Cotswold Wildlife Park

Cotswold Wildlife Park

Overview: 

This beautiful wildlife park in Oxfordshire is about 20 minutes from Swindon, Cheltenham and just under 30 minutes from Oxford. They have over 260 different species of animals in over 120 acres of parkland, which the such a great quality as even on a busy day it never feels too hectic.

Kids of all ages will love the adventure playground in the woods with interconnecting tree-houses, rope bridges and slides. Don’t miss the Children’s Farmyard with goat petting area, daily penguin feeding and talk at 11am and 3pm, and Lemur feed and talk at 12noon in their walk-through enclosure.

They have one of the largest reptile collections in the UK with crocodiles, lizards, frogs, snakes, such as green anacondas, and venomous snakes including the black mambas. Other indoor exhibits include Insect House, Bat House, Little Africa and Tropical House with free roaming sloths, bats and birds.

Review by Vic 

Overview: 

We have been going to the Wildlife Park for several years now and it never disappoints. Sometimes we will go for the whole day and other times for an hour or so. If its space your family loves this is the place for you. Even in peak season it never feels majorly busy (apart from the park area). There are so many animals to see. We quite enjoy the farm area which has a nice enclosed petting goat area. There are indoor enclosed animal houses including the reptile house, bat house and insects. There is a train which costs £1 per person (under 3s are free). If you don’t have cash on the day, you are able to purchase the tickets for the train at the shop. It tours the whole park and is a nice way to see everything. They have a disabled carriage where wheelchairs can go directly on the train.  Our son is obsessed with the train, so this is always a highlight during our day out.

The map of the park is really clear, and gives a real overview of where and what you could see and do during the experience.  What we love is there are lots of benches,  sheltered areas and open spaces for you to stop and relax in between seeing the animals.  For those visiting who are not members it is quite an expensive day out, but you do get your monies worth as there is so much to see and do.

Food: 

There is a large café which sells hot and cold food. The queues do get busy so I would recommend bringing a picnic. However, in the summer there are three other coffee/snack huts; one next to the shop, one next to the park which accept cards and one near the camels. Just to note the kiosk next to the café which sells ice creams and chips ect only accepts cash. The small kiosk near the camels which is open during the summer months only sells ice creams and drinks.

Accessibility: 
After rainy days the trails do get a little dusty and muddy so can get a little trickier for wheelchairs. The paths around the park are all pretty flat but be mindful of some bumpy parks.  What is great is you can access all areas with a pushchair or wheelchair from the wolf and giraffe enclosure which has an accessible ramp, to the reptile house.  Within the park there are several disabled toilets, and also they have a changing places toilet which is at the back of the bat/reptile area.

Our favourites: 

We quite like the area outside the house near the pond which has lots of space to run around and has a great view of the rhinos. We love starting at the walled garden and penguin area which is calm, beautiful and has quite a few benches for the first snack of the day!

Play park area:
We have decided to explain a little more about this as a stand-alone section. There is a great tree top exploring adventure playground which can be quite stressful to see your child. What you have to remember once they are inside the main way back out is via two different slides. Its great fun and we find standing in the middle of it helps to see where your child is.
There is a smaller castle style play section which is easier to access. Our kids love the tree house tube slide. It’s much easier to know your child has gone in one way and out another. Also, the play area gets much busier at lunchtime so perhaps start the day there or go towards the end of the day.

Final note: 

There are a few demonstrations throughout the day such as feeding the penguins at 11am and 3pm. Overall, a day that will never disappoint, which is why we have been members for the last 5 years.