I’m adding this post about our fantastic day out to The Boys and Me ‘s Showoff Showcase. Why not pop over and see who else is joining in.
On Wednesday I took the three boys along with my mum for a day out to Manor House Wildlife Park. It’s become a favourite place to visit with us but this was my mum’s first visit and she was hoping to catch a glimpse of Anna Ryder Richardson who took over ownership of the park some three years ago with her husband Colin and young daughters.
I remember Manor House from years back when I came on school trips and took the older two boys to visit when we first moved back here and I was so upset by how run down the park was and how sad the animals that were there looked. It was so heartbreaking especially as I had some fond childhood memories of fun times with class mates. However the park and animals were rescued by Anna and her family and thanks to their hard work and dedication they have turned Manor House around.
There are several area’s within the park that you can get up close to the animals. It had been a year since myself, Trystan and Rowan had visited and I couldn’t wait to see how the park had evolved. Luc however had visited only two weeks earlier on his school trip and quickly took control of the map we had been handed at the ticket booth.
First stop was the Wallaby Walk through were you can, surprise surprise, walk through the Wallabies and if you’ve picked up a bag of wallaby food at the entrance you can feed them. Rowan’s face was a picture when he saw the Wallabies. While the older two were so confident about approaching them and feeding them. Although we did have to remind them not to try and pick them up as they could bite or scratch!
We moved on to look at the Camels, Llama and Tapir. Yes we saw Tommy the Tapir but he wouldn’t stay still for long enough to get a photo of him, guess he was camera shy! The older two walked on ahead with Luc shouting directions and “hurry up”. We were headed for Gibbon island were we hoped to catch site of Lisa and Steve (Gibbons)and Bryn their baby. There was quite a crowd around Gibbon Island and it was a very hot day. We got a glimpse of the very cute and mischievous Bryn but couldn’t get a photo.
As it was now almost midday and getting even hotter we decided that it was time to find some shade and have lunch. So we headed for the lawn in front of the house which I knew had a picnic area as well as ride on toys and wicker tee pees for the children to play with. What I didn’t know was that this fantastic wooden sculpture of a dragon now had pride of place on the lawn and provided a great place for the children to play in the tunnels that were underneath! My photo’s don’t do it any justice or show quite how magnificent it really is.
The boys had a lovely time climbing through the tunnels, riding on the car’s and space hoppers and climbing trees while my mum and I sat in the shade and got our picnic ready. In the end we spent a very pleasant 40 minutes on the lawn enjoying the shade, playing and eating.
Next stop the Meerkat mountain, one of my favourite places at Manor House, I could watch them for hours. Much to our delight there were lots of little baby Meerkat’s, so sweet. There was a dicey moment when Rowan decided he was going to try and climb into Meerkat Mountain with the Meerkat and we had to persuade him it would be better to come to the Lemur walk through with us!
I love the Lemur’s too and the walk through provides such a great chance to get up close to them. We noticed a keeper keeping a close eye on what was going on in the walk through, my mum was asking “do they bite?” and we were told “yes, if they’re provoked, feel threatened etc” at which point a lemur decided to run straight between myself and Rowan, running across my feet! I was so shocked and amazed at just how close I’d gotten, my mum found it hilarious though, thanks mum! On to the newly opened African Village with the Pygmy Goats and Tortoise, before heading to the play area and hay barn at the rear of the house where we enjoyed a refreshing ice cream. The boys enjoyed a further half an hour playing on the climbing frame and in the hay barn were as the name suggests, played in a hay maze.
Having spent a very enjoyable three hours in the park we decided it was time to go, mainly due to the heat and the fact we had seen everything. But the boys didn’t want to leave and due to the fact they had behaved so well we decided to head slightly further down the road to the Dinosaur park.
The Dinosaur park was packed like Manor House however the difference being at Manor House you didn’t really notice how busy it was and the Dinosaur Park provided no shade from the heat of the scorching sun apart from the walk through the wood. Look what we found in the woods ..
The walk takes you through the different dinosaur ages and at each age there is a different dinosaur for you to see. The older boys went on to play in the dinosaur maze and the giant slide which I was persuaded to take Rowan on but I have to admit was good fun! We then retreated indoor to Dino’s den were there was soft play, climbing frames and slot machines, were we spent half an hour letting the boys play. I couldn’t bear the heat much more even inside the barn so we decided to call it a day, it was 4pm by that time and we had certainly had a fun filled day.
We’ll visit Manor House again, there’s some new animals being introduced to the park over the next year and I’m sure there will be more exciting developments. We had a very enjoyable day out and had three very tired little boys who slept on the way home, along with a mummy and granny who ached from all the walking we did!