On Sunday 13th August we had a relatively impromptu day out and decided to head to the Cotswold Wildlife Park, Burford. The weather was looking good for the day and we didn’t really have any plans so thought we should make the most of it. The Cotswold Wildlife Park is only about 40 minutes away from Cheltenham and so it makes for an easy journey with three small children.
Logan wasn’t with us this weekend so we had just the three girls in tow. When I say ‘just’ I probably make it sound like a breeze but, in my mind, heading out with a 5yr old, 1yr old and three week old baby was fraught with potential problems! For a start we needed to take two pushchairs because, although we have an iCandy Peach Blossom which holds both the younger girls, we don’t have the carrycot section for baby Mabel so she would have spent all day scrunched up in her car seat. We decided to take our old Mothercare Orb which meant she could lie down flat in the carrycot. However, this also meant we needed a pushchair for Elsie as she is far too young to walk any considerable distance. We took the Out n About for Elsie and it was just as good a pushchair as I remember it being (not an AD)!
On the way to the wildlife park I noticed on their website that if you pre-book your tickets online you can make a small saving on the entrance fee so we did that and received a code on an email which we gave to the lady at the main entrance – an easy £2.50 saved! In actual fact the park is a really good value day out – even without booking online. Adults cost £15.00 and children are £9.00. Under threes are free. Therefore, with the discount for booking online, we paid just £37.50 for five people which I think is great considering you could quite easily spend a full day there. Once you’re in there isn’t really anything else to spend money on apart from a £1 train fare, should you choose to ride it, or food and drink.
We took a picnic with us and sat on one of the many grassy areas in the centre of the park. I think the highlight of the day for the girls was the adventure playground – that alone is worth the entrance fee; it’s brilliant! Florence braved the death slide and Elsie hogged the swings. Mabel took it all in her stride and slept pretty much all day waking just once for a bottle and nappy change.
As day trips tend to do, we ended up in the gift shop and both the older girls chose a soft toy; Florence chose a leopard and Elsie a fox. I don’t know if she actually wanted a fox or if it was just the first thing she pulled off the shelf as she was pushed past…! I was absolutely delighted by 3pm that we’d made it back to the car without any tantrums, tears or poonamis. The high was soon short lived as we had a really bad nights sleep on Sunday night meaning everyone was a little grotty on Monday but then again, who isn’t grotty on a Monday?!
I’ve a couple of tips if you’re planning a trip to the Cotswold Wildlife Park anytime soon…
- Book your tickets online and arrive when the gates open
- If you’re wondering whether you need a pram for your child/children then you probably do!
- Make your way to the reptile/insect/amphibian houses early in the day as they get really busy and it’s hard to see the animals and manuveoure pushchairs through the crowds
- Similarly ride the train early or later in the day. From 11am-3pm the queue can be up to 30 mins.
- Take a picnic
- Wear comfortable shoes
I’d love to know if you’ve been to the Cotswold Wildlife Park and if you have, what you thought of it.