So I took a little trip to Longleat Safari Park yesterday with my parents. Okay, not a little trip, 4 hours there, 4 hours back, but still, it was a day out, and I wanted to tell you guys all about it.
But first, a little back story about why we took the trip. At the age of 16 (2006), I started working for my dad’s company which is a Structural Engineering Consultancy, just doing bits and bobs of admin, scanning, invoicing, little things like that. I continued to work for my dad through my first full-time degree, and then he backed me to do my second degree part-time, until I moved on to pastures new in 2015.
In my 9 years at my dad’s company (full and part time) I moved on from doing admin work to doing CAD (Computer-Aided Design) drawings for some of the projects my dad was working on. Several of these projects were based at Longleat Safari Park including but not limited to the Christmas Tree, the Polar Experience and the Gorilla House. These were probably some of the best and most interesting projects I’ve ever worked on, even to this day. My parents and my brother have all been down to Longleat since the Christmas Tree was installed but I hadn’t been down to see it, and so, being back at my dad’s company, he took the opportunity to take me down there to see some of the masterpieces we were involved with. And my goodness, was it worth the 8 hour drive!
It cost us £34 to get into the park, which included anything up to a 3 hour drive through the safari park, then access to the grounds and Longleat House.
The Safari Park
It must be noted that the safari park’s last entry is 2.30pm. They will not allow you to go through the safari park after this time. You can still get to the grounds and the house but not the park. It should also be noted, that, as with any safari park, there is a monkey enclosure. However, if you’d prefer not to risk the life of your car, you can skip this bit.
You get the chance to park up and get out of the car before entering the safari park properly, where you will find the Giraffe pen and the African Village (we did a bit of work on this too!). This includes a restaurant, gift shop, viewing points to see some of the animals, and toilets. There are also a few other pens including wallabies and some goats (although those look more like pigs and goats made a babies to me!)
Once you’ve finished in the African Village, you can then hop back in your car and make your way through the rest of the Safari Park. This park has plenty of animals to see including but not limited to zebras, monkeys, camels, Anne the Elephant, cows, tigers, lions, cheetahs, and wolves.
They do say that on busy days you should allow up to 3 hours to drive through the Safari Park. I have to say, it is well worth it. I managed to get some great shots of the animals.
The Grounds and Longleat House
Once you’ve finished in the Safari Park, you then make your way to the car park leaving your car and going out on foot around the grounds. This is where there are rides for kids, places to eat, gift shops, etc. There is also an Animal Kingdom housing smaller animals like snakes, meerkats, butterflies, spiders, and others. And the Polar Express which houses penguins and stingrays.
I’m not sure how the park looks outside of Christmas time but I have to be honest, I’m not sure how it could look any better than it does at Christmas. They have what they call the Festival Of Light at Christmas. This are a lot of lanterns all around the grounds from different Disney stories including Cinderella, Beauty And The Beast, Thumbelina, The Nut Cracker, Hansel And Gretel, Snow White, the list is endless. These lanterns are beautiful; I couldn’t get enough photos of them… like literally, my phone died!
The House is absolutely stunning as well. It should be noted that you can’t take push chairs into the house; they have a push chair holding point outside. And you can’t take photos either. So unfortunately I don’t have any to show you from inside the house. Again I’m not too sure how it looks outside of Christmas time, but around Christmas time it looks beautiful. I think I walked past at least 8 Christmas trees, each of them decorated differently! (Given some extra cash my house would probably look something similar to be fair!).
The Christmas Tree
Quite possibly my favourite bit of the whole day. At the times of 4.00pm, 5.00pm, 5.30pm, 6.30pm and 7.30pm they do a Christmas Tree show, which when I recorded it, lasted for about 13 minutes. It is absolutely beautiful! They also project part of the show onto one of the elevations on the surrounding building, so be prepared to switch between the tree and the building if you’re going to record it.
This was quite possibly one of the best family days out I’ve had in a long time and I’m 28 years old. My parents loved it too, and I noticed the kids running around me loved every second as well. I would definitely recommend this for a family day out, whether you have kids or not, whether you want to take your parents, or even your grandparents. There is so much to do and see that it definitely caters to everyone’s needs.
Why not go check it out! See what you think.
See below for some more photos of the lanterns! 🙂 xoxo
Beauty and the Beast
The Castle and Cinderella’s Shoe
George and the Dragon, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel
Red Riding Hood and Thumbelina