A day at Noahs Ark Zoo Farm, Bristol
We headed to Noahs Ark Zoo Farm one Sunday towards the end of the summer holidays. I say summer lightly as it’s been anything but summer here in the UK and this particular Sunday was absolutely no exception. It was pretty miserable for 90% of our day! I found Noahs Ark after googling ‘Brilliant zoos in the UK’. Even though he’s mostly glued to JStu or Carter Sharer on YouTube, Arlo is still very much Dr Doolittle and loves the zoo. Having done Marwell and ZSL a fair few times, we wanted a new place to adventure.
Noahs Ark Zoo Farm is based in Clevedon, near Bristol and is set on 110 acres of land. Being called a ‘farm zoo’ I didn’t expect quite as much as they had there so it was a brilliant surprise. A good start was the car park, although the car park was busy there was tonnes of parking spots to choose from. The zoo was just a short stroll down from there and some red deer kept us occupied on the way!
We were greeted by the lovely and welcoming staff at the entrance who advised us what talks were on that day, so we made our days plan incorporating those talks and animal handling timeslots that we wanted to go along to. The first animal the kids spotted was the peacock who was standing proud with its feathers in full fan – a really spectacular sight.
Next up were the prairie dogs who kept us entertained for ages, we actually LOL’d as one who was doing a shimmy shake along the walls – he gathered quite a crowd! Just opposite this enclosure was the Great British Wildlife Maze – a deceivingly huge area, which actually covers 3.4km, so a great work out for kids and adults alike – in fact it’s the longest hedge maze in the UK, featuring 15,000 beech trees. To successfully complete the maze there are a series of 15 questions that you must answer correctly to lead you down the right path and to the final finishers bridge.
We marvelled at the rhinos before the kids discovered the park and trampolines….anyone else’s kids queue for ages for a trampoline in public places, but never bothered jumping on their own lawn killer at home? I can’t be the only one, surely!?
The paths were wide and there were so many open spaces, toilets and bins throughout the park which was really refreshing! The spectacled bears were a real fave of mine; I’d never seen bears like that before and they were really captivating and entertaining to watch, they were honestly like people dressed up in bear suits going about their day. To keep them entertained and their minds active, the keepers chop up fruit and veg and pop it into a wire basket stationed at the top of a pole, so the bears were shaking the pole to try to knock their treats out.
Opposite this was Elephant Eden and the Big Cat Territory. There were three African lions in this area and you could watch them from the ground or from the viewing platform higher up.
Capybara, Maras, Tapiers and African Pygmy goats were houses along by the anteaters, armadillos and a little further along the giant tortoise enclosure. A couple of them were pretty speedy considering they were carrying their world on their back!
Elephant Eden is home to male bull elephants and always will be just males, there are no plans for females to join the man gang at Noah’s Ark. The elephants have a lovely large outdoors and indoor area. The highlight was one of the elephants revealing his *aubergine* for all and sundry to witness and boy oh boy was he fully packed. I thought the kids were going to wet themselves with laughter – let’s just say he drew quite the crowd! The keeper talk was really fascinating and the guy was so passionate but unfortunately the heavens decided to open in a big way and we had to run undercover.
After lunch, which we ate in the barn, we ventured over to the other side of the farm zoo. Here were monkeys, meerkats and the farm yard animal handling experiences. Round the corner from that was a huge indoor play area, home to super speedy slides, tractor tracks and fun galore. They also had a tea, coffee and ice cream kiosk which was welcome for us parents who weren’t so keen on super slides!
Our day at Noahs Ark Zoo Farm was brilliant – and we’re looking forward to going back…when it’s a bit sunnier.