Tips for visiting Longleat Safari Park, Wiltshire
Just had a fab three days at Longleat and thought we'd share some of our lessons learned. Keep in mind that we went Monday-Weds, in August, might well be a different experience other times of the year or week. Also, we bought a "Passport" ticket which let us attend each attraction only once, would have different things to say if we had purchased a different entrance package.
- I spoke to someone who had trouble purchasing the Passport ticket at the gate; she felt that she was actively discouraged from buying it, although she knew from seeing the website online that it was definitely the ticket she wanted. The Passport is very good value if you use it cleverly. It is also cheaper to buy online.
- Plan on three days to visit everything, and take your time well at each attraction.
- Because you can only enter each area once, be aware of where you will be finished quickly (usually Less than 25 mins.) and which attractions you can spend a medium time at (up to one hour) or maybe a very long time (2+ hours). Easier to picnic and plan if you know how long you'll need in each area.
- Quick: Boat ride, Bat cave (probably), motion simulator (though queues may be bad), train ride, Postman Pat Village (probably, it's pretty rubbish), tea-cup rides, grounds and gardens.
- Medium: Hedge Maze, house tour (probably, though you can drag it out longer), Hunters of the Sky, Mirror maze (though could be very quick, but my kids managed 40+ mins. in there).
- Long time, Two-Four hours or longer: Safari drive, Jungle Adventure, Castle Adventure (assuming you have crazy kids like mine).
- Bring a swimsuit and towel for children under 12 when you visit the Castle Adventure park; there is an interactive fountain there and children can end up very wet.
- Arrive at entrance gates no later than 9:45am, we found the queues after that to be horrendous.
- We didn't visit safari park in morning so can't say whether animals are more exciting then; certainly the queues in Adventure area were much lighter & more tolerable in mornings, am very glad we spent all our mornings there. Especially true for boat & train rides. Whereas the queues in mid-late afternoon for safari park are much lighter and less.
- Remove windscreen wipers & anything else the monkeys might tear off, if you dare to drive thru their enclosure at all!
- Listen straight away to the CD they give you at entrance to Safari park (oops, we didn't).
- Picnic if you can. Food prices at the park are about what you expect; the stone-baked pizzas are very nice and maybe even worth the cost.
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