When I found out that there was a place that might possibly let me hand feed penguins within a 50 mile radius, I was practically in the car, ready to go, within 5 minutes. Well, that's not quite true, but I was pretty keen.
Of course, I had my reservations. I'd only seen the website and have been let down before by the comparison of fancy website to poor zoo conditions. Plus, Chester Zoo isn't that far away and is always a safe bet for a great day out. But I've been there enough times in the past couple of years and fancied a change. So off we went to Dalton in Furness in the hope of seeing something a little bit different, and with any luck, I'd get to feed some penguins
On arrival, we were a bit wary. The car park was tiny, so we assumed there wouldn't be much to see. However as we walked further into the park we realised there were several bridges and walkways spanning through and over the large enclosures, meaning that you could see the animals really well and that they had much more space to play with than we'd originally thought.
The admission price was fair, at £7. Much cheaper than Chester Zoo, but then, they do have far few animals and fewer facilities all round. It kept us entertained for about 4 hours, all in all.
The animals look happy and healthy, with a fair amount of space to run around in. Some are kept to themselves, whereas others are mixed in together, which is nice to see. We particularly liked the way that you could walk into some of the enclosures and get up close to the animals. and also the fact that some of them (the cheeky lemurs in particular!) seemed to be allowed to just roam about certain parts of the park.
The real bonus was the feeding times/talks. The tiger feeding talk really brought home how rare the animals are and the keeper talked about the conservation work that the animal park were able to fund in Indonesia. And the absolute pinnacle of the day? Well, the penguin feeding, of course.
This is without a doubt one of Barrow (or rather Dalton's) top attractionsit's like being on safari, except that you're in a tiny town in North West England and it's probably raining! It is a true 'wild' animal park - everything from cute little lemurs and penguins throgh to rhinos, lions and tigers. Do not miss the tigers being fed at 2pm every day; they have to work for their food just as they would have to catch their food in the wild - amazing, something you will never see again! The animals are all given plenty of space, and you can tell they're well looked after, making this a fun day out without the worry you sometimes get at zoos! Very child-friendly too - plenty of picnic areas, and a little train that goes through the park that the kids will love to ride on. Not to be missed!
A tip for you - a reciept from Barrow's Asda or M+S store will get you entry into the Park for £5 (it's usually £10.50 for adults) - this is a well-kept secret, really meant for locals rather than tourists, hence you won't find it in any of the guidebooks. Bargain!
Without doubt one of the best wild animal parks in the country, and we've been to a few!
The zoo has a very open door policy, lemurs, emus, kangaroos are all allowed fairly free roam (within limits). Visitors can help feed the penguins, lemurs, giraffes. And food is sold to feed the emus, ducks etc.
The tiger and lion feeding is unique, with the cats having to climb for their food rather than just being given food.
A nice restaurant, where in the summer its possible to eat outside and watch over the giraffes and rhinos.
I love this place its the best animal conservation of any kind that I have seen. Its spilt into different areas and certain animals roam free and you can feed some of them, there is lots of feeding time and I enjoyed the speeches which were not boring. This place beliving in preserving animals are they are and not as lazy caged zoo pets.
Should be more examples of this place.
A brilliant park for getting up close and personal to big cats, the wildlife park is a must for any budding photographer.
A nicely laid out park where the animals have plenty of room to move about.
Love visiting the zoo and would recommend anyone visiting the area to go as well. You can tell the animals are well looked after. The tiger's and giraffes are definitely a must see.
This is a treasure of a place, we were driving round the lake district one holiday and we were passing through Dalton in Furness when we saw some brown tourist signs with elephants on and thought we'd follow them. We turned on to a country lane and thought we must have gone wrong when one of us spotted a giraffes head just poking above some trees (a very odd site!) We'd found South Lakes Wildlife Park.
Me and my partner are in to photography and love going to animal parks and zoo's to take pictures but we both get the feeling at some places that the animals look bored and depressed in captivity but I couldn't honestly say that about this place. It is a small zoo but many of the smaller animals, such as the lemurs and emu's and wallabies are allowed to roam fairly freely around.
