Longleat Safari and Adventure Park is a fab day out with the kids though you’ll be hard pushed to do it all in one day. Here’s our guide to Longleat so that you can get the most out of your visit…
We visited Longleat Safari & Adventure Park whilst staying at Botany Camping, which is just around the corner from one of the park’s entrances (plus, you can save 30% on entrance tickets if you stay at Botany Camping).
Longleat Safari & Adventure Park was packed full of things to do – too much for us to fit into one day – but we covered as much as we could to bring you this guide.
It is actually split into two: Longleat Adventure Park and Longleat Safari Park.
When you arrive you can either park up for the Longleat Adventure Park, or carry on driving to the Safari Park. Last entry for the Safari Park is at 5pm.
Longleat Adventure Park Guide
Longleat Adventure Park
In addition to many picnic spots, there’s plenty of places to eat and get refreshments (we liked the stone-baked pizza in Pizza Plazza).
Here’s some of the things you’ll find in Longleat Adventure Park.
Hunters of the Sky
They encourage the birds to fly over you, and they fly very low, and they don’t just use the arena: they come into the stands to fly the birds.
Each act was pretty amazing, but at the end of the show they released nearly all the birds together, and this is a sight that must be seen: lots of giant birds flying around above your head.
We all voted this as the best show.
This show is actually run by the Hawk Conservancy Trust, and they certainly know their stuff.
A gentle ride for kids, but small children will need accompanying.
This maze is massive. If you don’t have a lot of time then you might want to miss this, as once you’re in, you may not come out for some time 😉
It’s essentially a small field with deer, where you can buy food to feed them.
There’s lots of towers, slides, bridges, and also a few different things that you don’t often see in play parks.
Not all equipment is suitable for all ages, so Longleat have labelled items with different animals. You may need to tell your child that they can only go on things that have a ‘monkey’ sign for example.
Don’t underestimate the size of this place. It’s a massive area enclosed by a large wooden wall – about the size of a real walled castle.
This was a new ‘Steve Backshall‘ activity, based on the great Deadly 60 programmes, but probably for copyright/licensing reasons, they’ve slightly modified the logo (the 6 has been changed in the skull), and just called it ‘Deadly’….but branding aside, this is an interactive Deadly 60 game. Deadly 60 has been great at getting kids interested in the wildlife, so good to see it here.
You can play the Deadly Challenge as a family team or individually. (We chose the family option).
There are challenges that Steve Backshall sets you, where you have to find different animals in different zones, such as the agility or venom zone. The animals aren’t real; instead you swipe a barcode at kiosks scattered around the challenge area. There many be additional tasks that Steve sets you, such as climbing a wall or moving quickly through a large spider web.
The game is played under a time limit. With the zones scattered around a wide area on the side of the hill, it’s not easy to get all 10 challenges completed.
Unfortunately we didn’t get top marks, but were very pleased with our score. 😀
Postman Pat Village
The Postman Pat village is aimed at the younger visitor, and at times of the day Pat comes walking around for photographs.
There’s a little mini-village and activities for little ones to explore and do.
You’ll find a mix of animals here, from rabbits to creepy crawlies – some of which your kids can hold!
The Monkey Temple
There’s both an indoor and outdoor part to this.
Some of them come up to the surface to say ‘hello’. You can gently touch a stingray if one comes up close to you.
It runs by the large lake at Longleat, where you can see sea lions, and even runs over the top of a small waterfall.
The lake at Longleat I suppose reflects animal exhibits of the past, where animals were grouped together in order to show them rather than in a more natural habitat, but that doesn’t detract from the Jungle Cruise, and it’s well worth doing, even if the queues can get quite long.
You take a cruise out to Gorilla island, where there’s a solitary gorilla who’s in his 50s.
He doesn’t like people coming past his island to look at him, but you should still be able to see him.
There are also hippos in the lake. These are one of the world’s most dangerous animals, but they’re in the water where you’re cruising around.
Along the far shore of the lake is a more modern gorilla enclosure, where you can see a number of gorillas living together.
They swim along side your boat, which stops to feed them. This is very impressive, and you may even get splashed as the sea lions jump to catch their food.
Near the queue for the Jungle Cruise are a number of gardens.
We didn’t have time to explore them, but they look a great place to have a picnic and watch the lake.
House & Attractions Around the House
Unfortunately we couldn’t fit it into a single day, but here’s what’s in that area of the Longleat House.
- Motion Simulator
- Bat Cave
- King Arthur’s Mirror Maze
- Meet my Ancestors
- Longleat House
Show and Feeding Times
These show times may change, but this was what was on when we visited.
- Hunters of the Sky Shows: 12 noon, 2pm, 4pm
- Parrot Shows: 12 noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, & 4pm
- Penguin Feeding: 2pm
- Lorikeet Monkey Feeding: all day
- Sea Lion Feeding: every Jungle Cruise
- Post Man Pat walking around: 11:15 am, 12:15 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:45 pm
- House Tours: 10 am – 11:45 am. House is open for free walk around from 12 noon.
