An unforgettable trip to Longleat and a VIP experience
Celebrating My 30th With A VIP Longleat Experience
Hello, my beauties and how are you all today??? Life has been very busy and hectic hence why blogs have been minimal. However, rather than trying to play catch up, let’s plod through the rest of 2019. Then come back with full force ready for 2020 with more vigour and energy. I mean, we have been so busy we only just finished celebrating my 30th birthday. My birthday is at the start of March!
What Do You Do When You Can’t Have A Party?
I had wanted a big party celebrating my 30th birthday, like many people, but thanks to finally booking our wedding for 2020. Also being 7 months pregnant at the time didn’t help. A party was a huge no go this year. This was when my fella suggests we book an activity day we could enjoy later in the year.
Knowing immediately what experience we should try, we just needed to find the right one. Something I had wanted to try since I was a child and literally from a time that people start loving animals.
I wanted to meet some monkeys!!! I have been obsessed with our primate cousins since being a very little girl. By far my favourite animal of all time without a shadow of a doubt. From their cheeky little faces laden with mischief to their crazy antics. Yep, I wanted to meet some monkeys. After researching available activities online I decided Longleat was a great choice for lots of reasons.
The first being the location as it’s only about an hours drive from where we live which instantly made it easier. Based in Warminster it was one of the closest locations possible without having to drive for hours. Having three children meant we had to be efficient with the time we had, we had one day 9am-6pm. Plus we wanted to make the most of the rare, child-free day we had together. Longleat offered lots to do so it was the perfect choice for us.
Celebrating My 30th Birthday With A VIP Marmoset and Tamarin Experience
As mentioned above we enjoyed the VIP marmoset and tamarin experience. However, this is not there only experience on offer. We had booked ours for as early as possible. Again, this was to maximise our time at the park. We managed a small wonder around the main square before meeting our guide.
Exploring Monkey Temple
Once she had arrived we made our way over to the Monkey Temple. The first thing that was very surprising, but lovely, is the fact they get to wonder freely. As they have a food source, water, shelter and lots of fun activities they don’t run away. This very much set the tone of Longleat for me. It’s the animals home and you are very much the guest.
After enjoying the aesthetic of the Monkey Temple we made our way behind the scenes to meet these beautiful little fluffles. We first met Eddie and Abbie who are common marmosets.
They were so interested and inquisitive. Mostly because they knew we might have treats. We did as we had synthetic/artificial tree sap.
After saying hello to those cheeky two we met the lovely Mo who is a cotton top tamarin.
This is the Monkey we got to hand feed and I have to say my favourite monkey at the park. We were allowed to feed her sweetcorn as it’s a sweet but watery treat for her. She loved it as much as we did.
Now, they’re are rules such as, the monkeys can touch you but you can’t touch them. This is a hard rule to follow when you’re trying to stop yourself kissing a cute, tiny monkey!!!
We spent time feeding her and learning all about the marmosets and tamarin monkeys. For example most small breed monkeys give birth to twins. They also can’t eat the fruit we grow as it contains to much naturally recurring sugar. It was so interesting.
I really can’t recommend this experience enough and I would literally go again tomorrow and enjoy it just as much. They’re so gentle and sweet it really was such an incredible day. The staff are also so knowledgeable and happy. It really was incredible.
The Animal Park
Of course this was just the start of the day and we had no idea that it was going to be one of the best days ever!
Longleat is not just home to marmosets and tamarins! In fact Longleat is jam packed with amazing animals they have given homes to. You’ll be able to walk through the meerkats enclosure and enjoy they’re cheeky antics.
Little meerkat bums up in the air as they dig away. An incredible anteater that I didn’t realise was SO huge. A fenec fox that looks like a plush toy when curled up asleep.
The recently added Koala Creek which is delightful. Seeing these cuties snuggled up in mock trees. They didn’t even look real!!
A wombat! Plus there are so many birds and lizards to see.
There are lots of other animals to enjoy you could spend a whole day just watching them.
Celebrating My 30th In Style With The Train
After seeing all the animals we noticed that the train was boarding (I think this is an hourly thing). We couldn’t not have a go!!
So we jumped aboard and were rewarded with some truly stunning views of Longleat.
Catching a glimpse of storks and even gorillas along the way. With it being a 12 minute journey it really is a must and the kids on board were LOVING it!!! So brilliant if you’ve taken the littles with you.
Whilst on the train journey we noticed that there was also a boat to ride. Now, being afraid of water the thought of it made me nervous. However, it was the only way to get a good look at the gorillas and I love gorillas more than I hate water apparently!
We hopped on the boat with no idea about the most amazing experience we were going to have. One of Longleat’s most elusive residents came to say hello. We got to meet the lovely hippos who live there. They really were majestic and magical. They followed us round the lake and were being very nosey. We were so lucky as even the staff can go days without seeing these private pair.
Also, for just £1, you can feed the resident sea lions some fish. They’re very vocal once they realise they’re getting food. So we had great fun tossing them delicious fish.
As I said, what we thought would be a quick look at the gorillas, became a once in a lifetime boat trip!
As mentioned above, we were limited for time on the day as is the life of a parent. So we didn’t actually manage to look around the house but that doesn’t mean we weren’t blown away by its beauty!
From fabulous fountains to stunning statues. So many treats for your little eyeballs!! I am a huge fan of architecture so I will make sure to enjoy the house on my next visit.
The final part of our day took place in the drive through safari. Again, we were not prepared for what an amazing experience we were about to enjoy. From monkeys clambering all over the car (it was THE BEST).
To having an alpha lion and lioness led no more than 6 foot away us. The male looked me square in the eyes as we stopped for a look.
The wolves were out and enjoying the drizzle that had started and even stopped at the front of the car blocking me from actually moving. Giraffes and zebras were out in full force and enjoying the grass.
Rhinos who were far less interested in us than we were of them. Camels and cheetahs and so many more animals it was such an incredible experience. We were so lucky to see what we did as the animals could have easily stayed inside!!
Overall, our day at Longleat was one of the best days I’ve ever experienced! The best way to enjoy celebrating my 30th and without the headache too! The various animals were just magical and I could have stayed there forever, to be honest. So if you’re around the Wiltshire area at any time and need something to do. I can not recommend Longleat enough. 100%, are most definitely returning with the children as the boys would just love it.
There was so much to do so didn’t get to try everything there either. We didn’t even talk about the biggest hedge maze in the UK!! So a return visit will 100% be happening. So a huge thank you to my lovely fiance for treating me to one of the best experiences of my life. For our parents for watching the kids and also Lord Bath and all the amazing staff at Longleat. Being close to a monkey has been a life long dream and for my 30th I ticked it off.
Have you ever been to Longleat? Or have you had an amazing experience with an animal? Let me know in the comments below loves.
Lots of Love