One of the best examples of a safari park you will find in Britain is Longleat. The UK’s original and world famous safari park, is set within 900 acres of land. You will be amazed by the abundance of attractions. There are boat and train rides, animal experiences where you can get up close and personal as well as the safari where you can drive through the animal enclosures and get really close to lions!
If you are looking or a bit of culture too then there is also the Longleat House. With over 450 years of history and still lived in today, this is one of the finest Elizabethan stately homes in the country.
Visit Longleat Safari Park
This attraction is split into 3 areas.
The adventure park (Main Square),
The safari park,
The house and gardens.
Car parking is free for the attractions and the ticket gets you into all 3 sections. The only additional cost you may incur for the standard ticket (except for purchasing food and drinks) is for the Safari bus. If you want to protect your mode of transport, we suggest taking the safari bus for £5 each. This will take you safely through the monkey enclosure without risking losing your rear wipers!
The Adventure Park / Main square
This area is free for you to roam on foot. Explore the Animal Adventure area where you can handle a tarantula or python in the handling hall. Parrot displays show you all the tricks the resident birds can do, including riding a scooter!
Hang out on the Jungle River Cruise where you can feed the impressive Sea Lions, see the Hippo’s that live there and marvel at the Gorillas on Gorilla island! Hippo’s are considered one of the world’s most dangerous animals. You can get pretty close to them on this cruise overlooked by Longleat House.
On the boat trip, they have a set amount of fish per trip and these cost £1, cash only. Once they are gone, they are gone, so get in the queue quick!
As you leave the boat you will be close to the Monkey Temple where you can see the red pandas and marmosets. Jungle Kingdom lets you walk with meerkat’s in their enclosure as well as see the aardvarks and porcupines.
The Family Farmyard lets you get up close and personal with the donkeys, goats, rabbits, emus and wallabies.
Longleat Safari Park have new enclosures that are absolutely amazing including the Crocodiles, Giant Otters and Koalas. The Koala Creek enclosure is something like you have never seen before. So much has been spent on designing the new enclosure to ensure the experience is world class for both the Koalas and the visitors.
There are trees for the Koalas to sit in, either inside or outside and just a glass panel about 4 or 5 foot high to separate you. This is great for photography as there is no glass or wire fencing in the way to mask your shots! This enclosure has to be one of our favourite as you feel so close to these animals that you don’t see in this country very often.
One of our other favourite places is the Bat house. A dark enclosure where the bats are free to fly about around you. They go so close that you can feel the wind as they fly past your head. See them hanging upside down from the ropes or eating fruit – a rare chance to examine these mysterious creatures close up. Keepers are in the enclosure (for the animals protection, not yours!) and we heard her ask someone if they wanted to tickle a bat with a feather! It was the cutest thing to see this bat enjoying a tummy tickle!
There are also a small handful of rides, like Rocking Rhino, a maze and an adventure castle that the little ones can enjoy. The adventure castle also has an ability swing and wheelchair accessible picnic table.
Food and Drink
There are plenty of options for food and drink including Pizza Piazza, a fast food kitchen, donut hut and boathouse snacks. For a healthier option you can check out the Chameleon Tree, the Picnic Basket, Cellar Café or the Orangery. You are welcome to take your own food and drink to Longleat and this can be especially helpful when counting the pennies. There are plenty of picnic benches as well as nice grass areas for you to put a blanket out under the shade of a tree.
Extras at Longleat Safari Park
There are some optional extras you can add if you wish to enhance your experience. VIP experiences are a one-in-a-lifetime gift that you can indulge in yourself or buy for a loved one. From feeding gorillas to a safari tour in the iconic zebra striped 4×4’s, a Big Cat photographic experience, meet the meerkats or feed a giant anteater/tiger among other packages. For information on these, do check the main sites website.
Longleat Safari Park – Drive Through Experience
Are you ready for the biggest adventure you will undertake this summer?
At Longleat, take the safari tour to get up very close with some of the park’s residents! You can drive through in your own vehicle but do be warned – the monkeys do have their own car parts franchise and take great pleasure in stealing bit and pieces. We saw so many cars with Monkeys sat on top of them unscrewing the aerials and pulling of wipers! We have information from good authority that their favourite vehicles to dismember are Minis and VW Polos!
