I’m going to be diplomatic here; this wasn’t the best day out we’ve ever had (for reasons that will become clear later on in the post) however it wasn’t the worst. I really hate writing anything that could be construed as negative to a business; I’m not about throwing that negative energy out in to the world, but in the same vein I don’t like to lie/sugar-coat or pretend something was amazing when it wasn’t. So for those reasons I’m going to refrain from mentioning the name of the place we visited and instead focus on what we got up to. So here’s a little family day post for you!
Gareth and I decided to take my mum and two brothers out on Saturday. We picked an outdoorsy/farm/animal type of attraction in Kent and it was a lovely sunny day for it. Entrance was really reasonably priced at around £11 per person.
Upon entering we were greeted by a large barn with all sorts of cute and cuddly farm animals inside. This was a really hands-on aspect of the attraction as we were allowed to hop in to the pig pen to stroke the piglets (d’aaaw) and there were lots of well-trained bunnies/guinea pigs sat on bales of hay waiting patiently to be stroked. My favourite was the shiny cockerel that crowed very loudly! He was absolutely beautiful. My younger brother Ben was particularly interested in the giant bunnies.
After some time spent in the barn petting all the cute animals we headed over to the butterfly house. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any decent shots due to a rather steamy lens, but this part of the attraction was actually pretty good. Inside the butterfly house the stifling temperature served to replicate tropical climes rather well, and it was interesting to spot flashes of colourful wings in the foliage.
Just beside the butterfly house was a really lovely manicured garden. Here I made my family members pose for photos because it was nice and scenic. (Sorry guys!)
One thing I really did like about this attraction was the amount of flowers that had been planted. It seemed to me as if almost every possible border was bursting with life and colour. This in turn attracted lots of bees. So all in all it was rather pleasant to walk around.
And then we get to the parts that we didn’t like quite as much. Or at all, if I’m being honest.
This attraction had lots of beautiful birds of prey. Some were sat waiting for the flying displays (fine) whilst others were sat in their enclosures (not so fine.) And the reason I say not so fine here, is because in my opinion, the enclosures seemed a little inadequate. Now I am in no way an expert on birds. I have never kept birds of prey either, so I can’t claim to know what the optimal living conditions for these creatures are. That said, the enclosures looked a little on the small size and actually, a lot smaller than any other enclosure I have seen a bird of prey housed in before. In addition, the owls did not have anything to “hide” in. No box, no large amount of foliage. And some did not have branches, just tree stumps to sit upon. One barn owl was particularly distressed and kept flapping up against the doorway; this is not something I have ever seen with captive owls before. So, again, although I can’t really call it, it didn’t seem to be good enough to me. And I did feel quite sorry for the birds. I hope that they are actually housed somewhere else and that these were just display cages. But even so, a display cage should still have had somewhere for the birds to “escape” to, such as a box.
After wandering around and no lunch (because we didn’t fancy what was on the menu) we decided to visit the aviary. If you’re following my blog you’ll know that Gareth and I are big fans of birds. So for us, this really was the main attraction. The website stated the walk-through aviary had cockatiels, lovebirds, budgies, canaries and finches. The latter we were most interested in seeing as we own finches ourselves. So I was super excited to reach the aviary but, once inside – not so much.
Despite the website claiming the aviary was home to a plethora of birds all we actually saw were a handful of cockatiels, a lovebird and one lone budgie. Not a canary or finch in sight. This was really disappointing as for us it was the main highlight of the day out. The aviary itself was nice enough, and spacious for the amount of birds living in it, but it wasn’t what was advertised so I found that to be disappointing.
We ended our trip at this attraction with a nice walk in the woods. There were a few different trails to follow, however we ended up getting a bit lost. Nonetheless it was enjoyable to take a walk and get back to nature a bit.
So all in all, I think we had a nice day; mostly because we spent it together as a family. However, I wouldn’t recommend this attraction and I wouldn’t visit again. Perhaps if they updated the aviaries and the bird of prey enclosures I might reconsider. The location was pleasant and there was a lot to see and do – especially for children. The price is really decent as well but I do think there are other attractions out there offering a similar thing but much better.