We are fans of last minute plans. We’d been toying with the idea of a day out to Woburn safari park and decided to just go for it and book a night away in a hotel too. Everything was booked at 4:30pm the night before.
Woburn safari park is in Bedfordshire, East Anglia. It is not far off the M1 and only a few minutes from Milton Keynes, which is where we decided to stay for the night.
None of us had been to Woburn before and looking online it seemed to be a good place to visit on a very cold winter’s day. Mostly because of the ‘road safari’ and with the ‘foot safari’ not being to massive because of this. They are open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday up until February half term. Then they are open daily from the 9th Feb – 5th Nov. We bought our tickets online in advance. We paid £71.96 online in advance for 2 adults, 1 child and 1 senior. This saved us £4. It is £2 cheaper a ticket to visit in the winter.
We live in Lincolnshire and it took us about 2 hours to get there. We got a little confused finding the ‘foot safari’ area for a drink and cake but that’s just us. It was fun driving in as we spotted quite a few animals along the way. Including the elephants which had I known I’d have photographed there and then as they weren’t around later in the day. Jamie seemed rather impressed. (when he actually admitted that he could see them)
After our pit stop we decided to start with the ‘road safari’ as it was only just above freezing. What fun it was. There are three separate areas to drive round. We were astounded by the animals you get to drive amongst. Who needs to go to Kenya. We had a tiger size up our 4×4 and try to mount it. Queue a ranger driving very fast at it to scare it off. Exciting does not sum it up! This tiger literally was right behind our car stalking us. Poor Jamie was clearly scared as when we offered to let him out his seat for a better look he went into meltdown as I think he thought we were going to get him out the car. Well maybe not today.
There are, understandably, quite a few rules you have to follow when driving around. Mostly don’t open your windows/doors nor feed the animals. You are given a handy leaflet upon arrival. I think we were lucky that it wasn’t too busy as even on a quiet day there were a few annoying drivers.
We went on the road safari again in the late afternoon and it was an even better experience than in the morning…read on to find out why.
It was nice to see zebras so close. You really get to appreciate their beauty. Jamie liked the pretty donkeys. (according to Jamie, of course)
It was nearly lunch time by now so we headed to the ‘foot safari’ area and walked around amongst some wallabies. It was nice to see them hopping about but they looked as cold as us.
Lunch was fairly priced and tasty. After lunch we really enjoyed watching the penguins swim and walking amongst the lemurs (they are my absolute favourite animal). They were charging about amongst us and sitting on the walkways waiting for photo ops. Jamie took it all in his stride and didn’t seem to mind them leaping about him.
Throughout they day they have many scheduled events such as a sea lion show and 3d film (apparently extra, we didn’t realise!), elephant meet and great (sadly not on when we were there but we knew this in advance), birds of prey and parrot demonstrations plus various animal feeding sessions, some with talks. They also hold events throughout the year. (details on their website and social media). We managed to watch the parrot demonstration which was relatively interesting. The cockatoo flying off and eating the restaurant sign was our highlight.
It would be good to come back on a slightly warmer day as the train ride they have there looks good fun and the swan boats too. I still don’t know how we got away without doing the train as Jamie adores any sort of train. They have an outdoors play area, a covered area with bouncy castles (under 5’s) and a large indoor soft play area. There’s also GoApe and Treetops action trail for older kids.
I think Jamie could have spent all day stroking the goats!
We managed to fit in the walk in enclosure with the very cute squirrel monkeys and then we headed off for ‘road safari’ #2. I am so glad we went around again because it was an even better experience than the morning. Mostly because most of the animals were up and about. We were very up close to these three rhinos.
Then in the next section we had two very close up experiences with the American black bears. Oh my goodness we were in our element. I just couldn’t get over how close they were to us. What stunning creatures. Our patience in the queue’s paid off and we had one right by our car and then two moving out of their hut a bit further down. We’d only managed a distant glimpse of them earlier. Jamie held up his own bear to the car window for him to see….he melts my heart.
Next came the lionesses who had all been sat together in a hut earlier on. This time they were all out sunning themselves on a hill with a ranger for company. When we saw one of the lionesses walk down and climb up a big log to sun herself Mark had a theory that the rest would follow. So we stood our ground and it really paid off. We experienced them all walk down right by our car. I’ve honestly never been so excited in my life. Jamie was sat with me and they were literally right there next to us. What beautiful creatures.
Even once down the hill they were still by the road and we watched a ranger for quite a while trying to stop them from going past where he didn’t want them to be.
For some reason there were no giraffes to be seen all day and sadly for Mark we never ended up with a Macaque monkey on the car but oh what a day. It made a lovely change for us as we’d never done a safari park with Jamie and it really brought us so much closer to such amazing animals. I really hope we get to return one day. It was a perfect day out.
After our day out we stayed at the Holiday Inn express in Milton Keynes.
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