just be warned how much the weather impacts what you’ll get a good view of; in the rain the baboons are best viewed from inside the soft play area, when it’s too hot some of the animals will be seeking shade. But we’ve always seen something different with each visit!
As for facilities for children if you haven’t been recently you may not have seen the HUGE play area at the back of the park (near the camels) there is loads to do including a sandpit for younger ones and a zip line if they’re a bit older. In wet weather the indoor soft play area is another hit- and all included in the ticket price.
The original outdoor playground in a woodland area is still a hit, with equipment for all ages including a HUGE twister slide.
Also, be warned when there’s special events on/ bank holidays etc. I’d recommend to try to pre-book tickets as the queues are quite spectacular, and that’s after you’ve done a canny walk from the furthest possible overflow carpark. On busy days a packed lunch is almost a necessity- the queues for the food services mean you may well lose your appetite by the time you’re served. But if you’re prepared for this the park is big enough to allow for the swell of visitor numbers not to detract from your views of the animals, and the extra perks of talks and activities balance out the inconveniences!
So in a nutshell if you haven’t been make it a priority. Don’t over promise the animals you will see, just accept anything and everything as a gift (unless it’s the meerkats- they’re a guarantee) and upsell the playarea so noone can be disappointed. I really don’t think you can fail to be impressed… But let me know?! I’d love to know what others think of this place!!