Photo Friday #2: Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

It’s time for ‘Photo Friday’, where I do my best to bring you one photo that reflects a great personal experience that I’d recommend to all.

Every now and again, on Fridays I’ll share with you somewhere you may not have been or something you may not have done before, focussing on places where I have felt most comfortable in my own skin (which isn’t always the case!).

The Location

Isla-Rae watching the rhinoceros!

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens is set just outside of Burford and houses a large variety of animals and has a vast area of land to do this. What we love most about this park is that most of the animals have the most amount of space I’ve ever seen for animals in captivity, and fortunately they are mostly free from cages.

Within the middle of the park lies the rhinoceros pen, which is completely open land surrounded by a large dip and electric fences so that the children and animals don’t mix – This makes for great viewing, and makes the visit feel more natural than you would traditionally find in a farm or zoo setting.

Lemurs everywhere.

One of our favourite areas is the lemur enclosure, a walk through area where lemurs and other animals run free around our legs. Not only is this fun for everyone with no separation between human and animal, but it makes for amazing photography shots.

The reason I chose to share a few photos from here is that I had some time with Isla-Rae alone last weekend and it was the perfect day out, even in the middle of a global pandemic! We spent all day walking, laughing at the behaviour of the exotic animals, and Isla loves the freedom to run around without restriction because even on a busy day it can feel like you’re the only ones visiting!

How can I visit?

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens sits almost exactly in the middle of the M5 and M40, and is easily accessible from both using the A40 and following the sat-nav to OX14 4JP.

Prices are reasonably set between £9.90 and £14.40, and with the current COVID-19 restrictions you can only book for the next day, and you have to book online or you may be rejected entry if you turn up without a ticket.

Be warned! The play area is currently closed and so is the restaurant, the shop opens at 1pm, but takeaway food & drink is available from kiosks from opening time. There are also a few animal viewing areas within the park that are closed (including the lemur’s enclosure!), but most areas are open and this didn’t spoil our visit at all.

We visit every 6 months to see the animals behaving differently in winter and summer, and we can’t wait again for our next trip!

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