They have everything from reptiles, penguins & otters, monkeys, exotic birds, giraffes & rhinos right through to Wild cats (and what a collection of cats for such a small zoo). They have some Sumatrans & Amur Tigers, infact they are active in the conservation of sumatran tigers in particular and you can donate money which goes direct to the rangers in the wild who work full time trying to protect this species from hunters/poachers. They also have Lions & Cheetahs. I was very impressed with their big cats. As a cat lover I love to see these beautiful animals but have found that in places like Chester Zoo, you often see the animals looking very bored and out of condition but here, they feed the cats by hanging their food up on large telegraph poles and you must go and see the tiger & lion feeding time talks as you'll see them use their great power to climb up to claim their food. Like in the wild, they have to use their physical strength and this keeps them in great condition.
The zoo has a great timetable of talks on the animals and so its great if you arrive early enough to go round and hear the talks and see the feeding of the different Animals. The staff are very knowledgeable and these talks are very entertaining for Adults and Children.
As for the facilities at the zoo. They have a small gift shop and a cafe/restaurant which is fairly basic but adequate. There is always plenty of entertainment in this from the ring tailed Lemur families who like to hang around here.
I love this place, it's well worth a visit if you are up in the lake district. It's great for Children & Adults alike.
We visited here with a 10 year old at the very end of the year last year. It was quite cold but that didn't dtract from the lovely day we had. It was probably better as it was a a lot less busy than summertime and you got to see more. The high point was seeing the tigers climb the really high logs to get the meat fom the top. I loved the walk-through where they had monkeys, emu's and kangaroos running around you. There was a good range of animals all of whom were very well looked after. The park was clean and well maintained and the food in the cafe looked lovely although we took a picnic. The admission was very well priced and the was loads of car parking. It was buggy and wheelchair friendly and we really had an enjoyable day. The staff were really nice and friendly and liked to chat about the different animals to the child we had with us which made it a lot more educational for him.
we visited the zoo on a wet august day, we were enteraining a 7 year old and a 2 year old. everyone had a fantastic day despite the weather. we took a picnic and there was plenty of places to eat it.
we were there for a few hours and saw a number of the animal talks and feeding sessions. our favourite was the tiger feeding, it was tense and educational. there are lots of raised walkways so you can view the animals from above giving you a better a view, however we found them to be a little slippy when wet. there is a great variety of animals as well as a miniture railways (there is a seperate charge) and food available for feeding some of the animals. there are clean toilets aswell as a cafe and a reasonibly priced gift shop.
overall its well worth a trip
This is a really fantastic animal park. What makes it unique is that many of the animals roam free around the park. Sat at the cafe you will be pestered by the ring-tailed lemurs who have developed an unhealthy ( but very cute) obsession with cake. You can buy food to feed the ducks and emus. Watch the lions climb huge poles to devour bloody carcasses and let the kids hold huge snakes. Lots of the bigger places could learn something from this. A really enjoyable day out for allt he family.
We had a fabulous day here last year and we were pleasantly surprised and very impressed with the place. We made use of Tesco vouchers to get in, but even if we'd paid cash, it would have still been value for money.
There is a sizeable cafe with large outdoor eating area if the weather is good. Great selection and very reasonably priced given the captive market.
Lots of animals to see - loved the fact the Lemurs had free run of the place. Accessibility was fantastic for pushchairs and the the layout of the park was really well thought out.
Will def. be going back for another visit.
Been there with my family twice. Once when my son was 2 and again yesterday. He is now 4 and we took his friend. Both times we loved it. We have never been to a park like it. Many of the animals such as Wallabies, Lemurs, Emus and small monkeys are able to move around freely, inlcuding onto the paths, which gives a very interactive experience. There are many raised walkways that allow a very good view of the spacious enclosures, a cafe enables you to eat at the same height as the feeding giraffes, there are regular feeding times and you can even feed some animals yourself. the boys loved feeding the penguins. I would really recommend South Lakes Animal Park. You may even be able to get a 50% discount from toptowndeals.com we did!
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