As the days get longer and the sun brings that smile on your face there is nothing better then getting out and about and enjoying that fresh air. There can’t be a better place to do this whilst enjoying a wildlife safari in one of Britain’s most famous safari parks Longleat.
The best loved Safari Park in Britain, Longleat is surely one that should be on your list whether you live here or visiting as a tourist.It is best in the summer but there are activities throughout the year which makes it a very popular destination.
Longleat Safari Park, is in Wiltshire and was opened in 1966 as the first drive-through safari park outside Africa. The park is situated in the grounds of the famous Longleat House, an English stately home which has been opened to the public and is the home of the 7th Marquess of Bath. Longleat Safari Park and the concept of safari parks is the brainchild of Jimmy Chipperfield, a former co-director of Chipperfield’s Circus. Today, Longleat is home to over 500 animals, and the estate occupies 9,000 acres of the fine Wiltshire countryside.
Train – Nearest station is Frome Station and has a good services from Bath and London. Warminster station, is about 5 miles from Longleat and Westbury station is about 12 miles from Longleat and is on the London Paddington to Penzance line. All stations are served by taxis which get you to the park at a nominal cost. For train times visit www.nationalrail.co.uk
Driving – Longleat is just off the A36 between Bath and Salisbury. Address: Longleat, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 7NW. This is a 2.5 hour drive from London (traffic dependant) so if you are planning a day trip from London suggest using the train.
One of the few safari parks where visitors can drive their own cars and admire around you. This is so much better then a visit to the Zoo and if you have children then this is a must visit . You see the kids face light up as they sit inside and get a real close view of the animals. If you are a photographer then surely a good chance to get some close encounters with the beautiful animals .
One of the most talked about and fascinating aspects of the whole safari is your encounter with the monkeys. You do have the option of turning off from this area where the rhesus monkeys live and there are signs warning of the possible damage to your car from the monkeys but I would not miss this as it is really fun.
Another area which I enjoy and would recommend is seeing the tigers and wolves. The park also houses some lions which are majestic and I must say well fed.
The house today is widely regarded as one of the best examples of high Elizabethan architecture in Britain and one of the most beautiful stately homes open to the public. There are many other stately homes you can visit in Britain but this one is one of the best you can experience. Completed by 1580 and now occupied by the 7th Marquess of Bath this incredible house has now been called home by 15 generations of the Thynne family.
Expect to be wowed from the very first moment you enter the Great Hall. Adorned by giant paintings depicting hunting scenes and with walls stretching 35 feet up you can see why this was the perfect place to host many a banquet. Its grandeur speaks for itself .
You can spend hours marvelling the great works of art here if this is not enough enjoy the cafe and wind down. Finish off by making your way down the Grand Staircase surrounded by an impressive collection of paintings.
Whether you’re joining a tour or want to take in the rich history of the house in your own time you are sure to leave with an incredible insight into this wondrous stately home and the stories it has to tell.
Apart from these the park has themed events and houses the famous lantern festival in the winter months which is a great crowd puller.
Enjoy a train ride around the park or a boat trip on the lake and see the Gorillas. There is so much to do so make sure to reach early and enjoy this park. It is truly a wonderful day out for the entire family with plenty of things to keep you occupied or just enjoy a lazy afternoon basking in the grounds of this beautiful park. A perfect picnic spot and a fun day out.
For all other details and up to date prices please refer to the website below. You can buy tickets on the gate but if you book online 2 days in advance you get them at a reduced price.