We had a fantastic family visit to Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens earlier this autumn. Cotswold Wildlife Park is a small zoo and gardens, set on the grounds of an old country estate. I had never been before and we really lucked out on the weather – a perfect early autumn sunny day! Everyone had a wonderful time looking at the animals and enjoying a picnic lunch on the lawn. The kids loved seeing the giraffes, the tortoises, and going down the big slide on the playground.
One of the best things about Cotswold Wildlife Park is that dogs are allowed, and there were lots of them out enjoying family adventures. Wilbur absolutely loved it! He was like an over-excited toddler desperate to meet every person and animal. The goats and pigs were quite intrigued by him, while the turkeys were most annoyed that he was interested in their stink! Just to note, the animals are behind a fence so your dog (or child) can’t harass the animals. Moreover, there are certain areas where dogs aren’t permitted for the animals’ wellbeing. We had at least half a dozen people whisper “look a sausage dog!” as we walked past, and we even ran into a few dachshunds (and some very handsome Labradors).
My favourite things about the park was actually the gardens. The gardeners had done a superb job planting huge, overflowing planters and beds with autumn colours. There was also an interesting display on lots of types of heirloom tomatoes.
Meerkats and the otters were my favourite animals – essentially any critters that look like a dachshund! When I went into the jungle area, lots of exotic birds decided to befriend me and followed me around (even though I had no food to offer). As well, Lucy finally got to see the elusive red panda, who was always hiding when she had visited previously.
If you are visiting the Cotswolds or live in the area, a visit to Cotswold Wildlife Park should be at the top of your list. We had such a great time, and I can’t wait to visit again!