Our top three must see
As mentioned before, we didn’t get to see everything in one day, but form what we did see, here are our top 3 things to see in Longleat Adventure Park.
- Hunters of the Sky
- Jungle Cruise
- Deadly Challenge
Longleat Safari Park Guide
Longleat Safari Park
You drive down country lanes, and at one point, we thought we must have taken a wrong turn. Keep going, and you’ll get to the safari park entrance.
If you’re planning on visiting the Safari Park to end of the day, last entrance is at 5pm, so allow yourself a good 5 or 10 minutes to get there.
You will be provided with a CD to play when you enter the safari park. Play this CD as you go around the safari park, and Steve Backshall will tell you all about the animals.
We thought this a nice touch, as you get to learn something as you see the animals, and don’t have to look out for the occasional sign to see what you’re looking at.
It’s here that you can feed the giraffes (feeding times were 10:30 am and 2 pm).
Just like the Deadly Challenge in Longleaf Adventure Park, this is a Deadly 60 themed activity.
Hidden in the animal enclosures are some small signs, each with a picture of an animal. Your kids have to spot the sign and note the animal in an activity book (Kids? We all did it!). Each animal corresponds to a letter and you have to spell out a hidden phrase.
Whilst not as interactive as the Deadly Challenge game, it does give little people something to spot if you enter an enclosure when the animals are having their siesta.
There’s lots of animals in the park. Here’s some of what you’ll see:
- Ibis & Spoonbill
- Ostrich & Camels
- Red & Fallow Deer
- An Elephant – though she was inside when we want past 🙁
- Canadian Timberwolves
Monkey Drive Thru
There are warning signs telling you that the monkey’s WILL break something on your car. Fortunately you can easily by-pass the monkey enclosure.
We saw monkeys on the car in front destroy their car ariel, so we drove around trying to avoid stopping, hoping they wouldn’t land on our car.
Unfortunately this strategy doesn’t work. The monkeys have no fear of leaping from one car to another, even when they’re moving. You eventually get to a place where cars are queuing as they wait to get the monkeys removed before leaving the enclosure, so you end up stationary anyway and, well, mobbed.
First to go on our car was the rear washer nozzle. This little monkey, with little monkey hands, just pulled it off with ease.
Despite the anxiety I had, with “what are they doing now?” when you heard a bang on the roof of the car, and thoughts of “I did lock the roof box, didn’t I?“, it was actually quite fun, and the kids really thought it was funny with all these monkeys jumping and climbing over our car.
Compared to other visitors, we got off lightly.
Our daughter found the washer nozzle still on the roof of our car when we had returned to the campsite. It was chewed, but easily reattached and still works.
The car ariel has bite marks in it, but it’s fine otherwise.
We’re frequent visitors to the West Midlands Safari Park, where there’s an impressive collection of tigers, but all of the tigers there are kept away from your car with additional fences. Understandable. Tigers are extremely strong predators.
However at Longleat Safari Park, tigers walk right by your car!
Keepers are on hand with a watchful eye, but after years of only driving past fenced-off tigers, it was great to see them wandering around so close.
(BTW, the best tigers we’ve seen in the UK was at South Lakes Wild Animal Park. The Tiger feeding was amazing.)
Lions, lots of Lions
Sometimes you can drive through a lion enclosure and all they’re doing is sleeping. We were lucky. They were quite active when we visited.
The lions weren’t bothered by the cars, running in between them whilst they were play fighting.
It was quite surreal seeing lions running around in British woodland, and unnerving that they felt quite at home there, and camouflaged well too (hmm, maybe there is something to the big cat stories).
When the big male emerged from the woods, it was as if we were in Narnia!
A day out at a safari park can really depend on the weather and what the animals do. We were fortunate to have great weather and the animals didn’t disappoint when we visited Longleat.
There was too much to see and do at Longleat in one day, and it’s definitely somewhere we’d like to visit again, and recommend Longleat as a great place to take the kids.
Some Safari Parks have gone down the route of adding theme parks, but it was nice to see Longleat avoid that and provide a mix of family attractions…though if you have older teenagers who are not interested in animals, then they may find Longleat ‘boring’.
We’re happy to give Longleat Safari and Adventure Park park a thumbs up.Get Out With The Kids rating of 5 out of 5
Getting in Touch with Longleat Safari & Adventure Park
Here's how you can get in contact with Longleat Safari & Adventure Park.
Where to find Longleat Safari & Adventure Park
Sat Nav Postcode: BA12 7NW
Latitude: 51.1865616, Longitude: -2.2774582
As we found, there are lots of entrances to Longleat, so don't trust your Sat Nav to get you to exactly the right place. Instead, use it to get to the area and then follow the brown signs.
Longleat, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7NW.Show on Google Maps Show on OS Maps
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Disclaimer: With thanks to Longleat Safari and Adventure Park for hosting us so that we could bring you this guide.
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