Since Teddy started nursery at the beginning of last year, I’ve always tried to make sure we do a few things in the holidays, with varying degrees of success. This Summer, I really wanted to create a few memories with Teddy, as days out with him are always such a joy, so we’ve done a few bits and bobs, with my favourite so far being our day trip to Woburn Safari Park.
Woburn Safari Park is a massive park in Woburn, Milton Keynes that’s easy to access via the M1 and from North London was about a 45 minute drive (traffic depending – we went early on a Friday afternoon and returned at around 6pm and both ways were relatively easy) with several motorway stopovers on the route, if you want to stop for food or a drink. The safari park itself is a drive-through, however, there is an on-foot safari too, plus plenty of non-car activities. Having said that, you’re only allowed in via car, so you won’t be able to attend unless you have your own vehicle. You can also access the park A5 which takes you to a difference entrance with a different postcode, which gives you an idea of just how massive the park is!
Upon arrival, you pay for entry with the option to buy the guide book for around £4. I would recommend doing this as it’s such a huge venue that I found the guide info really handy to reference, especially as I got a bit lost a couple of times and obviously I was with my son (and my mum!) so I needed to be able to get to each destination relatively easily rather than wander around.
Once in, you can start the safari straight away, or go to the main area for something to eat and a nose around, where there are also plenty of attractions and a show/demo timetable. There are so many animals here that we struggled to even take in half of what was on offer. We decided to start with something to eat, which is the only thing I’d say I’d do differently next time. They have a kind of ‘school dinners’ type of food at the main restaurant, which is fine, but I had a curry, mum had fish and chips and Teddy had a little lunchbox designed for children plus two coffees, and it came in at a few pennies under £30. I don’t mind spending that on really good food, and in the same sense I don’t mind having a basic meal if it’s a bit on the cheap side, but this was basic food for a huge price, which is to be expected from such a place, however, next time I’ll be bringing a picnic – they have a picnic area which is great, and I think would really add to the experience.
They have a great toy shop too, where we picked up a couple of (surprisingly reasonably priced) toys for Teddy, as well as some extremely yummy salted caramel fudge that I’m savouring almost as we speak. Once refuelled, we got back into our cars (parking near the main area is very easy and casual – words that accurately describe the overall experience at the park itself) and made a start on the safari.
We started with the elephant, who was a bit too far away and difficult to see – a real shame since elephants are on my favourite animals – then things just got better and better. I got very snap-happy with my camera and took some pictures that I was really happy with; this is the perfect venue for any budding nature photographs to hone their skills as I felt like I was in the wild taking intimate snaps! I managed to get a picture of the rhinos having a slight disagreement and locking their horns which I was really happy with.
The bear enclosure was insane, as there were these beautiful, big bears roaming around happily, walking in front of the car and literally feet – sometimes even inches – from us; mum was a bit freaked out! As we drove around the bear enclosure, a quick chase broke out and we saw a pack of wolves appear too! They too wandered alongside the car, which was all very surreal.
Next on to the lions, who were casually hanging out, looking confident, happy and very photogenic. The monkey enclosure was especially exciting for Teddy since the monkeys happily jump on cars to investigate and have a nose, although Teddy’s favourite was the bear enclosure thanks to the mix of bears and wolves. My favourite has to be the giraffes though, since they wander freely around their area, lolloping about, playing brief games of chase and nibbling on various plants. One particularly confident giraffe decided to walk out and look in the cars, before coming over to ours, stopping right in front of us and looking straight into the car for a few minutes, which let me take the above picture which I’m really happy with!
I hate to use such a cliche but Woburn Safari Park really is fun for all the family as I loved it, mum loved it and Teddy loved it too, for all different reasons. As I mentioned, it’s a very easy-going place to go and once you’re in, you can do the safari route as many times as you like, which is great and takes the pressure off. The ticket prices are pretty reasonable (cheaper if you buy online) at £22.99 for adults and £15.99 for children which I believe just gives you access to the safari and main area, but there are also all-inclusive tickets for £32.99 for adults and £21.99 for children. There are also family deals and they offer discounts for various things too – as Teddy and I have disabilities we paid £12.49 each and mum was allowed in as carer for the same price, which made the whole experience a lot cheaper all round. The site is really informative too, so if you’re organised you can plan your day beforehand via info on the site. We really enjoyed our visit and I’m currently looking into squeezing in another visit before the season is over, even if it’s just to see the giraffes again! Visit the site here – link.