We recently went on holiday to the Cotswolds and were lucky enough to be just a five minute drive from the Cotswolds Wildlife Park. This popped up as one of the top things to do in the area when we looked in Trip Advisor, and also came highly recommended by some friends of ours.
The park opens at 10am. We arrived promptly yet there were already quite a number of families ahead of us. You pay at a booth as you drive in, and under threes go free. Paying online the day before is slightly cheaper, and you just have to quote your booking reference at the booth. There is ample parking which is free.
We began by walking around past the larger animals, including rhino, camels, lions, giraffes and zebra. It was quite an amazing experience to be standing mere metres from these animals! They are so majestic. They had really lovely enclosures and lots of space, and all the animals looked really well cared for.
We also had a look around a nearby area in which there were waterfowl, wolves, wallabies and capybara, amongst other things.
T was getting somewhat hungry by this point, so we made our way to the restaurant. After lunch we went to the adventure playground, which is one of the best I’ve seen. There are a wide range of wooden and rope structures for the children to play on, set within woodland. This includes two timber structures connected by a long and narrow bridge for under sevens only. The bridge went through some of the lower branches of an overhanging tree, which really add to the fun. Both structures had a slide. This area also had a zip wire, but since it is intended for younger children, the seat was more secure (like a toddler swing), so quite young children would be able to use it.
They also have a Sky Maze for older children which looks like great fun! In fact I think I’d quite like a go myself!
The park has a ride-on train which takes you on a tour of the park, past many of the animals. There is a short queue for this, but it’s a really fun addition to the day.
The rest of the afternoon was spent looking at the other animals around the park. This included monkeys, a range of reptiles including a large crocodile, bats, penguins, meerkats. As with the larger animals, the enclosures were lovely and the animals seemed really healthy.
Need to know info
Travel We drove to the park, and there is ample parking at the park, which is free to use. According to their website, the nearest bus stop is two miles away so you would require a taxi from there.
Cost It costs £15 per adult and under threes are free. Children and senior citizens are £10. You can make a small saving by booking online prior to your visit. The train ride is an additional £1 per person (free for under 3’s), payable in advance at the main office or in cash at the train station.
Food The restaurant serves a variety of sandwiches, salads and hot meals. The food was fairly standard but good and reasonably priced. We got there just before midday, at which point there was around a ten minute queue. When we left, the queue was out of the door, so I’d recommend getting there early! Around the park there are a number of kiosks selling snacks and refreshments.
Loos We found the loos to be really clean, bright and spacious (helpful when you are trying to squeeze into a cubicle with a toddler!) There are plenty of loos around the park, which is great if you have a little one who may not give you much notice.
Baby change The baby change areas also looked spacious and clean, and some of them were located outside of the main loos so either parent could use them.
Accessibility We didn’t have a pram with us, but I think most, if not all, of the park would be very easily accessible by either pram or wheelchair. The train ride has a buggy park for those who need it, and also provides a carriage with space for a wheelchair should it be required.
We really enjoyed our visit to the wildlife park and would definitely go again if we were in the area. A must-do if you visit the Cotswolds!