We decided that our camper-vans air vents were far too precious and being robbed by the little monkeys was not an option. We opted to take the Safari bus! For around £5 each you can travel in style with an average speed of 5 MPH. This enables you to learn more through the commentary of the driver/keeper including a fact at the first section – the Elands. The Eland is a breed of antelope with sharp horns that twist gracefully to a very sharp point. As stunning as they are, they can be very dangerous. The first zoo keeper ever to be killed at work was killed by an Eland.
The driver knows all the spots to look for the animals as she has driven through so many times and knows lots of their characteristics. A good tip is to look for the zebra patterned 4×4’s. The keepers will always ensure they can see the animals they are caring for. If you can spot them, the animals will be close by!
Feed the Giraffes
You can stop for a while in African Village and see the Giraffes. There is a raised viewing platform where you can be at head height to these incredible giants. During feeding time, you are able to purchase a branch for £3 and feed these gentle and semi graceful animals yourself. It makes for a great photo memory. If you do not wish to feed the giraffes there are still plenty of opportunities for a great snap or selfie! The African Traders shop and conservation centre are great to explore. Christmas is
coming so we started our Christmas shopping with some of their unique gifts.
Back on the bus you continue around the Safari through Tapirs, vultures, rhinos, Annie the elephant (rescued from the circus and now in her retirement home), lions, tigers, cheetahs, wolves and of course
the monkeys! There is a bypass lane for the monkey enclosure if you want to give that a miss.
Honestly, so much damage was being done!!! There were whole families of monkeys sat on the roof of a mini cooper writing a Haynes manual for the new edition and collecting a heap of wheel trims and bumper parts for their Ebay account. (These items were not for resale in the gift shop!)
We managed to get some really good photos of the animals and they all seemed really well looked after in huge enclosures. The bus driver was very knowledgeable and we all had a great time! We are glad to report that we got a good glimpse of the tiny magnificent 7 wolf cubs that were born but we were too early to see the 2 new tiger cubs that were born on the 20th July 2019!
Following our Safari and tour of the park at Longleat, we decided to visit the house. We were unsure if we would fit it all in during a day and it was a bit of a push but it is possible. Longleat House and gardens are a majestic accompaniment to the park. They couldn’t be so different yet to seamless! Perhaps it is the rolling parkland that means you can see the house from many parts of the adventure park or the Capability Brown landscaped gardens that connect them together. All we know is that we loved it!
The house is still inhabited by its current occupiers, the eccentric Marquis of Bath and his family. Some rooms have been opened to the public. Lord Bath has been known to pop up out of the private quarters to meet visitors and talk about his home.
Longleat house has so much history. Sadly no photos are allowed inside the house. It is packed to the rafters with Elizabethan architecture and artefacts to marvel at. The house was finished in 1580 and although the exterior maintains a Tudor feel, the inside has been altered to keep up with the latest fashions in country houses!
The house was built specifically to impress the then Queen, Elizabeth 1st. It was the first stately home to open its doors to the public and is the site of the first, and best, safari park outside of Africa!
The house has:
36,010 tonnes of Bath stone.
In 1966 the 6th Marquess decided to open a safari park at Longleat and made headlines as visitors queued for four miles to get a glimpse of the only animals on show – 50 lions. Today there are over 500 animals in residence spanning 130 species.
Rent a cottage or hold a function
If you are planning a really special event you can hold it at Longleat. From a 4* spa hotel to a historic inn, you can make your home at Longleat. From properties to buy or for a romantic weekend away, the Longleat estate has many options to cater for you.
The Longleat Safari park estate is also connected to Cheddar Gorge and you are able to buy a ticket to get you into both attractions at a further discounted price.
Prices are always going to be more on the door but the great this is that you are able to buy on line and the more in advance you can be, the better!
STANDARD TICKET PRICES
|Visitor||Gate Price||Online Price*|
|Under 3 (0-2yrs)||£0.00||£0.00|
* Prices show 15% discount. Applicable if purchase is made 2+ days in advance of visit. 10% discount 1 day in advance. 0% for tickets purchased on the day of the visit. Taken from the Longleat website on day of publishing.
There are also other offers you can search for. We booked out tickets the evening before the event on www.picniq.co.uk and saved 20%! Check out our post on how to find Cheap Attraction Tickets.
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